Can a Collection Agency Call My Work or Coworkers?
“Can a Collection Agency Call My Work or Coworkers?”
Has a debt collector thrown an “office party” against you by calling your work?
This is where the collection agency illegally calls your co-workers for the sole purpose of humiliating you in order to make you pay the debt. Even though this violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
This tactic is similar to the “block party” tactic also discussed on this website and is called an “office party.”
An office party is similar to a block party except that rather than call your neighbors, the debt collector finds out where you work and calls your office. This is why people have asked us “is it legal for a debt collector to call my work and talk with my co-employees”. The answer is almost always “NO”. . . .
The only reason to call someone other than you is to get “location information” and that is not the purpose of an “office party”
Debt collectors can only call someone other than you (or your spouse) under the limited circumstances that they don’t know your contact (or “location) information. If this is truly the case, then the collector can only ask for:
- Home address;
- Home phone; and
- Place of employment.
But if the collector has this information then it cannot call your co-workers.
So why do collectors throw “office parties”?
Simple. They work.
Here’s how – when a collector does this it will result in a number of your co-workers coming into your office or cubicle or at the break room telling you that you need to call the debt collector. Of course, often your co workers are curious about this and want to know what is going on with this mysterious person who needs to talk to your right away.
This puts pressure on you to call the collector and pay – even if you don’t owe – so that the collector will stop calling. But sometimes they don’t just call….
Oftentimes, they go much further, either implying that you are in serious trouble and need to contact them right away or may even go so far as to tell your co-workers that you are in financial trouble and are not taking responsibility for your debts and that you need to contact them immediately.
This Can Cost You Your Job!
This tactic is not only embarrassing and harassing; it puts your job at jeopardy. Unlike a block party, the individuals with whom you work have the ability to affect your ability to earn money to provide for your family.
These illegal actions threaten your ability to make a living in a very real and dangerous way.
This is one reason why the very language of the FDCPA mentions abusive debt collection causes people to lose their employment.
Here’s the good news in this bad situation – you do not have to put up with this type harassment! Fight Back Right Now!
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allows you to recover statutory damages of up to $1,000 and actual damages if a collection agency violates your rights by using these abusive practices. Actual damages include emotional distress — you can imagine how juries can award sizeable amounts for emotional distress or mental anguish.
You can also make the debt collector pay for your attorney fees and expenses in bringing the case.
Our hourly rate is at least $400 so you can see how this can add up for abusive debt collectors or collection agencies. Knowing they will pay this much tends to “encourage” them to want to talk settlement with us shortly after we sue.
We don’t negotiate before suing — instead we sue, then when they are feeling the pressure of standing before a federal judge to explain what they have done, then we talk.
Additionally, Alabama state law may allow you to sue for invasion of privacy which also allows you to recover for actual or compensatory damages and sometimes punitive damages. Punitive damages are to punish the collection agency for this illegal conduct.
If you have been a victim of an office party, please investigate your rights as no one deserves to be mistreated like this. We can help you – please contact us through this website or call us at 205-879-2447 and we will be glad to discuss your options with you, including suing for money damages.