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What are your rights as a debt collector?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2022 | Creditors' Rights

As a debt collector, it is your job to collect what is owed from a debtor who has unpaid debts. While debtors have rights that are protected by federal law, you have rights as a debt collector as well that are in place to ensure you can perform your duties reasonably and honestly.

How can you contact a debtor?

As a debt collector, you are permitted to contact debtors between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. You need permission from the debtor to contact the debtor at the debtor’s workplace. You can contact a debtor over the phone, through the mail and emails and text messages.

You cannot, as a debt collector, take action that is considered harassment. Some examples of harassment include making threats, using obscene language and making repeated phone calls to annoy the debtor. Debt collectors also must be truthful with debtors.

Who can you contact to collect a debt?

As a debt collector, you generally can only discuss the debt with the debtor, the debtor’s spouse and the debtor’s attorney. You can contact others to obtain the debtor’s contact information, but you can generally only contact a person once to obtain this information and you cannot let them know a debt is owed.

If the debtor has an attorney, you must contact the attorney not the debtor. However, if the attorney is not responding to you within a reasonable amount of time, you can contact the debtor.

Debt collectors can contact debtors unless the debtor has mailed them a letter requesting the debt collector to stop contact. If you receive such a letter, you can only contact the debtor to confirm future contact will stop or to inform the debtor you are taking a specific action, such as pursuing a lawsuit.

What can you discuss with a debtor?

As a debt collector, you must let the debtor know how much money they owe, to whom that money is owed, how to obtain the name of the original creditor, and steps to take if the debtor does not believe they owe this money.

Debt collectors play an important role in the collection of loans in default, past due accounts and other outstanding obligations a debtor may be failing to meet. It is important that, as a debt collector, you are allowed to communicate what is owed. This way, you have done your job and the debtor has the opportunity to make good on what they owe.