Can a bill collector harass you to the point that you lose your job?


Quick Answer

A bill collector cannot legally harass a person at work to the point where he loses his job, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Many people employed by collection agencies purposely come off as intimidating as possible on the telephone in the hopes of frightening debtors.

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Full Answer

The FTC explains that it regulates debt collectors, and there are many things debt collectors are not permitted to do. For instance, if a debt collector constantly harasses a person at work via phone, that debt collector legally must honor the person's request to stop contacting him by phone. If a collector's calls become problematic in the workplace, the collector must be informed calmly but firmly that he is to contact the person by mail only, and failure to comply with this request results in notification from the FTC.

The FTC says that if a person's wages become garnished due to the actions of a debt collection agency, the employer legally cannot fire that person; however, it is best to avoid garnishment by working with the collection agency on a repayment plan. Once wages become garnished, there is no longer any breathing room in the event of unexpected expenses because the money is automatically deducted by the employer. Also, some employers may regard wage garnishment of employees as a sign of irresponsibility, and although they can't fire the employee for that specific reason, they can always find other reasons if they are so inclined.

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