Stop collection calls to work

One of my favorite features of is the ability for consumers to submit questions and receive a personal answer via email. Our Ask the Experts column has been running for many years and in that time we have answered tens of thousands of questions related to credit, debt, and money management.

We recently received this question about how to stop collection calls at work.  Since it is a frequently asked question, I thought I'd share the answer here.

Question: My creditors are calling my work place and my supervisor wants it to STOP. Can they do that???? How can I stop them from calling my work? I'm planning to file for bankruptcy and due to the fact that I don't have the money for an attorney is taking me this long to file, I had stop making payments to my credit cards (5 months) and now I'm been harassed at work. Please help!! I don't want to jeopardize my work.

Answer: You can write to this collection agency demanding they not contact you anymore about this account. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) states, "If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt, except - (1) advise the consumer that the debt collector's further efforts are being terminated; (2) notify that specific remedies may be invoked; (3) that the debt collector or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy." This is quoting directly from the FDCPA.

Make sure, in your letter, you mention you are aware of this federal law and this provision of the law. If you have questions about this Act, call the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Response Center at 877-382-4357. Be sure to send your letter to this collection agency by certified mail, return receipt requested so you have proof they received your "cease and desist" letter.

Please be aware that taking this action does not alleviate you of your responsibility for the debt. In some cases, sending a cease and desist letter can actually escalate the collection process.

Following is an example of a letter you can send to the collector.

Dear Collector:

Please do not call me at my place of employment. My employer does not permit personal phone calls. If you continue to call for me at my place of employment, I will consider your calls a violation of state and/or federal collection laws and will consider hiring an attorney to protect my rights. I will also file a formal complaint with my state Attorney General Office and the Federal Trade Commission, Correspondence Branch, Washington, DC 20580.

Thank you,

Your name

Note: This is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.  For help with legal matters, it is always best to consult with an attorney.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.