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Can Bill Collectors Do This?

I will admit I do have a bill I have been trying to pay for a few months, but something always came up. I finally got my finances in order so I can pay them off next month. I got a call from the company's legal dept and the guy ranted about how he was going to inform my employer of my debt and how my negligence in paying was no different than screwing over my employer. I am only vaguely aware of the laws regarding collection practices, and last I checked, they cannot legally share my info with my employer. The guy kept going on about how he could tell my boss and, in effect, possibly cause me the loss of my job. I retaliated and told him that if he caused me to lose my job, I would come looking for him. I am pretty sure, legally, he cannot tell them anything, but last I checked, they can't threaten you either. Anyone know more about the fair debt collection laws?

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:51 AM on Nov. 14, 2009 in Money & Work

Answers (18)
  • I don't know, but I would be upfront with your employer if it comes about with this debt collector. Most employers are understanding, I would think.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:55 AM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • No, they can't do that. Report him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:00 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • No, legally I'm pretty sure they can't do that. They can call your place of employment and ask to talk to you which should immediately stop if you tell them to not call you there.
    A lot of those companies will come up with anything and everything to scare you, and that's all they are, scare tactics. I've had my fair share of late bills too, and a few have threatened that "bad things will happen" or "you don't want to know what will happen if you don't call us back to set up a payment." It's bs. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    Answer by jmpeskie at 12:02 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • No the can not do that, it is a scare tactic. keep track of these calls make sure you get his name and keep details harrasment to collect a debt is infact illegal. The only way your employer would find out is if the collector went to court to get a judgement and you still didnt pay and they had to garnish your wages and even then your employer wouldnt get details. employers such as certain government jobs will let you go for garnishment but most employers will not let it affect you.

    this link should help

    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 12:07 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • No, they can't harass you. If you can, start recording the calls (letting the agent know up front so you can't get in trouble). That will help prove your case of harassment, or get them to stop being buttheads.

    Answer by halfpint_ny at 12:12 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • OP here.... That's what I thought. My manager has encouraged me to report them to the proper channels. The person I was speaking to also was recording the coversation (or so he claimed) and when he demanded to know who my supervisor was, I said "None of your business, my work has nothing to do with this." This only seemed to infuriate him more. I know they're probably used to hearing excuse after excuse from people, but it just seemed like whenever I was ready to pay a good chunk of it off, something came up (this month, car repairs). It will really screw us a bit for Christmas, but I can make do.

    When I confronted another person over the phone about the guy's threats, they backpeddled and claimed they could send in employment and wage verification forms as often as they wanted to, just to annoy my boss.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:13 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • Are they calling your home or work?

    IF they are calling your work......that is not right for them to harass you. At all.

    I had gotten threats before over a $400 bill I had had and this one guy went on and on and on. I had his name, the times he had called. I got a recorder and when he called me I told him that I was recording the conversation. And he said,"So what? I am too." I said,"I hope our recordings match up cause the time is now...such and such on this date and I then questioned HIM, his name and all that and I said... Ok.. carry on, now why are you calling, I told you 2 days ago I get paid next week and what I would send in. So WHY are you calling me again?" he hung up on me and I said,"Thats what I thought.".

    They are NOT allowed to make threats to you. They are to HELP you with the debt. You can give them a date you are going to send things in. I was once told if you only sent in $1.00 a month nothing

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:36 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • Nothing they can do to you.

    I would ask a Paralegal if you can about that. My one boyfriends cousin had worked for a paralegals office and she said as long as you are sending in something....they cannot do a thing.

    I may be wrong........but check into that for sure!

    Good luck............and I would report the fool calling you to harass you like that too.......but BACK it up with recording them and make sure you state the time and date and that you ARE recording them.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:39 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • I offered to make partial payments, but was told it was too late. He never let me finish my sentence, but I wanted to pay half on one payday, half on another. I finally left him a message and said he would recieve payment in full in mid December. If he declines that, I will record it and send it to the proper channels and more or less wash my hands of this debt.

    I checked out some complaints about this company and found out that they do indeed contact your employer and give out your info, letting them know about your debt. At least it has happened in a few other states. It may be illegal, but apparently they still do it. If I lose my job because of these yahoos, I will hunt them down and make their lives hell.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:54 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • I wish you luck with it for sure.

    Check your state better business laws.

    I live in one state where you are NOT allowed to record anyones phone conversation with you UNLESS you state you ARE over the phone at the begin of the conversation & if they don't agree to it, you cannot.

    Just hope they do not contact your employers........they stoop so low.

    Good luck to you for sure!!

    I had the same trouble once and they never called me back cause I had sent in some of the money I had owed. I told one guy....."Sorry the commision is not what you thought it would be working for a collections agency now is it? I'd be complaining to but not to the people who OWE. get a part time job like I did to pay bills! I worked collections before myself. Tough job. I know."

    I actually DID for a week...I refused to use those old tactics the banks were using and asked to be moved to a different position.FILE CLERK! No more phone!

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:01 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

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