Enforcing Boundaries: 6 Things a Debt Collector Is Not Allowed to Do

Thursday, December 6, 2018, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Avoiding the debt collector as long as possible is a commonly-used strategy, but how long can you keep running away from the inevitable?

Too many people believe these people are omnipotent and can do just about anything they please – this is false. In fact, there are laws that impose certain limitations on them.

Specifically, they are NOT allowed to do any of the following:

  1. Resort to threats

    Real debt collectors are not the kind of bullies you’re probably used to seeing in movies and popular entertainment. And this isn’t limited to physical violence either; they can’t even say they’re going to do something they have no intention of doing. Moreover, they may not threaten to disclose your financial situation to anyone else.

  2. Call you in the middle of the night

    Legally, a debt collector may not call you in the middle of the night. The official hours are anywhere between 8AM and 9PM during workdays (weekends have a slightly different schedule). As you’ve probably guessed, you’re entitled to your peace during holidays.

  3. Use abusive language

    No name-calling, swearing, or using language that can be considered abusive. While they may attempt such tactics to intimidate you, realize this is a violation of the rules which you should not hesitate to report to the debt collection agency. It’s best to put it in writing and be as detailed as possible. Afterwards, the complaint should be sent to the management to review.

  4. Openly discuss anything pertaining to your debt

    Openly publishing anything related to your case, for example, is a harsh violation of the law. As a matter of fact, they should not even be discussing it with anyone who’s not involved in the procedure. Additionally, they may not have a public list of people with debt; it’s their responsibility to keep things private.

  5. Report false information to your credit report

    Whenever you’re dealing with a debt collection agency, you should keep a close eye on your credit report. Telling the truth about the matter is what they’re allowed to do; lying, however, is not. To preserve your good credit score, you should be studying resources on debt management such as the one you can find at https://dovebankruptcylaw.com/debt-settlement/ – these will teach you what you need to know to protect yourself.

  6. Pretend to have the authority they don’t really have

    No, a debt collector may not pretend to be a cop or a lawyer (or otherwise misrepresent the scope of their authority). Therefore, you should always make sure that any such requests are coming from a legitimate party. In other words, there’s nothing wrong with double-checking and confirming that someone is who they claim to be, especially when that person starts sounding authoritative and pushy.


While there are plenty of legitimate tools a debt collection agency has at its disposal, these should always be used in good faith. In case you believe they’ve overstepped their boundaries, you’re well within your rights to either file a complaint or seek legal representation to help you make a stand. In the end, you should never allow yourself to be pushed around.

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