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Can debt collectors tell my employers about my debt?  

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Collections Defense

A debt collector’s hounding can be stressful enough, but what happens when they begin to call your workplace? In Illinois, there are restrictions on how debt collectors can contact you, including calling your employers. 

Are debt collectors allowed to call my workplace?   

The quick answer is yes. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) sets the precedent for debt collector behavior. It allows collectors to contact third parties, such as your employer, to find your location or confirm your current contact information. However, there are limitations in place on what they can discuss and do, including: 

  • Restricted communication: Collectors cannot disclose the nature of the debt to your employer or anyone else besides you. They can only discuss this with your co-signee, your attorney or a credit reporting agency. 
  • Limited contact: They can only contact your employer once unless you have agreed to further communication. 
  • Respecting workplace policies: If your employer has a policy against personal calls, the collector must adhere to it. 

The Illinois Collection Agency Act adds another layer of regulation in contacting your workplace. Collectors cannot contact your employer if they know that your employer prohibits such communication.  

What can I do if a collector fails to comply with the rules? 

If a collector violates these restrictions, you may formally request them to refrain from contacting your employer. Inform them in writing and keep a copy of your request for documentation. Another step you may take is to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation or the Illinois Attorney General. You may also consider seeking legal counsel to determine if you’re entitled to damages, especially if the collector’s actions caused you harm.