Can a debt collector call on Sunday?

It's not a per se violation of the FDCPA to make collection calls on Sunday. But if the collector knows it's a bad time for you, it is a violation.

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The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors and collection agencies from engaging in certain types of communications while collecting debts from consumers. Whether a debt collector's collection calls on Sunday violate the FDCPA depend on whether the collector knows that is a bad time for you to receive the calls.

Learn about other collection actions that violate the FDCPA.)

What Is the FDCPA?

The FDCPA is a federal law that prohibits bill collectors from engaging in certain activities or behaviors while collecting consumer debts. It generally does not apply to the collection of business debts, nor does it apply to creditors collecting their own debts. (Learn more about who is covered by the FDCPA.) 

The FDCPA Prohibits Collection Calls at Inconvenient Times

The FDCPA expressly states that debt collectors cannot communicate with consumer debtors at a time or place that the debt collectors knows, or should know, is inconvenient.

Is Sunday an Inconvenient Time?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued commentary addressing various aspects of the FDCPA, including what types of calls are inconvenient. In the past, the FTC deemed collection calls on Sunday as inconvenient. However, recently the FTC changed positions and stated that Sunday collection calls are not per se violations of the FDCPA. 

It's important to note the FTC Commentary is not binding on courts -- judges are free to, and do, disregard what the FTC has to say about the FDCPA if it conflicts with the statute itself or case law.

The FDCPA Prohibits Sunday Calls if They Are Inconvenient in Your Situation

While Sunday calls do not automatically violate the FDCPA, they are prohibited if the collector knows that Sunday is not a good day for you to receive collection calls. To let the debt collector know, simply tell the collector that Sunday is not a convenient time for you to receive calls. Make a written note of the date and time you inform the collector of this fact, and the substance of your conversation.

What If the Collector Continues to Call on Sunday?

If you tell the collection agency that Sunday calls are not convenient for you, and the agency continues to call you on Sunday, it has violated the FDCPA. Document the violations -- note the date, time, and place of the calls, and the substance of the communication.

You can sue the collector to stop the Sunday calls and to obtain monetary damages. To learn more about remedies for FDCPA violations, see the articles in Illegal Debt Collection Practices Under the FDCPA.

 

by: , J.D.

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