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.
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's covered by the FDCPA.)
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. (Read about the common tactics debt collectors use on the telephone.)
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.
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.
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 Damages for FDCPA Violations.)
The FDCPA also limits the time of day that a debt collector can call you. (Find out more in our article Can a debt collector call me late at night?)
If you’re receiving harassing calls from a debt collector, consider talking to an attorney to find out what you should do in your particular circumstances. (Learn about other collection actions that violate the FDCPA.)