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.

By , Attorney · Northwestern University School of Law
Updated by Amy Loftsgordon, Attorney · University of Denver Sturm College of Law

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 if the collector knows that it's a bad time for you to receive the calls.

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 doesn't apply to the collection of business debts, nor does it apply to creditors collecting their own debts, except in the case of some debt buyers.

The FDCPA Prohibits Collection Calls at Inconvenient Times

The FDCPA expressly states that a debt collector can't communicate with a consumer debtor at a time or place that the debt collector knows, or should know, is inconvenient. (15 U.S.C. § 1692c).

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, 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're Inconvenient in Your Situation

While Sunday calls don't automatically violate the FDCPA, they are prohibited if the collector knows that Sunday isn't 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 aren't 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 get monetary damages.

Getting Help

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.

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