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Q.When and whom may a debt collector call about my debt?

A.If the debt you owe is for a personal, household, or family related item or service, the debt collection practices are governed by The Fair Credit Debt Collection Act (The Act). Pursuant to The Act, the debt collector may contact both you and others under certain circumstances.

You in person. If you have an attorney, a debt collector must contact the attorney, rather than you. If you do not have an attorney, the debt collector may contact you in person during appropriate hours (e.g. after 8:00am and before 9:00pm) by mail, telephone, telegram or fax both at home and work. However, a debt collector must stop contacting you at work if the collector knows your employer disapproves of such contacts. A debt collector must also stop contacting you if within 30 days after you receive written notice, you send the debt collection agency a letter stating you do not owe any money. A collector, however, can renew its collection activities if you are sent proof of the debt, such as a copy of a bill for the amount owed.

Others. If you do not have an attorney, a debt collector may contact other people about your debt, but only to find out where you live, what your phone number is and where you work. Debt collectors usually are prohibited from contacting third parties more than once, and in most cases, the debt collector may not tell anyone other than you and your attorney what you owe.

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