It's Illegal for Debt Collectors to Call Your Neighbors, Co-Workers, Boss or Family, but they do it anyway!

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As the recession pushes more people into debt -more and more debt is turned over to collection companies all too eager to engage in abusive and illegal collection practices. When debt collectors are overly aggressive they often through caution out the window and engage in tactics that are threatening, harassing, embarrassing and humiliating -all of which are illegal.

Some debt collectors will stoop to calling your neighbors, co-workers and other family members as a way to shame you into paying. Trouble is, calling third parties -is illegal!

Over at AlabamaConsumerLawBlog they explain that in the debt collection business these abusive tactics even have their own terminology;

calling your co-workers is referred to as having an "office party"
calling your neighbors is known as a "block party"

The reason this type of illegal conduct is done is simple - it works. This is also highly illegal and should normally result in the abusive debt collector being sued.

For much more information see their blog and get a free report on "Why Debt Collectors Call Third Parties And How To Make Them Pay For Breaking The Law". You can get this free report by clicking here and filling out the form or calling 205-879-2447 and mention you want this report.

If a debt collector is hounding you...know your rights! 

Knowledge is Power!

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Yes it is illegal for debt collectors to call your neighbors. To eliminate the power of a debt collector a debtor should also make it illegal for the collector to call the debtor. To do this simply send the debt collector a Do Not Call Letter. Dont send them a Cease & Desist Letter because that is a good way to get sued but send them the Do Not Call Letter and they will stop calling everyone including you.

Is this also illegal in other states? I live in CT and a debt collector from Florida just called me about a neighbor. They didn't really harass, but did leave me a message asking me to ask my neighbor to call them back. However, I feel that the fact that they called at all is harassment!

Jenn, YES, it is illegal to do that in EVERY state! Your neighbor should contact an attorney. They can find an experienced one at the National Association of Consumer Advocates website. Go to and click on find an attorney. Or look for one that is well versed in the Fair Debt Collection Practices act.

No, it is NOT illegal for a debt collector to call a neighbor if they are seeking an address, telephone number, or place of employment on the debtor. However, they may NOT reveal the existance of a debt to the neighbor.

Remember, the FDCPA does NOT apply to first party collectors who are collecting debts for the company they work for. The FDCPA ONLY applies to third party debt collectors, such as collection agencies or attornys who collect debts.

I live in TN and was one week behind on my car payment, i had put my mom as a reference and the car place called her, told her how much i was behind and told her how much the loan on my car was. Is that legal? It seems like they are telling everyone that i listed as a reference how much i was behind on my payment. i have confronted them about it and they are still giving out my personal info. can they really do that legally?

I was away and came home to 24 messages left by a debt collector. I googled and found your site last week. Once I called them (also sent follow up letter as you suggested) and told them I knew my rights, they had a different tone. Suddenly they toned it down and apologized for the belligerent calls they left on my phone. Oh, yes, did I mention the bill they were claiming was mine belonged to a Sam Brockton NOT Sara. Thanks for your very enformative blog.

I have just found out that debt collectors have been harassing my several of my parents nieghbors concerning a debt that I am still not aware of exactly what is for. I have made atleast 7 phone calls back to them but still haven't been able to speak to a person I have only left messages. When calling my parents nieghbors they say that they are a Asset & Liability Investigation to settle previous litigation is it legal to even let them know that or to call them consistently?

My parents owe on a few credit cards and now I have debt collectors calling me. I was never put down as a reference, I even told the companies I am not responsible for the debt, I do not own any credit cards so therefor you should not be calling me yet they still do. I'm only 18 years old I don't have any debt. The only way they could get my cell phone number was if they Googled me. I was just wondering if all of this is legal? They call at crazy hours too. Starts in the morning and goes until about 8:30pm. I just want to be left alone

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