The answer is, yes, but there are several critical limitations on a debt collector’s right to contact your employer:
1. A collector may contact your employer only: (a) to verify your employment; (b) to locate you; (c) to garnish your wages (assuming there is a right to do so); or (d) to discover the existence of insurance (but only if medical debt is at issue).
2. If the purpose of the call is to locate you or verify your employment, the collector cannot call your employer more than one time. If the purpose of the call is for another authorized purpose (e.g., to determine whether you have medical insurance), the collector can communicate with your employer only as many times as are necessary for the authorized purpose.
3. The collector must not give your employer information about your debt. If the purpose of the call to your employer is to locate you or verify your employment, the collector can only give his or her name and state that he or she is confirming or correcting information about your location.
4. The collector generally must communicate with your employer in writing. The only exceptions to that rule are: (a) one phone call may be made to verify your employment; (b) a health care provider or its agent may telephone your employer more than once to discover the existence of medical insurance; and (c) a collector may call your employer more than once if your employer does not respond to a written communication within 15 days.
It also is important to remember that a debt collector cannot contact you at work if the collector knows that your employer prohibits its employees from receiving communications from creditors at work, or the calls are inconvenient to you. It is important that you inform the debt collector (if possible, in writing) that your employer’s rules or preferences are that its employees not receive collection calls at work, and/or that the calls are inconvenient.