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What are the phone rules for debt collectors?

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2021 | Creditor Harassment & Automatic Stay

Debt collection laws help to prevent creditors from harassing you when trying to collect on a debt. These rules exist at the state and federal levels.

The FTC explains there are some specific rules and guidelines debt collectors must follow when contacting you on the phone. Understanding these rules can help you to advocate for yourself against aggressive debt collection tactics. The two most important rules are about timing and frequency.


While a debt collector has every right to contact you by phone, there are rules about the timing of these calls. To begin, if you are at work and not allowed to accept personal phone calls, then a debt collector cannot call you during your work hours.

In general, the times a collector may call are after 8:00 am and before 9:00 pm. Any calls outside of those hours are in violation of federal law.


The vague rule about frequency is that a debt collector cannot contact you so much that it becomes harassing. However, this is often difficult to determine because everyone has a different tolerance level for such things.

You are better taking steps to end the calls if you feel they are becoming annoying. To stop calls you must send a written notice to the collection company saying directly to not contact you by phone. Once the company gets the notice, it cannot call for collection purposes.

Debt collection phone calls can be frustrating, especially if they call often or at inopportune times. You do have some protection under the law, and you have the right to stop all phone calls if you desire.

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