Is it Legal for Debt Collectors to Call Family Members?

Debt collectors are organizations or people creditors use to recover unpaid debts from customers or clients. Their primary responsibility is to get in touch with debtors using various forms of correspondence, such as phone calls, letters, or emails, to get the money they are owed. Debt collectors may be internal employees of the original creditor or external firms that offer debt recovery services.

Financial service provider companies depend on these debt collectors because they help creditors manage their accounts and force debtors to pay their debts. Still, during their process, they must follow guidelines prepared by the Fair Debt Collection Practises Act (FDCPA) to ensure honest and ethical debt collection practices. The FDCPA forbids abusive, misleading, or harassing behavior to protect debtors’ rights and privacy during debt collection.

What Are The Fdcpa’s Debt Collection Guidelines?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a federal legislation intended to safeguard customers from abusive and unjust debt collection practices, places restrictions and requirements on debt collectors. The following are some of the main limitations put on debt collectors:


When interacting with debtors, debt collectors are not permitted to use harassing, repressive, or abusive words or conduct. Using these words includes making frequent, repetitive phone calls, violent threats, or profane language.

False Or Misleading Statements

Debt collectors are not permitted to inform debtors of any lies or misrepresentations. The amount owed, the creditor they represent, and non-payment repercussions must all be correctly stated.

Contacting Third Parties

Debt collectors are prohibited from telling relatives, friends, or employers about a debtor’s debt. They can only get the debtor’s whereabouts by contacting third parties; even then, they are not allowed to mention the debt.

Communication Timing

Unless the debtor has expressly consented, debt collectors are prohibited from contacting debtors during inconvenient times, such as early or late at night.


Suppose a debtor contacts a debt collector in writing, asking to halt communication. In that case, the debt collector must abide by the request and stop all further getting with the debtor, except for informing the debtor of particular legal actions.

Verification Of Debt

Upon request, debt collectors must give written documentation of the debt, including information on the original creditor and the total amount owing.

Debt Dispute Resolution

Debt collectors must halt collection operations until they can present proof of the debt if a debtor questions its legality in writing.

Is Calling Family Members To Collect Debts Legal?

The Fair Debt Collection Practises Act (FDCPA) restricts debt collectors from contacting family members or disclosing a debtor’s private financial information to third parties. The FDCPA is a federal law, and it was established to protect consumers from unfair, coercive, and harassing debt collection practices.

Debt collectors can only contact unrelated parties, including family members, to learn the debtor’s whereabouts.

The FDCPA’s primary goal is to protect the debtors’ privacy and dignity while collecting the debt. Calling relatives to talk about debt can cause humiliation, emotional discomfort, and even damage relationships with family members.

Five Reasons Why It Is Unlawful

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a federal legislation intended to protect customers from abusive and unfair debt collection practices, outlines several reasons why calling family members is unlawful as a debt collection method.

Private Information Breach

The right to privacy of a debtor is violated when family members are called about their overdue debts. According to the FDCPA, debt collectors must respect confidentiality and only speak to the debtor or legal representative in person.

Embarrassment And Mental Anxiety

Contacting the family to discuss a person’s debt might make the debtor and their family feel embarrassed and distressed. Such invasive behavior may cause emotional trauma and strained relationships.

Threatening And Harassing

The FDCPA forbids debt collectors from using intimidating or abusive methods when trying to collect a debt. Contacting family members without their permission can be seen as harassment and is prohibited.

Personal Information Disclosed Without Authorization

It is illegal for debt collectors to share any personal financial information about the debt payer with third parties, especially family members. The FDCPA prohibits unauthorized disclosure, which can have legal repercussions for debt collectors.

Protection Of Consumers

To shield customers from unfair and dishonest debt-collecting practices, the FDCPA was passed into law. The integrity of the legislation is compromised by illegal actions, including contacting family members, which can lead to sanctions for the debt collectors involved.

Comenity Act’s Operation

As a financial service provider, Comenity Bank is accountable for ensuring that all laws, such as the Fair Debt Collecting Practises Act (FDCPA), are applied in all stages of its debt-collection process.

Suppose Comenity Bank decides to engage in debt collection, whether internally through its own collections department or by contracting out the work to external debt collectors. In that case, it is responsible for managing and ensuring that any debt collection actions adhere to the rules outlined in the FDCPA.

Instances of Comenity Bank Phone Harassment may happen if the bank’s debt collectors use forceful and abusive methods to try and extort money from customers. This conduct can include harassing or threatening phone calls, using ominous language, disclosing debt information to third parties (unless as permitted by law), or misrepresenting the amount of the debt owed.

Comenity Bank also owes it to its clients to maintain their privacy and refrain from disclosing their personal financial information to unapproved parties, such as family members. Comenity Bank should ensure that its debt collectors carefully follow the FDCPA requirements if it engages in debt collection to prevent any potential legal penalties and keep a good reputation with its clients.


In conclusion, the FDCPA requires debt collectors to uphold the rights and privacy of borrowers throughout the debt collection process.

Calling family members generally violates their privacy, causes them emotional distress, and is considered harassment under the FDCPA. Like any other financial institution, Comenity Bank must guarantee that its debt-collecting practices comply with the FDCPA by educating its staff and outside collectors.

Maintaining confidence and integrity in the financial sector while protecting customers from abusive and illegal tactics requires respecting debtors’ privacy and using fair and ethical debt-collecting practices.