Even if you were the debtor (and obviously, you're not), collection
agencies are prohibited from harassing behaviors by the 'Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act'. The full text of this Act is available
at the FTC website, here:
The section titled: '§ 805. Communication in connection with debt
collection [15 USC 1692c]' imposes the following restrictions:
"(a) COMMUNICATION WITH THE CONSUMER GENERALLY. Without the prior
consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector or
the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, a
debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection
with the collection of any debt --
(1) at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or
which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer. In the
absence of knowledge of circumstances to the contrary, a debt
collector shall assume that the convenient time for communicating
with a consumer is after 8 o'clock antimeridian [AM] and before
9 o'clock postmeridian [PM], local time at the consumer's location"
"(c) CEASING COMMUNICATION. If a consumer notifies a debt collector
in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the
consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication
with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further
with the consumer with respect to such debt, except --
(1) to advise the consumer that the debt collector's further
efforts are being terminated;
(2) to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor
may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such
debt collector or creditor; or
(3) where applicable, to notify the consumer that the debt
collector or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy.
If such notice from the consumer is made by mail, notification
shall be complete upon receipt.
(d) For the purpose of this section, the term "consumer" includes
the consumer's spouse, parent (if the consumer is a minor), guardian,
executor, or administrator.
'§ 806. Harassment or abuse [15 USC 1692d]' poses the following
"(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone
conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse,
or harass any person at the called number."
See Section '§ 813. Civil liability [15 USC 1692k]' for descriptions
of what fines and liabilities a collector may face in violating this Act:
In this related article, about how to deal with collection harassment,
on essortment.com, the bottom line advice is:
"They must not contact you or anyone else if requested not to do so
in writing. If you suspect an agency of harassment, it is wise to
keep all communications in writing, particularly if you are
requesting that they cease their harassing tactics.
Within five days of the initial contact with a debtor, the debtor
must be supplied with the amount owed, the name and address of the
business that is owed and a statement that, by not contacting the
collection agency within 30 days, the debtor agrees to the
correctness of the amount owed. All this information must be sent
to the debtor in writing.
If a debtor wishes to dispute the debt in some way, he must contact
the collection agency and inform them of the dispute. The collector
must then send the debtor proof of what is owed and the name of the
original party owed. Until the collection agency proves the debt,
all collection efforts must cease and any entries on credit reports
concerning the delinquency must include a statement that the debt
If a collection agency still persists to use dishonest or harassing
tactics, legal assistance should be obtained immediately."
Much more on the page:
Additional information may be found from an exploration of
the links resulting from the Google searches outlined below.
Searches done, via Google:
"collection agency" harassment
"Fair Debt Collection Practices Act"