Skip to main content

Bernadette: Unwanted contact

Pittsburgh, PA

“It was very overwhelming for them to contact my family. I didn’t want anybody to know of this personal matter.”

Bernadette told us that a collection agency left her a message at work. Shortly thereafter, she says the collection agency contacted her dad, sisters, and a friend.

Download transcript

More stories about debt collection

Bernadette is not alone

Illustration of unwanted contact data

More than 2 in 10 consumers contacted about a debt in collection said that the creditor or collector contacted someone other than their spouse, co-signer, or attorney.

Source: CFPB research report: Consumer Experiences With Debt Collection, 2017

Share your debt collection experience

The more we hear from you, the more insight we gain into what’s happening in the financial world and how it’s affecting you. Your experience will help inform how we work to protect consumers to create a fairer marketplace.

Tell your story

Steps you can take if you’re in a situation like Bernadette

Get help replying

Do you need to write a debt collector about a debt or dispute? Do you want them to stop calling you? We have action letters that can help.

View letter templates

Get answers

Here are some commonly asked questions related to  unwanted contact.

Submit a complaint

Having an issue with debt collection and need a response from a company? Submit a complaint – we’ll forward your complaint to the company and work to get a response from them.

Submit a complaint

Learn more about debt collection

Our resources will help you understand how debt collection works, what your rights are, and help you address other questions you may have about debt collection. 

See debt collection resources

What we’re doing

In July 2016, we outlined a number of proposals under consideration regarding debt collection, including:

  • Improving the quality of information about the debt being collected
  • Limiting the frequency with which debt collectors may contact consumers
  • Improving the information that consumers have at the outset of collections
  • Improving consumer understanding of the debt collection process

Learn more about our debt collection work