Question: Can debt collectors leave messages on my answering machine?
Answer: Not unless they know that the only persons with access to the machine are yourself and your spouse. It is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for a debt collector covered by the Act to leave messages unless the caller identifies the company for which he or she works and states that the purpose of the call is debt collection. It is also a violation to communicate with anyone other than the consumer or the consumer’s spouse about a debt. (Parents of an adult consumer, children, and significant others are not included.) Therefore, the collector cannot leave a message, unless the only persons who have access to the message are the consumer and the consumer’s spouse.