If a debt collector is trying to verify the employment of an employee, is an employer required to respond?

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If a debt collector is trying to verify the employment of an employee, is an employer required to respond?

Asked on June 9, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, the employer is not required to respond to a simple request--whether made in person, by phone, by fax, by email, or even registered mail--for *any* information whatsoever.

However, the situation changes IF the debt collector instigates a lawsuit--i.e. sues the debtor--and then serves a subpoena on the employer. In that case, the debt collector is using actual legal process to obtain the information, and the employer would have to respond to the subpoena. Until it gets to that point, then no--the employer is under no obligation to respond, though there also is no reason why the employer could not respond, if it chose to. (Though if it does respond, it should be sure to still keep confidential or personal information confidential.)


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