Why is a collection agency asking me for my information?

A man speaking on the phone

When talking to a collection agency by phone, whether they called you or you called them, it always begins with the collection agency asking a couple of questions: “Who am I speaking to?” And then, “Can you verify your address?” These two questions can raise all kinds of red flags, especially when the collection agency called you. Many customers ask, “Why is a collection agency asking me for my information? You called me. If you’re legitimate, you wouldn’t be asking me for my information.”

We get it. It’s an understandable reaction. This sort of call sounds like the makings of a scam. After all, you’ve been told over and over again to guard your personal information, especially when someone you never heard of is on the line. So why would a collection agency ask for personal information upfront? The answer is this: Collection agencies have to ask these questions to follow the law. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collection agencies have to take steps to protect your privacy. By law, the collection agency needs to verify they are talking to the correct person. Until then, the collection agency can’t say anything about why they’re calling. They can’t reveal the creditor’s name, the account balance, or any other details about the past-due account.

Let’s say someone other than you happened to pick up the phone, whether it’s a friend, co-worker, sibling, or offspring. If they picked up any details about your past-due account from that call, that’s a serious breach of your privacy!  An ethical collection agency cares about following the law and protecting the details of your personal business matters. By asking you to give your name and then your address, the representative is making sure they’re speaking with the correct person, the account holder. Once your identity is verified, the collection agency can then discuss with you where the debt came from, how much is on the balance, and make arrangements for resolving the account.

For more information about why IC System is calling you, visit our FAQ or contact us:

Medical: 866-628-7811
Other: 800-279-7244

About the Author:

Brian Eggert is a business development specialist and writer for IC System, one of the largest receivables management companies in the United States. With 18 years in the collection industry, Brian's experience includes operations, client service, proposal writing, blogging, content creation, and web development.