Seattle P-I has a good article about what debt collectors can and can’t do. For instance, they can’t:
• Call or write to you more than three times a week. Only one of those calls can be at your workplace. They cannot call you between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.
• Harass, intimidate, embarrass or threaten you, or lie or use unfair practices to collect a debt.
• Garnish wages or take your home or possessions without a court judgment, except in the case of federally guaranteed student loans in default.
If a debt collector does any of these to you, contact your Attorney General’s office. In certain cases, you may also be able to take them to court and win punitive fines. — BEN POPKEN
What to do if the debt collector calls [SeattlePI] (Thanks to Cherise!)