Help Me! I Have a Government Agent at My Door, What Do I Do?

So the first thing is don't talk to the agent. Get the agent's card, get their contact information, figure out who that person is and then pause and take a deep breath. Agents show up at your door for a couple of reasons. Number one, you owe them money and they're trying to collect. Number two they're auditing you but usually when they're auditing you they'll be sending you a letter and say "Hey I'd like to set up an appointment" so that you can be audited. It's not like people go through surprise audits. Number three are Criminal Investigation people and obviously if the criminal investigative agent shows up to your door, you want to be very careful what you tell them but even with a civil collection agent, somebody paying a surprise visit to you is not really a welcome thing and you're probably not prepared for it. So the easiest thing to do is to say "hey I can't talk to you, I need to run this by an attorney.

I will have somebody reach out to you" and go from there. The agent won't take any offense to that. Some of them may strong-arm you, some of them may say well you don't need an attorney, I have a personal matter to discuss with you. Don't listen to it. You are not obligated to talk to that agent and that agent can't force you to talk to them so the best thing that you can do is stop, get the agent's contact information, take the card and figure out how to go from there. So chances are you probably know or have some inclination of why the agent is showing up and if you truly don't know why the agent is showing up then that's a big red flag and you should have somebody check it out before you start giving information because you don't want to just give the government information without any context. We want to understand why they're asking for the information, what it has to do with you and how it's going to be used so it's appropriate to just be cautious in these situations. Understand that you're not obligated to talk to the agent and then kind of go from there. If you want to and you send me an e-mail, I'll be happy to give you some of my business cards in case an agent shows up. You can always hand them a business card and tell them to call me and then if the agent calls me then you and I can have a conversation and we can figure out if you want to retain me or not to deal with the agent, but at the same point don't talk to the agent. Nothing good will come from talking to the agent until you understand what the situation is and then you can determine how cooperative you're going to be in this situation.


Sam Brotman, JD, LLM, MBA

Owner and Director of Legal
Brotman Law