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Old 04-20-2010, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Tampa
110 posts, read 890,654 times
Reputation: 75

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Over the past 18 months I've been getting bombarded by several collection agencies calling for a particular individual (It's always the same individual). An individual who I do NOT know. We share the same last name. I've had up to 15 different collection agencies attempt to collect a debt for this individual. I always tell them to remove my number from their file, and that usually makes them stop. However, within 2-4 weeks, another agency will start calling me instead. This has gone on and on.

I would change my number, but for a vareity of reasons, that is just not feasible right now.

I don't really know how to stop this. Does anyone know if these agencies are required by law to tell me who is trying to collect this debt? If I could get a hold of that company, I might have some chance of removing my number from their file, so they don't keep passing it on to collection agency after collection agency.

Anyone have any advice?
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Ohio
22,798 posts, read 15,991,658 times
Reputation: 19288
Pursuant to USC 1692(g)

Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing—
(1) the amount of the debt;
(2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;
(3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;
(4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and
(5) a statement that, upon the consumer’s written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.



The failure to do so violates the Act, and the debt collector is liable to you in the amount of $1,000 in statutory damages, plus attorney fees.

Also, attempting to collect a debt which is non-existent or invalid also violates the act.

I can tell you from experience that collecting extra-judicial settlements from debt collectors can be vary profitable.

I've gotten over $8,000 from debt collectors and never gone to court, and there are people that have gotten more than that.
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,955 posts, read 18,764,188 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert321 View Post
Over the past 18 months I've been getting bombarded by several collection agencies calling for a particular individual (It's always the same individual). An individual who I do NOT know. We share the same last name. I've had up to 15 different collection agencies attempt to collect a debt for this individual. I always tell them to remove my number from their file, and that usually makes them stop. However, within 2-4 weeks, another agency will start calling me instead. This has gone on and on.

I would change my number, but for a vareity of reasons, that is just not feasible right now.

I don't really know how to stop this. Does anyone know if these agencies are required by law to tell me who is trying to collect this debt? If I could get a hold of that company, I might have some chance of removing my number from their file, so they don't keep passing it on to collection agency after collection agency.

Anyone have any advice?
The people calling you are the scum third party debt collectors that buy bad debt for penny's on the dollar and then try to collect from anybody they can hound into paying.

The best thing you can do is......
DON"T answer the phone when they call nor do you EVER return their calls. (If you answer the phone or return call you establish a "relationship" which allows them to keep calling for damn ever! )
Then report them for harassment to your states attorneys office.

Lasty don't believe a word they say and if (God forbid) they get a judgement against you for a debt that's not your or for another person DON"T ignore it. (Yes, these scum do this) Get a lawyer pronto!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good luck. It took me two years to stop the calls to my house and lawsuit from our states attorney to stop the bastards that were calling me!
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Ohio
22,798 posts, read 15,991,658 times
Reputation: 19288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
The people calling you are the scum third party debt collectors that buy bad debt for penny's on the dollar and then try to collect from anybody they can hound into paying.
No, that isn't necessarily true.

There are junk debt buyers, and it is possible that the debt alleged to be his is held by a junk debt buyer, but he'll never know unless he asserts his rights under the FDCPA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
The best thing you can do is......
DON"T answer the phone when they call nor do you EVER return their calls. (If you answer the phone or return call you establish a "relationship" which allows them to keep calling for damn ever! )
Not only is that technically and legally incorrect, it is the worst possible advice.
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Tampa
110 posts, read 890,654 times
Reputation: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mircea View Post
Pursuant to USC 1692(g)

Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing—
(1) the amount of the debt;
(2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;
(3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;
(4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and
(5) a statement that, upon the consumer’s written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.



The failure to do so violates the Act, and the debt collector is liable to you in the amount of $1,000 in statutory damages, plus attorney fees.

Also, attempting to collect a debt which is non-existent or invalid also violates the act.

I can tell you from experience that collecting extra-judicial settlements from debt collectors can be vary profitable.

I've gotten over $8,000 from debt collectors and never gone to court, and there are people that have gotten more than that.


The thing is, I'm not the person they are looking for. So technically, I'm not the consumer. So I don't know if they legally have to provide any of that information to me. I don't even know how they got my cell number.
If I ask them who the creditor is, I wouldn't think they have any legal obligation to tell me.
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Tampa
110 posts, read 890,654 times
Reputation: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mircea View Post
No, that isn't necessarily true.

There are junk debt buyers, and it is possible that the debt alleged to be his is held by a junk debt buyer, but he'll never know unless he asserts his rights under the FDCPA.



Not only is that technically and legally incorrect, it is the worst possible advice.
I've heard that it is a bad idea to ignore these collection agencies. Of all the agencies that have tried to collect on this other person's debt, only one has failed to stop calling me after I informed them I'm not that person. The one that didn't stop finally stopped after I sent them a cease and desist letter. I really don't know if these are junk debt buyers or if there is a creditor out there who keeps trying different agencies after the others fail to make anything happen.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:42 PM
 
11,374 posts, read 47,136,030 times
Reputation: 15479
I've been down this road a couple of times with outfits that have their own in-house debt collection agency, such as Chrysler Credit Corp. Somehow, they managed to get my phone number onto a collection file rather than the person who owed them money. So I started getting automated collection calls, and then it progressed to live calls, demanding payment in full for an unspecified amount of money.

I tried to reason with the people on the phone that I was not their client, I didn't owe any money to Chrysler Credit, hadn't bought any car through them, and they persisted in frequent and demanding calls to me. When I asked them to remove me from their phone list as I was obviously not the party who they were seeking, I got a lot of lip service about their mistake and all the more phone calls. Apparently, they took my denials of being their client as an affirmation that I was, indeed, the person they were trying to collect money from.

Had it not been for me making a trip to the local Chrysler/Dodge dealership and visiting with their finance officer, who kindly gave me the head of the credit corp's direct phone number, I would not have been able to have reached the appropriate people at CCC to get them off my back. They were neither apologetic or concerned about me, they just claimed it was a "typo" in their file and they were just "doing their job" for collection.

In the meantime, I had to get verbally abusive with the callers in order to be connected to someone who represented herself as "the supervisor". After a half dozen contacts with her, all less than pleasant, I finally had to abandon being civil and polite about an obvious fu**-up on their part and got personal and very nasty with her. That was in response to my advising them that they were in violation of my rights in the way they were treating me ... which she insisted was all within the bounds of the law. Unfortunately, they have no right to hound me if, in fact, I'm not the debtor they're seeking. It's clear harrassment at that point. Worse still, my name and address are not that of their client, who was listed in the phone book and still at that address. Nobody at CCC could be bothered to check the validity of their collection effort, the debtor information in the file, nothing. They had a phone number and a live contact, that's all they wanted.

When I finally contacted a lawyer, he spoke with the head of CCC's credit division about the situation. At that point, the phone contact from the collection division stopped. But it took almost 6 months of abuse to get them to give it up and direct their attention to their client.

I'd also gone through our state department of consumer affairs. This avenue proved to be a total waste of my time. They did nothing and had little interest in resolving the situation.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd strongly urge you to not be nice or to be civil about this matter. Cut to the chase, and advise them that they have the wrong person and that you don't owe them any money and will turn the matter over to an attorney for civil damages if they contact you again. Then do it ... there's got to be an attorney in your area who is acquainted with the codes for debt collections and how to get some money in damages for you.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Georgia
897 posts, read 1,536,291 times
Reputation: 616
At least I have caller ID and if it says unknown or private,I don't answer
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
9,023 posts, read 12,211,783 times
Reputation: 10966
If you're not the party they're looking for, they don't have disclose anything.

If it's not for you, politely but forcefully inform them that they have the wrong person, and make sure that they note it in their file.
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Ohio
22,798 posts, read 15,991,658 times
Reputation: 19288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert321 View Post
I've heard that it is a bad idea to ignore these collection agencies. Of all the agencies that have tried to collect on this other person's debt, only one has failed to stop calling me after I informed them I'm not that person. The one that didn't stop finally stopped after I sent them a cease and desist letter. I really don't know if these are junk debt buyers or if there is a creditor out there who keeps trying different agencies after the others fail to make anything happen.
Under USC 1692(c), you can notify a debt collector to cease communications or collections. You should do that certified mail, return receipt requested, since debt collectors lie. That way you have documented evidence to use against them.

After receipt, they can contact you once more to state their intent (cease collection, file suit, or whatever), but cannot make any attempt to collect.

Junk debt buyers will often purchase debt that is out of statute. In other words, the statute of limitations has expired, and no legal action can be taken to collect the debt.

Now that you've provided more information, my recommendation would be to obtain a copy of your credit report, to see who is reporting what.

If the debt isn't reported, there's a strong likelihood that the debt is out of statute. You can sue for that. I had a falling out with a landlord, and left, and later had a debt collector attempt to collect the remaining four months of the lease. Under Ohio law, that's a UCC contract and the statute of limitations is 4 years, plus Ohio statutes of limitations are also statutes of repose, so not only can they not take legal action, there is no debt to collect as it is null and void. I sent a demand letter for $3200 for violating the FDCPA and Ohio Consumer Sales Protection Act, and they sent me a check for $1700. It isn't hard at all.

I had someone try to collect on an old phone bill from 16 years ago when I was a student at Miami U. I got $2000 out of that.

Anytime you apply for credit, or there is a change in your credit status, debt collectors get notified by email. This often happens when people apply for a mortgage. If you can afford a mortgage, you can afford to pay a debt from a collector's POV.

Anyway, they'll pull your credit report and get updated telephone and address information to contact you.

The next one that calls, try telling them you only respond to written communications and see what happens. I understand it's aggravating, but without more information on the origin of the debt, there's little you can do.

Are you sure it isn't from a relative or family member or old gf/bf who used your info to open a credit account? Get a copy of your credit report and check it.
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