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I love the information on here for dealing with debt collectors, robocallers and the like but it all seems focused on them collecting your debt. Some woman who we'll call Vicky got linked to our phone number and over the past year one debt collector after another has continued calling for her. All have ignored the fact that they have the wrong number, but some were shut down by pointing out the legal issues of the robocallers.

Is there anyway we can remove our phone number's association with the debt so the next collector it's passed to won't call?

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aadam101 (May. 20, 2012 @ 12:30p) |

That guy was a comedian, Tom Mabe. It is pretty funny. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmLMcQ09BHc

codename47 (May. 20, 2012 @ 8:18p) |

I asked them to send me information at home (for multiple times calling). I then filed a complaint (with the return add... (more)

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If it's many different collectors, good luck. One thing you can do, if you're willing, there is a service from the phone company (if it's a landline) that will add a recording at the beginning of every incoming call that says "no soliciting, if you're a solicitor, please hang up now, if you're not, press 1." You can program in numbers that you don't want to receive the message. My brother had this on his phone for a while, very annoying, but if it wouldn't put off your friends, it might be a solution - your phone doesn't ring on your end till they press 1.

I had the same thing happen years ago. The collectors kept calling for some guy that had the telephone number before me. If I answered the phone when they called then I would tell them I don't know who the guy is an I have had this number x years. I asked them to stop calling. In order for them to stop calling, they wanted me to provide private info like my name, SSN, etc... I declined. They called a lot and I let the answering machine handle it mostly. Three years is a long time for a collections company to call the wrong number even though my last name was not even close to the guy they were looking. They just do not take no for an answer.

I had a collector mistake my former employer for what I found out was some type of lumber yard in Missouri. The same individual called several times, then finally told me angrily that I was obstructing a legal proceeding and that failure to pay the amount would result in a judgment against the company before hanging up on me. After I realized that he did indeed have the wrong company I began calling his direct line once a day for 10 days asking him why he wasn't talking tough anymore, and that maybe he shouldn't be working in collections if he couldn't distinguish between two companies in two totally different states. His direct line then changed, and I was able to get transferred to him a couple more times before our number at the office was blocked. I sometimes wish I was 22 again and had the bollocks to do that sort of thing.

It's not the ideal way of dealing with it, but you could transfer the number to a VoIP solution or Google Voice, and just whitelist all the numbers you want calling you. Dump everything else straight into voicemail.

xit said:   I had the same thing happen years ago. The collectors kept calling for some guy that had the telephone number before me. If I answered the phone when they called then I would tell them I don't know who the guy is an I have had this number x years. I asked them to stop calling. In order for them to stop calling, they wanted me to provide private info like my name, SSN, etc... I declined. They called a lot and I let the answering machine handle it mostly. Three years is a long time for a collections company to call the wrong number even though my last name was not even close to the guy they were looking. They just do not take no for an answer.

Unfortunately there seems to be a hole in the law in terms of dealing with these companies.
If you're not who they are trying to reach, they will not give you information on the debt. Meaning you cannot identify the source of the collection. In my experience, the collector will not tell you who he/she works for unless you indicate that you are the debtor.

You can, of course, ask them to quit calling. This won't work.

You can't send them certified mail telling them to quit calling as they won't identify themselves unless you lie.

Even if you get collector A to quit calling, I'm told they just send the "file" back and it's assigned to a new collection company in many cases. You have to try to get that company to give you identification, provide written notification, then it just starts over again.

Literally, I had to have a phone number disconnected due to this issue.

I had a collector call me several times for someone else - luckily it was only one agency and I was successful by just asking them to stop. I don't know of any way to remove it from their records without changing your number.

I had this happen once, it was horrible particularly since it was my work cell phone. Every time I got one I would tell them they had a wrong number, which worked sometimes to make that particular person stop calling. Ultimately I figured out it was Wells Fargo, and someone happened to call from Wells Fargo itself, and after telling them it was a wrong number it finally stopped.

dcg9381 said:   xit said:   I had the same thing happen years ago. The collectors kept calling for some guy that had the telephone number before me. If I answered the phone when they called then I would tell them I don't know who the guy is an I have had this number x years. I asked them to stop calling. In order for them to stop calling, they wanted me to provide private info like my name, SSN, etc... I declined. They called a lot and I let the answering machine handle it mostly. Three years is a long time for a collections company to call the wrong number even though my last name was not even close to the guy they were looking. They just do not take no for an answer.

Unfortunately there seems to be a hole in the law in terms of dealing with these companies.
If you're not who they are trying to reach, they will not give you information on the debt. Meaning you cannot identify the source of the collection. In my experience, the collector will not tell you who he/she works for unless you indicate that you are the debtor.

You can, of course, ask them to quit calling. This won't work.

You can't send them certified mail telling them to quit calling as they won't identify themselves unless you lie.

Even if you get collector A to quit calling, I'm told they just send the "file" back and it's assigned to a new collection company in many cases. You have to try to get that company to give you identification, provide written notification, then it just starts over again.

Literally, I had to have a phone number disconnected due to this issue.


Good Lord, do I feel your pain. I had exactly the same thing happen. And the collectors followed me through two moves and even got my old cell phone number - I had to change that too.

There is some hope though. The FDCPA does extend protections to people who are erroneously targeted by debt collectors, and they do have to tell you who they are working for and where they are calling from. This was always kind of implied in the law, but recent court decisions have made it quite explicit.

We were harassed for our tenants delinquent bills. They knew they were calling the wrong number. The collections agency wanted all her neighbors to know that she wasn't paying. When I told her, she took care of it. Then, they started calling for my brother-in-law. We have the same last name, but he never lived with us. My husband mentioned the calls to his brother, he became angry and started to accuse him of giving the coll agency information on him. When my BIL & husband failed to do anything about the calls, I gave the coll agency his contact info. My FIL eventually paid off the entire debt.

I've been dealing with this for years. Collection agencies call for a cast of characters I've never heard of. One of them shares my last name, but it's a pretty common last name.

Unlike others I've read about, though, there's no possibility that they're looking for the last owner of my phone number. My phone number is the product of an area code split that created my area code brand-spanking-new, so no one's ever had the phone number but me.

I use calls like these to practice my urban street talk.

I had one of these collectors calling for someone I didn't know, and when I told them they had the number and asked to quit calling, they would make smart remarks or just hang up. So, I started having fun with them. I would pretend I was the person, that I was going to make a payment - pretty much anything to waste their time. I set the phone down once for 15 minutes pretending I was looking for my checkbook and they were still holding. I laughed in their face and hung up on them!

wordgirl said:   
There is some hope though. The FDCPA does extend protections to people who are erroneously targeted by debt collectors, and they do have to tell you who they are working for and where they are calling from. This was always kind of implied in the law, but recent court decisions have made it quite explicit.


This.

When they show up on your caller ID, hit the record button, pick up the phone, ask them to identify themselves and their employer, tell them they have the wrong number, you do not have any information about the person they are seeking, and if their firm ever calls you again you will file suit. Then the next time they call, sue them in federal court, where recordings are admissible in any state. The $450 filing fee will be added to your judgment against them. (actually, they'd probably rather settle for $1450 than hire an attorney)

I never have problems with collection agencies.

I usually tell them that they have the wrong person, and then make some jokes about deadbeats who don't pay their bills.

Then we have a good laugh and then they never call back.

As others have stated, get a VoIP line and block all the idiots. I use PhonePower
but several others have this ability (and many others) at no additional cost. VoIP lines are also much less expensive than Ma Bell, or whoever, and include "unlimited" nationwide calling.

2 cents.

taxmantoo said:   wordgirl said:   
There is some hope though. The FDCPA does extend protections to people who are erroneously targeted by debt collectors, and they do have to tell you who they are working for and where they are calling from. This was always kind of implied in the law, but recent court decisions have made it quite explicit.


This.

When they show up on your caller ID, hit the record button, pick up the phone, ask them to identify themselves and their employer, tell them they have the wrong number, you do not have any information about the person they are seeking, and if their firm ever calls you again you will file suit. Then the next time they call, sue them in federal court, where recordings are admissible in any state. The $450 filing fee will be added to your judgment against them. (actually, they'd probably rather settle for $1450 than hire an attorney)


I'm not a lawyer so maybe one can help with this but I thought recordings are different for each state. some single and other both parties have to okay regardless of federal court or not??

Unfortunately there seems to be a hole in the law in terms of dealing with these companies.
Nope, the laws are out there. TCPA is 1500 a pop for automated calls and 1500 for pre-recorded calls. If you get both, that's 3k per call.

Of course there is the FDCPA too.

codename47 said:   Unfortunately there seems to be a hole in the law in terms of dealing with these companies.
Nope, the laws are out there. TCPA is 1500 a pop for automated calls and 1500 for pre-recorded calls. If you get both, that's 3k per call.

Of course there is the FDCPA too.


OMG! A Codename sighting?!?

NukeMedDude said:   codename47 said:   Unfortunately there seems to be a hole in the law in terms of dealing with these companies.
Nope, the laws are out there. TCPA is 1500 a pop for automated calls and 1500 for pre-recorded calls. If you get both, that's 3k per call.

Of course there is the FDCPA too.


OMG! A Codename sighting?!?
And it's the real one too. It has been 2 years...

codename47 said:   Unfortunately there seems to be a hole in the law in terms of dealing with these companies.
Nope, the laws are out there. TCPA is 1500 a pop for automated calls and 1500 for pre-recorded calls. If you get both, that's 3k per call.

Of course there is the FDCPA too.
lol

Just get google voice and block them.

U start talking like a telemarketer to them to buy pen, pencil

I was having issues with getting calls for a former tenant who was deported.
I got so mad after trying over and over to get them to quick calling that I made a rather graphic suggestion about myself and the callers mother
I never heard back from them
I wonder if it could really be called an obscene call if they called me?
(I was getting sick of wasting my cell minutes)

ZenNUTS said:   I use calls like these to practice my urban street talk.

I usually break into Spanish...

"Que?"....

"Ahhhh....Noooe. No habla ingles."

From there, I mumble a few words like..."esta Enrigue?"....while they backpedal and dont know what to say. 1-3 callbacks and I never hear from them again.

Xenth said:   Some woman who we'll call Vicky got linked to our phone number and over the past year one debt collector after another has continued calling for her. All have ignored the fact that they have the wrong number...Have you ever told them to pound sand?

taxmantoo said:   wordgirl said:   
There is some hope though. The FDCPA does extend protections to people who are erroneously targeted by debt collectors, and they do have to tell you who they are working for and where they are calling from. This was always kind of implied in the law, but recent court decisions have made it quite explicit.


This.

When they show up on your caller ID, hit the record button, pick up the phone, ask them to identify themselves and their employer, tell them they have the wrong number, you do not have any information about the person they are seeking, and if their firm ever calls you again you will file suit. Then the next time they call, sue them in federal court, where recordings are admissible in any state. The $450 filing fee will be added to your judgment against them. (actually, they'd probably rather settle for $1450 than hire an attorney)


A debt collector robocalled my cell phone looking for some other guy, and left voicemails that I could have brought to court if I'd had to. I was unemployed at the time, so I sued him in small claims under TCPA, FDCPA, and related state laws. After he defaulted and I started making noises about a default judgment (for $5k+ in statutory damages) he called me and said he could pay $1250 to hire a lawyer in my state (I didn't point out that that wasn't the state I'd sued him in, though that would have been good for some lulz) to defend the suit or he could just pay it to me to go away. I opted for the latter.

And that wasn't too egregious; after I finally answered the call and told them they had the wrong number they stopped. If they were really sleazeballs I would have brought the pain. If you're harassed by debt collectors, especially on a cell phone, get a lawyer. (I hear good things about NACA consumer lawyers.) You don't even have to worry about the lawyer taking a cut because if you win, they pay your attorney's fees.

Xenth said:   I love the information on here for dealing with debt collectors, robocallers and the like but it all seems focused on them collecting your debt. Some woman who we'll call Vicky got linked to our phone number and over the past year one debt collector after another has continued calling for her. All have ignored the fact that they have the wrong number, but some were shut down by pointing out the legal issues of the robocallers.

Is there anyway we can remove our phone number's association with the debt so the next collector it's passed to won't call?


Good luck, I had similar calls for the 7 years that I lived in TN and had the same number asking for some lady. I kept telling them that I had that phone number and had no knowledge of her. They once even tried to trick me and called her my wife! They did not care and kept calling me and selling the debt account to other collectors. Most of those debt collectors know that they won't get any $ since the debts are so old by law they cannot force you to pay (TN was 2 or 3 years). They are just fishing to see if anyone stupid will give them any $ to go away... Pathetic indeed.

codename47 said:   Unfortunately there seems to be a hole in the law in terms of dealing with these companies.
Nope, the laws are out there. TCPA is 1500 a pop for automated calls and 1500 for pre-recorded calls. If you get both, that's 3k per call.

Of course there is the FDCPA too.


OMG Welcome back to the board.

codename47 said:   Unfortunately there seems to be a hole in the law in terms of dealing with these companies.
Nope, the laws are out there. TCPA is 1500 a pop for automated calls and 1500 for pre-recorded calls. If you get both, that's 3k per call.

Of course there is the FDCPA too.


Welcome back, my friend.

Since they don't have anything on you have fun with it. I always tell them to hold while I get my Personal accountant on the phone. After a 5 minute hold my alter ego Hadeep picks up the phone and handles everything for me. Hello, Mr. Debt Collector. Tank you for calling Mr. Debt Collector. Very sorry to hear dat Mr. Debt Collector. Please tell again what wrong Mr. Debt Collector. Let me get tings right Mr. Debt Collector, you want honey from bees? Very sorry to hear dat Mr. Debt Collector, please tell again. Please hold Mr. Debt Collector! Let me get tings right Mr. Debt Collector, you want me to pray for blue grill. And so on.

I just tell they got the wrong number and they can try this new number:

1-985-655-2500

wordgirl said:   
Good Lord, do I feel your pain. I had exactly the same thing happen. And the collectors followed me through two moves and even got my old cell phone number - I had to change that too.

There is some hope though. The FDCPA does extend protections to people who are erroneously targeted by debt collectors, and they do have to tell you who they are working for and where they are calling from. This was always kind of implied in the law, but recent court decisions have made it quite explicit.


Although this improves the problem, it doesn't solve the problem. I can get any individual debt collector to go away, but when that debt collector simply hands the file back to the corporation owed the debt. (At least in the case that I ran into)

So some weeks later a new collection company would start calling.

Although they may be required to identify themselves, they told me they could not identify anything about the debt - and I buy it - as it's disclosing personal financial information... Unless I told them that I was the person they were looking for.

Essentially, unless I lie and validate the phone number, I can't contact the company that is owed the debt to stop getting the "file" reassigned to a new collection agency.

Although this improves the problem, it doesn't solve the problem. I can get any individual debt collector to go away, but when that debt collector simply hands the file back to the corporation owed the debt. (At least in the case that I ran into)

You know how I'd solve the problem, and it would actually solve it or at least make you well compensated for the harassment. Per the doctrine of agency, the creditor is considered to be aware that they are calling the wrong person. The additional collectors may be liable for this via imputed knowledge.

http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?page=3&xmldoc=2001209132FSu...

"For example, a debt collector wishing to defeat the purposes of the act could establish a practice of not seeking out information regarding the debtor's representation by counsel. Whenever a creditor discovered that a debtor was represented by counsel, it could transfer the file to a debt collector with such a practice and allow them to contact the debtors directly without fear of liability under the FDCPA. Therefore, under those circumstances, knowledge will be imputed to the debt collector. "

In ny you would be good to go to sue. In the 8th circuit, it could be more tricky.

www.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/05/02/034057P.pdf

http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=2000273107FSupp2d166...

Most of these imputed knowledge cases deal with bankruptcy lawyers representing consumers. That said, I can't imagine a judge would look kindly on a creditor or collector who has sent multiple agencies after the wrong person knowing they are contacting the wrong person. That can't be good.

It's so nice that CN47 is back. I missed him.

ZenNUTS said:   I use calls like these to practice my urban street talk.


to be a pro at this, you got to first set them up (without being dishonest of course) into really believing they got the right guy

once they take the bait, then you can get really creative with them

just think of it as an opportunity to develop real world acting skills

My only problem is they quit calling.

Maybe it's something I say.....

I have as much fun as I can, while it lasts.

akiri423 said:   I had a collector call me several times for someone else - luckily it was only one agency and I was successful by just asking them to stop. I don't know of any way to remove it from their records without changing your number.

Yeah, the only times it's happened to me politely explaining to the person that I'm the new owner of the number worked pretty well.

wordgirl said:   There is some hope though. The FDCPA does extend protections to people who are erroneously targeted by debt collectors, and they do have to tell you who they are working for and where they are calling from. This was always kind of implied in the law, but recent court decisions have made it quite explicit.

They finally fixed that? Hallelujah!

Skipping 5 Messages...
I asked them to send me information at home (for multiple times calling). I then filed a complaint (with the return address sent on the material...I've done this several times) with the Kentucky Attorney General office. Calls stopped and have even received an apology from one of the companies involved. No more calls.



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