Archive for October, 2009

What to do when debt collectors have the wrong person?

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Question: I’ve been getting calls from a debt collection agency based in NJ. They continue to call even after I’ve told them many times, I’m not the person they are looking for. I’m just baffled that someone has my home number and is asking for someone other than my wife and I.

They call 2-3 a week and never stop. What in the hell can I do to get them from calling here? I already blocked 2 numbers, but they continue to get through with different numbers. We are on the National Do Not Call list, but that doesn’t seem to make a difference.

Anyone have any experience with these goons?

Answer:

First of all you should have received something in the mail stating there was an attempt to collect on a debt.

If you have not, this IS a scam.

Get a copy of your credit report [ free once a year ] from Equifax, Trans Union and Experian, Google it.

Debt is sold from one entity to another for pennies on the dollar so make sure you don’t owe anyone anything, even if you don’t recognize the debt collection company. But they have to notify you in writing in any case.

The next time they call tell them to send something in writing and get the company name and address.

Don’t bother reporting them to the No call list, nobody cares. Report them to their states Attorney General and the FTC and BBB [even though the BBB is a scam]. If they fail to agree to send you the debt collection attempt in writing, the threat of calling the Attorney General should end things.

If they agree to send you the information in writing, even better. Follow up by sending this letter, certified mail, return receipt requested.

Your Name
Your Address

Collector’s Name
Collector’s Address

Dear {insert name of collector or company},

I am writing in response to your (letter or phone call) dated {insert date}, (copy enclosed) because I do not believe I owe what you say I owe.

This is the first I’ve heard from you, or any other company on this matter therefore, in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Section 809(b): Validating Debts:

(b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.

I respectfully request that you provide me with the following information:

* (1) the amount of the debt;
* (2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;
* (3) Provide a verification or copy of any judgment (if applicable);
* (4) Proof that you are licensed to collect debts in (insert name of your state)

Be advised that I am fully aware of my rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. For instance, I know that:

* because I have disputed this debt in writing within 30 days of receipt of your dunning notice, you must obtain verification of the debt or a copy of the judgment against me and mail these items to me at your expense;
* you cannot add interest or fees except those allowed by the original contract or state law.
* you do not have to respond to this dispute but if you do, any attempt to collect this debt without validating it, violates the FDCPA;

Also be advised that I am keeping very accurate records of all correspondence from you and your company including recording all phone calls and I will not hesitate to report violations of the law to my State Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau.

I have disputed this debt; therefore, until validated you know your information concerning this debt is inaccurate. Thus, if you have already reported this debt to any credit-reporting agency (CRA) or Credit Bureau (CB) then, you must immediately inform them of my dispute with this debt. Reporting information that you know to be inaccurate or failing to report information correctly violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act