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  1. #1
    great_ideas is offline Member
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    Creditor Calling Wrong Phone Numbers...

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Indiana

    A creditor keeps calling my home and my mom's home looking for a person who does not live with either of us.

    1. Nothing Shows on the caller ID.

    2. They used to leave messages for this person (it was a recording) with a reference number and a phyone number. I called it one day when I answered the phone and actually heard the name, and I told them that they had the wrong number. (My mom has had her phone number for over 30 years!) They apologized and agreed to take the number off their list. They started calling again the following day. They now just ask for this person and hang up when you say they havethe wrong number, ask for a number, ask for the supervisor... There is no way to know who they are!

    3. I got married last year and got a new phone number in my new name. Last month I started getting phone calls that would leave a message with a phone number and a reference number on my answering machine. One morning they called while I was still home. I called them and told them that they had the wrong phone number. They said they'd take it off of their list. They continued to call. I called back. They told me that I was Ms. XXXXX whom they have been trying to reach! I said no, I am not, I never have been, and i never will be. They promised to take my name off of their list. Instead they call everyday, I'm sure it's them becasue of the "unknown caller" display on my caller ID. They call my mom several times a day Mon-Sat, and refuse to identify themselves, and refuse to stop calling. I don't know what to do. We've attempted to get a phone number or address from them so we can do something about the calls, but they refuse to give us anything. The woman on the phone insists that she will call everyday until Ms. XXXX is there to speak with her.

    4. Is there anything that we can do about this? I thought that it was illegal in the first place for a collector to call more than so many times a week. They fill my answering machine with messages! No one can leave a message after 4-5pm because this place will actually fill it. I don't want to not leave it on. My husband is on midnights so he is getting mad.

    5. We have checked our credit reports and nothing there is amiss.

    6. We don't know who the person is that they are looking for.

    7. We are really getting tired of this. They call at all hours of the day and night. We cannot send them a letter to stop calling becasue we have no address. I looked up the phone number when I called it about the reference number and dscovered that it was a collection agency.

    8. Are we going to have to change our phone numbers? Our names are not similar to the person they are calling at all.

    9. Any suggestions as to what can be done?
  2. #2
    dolebot is offline Member
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    I thought that it was illegal in the first place for a collector to call more than so many times a week
    A common misconception. Any person can call anyone else, as long as its not a telemarketer calling someone on the DNC list, and as long as what they are doing is legal, i.e. not harrassment. It isn't illegal to call someone a few times a day as the wrong number, as far as I'm aware. It WOULD be illegal if they were doing something illegal.

    Your husband is correct that collection agencies are limited in how many times they may call, however this limit is not well documented, established in case law in just a few districts in federal court - and is generally regarded as 1 call per day is not "excessive". Since it isn't written into any law and is subjective there is no hard and fast rule. However these rights apply only to those folks being collected upon - i.e. the debtor. Since you aren't the debtor you have no such protection against them. The FDCPA only applies to debt collectors and debtors. You are a bystander so you wouldn't get any of the statutory damages.

    Your recourse is to sue the collection agency. You might recover actual damages based on harassment, good luck proving that a few calls a day are harassment, which from a phone call might be a couple minutes of your time. You'll get a few dollars if you prevail.

    The phone company offers many quicker, longer lasting, and effective solutions to this problem. i.e. changing the phone number, getting a privacy redirector, blocking certain numbers, etc. regardless of what your callerID says - the phone company knows the phone number they are coming from.
    Last edited by dolebot; 09-29-2008 at 11:19 AM.
  3. #3
    great_ideas is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolebot View Post
    A common misconception. Any person can call anyone else, as long as its not a telemarketer calling someone on the DNC list, and as long as what they are doing is legal, i.e. not harrassment. It isn't illegal to call someone a few times a day as the wrong number, as far as I'm aware. It WOULD be illegal if they were doing something illegal.

    Your husband is correct that collection agencies are limited in how many times they may call, however this limit is not well documented, established in case law in just a few districts in federal court - and is generally regarded as 1 call per day is not "excessive". Since it isn't written into any law and is subjective there is no hard and fast rule. However these rights apply only to those folks being collected upon - i.e. the debtor. Since you aren't the debtor you have no such protection against them. The FDCPA only applies to debt collectors and debtors. You are a bystander so you wouldn't get any of the statutory damages.

    Your recourse is to sue the collection agency. You might recover actual damages based on harassment, good luck proving that a few calls a day are harassment, which from a phone call might be a couple minutes of your time. You'll get a few dollars if you prevail.

    The phone company offers many quicker, longer lasting, and effective solutions to this problem. i.e. changing the phone number, getting a privacy redirector, blocking certain numbers, etc. regardless of what your callerID says - the phone company knows the phone number they are coming from.

    I do have some kind of call blocking feature on my phone. Since the company name doesn't show up I thought that it wouldn't work. I am going to give it a try.

    I truely believe that they are harassing us, because they call so many times in a day. They call us 30-40 times most days.

    I don't think that changing my number would help if they are a collection agancy. My mom starting getting calls for that person at her home first. When I started getting the calls I thought at first that they were for the person who had previously held my phone number. Now I think that they will just keep getting my number because they are associating my mom and I with this person they are collecting on. I don't want to pay $50-$100 for a new phone numebr that they'll probably have in another 6 months or less.

    Thanks for the call blocking/privacy manager idea. I'm going to set it up on our phones tonight!
  4. #4
    Avalon is offline Member
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    Let us know how that goes. I just posted about getting calls from my (adult) son's creditors. One problem is that the number the calls are coming from keeps changing every time they call. Now they are getting really tricky -- instead of coming up as "unknown caller", it will come up with "paging number" on some such thing, that makes you think it's someone trying to reach you for an emergency. When I've occasionally answered the phone, intending on telling them off, I get the usual "pause" and then nothing....no one's even there.
  5. #5
    TimStudiesLaw is offline Member
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    I had this happen to me on my cell phone. It was a SallieMae collector looking for someone who defaulted on a student loan. (It took me hours to figure out who it was). Once I figured it out, I contacted them, escalated several times, and finally got my number pulled.
  6. #6
    Dandy Don is offline Senior Member
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    At least be savvy enough to talk to them one time to get information about who they are (name of company, address, etc.). Pretend that you are going to make a payment and then don't do it. You will then have enough information to contact their company to make an official request to be put on their do not call list and also talk to a debt collections attorney familiar with the FDCPA to find out if you qualify to recover damages from the excessive harassment.
  7. #7
    Dandy Don is offline Senior Member
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    Please allow me to amend my previous advice--do NOT pretend that you are going to pay the bill since the collections company may think they have found the right party. The trick to getting results on this is that (1) you must record the calls they are making to you on an answering machine or whatever answering device you use, and (2) you need to at least speak to them once by informing them that they have reached the wrong party, THAT THIS CALL TO THEM, AND OTHER FUTURE CALLS FROM THEM, ARE BEING RECORDED, and that if the calls continue you will have choice but to file a lawsuit in accordance with the FDCPA for damages, and you can ask them for specific information on the identity of the person they are looking for (which they may answer or they may not answer, depending on how they feel that day). Then if the calls continue you will have grounds for legal recourse.
  8. #8
    great_ideas is offline Member
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    Let us know how that goes. I just posted about getting calls from my (adult) son's creditors. One problem is that the number the calls are coming from keeps changing every time they call. Now they are getting really tricky -- instead of coming up as "unknown caller", it will come up with "paging number" on some such thing, that makes you think it's someone trying to reach you for an emergency. When I've occasionally answered the phone, intending on telling them off, I get the usual "pause" and then nothing....no one's even there.
    Call blocker only works for the one line, and only blocks 10 numbers. I can use privacy manager without a problem, but I am worried about my daughter calling at night and not getting thru.

    There has to be a way to make them stop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dandy Don View Post
    Please allow me to amend my previous advice--do NOT pretend that you are going to pay the bill since the collections company may think they have found the right party. The trick to getting results on this is that (1) you must record the calls they are making to you on an answering machine or whatever answering device you use, and (2) you need to at least speak to them once by informing them that they have reached the wrong party, THAT THIS CALL TO THEM, AND OTHER FUTURE CALLS FROM THEM, ARE BEING RECORDED, and that if the calls continue you will have choice but to file a lawsuit in accordance with the FDCPA for damages, and you can ask them for specific information on the identity of the person they are looking for (which they may answer or they may not answer, depending on how they feel that day). Then if the calls continue you will have grounds for legal recourse.

    I already told my mom NOT to do that. She was gonna pretend to be the person they are looking for to get a mailing address.

    I have recorded phone calls from them, and I have them. The problem is that all I have a an 800 number and nothing comes up when I look for an address for it. I speak to them at least once a day. Even after I speak to them they continue to call that day. The same thing happens to my mom. Everyday she gets calls. Yesterday I had a record 51 unknown caller calls within 9 hours. All were hang ups on the answering machine! My phone only holds 30 calls on the caller ID, but I'm sure they were all the same caller.
  9. #9
    Dandy Don is offline Senior Member
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    Not sure whether these calls are local or long distance, but you should be discussing this with your phone company to have the calls traced and/or file a police report about it so that it can be investigated.
  10. #10
    great_ideas is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandy Don View Post
    Not sure whether these calls are local or long distance, but you should be discussing this with your phone company to have the calls traced and/or file a police report about it so that it can be investigated.
    I do not have the 800 number with me today, but I will past it over the weekend when I find it. Maybe someone here can tell me who it is.

    I tried dialing a code to report the phone calls after each call that I answer, but it doesn't work. The phone company and police won't do anything about it if it is a collection agancy even if they are calling the wrong people.
  11. #11
    TinkerBelleLuvr is offline Senior Member
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    I helped my neighbor with this problem. They were calling for someone with a similar name (spelled differently) of their son.

    Go on google and type in the phone number that comes up on caller-ID. We were able to find the folks and they sent a "cease & desist" letter to the creditor. They sent it both regular and certified. They've quit getting those phone calls to their number.
  12. #12
    great_ideas is offline Member
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    I Found An Address!

    There is a website about "Who is Calling Me???" I got it from work. I was able to trace the 800 number to them. I sent a letter to all of their addresses asking them to cease calls to my number. I also did the same for my mom. I hope this works! I've already got 10 numbers in call blocker, and now they have a new "cell phone" number that is showing on my ID. The nice thing about call bloker is that everytime they call from a blocked number I can add it to the list by dialing a code. No more calls from that number, even if I don't know what the number is!
  13. #13
    great_ideas is offline Member
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    The Calls Stopped!

    I haven't had a call in a week! They stopped at my mom's house too. Finally!
  14. #14
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for the update!

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