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Advice on crazy collection agency?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I wasn't sure where to place this post, so I figured IMO would be a good start.

What do you do if a collection agency says you owe a debt for an account that has been closed for quite some time? One company has been calling my cell phone number repeatedly, each day, around ten times per day, usually just hanging up, but about three of the ten times leaving a cryptic message. They actually stayed on the line once and asked to speak to my husband. They said he owed a debt to a bank that he closed the account with several months ago. Of course he doesn't owe them anything- they wouldn't have let him close the account if he did!! Anyought, this woman was horrible, called him names, cussed, etc. She refused to send a verification of the debt or to allow him to speak to her supervisor. She called my number- he's never used my cell phone number for any reason- I don't even know how they got it.

I looked up the company online and they've been sued for these practices, they also have a couple thousand complaints listed with the Better Business Bureau.

I read the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and her cursing and not sending a verification is apparently illegal. The Act says that my husband has to send a letter contesting the debt within 30 days. Any ideas for what he should put in this letter? Any other suggestions? This is getting annoying!!!
post #2 of 11
Call the bank the account was at and ask for the mgr.... If the bank claims something is owed then get the records... and then get an attorney!!!
post #3 of 11
He needs to quickly make a complaint to the attorney general and the BBB. Someone "bigger" than he is going to need to get onto them about this.

You need to call the police and file a harassment charge against this company. It is illegal for them to call so many times and harass you.

Good luck.
post #4 of 11
Act Fast. Send a letter to them telling them you do not owe the debt, within 30 days of receiving their written notice, which should have been sent to you within 5 days of their first contact.

Get an lawyer. Have the lawyer write the collection agency a letter to ask them to stop calling you. They have to stop and in any event all future communications must be directed at the lawyer not you.

Take Note of any threats (including obscene language), false statements or any actions you think is not appropriate. You can either inform your lawyer or call: 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)

Another possible plus point about hiring a lawyer is the opportunity for you to sue them and claim some money (up to $1000) back. Might as well make some money while being harassed right??

PS: This is not an advice or just some free information for a fellow catsite member. Use at own risk and discretion.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your advice. He's going to call the bank today. I did some more research and everything you folks have said, the BBB has said as well- so that you for the excellent advice!
post #6 of 11
In the letter you send, I wouldn't even mention the word "debt." Just that you've contacted the bank to verify account status and use the words that the bank uses to describe that. Something like "Paid and closed."

Oh, and send it priority or certified with delivery confirmation, so they can't claim they never received it.
post #7 of 11
It is illegal for them to be talking to you about his debt anyway unless your name is on the account. They could have gotten the cell phone number from a credit report.

I agree with getting a lawyer and contacting the bank that the debt was originally owed through.
post #8 of 11
You could get the phone company to block these calls coming through on your phone.
post #9 of 11
This is crazy!!
I just went through something similar with a company that called about a store credit card that I had like 10 yrs ago that went into collection and then written off.(I was very irresponsible and didnt care then).
Anyway, this guy calls and says I owe over $900. and it is from that acct.
I havent heard anything about this for years and I never saw it listed on my credit report so I thought it was just written off as a loss.
So he told me I DO owe this and that we could settle the debt for like $633.
He told me they would take it in 3 payments of $211. and I (like a dummy) gave him my bank info to take this amount out once every 3 months to get it over with.
Then I started checking into everything and could not find record of this still so I went to my bank and asked them what to do and they had me close my acct. completely and open another. I did this and by the time they tried to get the money the acct. no longer existed. So then they started calling and saying I need to call them back and we have to discuss this. Every day it was another urgent plea for me to call them. One day I picked up the phone when I saw it was them calling and hung it up. I picked it back up about a minute later and this a**hole had not hung up and said "Sup?" As in Whats up kinda. That Pi**ed me off! I called and had our phone number changed the next day to an unlisted number. So they have no way to get me now unless its by mail and they havent even tried to mail me anything. That right there tells me something was not right. They want no paper trail to come back on them for FRAUD.
ARRRGHHHHHHHHH I get mad just thinking about how they ALMOST got away with this.
post #10 of 11
Many times old debt that has been owed and not paid is sold to a third party agency for XX number of dollars. The new owner of the debit can that negotiate the repayment of this debt. This is what my have happened.
But as having worked for a finance company for almost 20 yrs-we were quite aware of the law covering collection practices and the penalties for non compliance.
You have not received any written correspondence????
Can your husband obtain a copy of his credit report to see if this is on the report-you can pm me for interpretation as I have seen thousands of consumer credit bureaus.
Only the parties that are listed on any loans/credit cards etc can be contacted about debt repayment-no third parties can enter discussions about any debt.
For instance you have a auto loan in your name and spouse name-the creditor cannot discuss this loan with anyone other than the two of you.
Creditor's have many ways of obtaining debtors address, phone # etc... But I am surprised that they have your cell phone #s.
In the letter I would reference what type of loan this was, the repayment schedule.
Do you have any proof of payment in full??? That the person that called wouldn't send any information on this debt or let you esculate the call to a supervisor sounds really fishy to me.
I hope this information helps.
BTW you husband can also have a consumer statement placed on his credit report regarding this matter.
post #11 of 11
I am an assistant supervisor for a student loan company that does collections for accounts that have not reached the default stage yet. (It reaches default after 1 yr of not making a pmt or applying for a deferment or forbearance) We do call people but if we get an answering machine, we have a recording just saying for them to call regarding their student loan. If we do speak to someone that is not the borrower or someone that has WRITTEN permission from the borrower to have access to the acct, we just leave our number and to have that person call us back. It is against the Federal Privacy Act to speak to someone without permission.

Some things we are not allowed to do:

1. Call after 9pm their time and I think before 7am also
2. Use any type of foul language
3. Threaten or be rude to the person
4. If a person, asks for a supervisor, transfer them to one (actually, the first is transferred to an assist. sup like me, then on up the chain. 99% of the time, I can assist them without further transferring)

In our case, we are not only trying to collect a debt, but are trying to help the borrower bring the account current. If they have a financial hardship, we can help with deferments and forbearances. Many people thank us for calling because we use empathy when dealing with our clients.

If someone is calling and refuses to let you speak to a supervisor or send you any info regarding this, they most likely are not legit. There are too many scams out there.
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