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How do I report a debt collector?

NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
I just got a phone call (7:48 am) from a debt collector. Not for me, the woman kept talking after I answered until I *yelled* to get her to stop talking and listen to me telling her the wrong number. She asked me if I had the number for someone I don't know, after I told her she had the wrong number, too. Hopefully they won't call again.


As far as I know, calling at 7:48 am is illegal/unfair practices. Anyone know how I can report this company? If I had a debt they were calling about I'd probably be less pissed than the fact they were calling a wrong number...
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  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    Better Business Bureau?

    I get calls for a guy with my last name and first initial. I keep telling them I don't know him, he doesn't live here, and I have no relatives by that name. But they keep calling. He has a heckuva lot of debts, I guess.
  • cymprenicympreni Posts: 9,609Registered Users
    Attorney general. You should find info on your state's webpage.
  • AmandacurlsAmandacurls Posts: 6,252Registered Users
    NetG wrote: »
    I just got a phone call (7:48 am) from a debt collector. Not for me, the woman kept talking after I answered until I *yelled* to get her to stop talking and listen to me telling her the wrong number. She asked me if I had the number for someone I don't know, after I told her she had the wrong number, too. Hopefully they won't call again.


    As far as I know, calling at 7:48 am is illegal/unfair practices. Anyone know how I can report this company? If I had a debt they were calling about I'd probably be less pissed than the fact they were calling a wrong number...

    Next time they call, if they do, request to speak to their supervisor. Tell them you aren't that person and to delete your number from any connection to that account. I'd also let the BBB know.
  • CurlywavesCurlywaves Posts: 104Registered Users
    cympreni wrote: »
    Attorney general. You should find info on your state's webpage.

    I work for a department in state government that contains the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection, and part of their mission is regulating debt collectors--including when they can & can't call. Most states have similar agencies in addition to the AG's office. You should be able to find that info on your state's webpage also, but if you don't, feel free to PM me. We have contact info for all 50 states, and I'd be happy to help.
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  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,738Registered Users
    Not to be a downer, but debt collectors are notorious for their (inappropriate) tactics, as I'm sure you know. I don't see them changing much. I'm sure the person's supe already knows.
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  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Posts: 8,002Registered Users
    Phoenix wrote: »
    Not to be a downer, but debt collectors are notorious for their (inappropriate) tactics, as I'm sure you know. I don't see them changing much. I'm sure the person's supe already knows.

    You're right. Asking for their supervisor will do nothing. They're all cut from the same cloth.

    But reporting them to the A.G. will help. They've been really cracking down on debt collectors.
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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    Springcurl wrote: »
    Phoenix wrote: »
    Not to be a downer, but debt collectors are notorious for their (inappropriate) tactics, as I'm sure you know. I don't see them changing much. I'm sure the person's supe already knows.

    You're right. Asking for their supervisor will do nothing. They're all cut from the same cloth.

    But reporting them to the A.G. will help. They've been really cracking down on debt collectors.
    Which cloth would that be?

    As with any profession, there are good ones and bad ones.
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

    Don Langrick
    Bonsai Culturist
  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Posts: 8,002Registered Users
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    Springcurl wrote: »
    Phoenix wrote: »
    Not to be a downer, but debt collectors are notorious for their (inappropriate) tactics, as I'm sure you know. I don't see them changing much. I'm sure the person's supe already knows.

    You're right. Asking for their supervisor will do nothing. They're all cut from the same cloth.

    But reporting them to the A.G. will help. They've been really cracking down on debt collectors.
    Which cloth would that be?

    As with any profession, there are good ones and bad ones.

    The cloth that says harass, get the money, demand it, call at dinner, call before breakfast, call them at work again and again until finally the A.G. steps in and tells them not to.

    I'm not making a judgment about them personally. If you have debt collector doing any of the above things, it's company policy.
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  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    As with any profession, there are good ones and bad ones.

    Yeah, their widespread bad reputation is fictional, completely made up. :roll:

    They're just like doctors. Or librarians.
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    wild~hair wrote: »
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    As with any profession, there are good ones and bad ones.

    Yeah, their widespread bad reputation is fictional, completely made up. :roll:

    They're just like doctors. Or librarians.

    Cue the posts that people who don't like debt collectors don't like them because they have debts, and if you don't want to be bothered by debt collecters, DON'T BE IN DEBT - TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF!

    (and I know Net isn't actually in debt... I'm talking in general)
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  • afrosheenqueenafrosheenqueen Posts: 5,400Registered Users
    Report any problems you have with a debt collector
    to your state Attorney General’s office (www.naag.org) and the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov).
    Many states have their own debt collection laws that
    are different from the federal Fair Debt Collection
    Practices Act. Your Attorney General’s office can help
    you determine your rights under your state’s law.

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  • ruralcurlsruralcurls Posts: 2,574Registered Users
    We received our land line number in October, and I am still receiving calls from debt collectors for the previous person who had this number. I told one person to stop calling as "Mrs Smith did not live here, this was not her number" and she told me she would not stop calling until "I could prove I was not Mrs Smith, I did not know who or where she was".

    I was able to *69 the number and reported her to the FTC.
  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    Amneris wrote: »
    wild~hair wrote: »
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    As with any profession, there are good ones and bad ones.

    Yeah, their widespread bad reputation is fictional, completely made up. :roll:

    They're just like doctors. Or librarians.

    Cue the posts that people who don't like debt collectors don't like them because they have debts, and if you don't want to be bothered by debt collecters, DON'T BE IN DEBT - TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF!

    (and I know Net isn't actually in debt... I'm talking in general)
    Amneris, nobody said that and you know it. Please don't turn this into something like that. You should know me well enough by now that I have NEVER said anything like that about debtors and I don't defend illegal collection practices. Lord knows, I've had bad experiences with collectors myself. In fact, I had one just last month.

    Yes, I take the debt collector comments seriously. My husband is one. There is a difference between first party collections and third party agencies.

    Wild~Hair, it sounds like you have some issues in your personal life right now.
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

    Don Langrick
    Bonsai Culturist
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    Amneris wrote: »
    wild~hair wrote: »

    Yeah, their widespread bad reputation is fictional, completely made up. :roll:

    They're just like doctors. Or librarians.

    Cue the posts that people who don't like debt collectors don't like them because they have debts, and if you don't want to be bothered by debt collecters, DON'T BE IN DEBT - TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF!

    (and I know Net isn't actually in debt... I'm talking in general)
    Amneris, nobody said that and you know it. Please don't turn this into something like that. You should know me well enough by now that I have NEVER said anything like that about debtors and I don't defend illegal collection practices. Lord knows, I've had bad experiences with collectors myself. In fact, I had one just last month.

    Yes, I take the debt collector comments seriously. My husband is one. There is a difference between first party collection agencies and third party ones.

    Wild~Hair, it sounds like you have some issues in your personal life right now.

    I wasn't referring to you specifically, but to general comments from the bank thread. I don't know who said what because I stopped reading it.
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  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,738Registered Users
    ruralcurls wrote: »
    We received our land line number in October, and I am still receiving calls from debt collectors for the previous person who had this number. I told one person to stop calling as "Mrs Smith did not live here, this was not her number" and she told me she would not stop calling until "I could prove I was not Mrs Smith, I did not know who or where she was".

    I was able to *69 the number and reported her to the FTC.

    Are you serious?! That's insane!
    montage-3.gif No MAS.

    I am the new Black.

    "Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.
  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Posts: 7,135Registered Users
    Phoenix wrote: »
    ruralcurls wrote: »
    We received our land line number in October, and I am still receiving calls from debt collectors for the previous person who had this number. I told one person to stop calling as "Mrs Smith did not live here, this was not her number" and she told me she would not stop calling until "I could prove I was not Mrs Smith, I did not know who or where she was".

    I was able to *69 the number and reported her to the FTC.

    Are you serious?! That's insane!

    When DH and I were first married, we had a phone number that had apparently belonged to someone who owed a LOT of debtors...enough that she had warrants out for her arrest. Whenever I'd pick up the phone, the debt collectors wouldn't believe that I wasn't this woman. It got so bad that we changed our phone number and didn't leave a forwarding order so that we could be left in peace.
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  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    I got a debt collection call a couple weeks ago on my cell phone for someone else. Weird, because I've had my cell phone for over two years now and have never gotten calls for this person. Actually, the debt collectors left a voice mail message. I called them back and told them it wasn't me. They were very courteous and said they'd take my number out of their database, and so far I haven't been bothered any more. Fingers crossed. So yeah, I think there are good ones and bad ones.
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  • YolyCYolyC Posts: 3,758Registered Users
    sarah42 wrote: »
    I got a debt collection call a couple weeks ago on my cell phone for someone else. Weird, because I've had my cell phone for over two years now and have never gotten calls for this person. Actually, the debt collectors left a voice mail message. I called them back and told them it wasn't me. They were very courteous and said they'd take my number out of their database, and so far I haven't been bothered any more. Fingers crossed. So yeah, I think there are good ones and bad ones.

    I've had the same issue. I've had my number for 5-6 years now. One company took it off and left me alone. The second company was really nasty and kept calling. Thing is the person they were looking for was a man. :disgust:
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  • ruralcurlsruralcurls Posts: 2,574Registered Users
    Phoenix wrote: »
    ruralcurls wrote: »
    We received our land line number in October, and I am still receiving calls from debt collectors for the previous person who had this number. I told one person to stop calling as "Mrs Smith did not live here, this was not her number" and she told me she would not stop calling until "I could prove I was not Mrs Smith, I did not know who or where she was".

    I was able to *69 the number and reported her to the FTC.

    Are you serious?! That's insane!

    Yes, she was mean. At least the others who have called for Mrs Smith were a little nicer when I explained this was a new number and not Mrs Smith's anymore.

    I think she gave up her number and the phone company immediately issued it to us.
  • SpinCycleSpinCycle Posts: 724Registered Users
    I remember this one time when I was like 12, I was the only one home and the phone rang. I picked it up and this lady told me she was looking for someone who had the same first name as my dad (who has a very very common name). I said he wasn't there and she started yelling at me. She told me that she was a debt collector and he hadn't paid his student loans from UofA (he never went to the University of AZ) and if I didn't tell her where to find him, she was going to make sure that they garnished his wages. I got so upset that I started crying and that's when my mom came home. She ripped that lady up one side and down the other. I don't know why the lady on the phone felt the need to threaten and yell at a child on the phone, but they never called back.


    My husband had problems previously with collectors making automated calls to his phone. If you'd pick it up, there was no one there. It's just to harass and annoy you. So while he was taking care of the money he owed, he sent a letter stating that they could only contact him through mail. That was the end of the harassing automated calls at 6am and 10pm.
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  • sarahthewarriorsarahthewarrior Posts: 252Registered Users
    ruralcurls wrote: »
    We received our land line number in October, and I am still receiving calls from debt collectors for the previous person who had this number. I told one person to stop calling as "Mrs Smith did not live here, this was not her number" and she told me she would not stop calling until "I could prove I was not Mrs Smith, I did not know who or where she was".

    I was able to *69 the number and reported her to the FTC.

    I've had my cell phone number for at least four years now, and a certain satellite dish company keeps calling and leaving a recorded message on my voicemail to call them back about my account (I never pick up, nor do I have an account with this company). When I finally called them back a couple years ago to get them to stop calling (usually early on Saturday mornings), I waited on hold for over an hour and was transferred to three different people--all to find out that only "Mr. Smith" could remove my phone number from his account. It's a cell phone and he doesn't have the number anymore!

    Does reporting them to the FTC work? Is this the appropriate channel when it's not debt collection (as far as I know)? I'm still receiving calls two to three times a month.
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  • curlyjenn10curlyjenn10 Posts: 2,034Registered Users
    Before our neighbor's house foreclosed, we used to get calls from debt collectors for him. Apparently they couldn't reach him, so they called all of the houses around his to get us to go over and harass him about it. Completely ridiculous!
  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,738Registered Users
    If the debt isn't yours (but a previous tenant in your apt or something) and they call around to your neighbors to harrass you, I'd think you could sue them for slander.
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  • KaywhykayKaywhykay Posts: 191Registered Users
    There was a bill collector who kept calling the shared land line for one of my roomates while he was out (Dude was almost never home). She got so fruckin snide I wanted to snatch her through the phone. I told her "Yes" he lives here, but "no I don't know when he'll be in." I told her I didn't even know when he was last in. She scoffed and snorted in disbelief and said that she didn't believe that I didn't know. I told her that he was a grown man and didn't have to leave a schedule with his comings and goings. She said something like, "So you don't know who's in your own home?! *snort* " Then she said some slick sht like, "What if I was in your house? Would you know that?! What do you know?!" Then the blankety-blank hang up on me. I was HOT! Still pisses me off ..Grrrr...

    there was a segment on Primetime or 20/20 a few months back about the tactics of some of these bill collectors. Apparently it's practically an industry standard to be as nasty as they can be. Trained to be that way, even.
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  • MimsTXMimsTX Posts: 3,482Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Before our neighbor's house foreclosed, we used to get calls from debt collectors for him. Apparently they couldn't reach him, so they called all of the houses around his to get us to go over and harass him about it. Completely ridiculous!

    wow.

    That's just... wow.
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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    Kaywhykay wrote: »
    There was a bill collector who kept calling the shared land line for one of my roomates while he was out (Dude was almost never home). She got so fruckin snide I wanted to snatch her through the phone. I told her "Yes" he lives here, but "no I don't know when he'll be in." I told her I didn't even know when he was last in. She scoffed and snorted in disbelief and said that she didn't believe that I didn't know. I told her that he was a grown man and didn't have to leave a schedule with his comings and goings. She said something like, "So you don't know who's in your own home?! *snort* " Then she said some slick sht like, "What if I was in your house? Would you know that?! What do you know?!" Then the blankety-blank hang up on me. I was HOT! Still pisses me off ..Grrrr...

    there was a segment on Primetime or 20/20 a few months back about the tactics of some of these bill collectors. Apparently it's practically an industry standard to be as nasty as they can be. Trained to be that way, even.
    Totally true. They start out kicking puppies in collector college. :D
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

    Don Langrick
    Bonsai Culturist
  • MimsTXMimsTX Posts: 3,482Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    mrspoppers wrote: »
    Kaywhykay wrote: »
    There was a bill collector who kept calling the shared land line for one of my roomates while he was out (Dude was almost never home). She got so fruckin snide I wanted to snatch her through the phone. I told her "Yes" he lives here, but "no I don't know when he'll be in." I told her I didn't even know when he was last in. She scoffed and snorted in disbelief and said that she didn't believe that I didn't know. I told her that he was a grown man and didn't have to leave a schedule with his comings and goings. She said something like, "So you don't know who's in your own home?! *snort* " Then she said some slick sht like, "What if I was in your house? Would you know that?! What do you know?!" Then the blankety-blank hang up on me. I was HOT! Still pisses me off ..Grrrr...

    there was a segment on Primetime or 20/20 a few months back about the tactics of some of these bill collectors. Apparently it's practically an industry standard to be as nasty as they can be. Trained to be that way, even.
    Totally true. They start out kicking puppies in collector college. :D

    ok ok. OBVIOUSLY we know not EVERY collector is going to be like that. But let's face the facts... the majority of them are.

    Just like when you go to the movie theatre, and not EVERY one of the little concessionists are going to ask if you want the large for a quarter more... but most are. Because that's what they're told to do, and it's part of the industry.
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  • MichelleBFTMichelleBFT Posts: 4,812Registered Users
    For whatever reason, lately I've been getting calls for my brother. I no longer have the same name as him, he's never lived here, has never lived in this area code and hasn't lived in this state for nearly ten years. I cannot fathom how they get my number, but they keep insisting I "get a message to him." To which I say, ain't my job, buzz off, buh bye.
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  • ScarletScarlet Posts: 3,125Registered Users
    NetG, they aren't allowed to call at unreasonable times. If they continue to do so (and particularly since the debt isn't yours), tell them to hold on while you get your tape recorder. if they're still on the phone, tell them you're recording, and ask them to repeat their name, the company they represent. Then and repeat your telephone number and the time they called, and repeat that the debt is not yours. This should stop them. If it doesn't, it's harrassment.
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  • curlyjenn10curlyjenn10 Posts: 2,034Registered Users
    Phoenix wrote: »
    If the debt isn't yours (but a previous tenant in your apt or something) and they call around to your neighbors to harrass you, I'd think you could due them for slander.

    Yeah, I think the threat of legal action is what got them to stop eventually. It took a few weeks though.
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