How do I report a debt collector?

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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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.
Originally Posted by ruralcurls
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.

Last edited by sarahthewarrior; 03-12-2009 at 03:24 PM.
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!
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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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Last edited by Phoenix; 03-12-2009 at 05:19 PM. Reason: typo
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.
aka Kay3B
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!
Originally Posted by curlyjenn10
wow.

That's just... wow.
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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.
Originally Posted by Kaywhykay
Totally true. They start out kicking puppies in collector college.
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.
Originally Posted by Kaywhykay
Totally true. They start out kicking puppies in collector college.
Originally Posted by mrspoppers
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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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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Stolen.
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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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.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
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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Last edited by curlyjenn10; 03-12-2009 at 09:34 PM.
Speckla
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I had a debt collector call my house before and it wasn't my account. They called a few times and I told them each time I wasn't Mrs. X. I reported them to the police after two times for harrassment. I gave the police their phone number and they never called again.
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.
Originally Posted by Kaywhykay
Totally true. They start out kicking puppies in collector college.
Originally Posted by mrspoppers
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.
Originally Posted by MimsTX
It was a joke. That's what the grin means. And collector college? That's funny! Jeez, people around here need to lighten up.
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!
Originally Posted by curlyjenn10
wow.

That's just... wow.
Originally Posted by MimsTX
My mom is in a bad situation, totally her fault, but the collectors have called all of her neighbors wanting them to give info about her.
I worked as a debt collector for 10 years & you all know how sweet I am.

Seriously, most collectors get a lot of their income from their bonus's & if they don't bonus, then they may get fired. It's very stressful. When I worked in collections, I became friends with one of my coworkers. She was horrible to the people on the phone & did tactics that I wouldn't have felt comfortable with. She was a single Mom & she needed the money. We are still friends today & she is still in collections. She is very different outside of work.

I had a supervisor who would say, "If they aren't hanging up on you, then you're not doing your job." The supervisors also bonus off of what the collectors pull in. It rarely works to talk to a supervisor. Most times they will side with the collector & try to protect them.
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wrong number...
Originally Posted by NetG
I'd also let the BBB know.
Originally Posted by Amandacurls
Don't bother with the BBB...they are pretty much useless these days.
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I had a debt collector call my house before and it wasn't my account. They called a few times and I told them each time I wasn't Mrs. X. I reported them to the police after two times for harrassment. I gave the police their phone number and they never called again.
Originally Posted by Speckla
I had to call the police with some sort of sales scheme! I knew they were trying to sell some sort of home goods or something, I think a place where you have to pay a "membership" for the right to join. But for a year, they called me at least 3 times a day - and no one was ever there when I answered the phone. When I attempted to call them to ask them to remove me from their list, no one would answer (I looked up their info to call their listed number, not just the one on caller ID.) They would call in the morning while I was getting ready for work, mid-day while I was at work, and in the middle of dinner - yet I never managed to speak to a person. I finally called the cops to find out how to make them stop, was told they couldn't do anything, but how to get the system to track that the number had called me (I don't remember right now how) and after 3 times call back and file a harassment report. They never called again after that...
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I worked as a debt collector for 10 years & you all know how sweet I am.

Seriously, most collectors get a lot of their income from their bonus's & if they don't bonus, then they may get fired. It's very stressful. When I worked in collections, I became friends with one of my coworkers. She was horrible to the people on the phone & did tactics that I wouldn't have felt comfortable with. She was a single Mom & she needed the money. We are still friends today & she is still in collections. She is very different outside of work.

I had a supervisor who would say, "If they aren't hanging up on you, then you're not doing your job." The supervisors also bonus off of what the collectors pull in. It rarely works to talk to a supervisor. Most times they will side with the collector & try to protect them.
Originally Posted by Lotsawaves
Yup and agreed with Mims. Strong-arm tactics are part of the culture; that's how they do their jobs.

I once interviewed for a collections job. The interviewer asked me how I'd get people to pony up with the money, I said I'd work with them as best I could toward a resolution. I didn't get the job. There may've been other reasons, but I think it was because I wasn't mean and aggressive enough.
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I found this.....


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From Michael Berg:

Every person has a unique connection to the Creator that can never be extinguished, and every person has a great soul that can manifest important things in our world. To make a person feel less than they are because of something inside themselves, be it faith, race, or sexual orientation, is the greatest sin of all."
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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.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
i don't know you or your brother, but it sounds like he gave them your contact info. to throw the debt collectors off of his scent.

my bil did this to us. he and his wife are notorious for running up emergency room bills and not repaying them, not paying rent and moving out just before they know an eviction notice will be issued, not paying other bills, etc.

we began to get calls almost daily and then mail from attorney's offices almost weekly. it didn't help that we didn't know their whereabouts or contact info.

i had to put my foot down though because we share the same last name, and at the time, i was planning to deliver at the same hospital where they'd created debt. i didn't want some foul-up to occur where their debt would magically appear in our account because they'd been giving out our address and phone number as their own to evade their responsibilities.

you don't need to ask if i chewed them out when we finally saw them next. they actually thought i wasn't being nice to them by not helping them shirk their financial responsibilities. some people just don't have a clue.
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