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  • collection agency harassment

    For many months, my mother has been receiving repeated calls from a
    collection agency looking for a person who we don't even know. She has
    called them four times to tell them that we don't know the person and
    that they have the wrong number. They have continued to call (she has
    the same last name and first initial as the person they're trying to
    collect from).

    We got another call on Monday, and she called the company back again,
    asking for the person who left the message. The person who answered the
    phone wouldn't put her through to the collection agent, refused to
    remove her number from the account, refused to pass her call to anyone
    else, was abusive, and finally hung up on her.

    So I called back, to get an address, and apparantly got the same
    person. All I wanted was an address, and he refused to provide one. He
    asked what I wanted the address for, and I asked for the address for
    their legal department. He wanted more information - he asked what I
    was going to send. I told him that his company was contiually calling
    my mother for someone we didn't know and I wanted them to stop. He
    laughed and told me to "go back to the internet", and still refused to
    give me an address. Then he told me that if I called back again, that
    his company would report me to the police for harassing THEM.

    Now, I don't consider his "threat" legitimate - I seriously doubt he
    has any authority to do any such thing. I have also since been able to
    determine the company address - and it turns out that they're in the
    same state (California) and only about 60 miles away.

    What recourse is there in this circumstance? Knowing the full company
    info now, of course I can send a letter to their service agent to get
    the calls to stop - but I'm wondering if anything can be done about the
    person we spoke to? It seems to me that his behavior SHOULD be a
    violation of some law or collection agency regulation - but I would
    have no idea if it IS. Is there a regulatory body that I can file a
    complaint with? Or some statute that I can file suit under?

    TIA for any input...


  • #2
    collection agency harassment

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Tony" <[email protected]> wrote:
    For many months, my mother has been receiving repeated calls from a collection agency looking for a person who we don't even know. She has called them four times to tell them that we don't know the person and that they have the wrong number. They have continued to call (she has the same last name and first initial as the person they're trying to collect from). We got another call on Monday, and she called the company back again,
    That is her mistake. Don't call someone or email the Pope in
    Rome...write a letter, put in the facts, and send it certified
    with proof of delivery requested. In this case, she needs to
    quote the federal fair debt collections act, something that
    you can look up for her using the Internet. Simply state
    that you are not the person, that you will not be paying anything
    unless so ordered by a court of proper jurisdiction, and you wish
    all future contact to be in writing.

    -john-

    --
    ================================================== ====================
    John A. Weeks III 952-432-2708 [email protected]
    Newave Communications http://www.johnweeks.com
    ================================================== ====================

    Comment


    • #3
      collection agency harassment

      In article <[email protected]>,
      [email protected] says...
      For many months, my mother has been receiving repeated calls from a collection agency looking for a person who we don't even know. She has called them four times to tell them that we don't know the person and that they have the wrong number. They have continued to call (she has the same last name and first initial as the person they're trying to collect from). We got another call on Monday, and she called the company back again, asking for the person who left the message. The person who answered the phone wouldn't put her through to the collection agent, refused to remove her number from the account, refused to pass her call to anyone else, was abusive, and finally hung up on her. So I called back, to get an address, and apparantly got the same person. All I wanted was an address, and he refused to provide one. He asked what I wanted the address for, and I asked for the address for their legal department. He wanted more information - he asked what I was going to send. I told him that his company was contiually calling my mother for someone we didn't know and I wanted them to stop. He laughed and told me to "go back to the internet", and still refused to give me an address. Then he told me that if I called back again, that his company would report me to the police for harassing THEM. Now, I don't consider his "threat" legitimate - I seriously doubt he has any authority to do any such thing. I have also since been able to determine the company address - and it turns out that they're in the same state (California) and only about 60 miles away. What recourse is there in this circumstance? Knowing the full company info now, of course I can send a letter to their service agent to get the calls to stop - but I'm wondering if anything can be done about the person we spoke to? It seems to me that his behavior SHOULD be a violation of some law or collection agency regulation - but I would have no idea if it IS. Is there a regulatory body that I can file a complaint with? Or some statute that I can file suit under?

      Third-party collection agencies are regulated by the Fair Debt
      Collection Practices Act. Here is how to word your "stop
      calling" demand:

      http://www.cardreport.com/credit-pro...ction-faq.html


      --
      Want Freebies?
      http://www.TheFreeStuffList.com/
      Check The Free Stuff List

      Comment


      • #4
        collection agency harassment

        John A. Weeks III wrote:
        In article <[email protected]>, "Tony" <[email protected]> wrote:
        For many months, my mother has been receiving repeated calls from a collection agency looking for a person who we don't even know. She has called them four times to tell them that we don't know the person and that they have the wrong number. They have continued to call (she has the same last name and first initial as the person they're trying to collect from). We got another call on Monday, and she called the company back again,
        That is her mistake. Don't call someone or email the Pope in Rome...write a letter, put in the facts, and send it certified with proof of delivery requested.
        And if you don't have the address?

        The ONLY information we had was the return phone number. We didn't have
        the company name, an address, NOTHING -

        Even when calling the company, they only gave the company initials -
        three letters - not enough to go by to find out who they were. I tried.

        When I called, all I asked for was an address. I wanted the address so
        that she could send the letter as you suggest. They refused to provide
        me with an address. They refulsed to tell me what STATE they were based
        in. They refused to tell me the full name of the company.

        Reverse lookup on the phone number? No luck, of course.

        So what are your options then?

        What I want to know is - was there a violation of the law when they
        receptionist refused to provide me with an address or any other info,
        and then became abusive because I wanted that address?
        In this case, she needs to quote the federal fair debt collections act, something that you can look up for her using the Internet. Simply state that you are not the person, that you will not be paying anything unless so ordered by a court of proper jurisdiction, and you wish all future contact to be in writing.
        I wish we could do that.

        Comment


        • #5
          collection agency harassment

          on 2/17/2006 8:57 AM Antipodean Bucket Farmer said the following:
          In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
          For many months, my mother has been receiving repeated calls from acollection agency looking for a person who we don't even know. She hascalled them four times to tell them that we don't know the person andthat they have the wrong number. They have continued to call (she hasthe same last name and first initial as the person they're trying tocollect from).
          <SNIP>
          Third-party collection agencies are regulated by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Here is how to word your "stop calling" demand: http://www.cardreport.com/credit-pro...ction-faq.html
          Good link, not overly technical. Two additional things

          1. The link says that there is no "Statute of Limitations" on how long
          someone can call. That's true enough, but if they call (or better yet
          write) and threaten legal action, when the atatute of limitations has
          expired, then that contact itself would be an unlawful debt collection
          practice: Threatening action that the debt collector knows is not available.

          2. An additional step that I have seen be effective is to invite the
          collector to file a lawsuit, suggesting that they read the fair debt
          collection practices act, that they should anticipate that you will
          counter sue for damages and attorney's fees. On the phone, this can put
          the collector on the defensive. In writing, it greatly reduces the risk
          that a lawsuit will ever be filed.

          JH

          Comment


          • #6
            collection agency harassment

            In article <[email protected]>,
            "Tony" <[email protected]> wrote:
            When I called, all I asked for was an address. I wanted the address so that she could send the letter as you suggest. They refused to provide me with an address. They refulsed to tell me what STATE they were based in. They refused to tell me the full name of the company. Reverse lookup on the phone number? No luck, of course. So what are your options then?
            Try a google search on the phone number. Listed phone
            numbers often show up.

            Try calling them and tell them that you have a flower
            delivery, and you want to verify the address.

            Try doing a call trace. Many local phone companies have
            a *NN feature where you press * and two digits. That will
            trace the call. You can then get the information by filing
            a police report (in this case, for harassment).

            Next time they call, tell them that you are tired of running,
            and want to pay the bill. Ask them to send you the paperwork,
            and you will send them a cashiers check. Maybe they will be
            greedy enough to fall for it and send you their contact info.
            What I want to know is - was there a violation of the law when they receptionist refused to provide me with an address or any other info, and then became abusive because I wanted that address?
            Yes, most likely.

            -john-

            --
            ================================================== ====================
            John A. Weeks III 952-432-2708 [email protected]
            Newave Communications http://www.johnweeks.com
            ================================================== ====================

            Comment


            • #7
              collection agency harassment

              Tony <[email protected]> wrote:
              (is being harrased with collection calls for the wrong person.)

              <snip>
              What recourse is there in this circumstance? Knowing the full company info now, of course I can send a letter to their service agent to get the calls to stop - but I'm wondering if anything can be done about the person we spoke to? It seems to me that his behavior SHOULD be a violation of some law or collection agency regulation - but I would have no idea if it IS. Is there a regulatory body that I can file a complaint with? Or some statute that I can file suit under?
              Send them a letter along the lines of:

              (Date)

              To Whom it may concern:

              I have been contacted by your company about a debt you allege I owe. I am
              instructing you not to contact me further in connection with this debt.
              Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a federal law, you may not
              contact me further once I have notified you not to do so.

              Sincerely,

              (Name)

              (Account No.) (or phone number is the account nuumber is not known)


              Assuming you get a call or letter that is for a debt that really is you and
              it's an old debt that the statute of limitations has passed on it, NEVER
              acknowledge the debt as being yours in any way (such as agreeing to any
              payment arrangements or even just saying "...about a debt that I owe" (note
              the "...you allege..." in the example above.) Sometimes acknowledging the
              debt can start the SOL all over again.

              IANAL
              --
              Mike

              -------------------------------
              "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop
              thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do
              we," George W. "Shrub" Bush Aug 5, 2004

              Comment


              • #8
                collection agency harassment

                "Tony" <[email protected]> wrote in message
                news:[email protected]
                The ONLY information we had was the return phone number. We didn't have the company name, an address, NOTHING - Even when calling the company, they only gave the company initials - three letters - not enough to go by to find out who they were. I tried.
                The telephone, invented by Alexander Graham Bell, is a wonderful convenience
                that aids communication. However, people sometimes attribute to it more
                importance than it should possess. In particular, they seem to believe it is
                necessary to answer it every time it rings.
                I am no lawyer, but from what you say, I think you are in a strong position
                to DO NOTHING when contacted by that agency. If I were in your shoes, I
                would look at the caller ID and never answer when that number comes up. If I
                did not have caller ID, I would hang up immediately at the first indication
                the caller were from that company.

                Comment


                • #9
                  collection agency harassment

                  >> "Tony" <[email protected]> wrote:
                  For many months, my mother has been receiving repeated calls from a collection agency looking for a person who we don't even know. She has called them four times to tell them that we don't know the person and that they have the wrong number. They have continued to call (she has the same last name and first initial as the person they're trying to collect from). We got another call on Monday, and she called the company back again,
                  John A. Weeks III wrote:
                  That is her mistake. Don't call someone or email the Pope in Rome...write a letter, put in the facts, and send it certified with proof of delivery requested.
                  I'll add that the specific wording she should use is to tell them to
                  "cease communication with me". Once they receive that letter, they
                  are *required* to stop communicating with her except:
                  1. To notify her that they are about to take specific legal action
                  (and only when they really are about to do so).
                  2. To serve the papers if/when they file suit,
                  3. To notify her that they have stopped trying to collect and will
                  now go away and stop bothering her.

                  Tony <[email protected]> wrote:
                  And if you don't have the address?The ONLY information we had was the return phone number. We didn't havethe company name, an address, NOTHING -Even when calling the company, they only gave the company initials -three letters - not enough to go by to find out who they were. I tried.When I called, all I asked for was an address. I wanted the address sothat she could send the letter as you suggest. They refused to provideme with an address. They refulsed to tell me what STATE they were basedin. They refused to tell me the full name of the company.
                  Well, you could do a websearch (and Google Groups search) for the
                  company initials, and see if somebody else has figured out how to
                  write them.

                  Or you could call and ask "where do we send the check"? Then send the
                  "cease communication" letter to that address. If they say they want
                  a bank routing code and checking account number for an electronic
                  transfer, tell them you *only* do business in writing and if they want
                  any money they will have to provide an address.

                  You could also contact the consumer affairs office in your locality
                  (usually a branch of the DA's office), or the FTC www.ftc.gov.
                  Reverse lookup on the phone number? No luck, of course.So what are your options then?What I want to know is - was there a violation of the law when theyreceptionist refused to provide me with an address or any other info,and then became abusive because I wanted that address?
                  In this case, she needs to quote the federal fair debt collections act, something that you can look up for her using the Internet. Simply state that you are not the person, that you will not be paying anything unless so ordered by a court of proper jurisdiction, and you wish all future contact to be in writing.
                  I wish we could do that.

                  --
                  I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, and
                  to the republic which it established, one nation from many peoples, promising
                  liberty and justice for all.
                  Feel free to use the above variant pledge in your own postings.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    collection agency harassment

                    John A. Weeks III <[email protected]> wrote:
                    In article <[email protected]>, "Tony" <[email protected]> wrote:
                    When I called, all I asked for was an address. I wanted the address so that she could send the letter as you suggest. They refused to provide me with an address. They refulsed to tell me what STATE they were based in. They refused to tell me the full name of the company. Reverse lookup on the phone number? No luck, of course.
                    I.e. here's where he did a search for the number. It wasn't (apparently)
                    listed anywhere.
                    So what are your options then?
                    Try a google search on the phone number. Listed phone numbers often show up.
                    He already said it wasn't listed.
                    Try calling them and tell them that you have a flower delivery, and you want to verify the address.
                    That one actually might work.
                    Try doing a call trace. Many local phone companies have a *NN feature where you press * and two digits. That will trace the call. You can then get the information by filing a police report (in this case, for harassment).
                    If they're trying to collect a debt, it's not harrassment (as long as they
                    follow the law on when and how often they can call.)
                    Next time they call, tell them that you are tired of running, and want to pay the bill. Ask them to send you the paperwork, and you will send them a cashiers check. Maybe they will be greedy enough to fall for it and send you their contact info.
                    Acknowledging a debt (especially one that's not yours) that you don't intend
                    to pay is the WORSE thing to do. But simply saying "Ok, where could I send a
                    payment to and how would I make it out?" would get the same info without
                    acknowledging any debt of any kind that you might owe.
                    What I want to know is - was there a violation of the law when they receptionist refused to provide me with an address or any other info, and then became abusive because I wanted that address?
                    Yes, most likely.
                    And that law would be? A company does not have to provide an address that
                    I'm aware of. And if it's a collections-agency, they may not want to provide
                    such unless/until someone actually says "Yes, I owe you $X and would like to
                    pay up."

                    --
                    Mike

                    -------------------------------
                    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop
                    thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do
                    we," George W. "Shrub" Bush Aug 5, 2004

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      collection agency harassment

                      [email protected] wrote:
                      That one actually might work.
                      Try doing a call trace. Many local phone companies have a *NN feature where you press * and two digits. That will trace the call. You can then get the information by filing a police report (in this case, for harassment).
                      If they're trying to collect a debt, it's not harrassment (as long as they follow the law on when and how often they can call.)
                      Is it still not harassment if they are trying to collect a debt from
                      someone who we don't even know? So, basically, there is nothing that we
                      can do - no recourse for the person recieving the calls over and over
                      and repeatedly telling them that they have the wrong number? If you're
                      on the receiving end of that, you're basically screwed, legally?
                      Acknowledging a debt (especially one that's not yours) that you don't intend to pay is the WORSE thing to do. But simply saying "Ok, where could I send a payment to and how would I make it out?" would get the same info without acknowledging any debt of any kind that you might owe.
                      What I want to know is - was there a violation of the law when they receptionist refused to provide me with an address or any other info, and then became abusive because I wanted that address? Yes, most likely.
                      And that law would be? A company does not have to provide an address that I'm aware of. And if it's a collections-agency, they may not want to provide such unless/until someone actually says "Yes, I owe you $X and would like to pay up."
                      And that's basically what I'd like to know. I know about the FDCA, but
                      I can't see what violation there may have been, even though it seems to
                      me that there SHOULD have been one...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        collection agency harassment

                        Tony <[email protected]> wrote:
                        [email protected] wrote:
                        That one actually might work.
                        Try doing a call trace. Many local phone companies have a *NN feature where you press * and two digits. That will trace the call. You can then get the information by filing a police report (in this case, for harassment).
                        If they're trying to collect a debt, it's not harrassment (as long as they follow the law on when and how often they can call.)
                        Is it still not harassment if they are trying to collect a debt from someone who we don't even know?
                        So you claim. You could be lying to them and they'd have no way of knowing
                        for sure that you aren't really this person. So yes, they can call as long
                        as they do it within the guidelines laid out by the law. Of course I'm not
                        saying you ARE lying about all this but simply showing it from their point
                        of view.

                        So, basically, there is nothing that we
                        can do - no recourse for the person recieving the calls over and over and repeatedly telling them that they have the wrong number? If you're on the receiving end of that, you're basically screwed, legally?
                        No, you get their address and send them the "drop-dead letter." At that
                        point, they HAVE to stop calling, by law.
                        Acknowledging a debt (especially one that's not yours) that you don't intend to pay is the WORSE thing to do. But simply saying "Ok, where could I send a payment to and how would I make it out?" would get the same info without acknowledging any debt of any kind that you might owe.
                        > What I want to know is - was there a violation of the law when they> receptionist refused to provide me with an address or any other info,> and then became abusive because I wanted that address? Yes, most likely.
                        And that law would be? A company does not have to provide an address that I'm aware of. And if it's a collections-agency, they may not want to provide such unless/until someone actually says "Yes, I owe you $X and would like to pay up."
                        And that's basically what I'd like to know. I know about the FDCA, but I can't see what violation there may have been, even though it seems to me that there SHOULD have been one...
                        Unfortunately, things aren't always the way they should be. But if they call
                        again, say something like "I'd really like to get this taken care of. What
                        is the address a payment should be mailed to?" and then you'd get the
                        address but yet you never actually said "yes, I do owe the money" or even
                        any words to that effect (even though it almost sounds like you did. You
                        just need to be very carefull of how you actually word your response.) Then
                        send a drop-dead letter to the address they gave.

                        --
                        Mike

                        -------------------------------
                        "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop
                        thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do
                        we," George W. "Shrub" Bush Aug 5, 2004

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          collection agency harassment


                          [email protected] wrote:
                          Tony <[email protected]> wrote:
                          <snip>
                          If they're trying to collect a debt, it's not harrassment (as long as they follow the law on when and how often they can call.)
                          Is it still not harassment if they are trying to collect a debt from someone who we don't even know?
                          So you claim. You could be lying to them and they'd have no way of knowing for sure that you aren't really this person. So yes, they can call as long as they do it within the guidelines laid out by the law. Of course I'm not saying you ARE lying about all this but simply showing it from their point of view.
                          I've been following this, and I don't understand this logic.

                          The situation, as I understand it, is that someone claiming to
                          be a collection agency is calling a random stranger to harrass
                          about someone else's debt.

                          The Random Stranger (RS) tells the putative collection agency (CA)
                          that they know nothing about the debtor. CA refuses to consider
                          the possibility that they have the wrong telephone number or
                          the wrong RS and continues to harrass them.

                          How is this different from me dropping a $10 bill on the street,
                          coming back an hour later, and grabbing the next best passer-by
                          and demanding that they tell me who took my $10 bill? After
                          all, the passer-by was near where my $10 bill disappeared.
                          And he *might* be lying when he says he knows nothing about
                          the $10 bill.

                          It seems to me (a non-lawyer) that, irrespective of any
                          collection agency laws, CA has an obligation to act in a
                          reasonable manner. And refusing to consider the possibility
                          that they have the wrong phone number (a very plausible
                          possibility) and refusing to give out a mailing address
                          are not the actions of a "reasonable man" attempting to
                          collect a debt.

                          In fact, it raises some doubt in my mind that CA is, in
                          fact, a legitimate collection agency.

                          After all, we have only the word of a disembodied voice on the
                          telephone that there is such a debt and that they are have the
                          right to collect it, and *they* might be lying. The fact that
                          they refuse to supply any information that might allow RS to
                          check whether they are who they say they are is suspicious.

                          I also think the laws governing collection agencies are a bit
                          beside the point because they deal with how creditors deal
                          with debtors, and RS is neither.

                          Has the OP asked the local police to treat it as telephone
                          harrassment?

                          -- Alan McKenney

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            collection agency harassment

                            Alan McKenney wrote:
                            I've been following this, and I don't understand this logic. The situation, as I understand it, is that someone claiming to be a collection agency is calling a random stranger to harrass about someone else's debt. The Random Stranger (RS) tells the putative collection agency (CA) that they know nothing about the debtor. CA refuses to consider the possibility that they have the wrong telephone number or the wrong RS and continues to harrass them.
                            Thank you, Alan, for understanding the situation.

                            I'll give a couple facts, to clear things up:

                            The agency is attempting to collect a debt owed by "Faustino Garcia"
                            My mother's name is "Florence Garcia"
                            Her phone number is unlisted
                            It seems to me (a non-lawyer) that, irrespective of any collection agency laws, CA has an obligation to act in a reasonable manner. And refusing to consider the possibility that they have the wrong phone number (a very plausible possibility) and refusing to give out a mailing address are not the actions of a "reasonable man" attempting to collect a debt. In fact, it raises some doubt in my mind that CA is, in fact, a legitimate collection agency.
                            I have been able to determine that the agency is, indeed, a real agency.
                            I have also finally been able to determine the agency's address. They
                            happen to be in the same state - about a 90-minute drive away, should I
                            pursue any legal action.
                            After all, we have only the word of a disembodied voice on the telephone that there is such a debt and that they are have the right to collect it, and *they* might be lying. The fact that they refuse to supply any information that might allow RS to check whether they are who they say they are is suspicious. I also think the laws governing collection agencies are a bit beside the point because they deal with how creditors deal with debtors, and RS is neither. Has the OP asked the local police to treat it as telephone harrassment?
                            That's a thought!

                            At this point, it is no longer a problem getting the calls to stop,
                            given that I have the information for the company (and can easily send
                            them the appropriate notice).

                            But, remember - the TELEPHONE RECEPTIONIST refused to provide me with
                            ANY information and basically told me that I couldn't send them a letter
                            telling them to stop calling. Isn't that akin to providing legal
                            advice?, or at least making a legal decision for the company? - there's
                            no law being violated there?

                            Then, the TELEPHONE RECEPTIONIST threatened to report MY call to the
                            police as harassment if I called back. It doesn't quite count as
                            extortion - but isn't there SOME law about making such threats?

                            *I* am not the debtor, my mother is not the debtor, nobody we know is
                            the debtor. The person they are trying to collect from happens to have
                            the same first initial and last name, that's all.

                            We have recieved NOTHING in writing, probably because they don't have my
                            mother's address - only the phone number. Most likely, the REAL debtor
                            is getting the statements, but not the calls.

                            I can get the harassment to stop, now that I finally have the company's
                            information.

                            What I want to know is: Is there ANY cause of action I can take against
                            the Collection Agency over this? Of course, I can write a letter telling
                            them what happened, but I can't imagine they'll take it very seriously
                            unless I have something behind me other than just "your receptionist is
                            a *****", and I feel VERY strongly about pursuing this matter, in
                            whatever legal manner I can.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              collection agency harassment


                              [email protected] wrote:
                              Tony <[email protected]> wrote:
                              [email protected] wrote:
                              That one actually might work. > Try doing a call trace. Many local phone companies have > a *NN feature where you press * and two digits. That will > trace the call. You can then get the information by filing > a police report (in this case, for harassment). If they're trying to collect a debt, it's not harrassment (as long as they follow the law on when and how often they can call.)
                              Is it still not harassment if they are trying to collect a debt from someone who we don't even know?
                              So you claim. You could be lying to them and they'd have no way of knowing for sure that you aren't really this person. So yes, they can call as long as they do it within the guidelines laid out by the law. Of course I'm not saying you ARE lying about all this but simply showing it from their point of view.
                              Regarding lying, OP or one of those responding related how they
                              received a message ostensibly from person A, but when they
                              returned the call the called party refused to transfer the call to
                              A. I had a similar experience with a collection agncy looking for
                              someone who, happily, had a very different name than my own.
                              In my case, the party claimed that A had left the company 'last
                              week' but B could handle it. Amusingly enough, two weeks after
                              I declined to speak to B, A called and left another message, but
                              again had left the company the week beofore when I returned the
                              call.

                              I can only speculate as to the reason for the deception,
                              but wonder if it is illegal for a collector to do something
                              like that.
                              So, basically, there is nothing that we
                              can do - no recourse for the person recieving the calls over and over and repeatedly telling them that they have the wrong number? If you're on the receiving end of that, you're basically screwed, legally?
                              No, you get their address and send them the "drop-dead letter." At that point, they HAVE to stop calling, by law.
                              Keep in mind, however, that if they think you are (actually,
                              your mother is) the debtor they may report the unpaid obligation
                              to the credit reporting agencies, assuming they have not already.

                              If you provide them with evidence that your mother is not the person
                              they are seeking, like by sending them a copy of her drivers license
                              with her address and full name on it then if they report the debt to
                              a credit reporting service would they be acting in bad faith?

                              ....
                              Unfortunately, things aren't always the way they should be. But if they call again, say something like "I'd really like to get this taken care of. What is the address a payment should be mailed to?" and then you'd get the address but yet you never actually said "yes, I do owe the money" or even any words to that effect (even though it almost sounds like you did. You just need to be very carefull of how you actually word your response.) Then send a drop-dead letter to the address they gave.
                              But you should be prepared for the collector to CLAIM that you agreed
                              to pay the debt. Debtors are not the only people who lie.

                              --

                              FF

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