It is common for debt collectors to call the wrong person. This occurs often when you have the same name as a debtor or you have recently changed your phone number to a number that a debtor previously had. Sometimes the number’s previous owner did not give the debt collectors their new contact information. They may have even changed their phone number in order to avoid calls from debt collectors. However, you should not be harassed by debt collectors for a debt that is not yours.
Simply telling the debt collector that they have the wrong number is usually not enough. Debt collectors will continue to call despite being informed that they are calling the wrong number. Even if the agent of the debt collect marks down the number as invalid the calls may continue if, the computerized skip trace system reconfirms the number as being valid for reasons such as that phone number being the contact number on the debtor’s credit card application.
In order to stop the collection calls it is important to first get information from the collection agent in order to send a cease and desist letter. You should get the name and mailing address of the debt collection agency and inform them that they are contacting the wrong person. Once you have this information you can begin preparing the cease and desist letter.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) a consumer has a right to tell a debt collector that the debt is not theirs and not contact them again. Once you tell a debt collector not to contact you again the debt collector cannot contact you again unless it is to tell you that they received the letter or that they are taking legal action against you.
The cease and desist letter should be sent by certified mail. Sending the letter by certified mail is important when telling debt collectors not to contact you again so they cannot claim not to have received the letter. If they continue to contact you, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) or your state Attorney General (“AG”). If there is a pattern of abuse by a particular debt collection agency where they are repeatedly contacting consumers for debts that they do not owe, the FTC or AG may take action. Additionally, new debt collectors may resume making calls after a few months so you should have several copies of the cease and desist letter so that it is easier to send if a new debt collection agency starts to call you.
If a debt collector contacts you again after receiving the cease and desist letter, it is likely that they are breaking federal law and possibly state law. If so then it is recommended that you talk with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your situation.
If you believe that you, a loved one, a friend, or an acquaintance has otherwise been subjected to a debt collector who has violated these laws, please contact us today and speak with one of our qualified FDCPA attorneys. We have been successfully representing those abused and taken advantage of by debt collectors for years, and have a long list of successful stories to share with you. We offer a FREE CASE REVIEW for you to assess whether we can assist you with your matter. Please do not hesitate to contact us toll free at 1-800-875-3666 if you prefer to talk to a trained professional over the phone instead, or of course, visit our website at http://www.krohnandmoss.com/.