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debt collectors calling for siblings?


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#1 Zebra

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 02:51 PM

Has anyone had this happen to them? Debt collectors have been recently calling me about my sister. She has had debt problems for the last 12 years. The debt collectors have always called my parents, but never me. I haven't lived with her for 12 years, and we both have married names. I've never given my permission, or signed onto any sort of loan or anything for her. I don't have a lot to do with her, and she lives halfway across the country. Do you think she's giving out my number, or are they somehow looking back and seeing that we lived at the same address 12 years ago???

Has anyone had any experience with this?

#2 AlmiraGulch

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:01 PM

Most likely she listed you as a "reference" on a credit application or two. You don't have to sign anything, you just have to endure the calls. They won't stop calling, either.

I get calls for one of my former friends' creditors all the time, and also for my ex-husband (who has for some reason listed me as a "reference" on current debt).

#3 Chris in VA

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:02 PM

I had a cc company call my sister in law--she wasn't a reference, wasn't on my application, nothing like that. It was weird. And I was furious!

#4 Cadam

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:04 PM

They will call relatives, friends, your work, neighbors even. It probably has nothing to do with her putting your name on anything. If they know who your parents are then they know who you are and are hoping that either; you will get her to pay, embarrass her enough to get her to pay, or that you will pay it yourself just to be rid of them. I had a neighbor who worked for a collection agency. They can do all sorts of things if they think it will get the bill paid and the workers calling get commission on each collection they recover. They are pretty ruthless.

If they call again threaten harassment charges and let them know you are recording the call. That usually does the trick. Legally they can not contact you again if you have told them not to. Get the name of the collection agency and the name of the person calling. Let them know you are writing it all down and that they should never call you regarding your sister again. Sometimes it takes a letter.

We were disputing a cell phone bill with a company that went under. We had actually already filed a claim for fraud with the FCC when we heard from a collection agency about the disputed bill. I wrote them a note and copied the FCC claim paperwork and they disappeared. All of a sudden the cell phone company "couldn't find our records...." It's hard to collect on something that you are claiming you can't find to avoid the FCC.

Edited by Cadam, 20 July 2009 - 03:19 PM.


#5 Ibbygirl

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:04 PM

Yes. I've been getting calls about my sister-in-law and for my father-in-law too (who doesn't even live in this country.) :confused:

#6 Desert Rat

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:07 PM

I've had this happen with family and people who share my last name. I just tell them I don't have any contact information or I don't know the person. The creditors quit calling at that point. The creditors are just looking to recoup some of their losses and they bug family and strangers alike to do it.

#7 Carrie12345

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:09 PM

My mother (who doesn't have my married OR maiden name) has received calls for my husband's sister. Figure that one out. They don't even know each other!

#8 DawnL

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:10 PM

Yeah, some of the debt collectors will do anything they can to get info. I once had my sister's husband's ex-wife's debt collector call me. Can you imagine that? How they got MY info, I have no idea, but I "played dumb". Especially because at first, I honestly didn't know who they meant. When I figured it out, I still didn't say anything. Because the type of debt collector that will hunt around for ANYONE that knows the person who owes the debt is the same type of collector who will relentlessly hound the person they can get a hold of. Whether it's THEIR debt or NOT!

#9 Crissy

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:26 PM

My mother recently began receiving calls about her sister's delinquent accounts.
They are clearly not my mom's responsibility, but some of the callers have been downright rude to her.

#10 Georgiana D

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:29 PM

Yep, it's happened to me too.

Can you imagine having that for a job? I'd hate to be a debt collector.

#11 chiguirre

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:32 PM

Before we got on the "Do Not Call" list I would get random collection calls for people who share dh's (really common) last name. I would just say that they had the wrong number and no one of that first name lived here and they'd go away. If they didn't, I would have used the harassment idea. I'm not sure why the DNC list seems to have stopped these calls, but you could give it a try.

#12 Steph

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:32 PM

That's not okay. You can make them stop this. Don't let them abuse you they have rules they must follow.

#13 Ishki

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:41 PM

I am always getting phone calls regarding my sister. They've been in financial hot water for year - lost a house, bankruptcy. Just a mess. I never gave my permission for my name to be used, but nonetheless, she has written down my name for a reference, and I get the phone calls. When they call, I just wish them luck, they'll need it.

Janet

#14 SquirrellyMama

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:44 PM

It has happened to me too. My brother is in the army and they were supposed to be paying his student loans but weren't. The collectors were calling me. Very frustrating.

I've also had calls like this for my parents.

#15 Zebra

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:54 PM

WOW! This got a lot of responses! I'm sorry you've all gone through this, but I am glad to hear I'm not alone.

It really ticks me off...I know I probably shouldn't waste energy being ticked about something stupid like this but it just ticks me off. If she had put me down as a reference and someone had actually ASKED me if they should loan her money I would have told them "NO WAY!" so why are you calling me now? :confused:

Anywho....:D

#16 NoPlaceLikeHome

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:55 PM

You have rights:) This goverment web site has the info you need:

http://www.ftc.gov/b...edit/cre18.shtm

#17 ---

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 04:16 PM

Um, yeah.

I had a debt collector call me about my parents.

That's awkward, now isn't it.

#18 Orthodox6

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 04:18 PM

For a while, we were receiving calls regarding -- get this "chain" of relationships -- my husband's sister's husband's brother !

I always said that we did not know the person requested. Fib, yes. (although we really don't know the man, other than occasionally seeing him briefly at some family function out-of-town)

#19 Harriet Vane

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 04:48 PM

They will call relatives, friends, your work, neighbors even. It probably has nothing to do with her putting your name on anything. If they know who your parents are then they know who you are and are hoping that either; you will get her to pay, embarrass her enough to get her to pay, or that you will pay it yourself just to be rid of them. I had a neighbor who worked for a collection agency. They can do all sorts of things if they think it will get the bill paid and the workers calling get commission on each collection they recover. They are pretty ruthless.

If they call again threaten harassment charges and let them know you are recording the call. That usually does the trick. Legally they can not contact you again if you have told them not to. Get the name of the collection agency and the name of the person calling. Let them know you are writing it all down and that they should never call you regarding your sister again. Sometimes it takes a letter.


:iagree: I had this conversation with a debt collector who called me about my sister. When the collector continued to ask me to contact her I told the person that I would NEVER contact anyone about their debt, that they can jolly well do their own dirty work, and that I wrote down the agency name, person's name, date and time of the call and would not hesitate to contact my lawyer if they harass me again. They never called again.

Bottom line--no-one has a right to harass you about somebody else's debt, and legally speaking, once you've told someone not to call you again, they cannot.

#20 DesertDweller

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 05:03 PM

This happened to us. The company called dh's brother. Dh's brother called their mom (I don't know what he was thinking) who in turn called dh, her son, wanting to know if we were okay!! :mad: Talk about a mess! Dh in turn called the company and read the riot act to them. They've never done it again.

FWIW, my dh lost his job last year, so we've been going through quite a bit with trying to get our bills paid on time. Some companies are more tenacious than others. If you find someone is calling a ridiculous amount of times, calling relatives, or in general you feel like you are being harrassed, I recommend that you contact a manager or supervisor at the companies corporate office or local office.

We've had to do this with different individuals at two different companies. One company had even sent someone to our home who actually had the gall to ask us why we didn't pay our bills on time and whether or not we were trying to sell our vehicle since we were unable to pay for it. Anyway, our complaints were taken seriously and they backed off. If you tell them that you feel like you're being harrassed and you can give specific examples of why, for example calling everyday even after you've told them you'd bring a payment in on a certain date, you can usually get some of the constant harrassment stopped.

#21 OrganicAnn

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 05:04 PM

We used to have them call us about our neighbor. They wanted us to leave them a message on their door. The first time we didn't know it was a student loan debt collector, but after the first time we knew and ignored them.

#22 LizzyBee

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 05:45 PM

We've got calls for both of dh's brothers and one of my former co-workers. Dh just said that his brothers don't live with us and we don't have their phone numbers, and that was the end of it. The co-worker, on the other hand, I had to make 3 phone calls before they stopped calling!!! Our names are similar, and they couldn't get it through their heads that I was not her.

#23 kalanamak

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 09:11 PM

I knew a woman who owed the phone company money. The collector ended up calling her roomate's family...sister, neice, brother, etc. as well as the debtor's family. Any little lead they can frazzle, they frazzle.

#24 Blessedfamily

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 09:21 PM

but they can try to locate the debtor.



"Can a debt collector reveal information about my debt to my family, friends or boss?

No. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) discussions about the debt can only be held with (1) the individual, (2) the creditor, (3) an attorney representing one of the parties, and (4) a credit bureau. Public airing of your business intended to shame you into paying a debt is not allowed. Debt collectors cannot:
exchange (with other agencies) information about individuals who allegedly owe a debt
distribute a list of alleged debtors to its creditor subscribers
advertise a debt for sale
compile a list of debtors for sale to others
leave messages with third parties, asking them to have the debtor call the collector

If a debt collector does not know your name and telephone number, family members or neighbors may be contacted to find out how to locate you, but the collector may not tell others you owe a debt or discuss details of the account
must identify himself (by name, but not necessarily as a debt collector)
must identify the name of the collection agency only if asked
can only contact the party once unless the collection agency has reason to believe the person has new information
cannot leave information about a debt on a third party’s answering machine or voice mail

Please note that contacts with a spouse, the parent of a minor, a guardian, co-signer, executor, or administrator are considered the same as contacts with the debtor under the FDCPA."

#25 nmoira

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 09:35 PM

i've even had calls about neighbors. Apparently it's not technically illegal to do this in Oregon. :cursing:


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