My cellphone is on someone else's account. Recently I've gotten a few phone calls from law firms for my friend. He hasn't gotten any letters about debts but in the last 3 years, he has moved 3 times. Should he call them back? Also, when I got one tonight, I asked why they were calling me and I was told that it was listed as his cellphone number. Since I handle his finances, I know that the only thing that listed my cellphone number was a recent loan application. I also know that he has three outstanding bills but none of them had my phone number as a contact. Should I be asking them to remove my number from their information?
Debt collectors are permitted to call a party other than the consumer alleged to owe the debt, but only for the purpose of attempting to obtain location information about the consumer. They are normally limited to one such call, and cannot disclose to the third party that the consumer who is the subject of their inquiry owes any debt.
They can only placed a renewed call if they have legitimate reason to believe that a prior response was inaccurate or incomplete, so they cant just continue to call.
So, my question would be, how do you know it is regarding a debt?
As for whether he should contact them, that is a personal decision. He has the right to send them a request for debt validation, which, since they have apparently not yet sent him dunning notice, will place a cease collection bar on them until such time as they provide the requested debt validation.
You asked how did I know it's regarding a debt. When a law firm calls you, asks for someone else, gets peeved at you when you say he's not at this number and can I give him a message, gets peeved when you ask them what this is in reference to, gets peeved when you correct them for the third time as to the pronunciation of the person's name, and then hangs up on you after saying "Just tell him to call me or else," I go to Google. When I went to Google and checked them out and their website plainly states "This law firm is engaged in the collection of consumer debt."... Well, it just kinda screams to me that they're calling because of a debt. LOL
Sorry, that wasn't meant to sound nasty but this is the second law firm that I've had contact with because of A's debt. These debts have to be from before I took over his finances because I keep all his payments current and on time, and have done so for the last 5 years. Thanks for the help.
If I had that, I'd return the phone. Going forward, the calls will intensify and get worse. They can't remove it if the friend listed the phone he lent you as a point of contact. You can tell them to stop, but they are allowed to continue calling because it's his phone and you are not him. Definitely don't engage in any conversation because it'll make it worse for the friend with added collection activity. If you didn't want to return it for some reason, then don't answer the calls. Your friend can write these creditors and ask them to stop calling, but will also make it worse. It's like poking at a bee hive when you tell them to stop calling because an alternative is to sue.
Unsolicited here, but also don't get involved with handling others' finances unless you have a power of attorney to do so. I'd be afraid that the friend might come back and say that you should have taken care of the bill as soon as the first call came in. Or have that friend come back on you for any credit report dings or for any added interest or fees if or when they are sued for that debt.
You should be able to find meat in the following to address their calls. Repeated calls without providing a basis for belief that prior responses have been erroneous or incomplete AND that you now have correct information is a violation. I would ask for such basis, and if not provided, inform them of intent to file a formal complaint with the FTC.
"FDCPA 805(b). Communication with third parties
Except as provided in section 804, without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector, or express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, or as necessary to effectuate a postjudgment judicial remedy, a debt collector may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than a consumer, his attorney, a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law, the creditorm the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector."
"FDCPA 804. Acquisition of location information
Any debt collector communicating with any person other than the consumer for purpose of acquiring location information about the consumer shall-
(1) identify himself, state that he is confirming or correcting information concerning the consumer, and, only if expressly requested, identity his employer;
(2) not state that such consumer owes any debt;
(3) not communicate with any such person more that once unless requested to do so by such person or unless the debt collector reasonably believes that the earlier response of such person is erroneous or incomplete and that such person now has correct or complete location information.
(4) not communicate by post card;
(5) not use any language or symbol on any envelope or in the contents of any communication effected by the mails or telegram that indicates that the debt collector is in the debt collection business or that the communication relates to the collection of a debt; and
(6) after the debt collector knows that the consumer is represented by an attorney with regard to the subject debt and has knowledge of, or can reasonably ascertain, such attorney's name and addressm not communicate with any person other than that attorney, unless the attorney fails to respond within a reasonable period of time to the communication from the debt collector."
The term "location information" means a consumer's place of abode and his telephone number at such place, or his place of employment."
I appreciate the help. I'll pass it on to my friend and ask him to deal with it now. Thank you.
I asked the original question because I was unsure if they could call prior to sending a letter about the debt. Since my phone was never used by him in any way, it had me wondering why they would call me instead of his cellphone. Neither of us have a home (landline) phone and neither of us live in the location of the cellphone number at this point in time. I'm just glad they didn't call me at 11pm, since the number is a CA number and I'm now in MA.