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How to stop a creditor from calling every day

Posted by worknathomemom (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 11, 06 at 10:35

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to stop a creditor from calling me every day (& in some cases two-three times a day)?? I have done some research & know that I can not send a cease & desist letter, since it is not a collection agency calling, but the collection dept. of the company we owe the debt.

Let me tell a little more about my situation. We got in over our heads w/ too much credit & not enough income to pay our debts. We have decided to get credit counseling & we are now on a debt management program. Most of our creditors are fine w/ this, since they will get some money.
The particular creditor mentioned above, is the exception. Every since we signed up w/ the debt management program (they did accept the proposal) they have been constantly calling us for additional money. In the begining, we referred the calls to our debt management company (as we were instructed to do) but they were absolutly no help.
Last month, we thought we finally made a break through. One of the team memebers in the collection dept. at the company we owe money too, made a three-way phone call that included my husband & our debt management company (phone call was recorded). It was agreed to by all three parties during this phone call that the only way to get the creditor off our backs was to go ahead & pay a one time extra payment in addition to the monthly payment sent to them by our debt management company. We were told during this same three-way call that w/ two payments sent in one month, it would bring our account to 30 days past due & the company we owe money to doesn't call to collect on only 30 days past due. We paid the extra payment. Shortly after the company received our extra payment, they sent us a letter thanking us for the payment, confirming our 30 days past due status, and that no more phone calls would be made.

After that, it took a total of 5 days before they were at it again & calling us at all hours. I was told during yesterday morning's phone call from the collections department that they were not even aware we were on a debt management program. This is bull, they signed the proposal sent by the debt management company.

I am fed up, and tired of explaining the story of what's going on each time they call me. I have asked on several occasions to please stop bothering me as we will pay only the monthly amount agreed upon. I can not place a block on their phone number w/ the telephone company, because when the collections dept. can't get ahold of me they call up my parents & ask them for "a good contact number", but don't disclose to them why they need the number. I have asked the collections dept. not to call my parents any more, as they have nothing to do w/ my debt. But still, when they can't get ahold of me they call my parents again. So right now my only option is to talk to them every day (& sometimes more than once a day) in order to prevent them from "not getting ahold of me".

ANY SUGGESTIONS???


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

Boy, that's nasty. Why not just hang up on them, or get caller ID and not answer the phone. And my parents will absolutely not give out their childrens' personal information. In fact, nobody I know would give out a contact number to a stranger on the phone. They'd get the stranger's number and relay it.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

Thanks for the suggestion, but I have already tried hanging up on them. We already have caller ID & I know when they are calling me. But if I don't talk to them the day they call they call my parents. My parents do not give them my numbers (which the company already had anyway) & they do relay the message.
I'm just tired of it & feel bad that my parents get bothered when I ignore the creditor's calls.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

Your parents can tell the creditor to buzz off. They have not incurred the debt, you have. Unless they're co-signers, they're not responsible for your debt and they can tell the creditors to not bother them for info. Your parents should not be doing the creditor's work for them.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

check ftc.gov this counts as harrassment. send them a CERTIFIED LETTER demanding that they stop calling you. if they still do so, then hire an attorney. one letter form him and they can NEVER contact you directly again. in my area a lawyr will charge about 150.00 to write up a letter and do one follow up with teh creditor. this is usually more than enough to get them to leave you alone, especially since you ARE paying them.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

How frustrating! I'm not sure what the answer is, but one approach I would take is this: Every single time someone from there called I would ask the person's name, how they spell their name, their direct contact information, and then I would ask the name of their supervisor. I would tell the caller exactly once the name of the person in their company that they should contact to verify the written agreement. And then I would ask to speak to the caller's supervisor. And I would politely but clearly decline to discuss anything further with them, and just keep asking for their supervisor regardless of what they said. And I would make note of the date and the time of the call. If they actually put me through to a supervisor, I would ask the supervisor for their name, how their name is spelled, and their direct contact phone number. I would tell them exactly once who to contact in their company to verify the written agreement that you have. And if instead of thanking me and hanging up they continued to badger me, I'd ask for their supervisor's name and direct phone number, and ask that they connect me to their supervisor. And I'd continue that same exact approach with everyone I spoke to - asking for each person's supervisor, documenting everyone I speak to, dates and times, what they said, what I said, everything.

The other thing I'd do is every single time I was done with one of these calls, I'd immediately call the person that signed the written agreement, and give them the name and number of the person that called you and everyone you'd spoken to and request that they stop any further calls from occurring as per the written agreement. If they say they can't do anything about it, or if the calls don't stop, then I'd ask for their supervisor in exactly the same way as above. And I'd document the date, time, contents of every call and of every message left, and the full name of everyone.

You've got a written agreement, so I wouldn't get into a discussion about it with anyone or try to argue with anyone or try to convince anyone of your point of view. There's a written agreement; they need to follow it. Period. Be polite, be clear, don't get sidetracked. If the person you're talking to can't follow the written agreement, they need to give you to their supervisor, until you reach someone who can.

It sounds like an annoying amount of work, but they're already annoying you and taking up your time, so it's really not any extra to document it. I'm thinking that if they become aware that you're keeping a log of all of their calls and all of their names, it may make them a little more hesitant to be so obnoxious. And if the frequency of the phone calls becomes a problem to someone else at the company (the person you're reporting each and every call to as it happens), then maybe that person will be inclined to tell their collections department to calm down.

You're not making any specific threats, but detailed documentation of events tends to make people wonder if there's a legal threat somewhere. Plus some people just behave better "on the record". My hope would be that once they see that you're not going to be drawn into any discussion whatsoever because there's already been an agreement reached, and you're documenting everything they do, they may decide to back off.

Frankly, behavior like theirs would make me crazy, but I think the polite, clear, utterly focused approach is best. It may take awhile for them to realize they're wasting their time as well as yours, but if you refuse to ever be drawn into any discussions they may eventually figure it out.

And my vindictive side shows a bit, so maybe you don't do this right away, but does your state allow someone to record phone calls? I think most states do if both parties are aware of the recording (some states do even if only one party is aware of the recording). If the company continued to harass me by phone, I'd be inclined to tell each caller-"I need to inform you that I'm recording this call". I think it's actually not that hard to record phone calls and I'd probably start recording them for real, but even before I was set up to record, I might tell them that I am. That's all I'd say, but I'd say it at the start of every call. If they asked why, I'd say 'For documentation purposes'. I wouldn't go into any more detail than that, I wouldn't discuss it, just notify them and move on. With luck, they won't want to talk to you if you're recording the call.

That was a really long winded response, but hopefully something in there helps!


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Do you know for sure that I can send a certified letter to the company I owe money too?? If this is true, I will try it - I'll try anything at this point!! All of the research I have done, indicated that I can only send this type of letter to a collection agency. The calls are coming from the collections dept. of the company I owe the debt.
I looked at ftc.gov & see that the company needs to make threats or foul language or call past a certain time of day. None of their calls have been that way, in fact it is almost funny how polite they are. They usually appologize for the call,& say they will make a note not to call again. Then they call again, sometimes the same day, but never have been consistant.

As for documeting the calls, I have already been doing just that. I write down the day, time, name of person calling, and their extension number. All calls have been recorded as well (yes I let them know I'm recording). Sometimes I have asked to be transfered to supervisor, but I don't do this every time. When I do get a supervisor, I make note of their name, extension number, and date/time I spoke w/ them. So far I have spoken to at least 10 "supervisors". I say that because I don't think this company really has that many supervisors. In a few instances, I asked to speak w/ supervisor's supervisor & take note of that conversation as well.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

No suggestions, only contact your state's Attorney General to find out what the laws are. Even though you signed papers, they may have violated your states laws. It is my understanding that even out of state businesses must obey your state laws. Also check if there are Federal laws?


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

I would send a certified letter, return receipt requested to the legal department at the head office/main location of this company. This letter should detail every thing that's happened so far. I would also state in this letter that I will be directing all future collection calls to the legal department. Again, when you mail this, make sure that you request and get a receipt showing who at the company signed for your letter. Once you have that receipt, call the company's legal department and get this person's phone number. Then every time you get another collections call, refer them to the person in the legal department and provide the person's phone number. Continue to keep a log of these calls. However, once another of this company's employees starts getting these calls, I have a feeling you'll get fewer of them. I'd try this first and also learn your state's harassment laws. As mentioned, call your state's attorney office and ask away. Good luck.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

I would definitely start using the word "harassment" and "attorney general" every time they call. And I'm pretty sure it's illegal for them to keep calling your parents, when they're perfectly well aware that your phone number hasn't changed, but you just haven't answered the phone. What, are you supposed to be home every minute of every day, just waiting for their call so you can talk to them? Jeez.

Call the attorney general. Call the FTC. Call the cops. CAll a lawyer. Someone should be able to make this stop. Next time they call, don't say anything, just play one of the phone calls you've recorded, where they say 'we understand you have a written agreement, sorry, we'll make a note of it.'

If all else fails, quit paying them. Once they send the bill to a collection agency, you can tell them to buzz off and stop calling. What kind of money are we talking about here, anyway? If it's not a huge amount--mortgage, for example--it's unlikely that they'll try to sue. And if they do, you have the documentation of their harassment that you can enter as evidence. You could even turn the tables on them and sue for harassment, infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, and anything else your atty can think of. I'll bet you'd win.

Good luck.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

It was my belief that when they accept a payment plan from the credit counseling service they were not to contact you further. Start by contacting the service. They should be able to remedy the situation.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

get an airhorn!


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

Yes, you are correct & we were told the same thing by our credit counseling service. At first I did direct the creditor's calls to the counseling service. Each time I directed them to call the counseling service, they would state that their policy is to only contact the person who incured the debt. Also, after several months of continuing calls from the creditor it soon becam clear that our credit counseling service was of no help in this area.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

You are paying the debt & they are harrassing you by calling so often to ask for more money. As you stated, they signed the agreement send by the counseling agency. They are certainly harrassing your parents, who have nothing to do with your debt. You can certainly send them a letter even though they're not a collections agency. As someone mentioned aboved, I would send it to their legal dept. At this time, you may want to try sending it yourself instead of paying an attorney. Do you have an attorney that you've used for things like wills, etc? If so, put CC: John Doe, Attorney at Law on the bottom of the letter. Outline everything that's happened just as you have here. Also mention the taped phone call, date, & parties involved. Try to get a name for a manager in the legal dept. so it's not just a generic letter. Or address it to one of the company officers. Make sure to send it certified mail with a return receipt.

It may be that the supervisor of this dept. is violating company practice but getting away with it. If the legal dept. becomes involved, hopefully they will put a stop to it.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

If they will only talk with the person who incurred the debt, why have they called your parents?


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

My former daughter-in-law gave my # to a bank and after I received the first call I told them in a very firm way that not to call me again or I will report them to the Attorney General of our State and never got another call.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

Read these:

http://www.cclcnsw.org.au/DFT_Project_2002/module_17_Debtor_Harassment/fs_debtor_harass.html

http://www.stretcher.com/stories/971203a.cfm

Even if you do owe these companies money, you have rights. I hope these websites will help you. My husband and I were harrassed into distraction because of debts until I learnt how to handle them. We are now out of debt but I do still recall that horrible feeling when the telephone rings and you know it's someone demanding money.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

If they have a website there should be a way to contact the company to get the name and address of the CEO or Manager. I'd send the certified letter to him to begin with. I'd tell him that I've spoken with an attorney who's assured me that not only do I have a case for harrassment among other things but that if we do go to court he will check into making it a CLASS ACTION suit. I'm sure if they're harrassing you as much as they are they also have others they're doing the same to.

As for calling your parents it's legal as long as they don't mention your debt. They may also call other family members and friends. I'd get my parents to ask what they're calling about so that they can pass on a message and if they tell them you would have them over a barrel, especially if your parents record and get the name of the company, person to whom they are speaking, date and time.

Good luck with this.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

A little known fact
When you fill out a credit app there is this section where they ask for "references", folks not living with you
this is so if you don't pay and don;t answer their calls or move and they can't find you you have done some of their "skip tracing" for them
Karla


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

You have not mentioned who this creditor is, but if it happens to be First Premier - I feel sorry for you. We went through a huge ordeal with them back in 2003. They were absolutely horrible to deal with. I would also get the AG in your state involved I am sure there are laws against this type of harassment.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

A very long time ago, we were being harassed for debts we didn't owe. We quit answering the phone and let the machine pick up. When we did bother to pick up we would immediately ask who was calling, why, what their number was, what city and state they were in, etc. Even before we found out who they wanted to speak to! We kept a pen and steno pad next to the phone/ans machine. If they asked why we wanted this information, we said it was in case we got disconnected or needed to be able to refer back to the conversation.

If your going to tape record, you are supposed to tell them you are doing this in the very beginning of the conversation. Sometimes they will hang up! Telephone taping laws vary from state to state. http://www.rcfp.org/taping/

Your parents need to tell them not to call them anymore. This is harassment. Your parents should also be documenting who calls, when, etc.

In some areas, there is a function called *57 that relays the telephone number of the last person who called to the police department. If they refuse to give you their number, it can be traced this way. It costs something but it will be on record that they called and when.

Repair Your Credit by Suing Credit Bureaus and Creditors For $1,000s!
http://www.creditinfocenter.com/eBooks/PoorMansClassActionLawsuit.shtml

How overdue credit card debt is bought and sold
http://www.bankrate.com/dls/news/bankruptcy/20060418a1.asp

Rejuvenate credit by re-aging your account
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/cc/20030331a1.asp

Good luck.


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

A few years ago we had the same problem because we were just a little past due on our credit card. They would call me everyday sometimes several times. And of coarse never the same person calling. Until we payed the calls just kept coming. First of all when they call and ask for you just state "there not here" and hang up. Or just hang up everytime. Two, just let the machine pick up. And I know that this is hard but you could change your number, but they will probably get the new one.
These people did not stop calling us until the debt was paid down under the limit. Good Luck!!!


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

I can tell you my experince with a collection agency...

I'll pass the word around on this one about the "Credit Bureau of San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara Counties". Do fall for this trap; this is a scam collections company.

Credit Bureau of San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara Counties
1666 Ramona
Grover Beach, CA 93483

Beware of them threatening you about your credit report and what they will do with it. Report them to the Federal Trade Commission and also on the do not call list with the Federal Communication Commission. Ask them to stop calling or cease communication, noop, they will do what they please and call you when they like and continue doing it to harass you.

If The Credit Bureau of San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara Counties has your account dispute the account, do not pay them a dime; if there is a settlement offer, get it in writing and if you pay, pay with a money order and sent it certified mail only. I repeat do not send them any money, they cannot be trusted. They will harass you to the point of pain and they use fake names by lying over the phone. They claim they are looking for work or a business opportunity to send you something in the mail, like a prize or something to trick you. Also do not sign any certified mail from them and if you send anything to them, certify everything you mail out. Send a copy to the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission as well to your State and Federal representative.

Your credit report, they notify the credit reporting agencies false information about trying to locate you when there is no verification. If you see inquires on your credit report, report this matter with the Attorney General and contact a lawyer. They will mark allover your credit report, so please watch your credit report for anything misleading.

Beware of their lawyers; they will serve you at addresses you dont live at as well. They want that judgment so they can take everything they can get from you, that is what they do. Live in a different country, you may find out they served an address you dont live at and won a judgment lying to the judge of that address. These are part of the tactics they do.

Giving your Visa number or check number over the phone, they can take more than disputed out of it. Dont trust The Credit Bureau of San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara Counties as these people are very hard to deal with. They want your banking routing number, this is a trap, beware of this method. Also your home address, they will use tactics to get their money, so always use a PO Box and money order, with all collection agencies and always certify your mail when sending your money. You need to document everything; these people will call people searching for money or your location information. If you write to them, do expect any written correspondence, they do not write back. They do not tell you their polices either, they will tell you, you have no business knowing about their policy's is what your hear from them. The more you ask the ruder they get with you. Also they monitor their calls; even if they dont tell you this beware they are recording everything when they call to reach you.

I found this collection agency on the bad customer service list and reports about them online. If you have an issue with this company please notify the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint. They use bad business practices and no one should have to deal with agencies like this.

They do not listen to the people they collect from, even there is enough information their client is wrong, they want they 40% commission or more.

They also lie to credit reporting agencies and provide false information on your credit report, they do this to harass you and they will not settle.

You deal with "Credit Bureau of San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara Counties"; you have to deal with a crooked collection agency. Beware who you write to, to complain about this collection agency because they will misinform them that your wrong and they have a reason to collect regardless of the dispute with they're client, even if they're client requests to pull the account off the record, they want their share regardless.

Beware if you file a report with the American Collectors Association Inc, they will lie to them on a response if you file a complaint, so please make it on your list that they need to be informed to other agencies in State and Federal government about this crooked collection agency.

These are other agencies they are apart of:

Consumer Data Industry Association (formerly: Associated Credit Bureaus, Inc)
Arroyo Grande Chamber of Commerce
Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce
San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce
Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

Just get a VOIP phone service. This way you are helping yourself in two ways.

1. VOIP should cost no more than $24 / month. Infact I only pay $13/ month unlimited long distance. More than likly you are probably paying a lot more than this.

2. Once you have VOIP you can block any number you want from ever rining at your house. Its like they never called :)


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

"Once you have VOIP you can block any number you want from ever rining at your house. Its like they never called"

You can do that with a landline too....


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RE: How to stop a creditor from calling every day

I got my phone number changed with no listing and told everyone I know that If they call for me to tell them they have the wrong number and to never call their house again. Worked for me.


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