We all know times are tough and the economy stinks and yada yada . . . It stands to reason that during economic downturns, people sometimes find themselves behind a bit on bills. When this happens, calls start coming in from those painfully persistent collection agencies, right?
This is annoying/distressful/agonizing when the debt the agency is calling on is your own, but what if it's not? What if the agency is calling about a relative, a neighbor, or even the person who happened to have your phone number before you?
This began happening to us almost immediately after we got our Oklahoma phone numbers a year and a half ago. The woman who had Kyle's phone number before him had racked up some debts and then evidently ditched her phone number. Based on the number of calls we have gotten in the past eighteen months, I can't say that I blame her.
If you've ever been on the harassment end of a debt collection call, you know that they will call and call and call and call and even if you swear up and down you don't know the person for whom they are calling, they still keep calling. And calling.
A few months ago, I came across some information that has finally put an end to the calls.
It's called the Federal Fair Debt Collections Act and if you read it carefully, you will discover:
§ 805. Communication in connection with debt collection
(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 the express
permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, or as reasonably 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 creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector.
§ 806. Harassment or abuse
A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural
consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number
This is sorta off-topic, but it is such helpful information, I think everyone needs to have access to it. It only took a few conversations in which we calmly told the debt collectors that they were breaking federal law by continuing to call us, and eventually, the calls stopped!
Ending collections harassment totally Works for Me.
photo by katebate