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collections calling family members

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  • collections calling family members

    Is it legal for creditors to call and harass family members? How do they even find their numbers? My sister who lives a in a completely different state has informed me shes getting debt collection people calling her trying to reach my husband. We haven't told anyone what has been going on with our situation now shes asking me a bunch of questions on why they are calling her and whats going on with us.
    We have changed out number several times but they keep finding out the new numbers as well.

  • #2
    Yes, it is completely legal. This is what happens when you disconnect or won't answer your telephone. The collection agents will call your work, neighbors, friends, relatives or anyone else that they think will help get them paid. The find your relatives by using the Internet. Sometimes we have too much information on Facebook and such. These people are good at what they do.

    You want them to stop calling your relatives? Make sure that your creditors have a good telephone number for you and actually answer it. When they call you confirm your identity then tell them that you are unwilling to talk about your finances on the telephone.

    These calls to others are called, attempts to locate.

    Comment


    • #3
      It is not completely legal in one respect: the debt collectors are not even supposed to inform the third party (e.g. your sister) what they are by profession, but quite a few of them could care less...

      Growing a thick skin is a good start.

      Good luck.
      No person in their right mind files a Ch. 13 with lien strip pro se. I have.Therefore, please consider me insane and clinically certifiable when reading my posts, and DO NOT take them as legal advice of any kind.Thank you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Here is what I found: http://consumer.ga.gov/consumer-topics/debt-collectors

        Please review this section: Can a debt collector contact others about me or my debt?

        If you have an attorney, the FDCPA prohibits a debt collector from contacting anyone other than your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, the debt collector may contact other people, but only for the purpose of finding out where you live or work. However, the collector cannot tell these people or anyone else (including your employer) that you owe money. When contacting someone other than the person who owes the debt, the collector must give his or her own name but is not allowed to state the name of the collection agency unless specifically asked for it.

        A debt collector may discuss the alleged debt with your spouse, your parents or guardian if you are under the age of eighteen, the executor of your estate, or any cosigner on the account or loan.

        I know it's hard because it's family, I had collections calling my ex-mother and sister in-law and it was thrown in my face during the divorce - but I just replied and told them to say "she have no connection to this phone number if you call me again you will be hearing from the FTC".

        Also you know which creditors/collection companies are calling - get their fax numbers and send over a C&D letter - putting all communications in writing while you get all your ducks in a row.

        Good Luck
        Filed Pro Se: 11.12.2010 ~ 341: 1.12.2011 ~ Discharged: 3.9.2011 ~ Officially an Asset Case: 3.30.2011 ~ Last Day to File Asset Claim: 6.28.2011 ~ Trustee Final Report: 8.1.2011 ~ Asset Distribution: 8.31.2011 ~ Case Close: 11.15.2011

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bell30656 View Post

          You want them to stop calling your relatives? Make sure that your creditors have a good telephone number for you and actually answer it. When they call you confirm your identity then tell them that you are unwilling to talk about your finances on the telephone.
          That's the key. A good contact number for them to reach you should stop the calls. Use voice mail or an answering machine if you don't want to speak with them.
          All information contained in this post is for informational and amusement purposes only.
          Bankruptcy is a process, not an event.......

          Comment


          • #6
            I had a collector find my parents and there is NO way they could've been found through the internet. They don't social network, they don't list phone numbers, and I don't broadcast such information anywhere on the internet. Basically what the agencies are doing is using a pay search service that banks and law firms can use to get all kinds of information on people. They can get public records that can't be found for free on the internet (and get parents and their SSNs off documents like that) and then the rest is quite easy.

            I was naive enough to think because they also unlist their numbers and only email occasionally and that I had never ever lived where they live now that I could keep my parents in the dark indefinitely about our financial issues. Now they've had a collector call them probably leaving the same message they leave with us stating "if you aren't so-and-so, don't listen to this message" and then proceeding to say it's an attempt to collect a debt. Quite frankly, I want to nail their asses with the FTC (and then through the state AG with our lawyer) on this stuff. IT VIOLATES PRIVACY thank-you-very-much. I don't care how they can spin it that they are making a disclaiming statement, there is no logical way someone will be able to say to the person that they need to contact the person leaving the message without this other person listening to the message in its entirety!

            This isn't about needing to grow a thick skin, it's about credit collectors apparently not giving a shit about the law because any fines are just part of doing business. If they aren't fined into oblivion, they'll keep doing it to everyone.

            Because of this one collector calling my parents, my mom sent me a Dave Ramsey book which is truly laughable (and insulting to boot). And I'll have to have a long unpleasant conversation about bankruptcy that wouldn't have been necessary at all not to mention the likely disowning from my mom after my dad disowned me years ago. But on the bright side, the Dave Ramsey book has given me all the little code phrases to say to essentially break it down that we've already tried his way and bk is the only option left. And we have. We got "creative" in all kinds of ways for years, when we could pay extra we tried loading extra payments onto one creditor, and our asset to debt ratio is a lot lower than Dave's $1mil to $4 mil when he filed. LOL.

            Comment


            • #7
              Here is a good one for you. About 10 years ago, a Debt Collector called my neighbor looking for my son who lived 150 miles away. My son had not lived with me for over 10 years and had a Oregon address. Talking about being mad. I had a phone number that was listed in the phone book and the guy could have just called me. But yes, he got my attention. I called my son asap and asked him about the debt.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Resigned2BK View Post
                I had a collector find my parents and there is NO way they could've been found through the internet. They don't social network, they don't list phone numbers, and I don't broadcast such information anywhere on the internet.

                NO way they could have been found through the internet? You can bet that they were found through the internet! It doesn't matter what they don't do. It's very difficult to hide.

                Basically what the agencies are doing is using a pay search service that banks and law firms can use to get all kinds of information on people. They can get public records that can't be found for free on the internet (and get parents and their SSNs off documents like that) and then the rest is quite easy.

                Actually, it's subscription services, not "pay" search services. Public records, court records, bk records, addresses, phone numbers, ssn, etc. They never go away and they never get deleted.

                I was naive enough to think because they also unlist their numbers and only email occasionally and that I had never ever lived where they live now that I could keep my parents in the dark indefinitely about our financial issues.

                You found out that it's rather easy to connect the dots....

                Now they've had a collector call them probably leaving the same message they leave with us stating "if you aren't so-and-so, don't listen to this message" and then proceeding to say it's an attempt to collect a debt. Quite frankly, I want to nail their asses with the FTC (and then through the state AG with our lawyer) on this stuff. IT VIOLATES PRIVACY thank-you-very-much. I don't care how they can spin it that they are making a disclaiming statement, there is no logical way someone will be able to say to the person that they need to contact the person leaving the message without this other person listening to the message in its entirety!

                And not to be blunt here, but no one in government or those agencies that are to "protect the consumer" gives a damn.

                This isn't about needing to grow a thick skin, it's about credit collectors apparently not giving a shit about the law because any fines are just part of doing business. If they aren't fined into oblivion, they'll keep doing it to everyone.

                It's not all of them. You have a lot of legitimate collection agencies out there that play by the rules, and then you have those select few that make the news with their violations.

                LOL.
                LOL is right. It's a circus out there between the debtors and the debt collectors. Aren't you just glad you live in a country where you can have a fresh start?
                All information contained in this post is for informational and amusement purposes only.
                Bankruptcy is a process, not an event.......

                Comment


                • #9
                  Check out the site Spokeo I have been shocked at what was on there. You can opt out of the site. I live in a small town in Georgia. I've received calls about my brother who lives in Maryland and I haven't spoken to in a couple of decades.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    For about 6 months until I filed, they used to call my brother at least twice a week looking for me. He used to have fun with them sometimes, though. He'd say, "Lilly Smith," (not my real name) "my sister? Oh, wait a minute, I just received a post card from Yugoslavia." :-) I had already told him what was going on with me.

                    During that time I also usually let most of my calls be picked up by my answering machine. Until, it seems the collectors broke it from overuse! LOL

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by frogger View Post
                      LOL is right. It's a circus out there between the debtors and the debt collectors. Aren't you just glad you live in a country where you can have a fresh start?
                      Indeed I am, Frogger. Urgh, I just did a search on both my names. Married name is more common, so it would've taken someone dedicated to track to my parents, but maiden is very uncommon and only 3 entries pop up, one for some sort of service that gives a teaser of naming my immediate family (getting my dad's name wrong). So I guess I stand corrected. But finding their phone number still would've required subscribing to a records service. They've always been big on their privacy.

                      For me, it's not the end of the world by itself that I'd have to have family know stuff when all they'll likely do is use it as an opportunity to smack me over the head with the info for the rest of their lives. But it's one extra thing I have to put up with on the enormous crap pile of my life. I have to go bankrupt over my husband's business debt, I've had to go on food stamps, haven't had health insurance for over a year now, we're losing our house and will be living heaven knows what kind of conditions for awhile, the kids keep thinking their toys will be taken away by all this no matter all our reassurances to the contrary, and now this extra violation of my privacy is just one more thing to add to remind me of how crappy my life will continue to be until we get moved, hand the keys of our house over, get discharged of the debts, and can start over again. Sounds like the makings of a classic country song there. And probably half the people here have very similar stories, I'm just in a whiney mood lately. But the spiced rum and Dr Pepper will help me feel better once I get back in the kitchen.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lillymarlene View Post
                        For about 6 months until I filed, they used to call my brother at least twice a week looking for me. He used to have fun with them sometimes, though. He'd say, "Lilly Smith," (not my real name) "my sister? Oh, wait a minute, I just received a post card from Yugoslavia." :-) I had already told him what was going on with me.

                        During that time I also usually let most of my calls be picked up by my answering machine. Until, it seems the collectors broke it from overuse! LOL
                        This is what everyone should be doing. If enough people did this they would have to stop using this tactic of harassing family members because it wouldn't be effective.

                        Don't be bullied into contacting them either. You only encourage them to do it more to others by doing so. I'd suggest telling your family about it if you want to. If not, apologize for the hassle, then tell them to give out your number and address once and that is it. Ask them not to tell you about any further calls from them and suggest that if they call further they may not want to answer.

                        I think this is basically harassment and it should be illegal (but likely isn't). At the most they should only be allowed to call family members once every six months or so. There is no reason to call over and over again when they know the person they are calling is not the debtor.



                        In my opinion at the most a company should only be allowed to make contact with a family member once every six months or so. If the person states that they do not wish to receive such calls
                        Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer nor giving legal advice. Use at your own risk.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am wondering where they get this information as well, because my mother got a call from some scam artists regarding me. Before my BK she got tons of calls because of me, but she knew what was going on and was well aware.

                          A month ago she got a call from a lending agency, claiming to be from Harrisburg, Pa. They identified me as applying for a new loan and then identified her, and said I put her down as a co-signer. They then proceeded to ask my mother's SSN, DOB, etc. She immediately hung up on them and called me, asking if I had recently applied for a loan... which of course, I had not.
                          Filed No Asset Chp 7 BK: January 2010
                          Discharged: August 2010
                          A life lesson well learned.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Resigned2BK View Post
                            Because of this one collector calling my parents, my mom sent me a Dave Ramsey book which is truly laughable (and insulting to boot). And I'll have to have a long unpleasant conversation about bankruptcy that wouldn't have been necessary at all not to mention the likely disowning from my mom after my dad disowned me years ago.
                            That is sad that your mom would disown you for considering filing BK. Tell mom that if she'd like to pay your bills, then feel free to do so, you'll be waiting for the checks to be stroked out with your pile of bills/creditors addresses at the ready.

                            Never ceases to amaze me the judgment that people have or lengths they will go to in making others feel badly about their finances. Many times filing Bk is out of one's control due to job loss and not living beyond their means - but in the end it doesnt really matter if its job loss or living like the Jones's... BK is BK is BK - and its there to give people a fresh start in life. Most learn the lesson - few will be right back to their old spending habits, and declare BK as often as possible... but thats their life and their decision / right to do so. No need to judge on that basis.

                            Look at Donald Trump for pete's sake - what...like 4 or 5 times now he's declared and no one says boo about it. Why? Because its a business decision.

                            Sorry, dont mean to sound harsh on your mom, but...sometimes its better to voice your opinion/feelings on the matter and say to hell with what others think. In the end, life is too short to "disown" a family member. Trust me, there are no second chances once that person is gone from this earth, no way to go back and say "if I only...". Terribly sad if you ask me, and I honestly hope your mom is just talking non-sense.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pandora View Post
                              That is sad that your mom would disown you for considering filing BK. Tell mom that if she'd like to pay your bills, then feel free to do so, you'll be waiting for the checks to be stroked out with your pile of bills/creditors addresses at the ready.

                              Never ceases to amaze me the judgment that people have or lengths they will go to in making others feel badly about their finances. Many times filing Bk is out of one's control due to job loss and not living beyond their means - but in the end it doesnt really matter if its job loss or living like the Jones's... BK is BK is BK - and its there to give people a fresh start in life. Most learn the lesson - few will be right back to their old spending habits, and declare BK as often as possible... but thats their life and their decision / right to do so. No need to judge on that basis.

                              Look at Donald Trump for pete's sake - what...like 4 or 5 times now he's declared and no one says boo about it. Why? Because its a business decision.

                              Sorry, dont mean to sound harsh on your mom, but...sometimes its better to voice your opinion/feelings on the matter and say to hell with what others think. In the end, life is too short to "disown" a family member. Trust me, there are no second chances once that person is gone from this earth, no way to go back and say "if I only...". Terribly sad if you ask me, and I honestly hope your mom is just talking non-sense.
                              My dad disowned me because I didn't get a prenup set up even after I told him my lawyer told me we'd have all kinds of ridiculous accounting hassles because WA is a community property state. I wasn't rich, my parents aren't rich (although they seem to want to act like they are the way they use money to smack my brother and me in the heads), and neither my husband nor I had any children of our own before getting married. So the main reasons for logically getting a prenup weren't in place but Bill O-Reilly said something in a book about how everyone should get a prenup and that was enough to convince my dad. So it's not really that much of a stretch to think my mom might disown me for BK even as completely stupid as that sounds to you and any other rational person on the planet. People can be strange. LOL. Although to be fair, she's not talking anything like that because I still haven't told her specific plans yet. She only knows one of her children is officially a deadbeat now.

                              Comment

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