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Why would a debt collector attempt to pretend it was a different company?

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    Question Why would a debt collector attempt to pretend it was a different company?

    I occasionally offer help and advice to friends and relatives dealing with debt collection calls. I recently witnessed some very strange activity by a debt collector that has me stumped. I am going to keep my relative's personal information out of this post and for now, I will keep the debt collector's names out of it, too.

    This is a fairly well known and notoriously aggressive debt collector which many pages of complaints from consumers on various websites which host such complaints. They violate the FDCPA and TCPA quite often, and unfortunately, they also hire attorneys in the consumers local area and sue them quite often, too. So, they are no joke and they are not necessarily bluffing all the time when they call. But reading over the many complaints against them, they will very often say outrageous things over the phone in violation of the FDCPA. They routinely claim to be sending out a certified letter, or that they sent out a certified letter and it was returned to them, and they ask for the correct address so they can have a process server come to the debtor's house. In most cases, this seems to be a bluff, but like I said earlier, they have been known to sue debtors quite often.

    Some of the more outrageous things they will say include filing criminal charges against the debtor for various reasons. They are very vague about it.

    Another one is claiming that the debtor might be involved in a legal proceeding that has nothing to do with debt (and this one has me baffled). They insinuate that there is some other person that essentially has some reason to sue them about something, but they leave the matter hanging and don't give any details, but then want all sorts of personal details about the debtor.

    And when you call them back, this is where it gets really weird... they claim that they are NOT a debt collector. So, the FDCPA does not apply to them, they claim. But there are a number of complaints about them being a debt collector. And they do use the typical debt collector terminology like "I will note this in your account as a refusal." Notice they did not say refusal to pay, but just refusal. The relative had declined to give them any further personal details about himself.

    The link between that company and the notorious debt collector that is openly a debt collector boils down to a similar name and some coincidence. Here is the coincidence.... right after a rather heated argument on the phone between my relative and the weird new company calling him, he hung up on him. And then he immediately got phone calls from the notorious debt collector with the similar name. Is it possible that it was just a coincidence. Maybe. But then we looked up the BBB report of the new company, and the owner's name appears to be one of the owners of the notorious debt collection company.

    Neither one of them are licensed to do business as debt collectors in the state where my relative lives.

    My main question is why would a debt collector start a new company and pretend that they are not related in any way to the new company? What advantages are there to such a move?

    And other than not being subject to FDCPA, why would a debt collector say it is not a debt collector when you call it back on the phone?

    This is just my guess but I think the new company is trying to find debtor location information, work information, etc., and then send the information back to the parent company to then use to go after the debtor, and somehow not be subject to the FDCPA or the TCPA?

    I don't know the answer, but I sure think they would pull anything to try to collect a debt.

    My other thought is, could it be a scam of some sort trying to get money. Maybe it's a thief trying to make themselves look legit making themselves look similar to an existing business.
    I am not an expert. I just share my experiences in the Wonderful Wacky World of Chapter 13! Filed 3-30-18 Confirmed 7-11-18 Discharged 6-8-22


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