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Collections Calls - Wrong Person

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  • Collections Calls - Wrong Person

    After filing most of the collection calls stopped. I posted another thread were I was advised to answer the phone and advise the caller I am now in bankruptcy.

    After two weeks or so the calls started again and I began answering the phone. To my surprise not one of the calls were for me. They always ask for another person and I tell the caller they have the wrong number.
    Today I got a call I was unable to answer and the call was automatically answered and recorded. The caller left a threatening message after asking for a "Mrs Jones," (no Mrs Jones here). I returned the call and informed them they had the wrong number and to remove my number from their list. The person I spoke with asked me several personal questions about myself none of which I answered. Call me paranoid but I think these calls are bogus and really have more to do with something other than a wrong phone number debt collection.
    During this period I have received at least twenty auto loan offers in the mail. One came in an official looking document I thought was from the court until I read it. This offer listed my court case number, the Trustee's name, my address and my phone number. Apparently, upon filing my contact information has become public information.

    The calls I get that are not for me are all collection calls asking for someone other than myself. All these calls are out of state calls. I only occasionally get a local call that is a wrong number.

    Comments appreciated, thanks.

  • #2
    Once a collector gets a phone number that is purported to be the person whom they are trying to locate, they seem to never get rid of that number. For the last 8 years, I receive calls for a particular person, and apparently his wife. This is on both my home number and cellular phone. (My home phone forwards to my cellular phone and sometimes I send it to voicemail which... unfortunately... tells the caller which number they reached.)

    So now I tell these collectors to stop calling and they do. But then, 2 or 3 months later, the calls start again. I never offer any person information and just tell them that I've had this number for 9 years and that they need to STOP calling my number or I will report them. (I suppose the debt is then sold again, and the cycle restarts.)

    As for credit offers after filing, this is very typical. Your information is public and there are companies that purchase this information for the sole purpose of providing you with new credit. Most of them are legitimate, but if you do seek to take advantage one of the offers, just make sure it is legitimate. (Not that some uneducated criminal wouldn't think that stealing a recently bankrupt person's identity is a smart thing.)

    (As an aside, your filing could have triggered the calls. They may think you're related to the person or their "social engineering" skip-tracing software somehow place you in this person's circle. When you filed, you listed a phone number. That's all public. The software probably just guesses that you are somehow connected to this person and it's worth a try for them. Since they are not contact you personally for a debt, this is fair game... until you tell them to stop. For repeats, I usually ask for their company name and their name and record the date and time in a spreadsheet. If they call back, I ask for a manager or their company address and threaten action.)
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


    • #3

      Thanks for the info.

      I also found these links for anyone interested:


      • #4
        Unfortunately, bankruptcy does not protect you from collections calls which are intended for someone else. Even more unfortunately, it is very difficult to get debt collectors to stop calling, even when you don't know/aren't related to the person whom they're looking for.

        When I got my home phone turned on in 2008, I was constantly bombarded with collections calls for a woman who used to have my number. I have no idea how many debts she has, but the most aggressive were the various payday lenders and their "in-house collections" which claimed to be exempt from the FDCPA. Most of the collection agencies agreed to delete my number when I explained to them that I acquired the phone number in 2008 and am not related to whoever had it before. However, I did have to look up addresses for a few of them, and send cease-and-desist letters to convince them to stop calling.


        • #5
          My biggest concern here would be that your identity is compromised. Have you Googled the numbers that call to find out if anyone else is having the same people call them?
          Take $10 billion from the government and then sue me...nice


          • #6
            If they are using an automated system to call (auto-dialer or recorded messages), it's not fair game. It's a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act or TCPA. Potential for damages up to $1500 per call.


            • #7
              I have received numerous collection calls for the wrong person over the years.

              I always tell them they have the wrong person, but that rarely gets them to stop calling.

              So, I follow up with a simple cease and desist communications letter telling them they are calling the wrong person, the phone number they are calling in error, and I fax it to them and/or email it to them because I don't want to waste a stamp on them. It usually works quite well to get them to stop calling.

              You can fax things for free using Google and HelloFax.
              The world's simplest C & D Letter:
              "I demand that you cease and desist from any communication with me."
              Notice that I never actually mention or acknowledge the debt in my letter.


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