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Q: Telephone harassment ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Question  
Subject: Telephone harassment
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: caroleboo-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 12 Apr 2006 18:39 PDT
Expires: 12 May 2006 18:39 PDT
Question ID: 718371
Every day, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., I receive a
telephone call.  They say the call is for Vance Box (if I?m hearing
them correctly).  They do not identify themselves, saying only that it
is a very important matter and they expect a return phone call that
day.  My caller ID shows Covington, Kentucky?1-859-655-1055.  The call
back number is 1-800-470-8555, Ext. 5005.  Today, I received another
call.  It came up on my caller ID as ?out of area? with the telephone
number 1-713-554-1412.  The message was exactly the same with the
identical call back numbers.

 

I have been told that this is probably some collection agency and to
ignore the phone calls.  There is no Vance Box in this home, never has
been.  We?ve had this phone number since the exchange was opened. When
these phone calls started several weeks ago, I called on the 800
number and told them that there was no one here by that name and they
had a wrong number.  The tone in the voice (he didn?t identify
himself) was like ?yeah sure?.  I was told that it would be taken care
of.  This has gone on for several weeks and I?m tired of it.  It
really smacks of harassment.  Is there ANYTHING I can do to stop this?
 Should I try calling them again?

 

Any assistance or suggestion that you might have would be greatly appreciated!
Answer  
Subject: Re: Telephone harassment
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 12 Apr 2006 20:38 PDT
 
carole...

Even if you were the debtor (and obviously, you're not), collection
agencies are prohibited from harassing behaviors by the 'Fair Debt 
Collection Practices Act'. The full text of this Act is available
at the FTC website, here:
http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.htm


The section titled: ' 805.  Communication in connection with debt
collection   [15 USC 1692c]' imposes the following restrictions:

"(a) COMMUNICATION WITH THE CONSUMER GENERALLY.  Without the prior
 consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector or
 the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, a
 debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection
 with the collection of any debt --

    (1) at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or
 which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer. In the
 absence of knowledge of circumstances to the contrary, a debt
 collector shall assume that the convenient time for communicating
 with a consumer is after 8 o'clock antimeridian [AM] and before 
 9 o'clock postmeridian [PM], local time at the consumer's location"

[...]

"(c) CEASING COMMUNICATION.  If a consumer notifies a debt collector
 in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the
 consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication
 with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further
 with the consumer with respect to such debt, except --

    (1) to advise the consumer that the debt collector's further
 efforts are being terminated;

    (2) to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor
 may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such
 debt collector or creditor; or

    (3) where applicable, to notify the consumer that the debt
 collector or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy.

 If such notice from the consumer is made by mail, notification
 shall be complete upon receipt.

 (d) For the purpose of this section, the term "consumer" includes
 the consumer's spouse, parent (if the consumer is a minor), guardian,
 executor, or administrator.
http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.htm#805


' 806.  Harassment or abuse  [15 USC 1692d]' poses the following
restrictions:

"(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."
http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.htm#806


See Section ' 813.  Civil liability  [15 USC 1692k]' for descriptions
of what fines and liabilities a collector may face in violating this Act:
http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.htm#813


In this related article, about how to deal with collection harassment,
on essortment.com, the bottom line advice is:

"They must not contact you or anyone else if requested not to do so
 in writing. If you suspect an agency of harassment, it is wise to
 keep all communications in writing, particularly if you are
 requesting that they cease their harassing tactics.

 Within five days of the initial contact with a debtor, the debtor
 must be supplied with the amount owed, the name and address of the
 business that is owed and a statement that, by not contacting the
 collection agency within 30 days, the debtor agrees to the
 correctness of the amount owed. All this information must be sent
 to the debtor in writing.

 If a debtor wishes to dispute the debt in some way, he must contact
 the collection agency and inform them of the dispute. The collector
 must then send the debtor proof of what is owed and the name of the
 original party owed. Until the collection agency proves the debt,
 all collection efforts must cease and any entries on credit reports
 concerning the delinquency must include a statement that the debt
 is disputed.

 If a collection agency still persists to use dishonest or harassing
 tactics, legal assistance should be obtained immediately."
Much more on the page:
http://inin.essortment.com/collectionagenc_runl.htm

sublime1-ga


Additional information may be found from an exploration of
the links resulting from the Google searches outlined below.

Searches done, via Google:

"collection agency" harassment
://www.google.com/search?q=%22collection+agency%22+harassment

"Fair Debt Collection Practices Act"
://www.google.com/search?q=%22Fair+Debt+Collection+Practices+Act%22
Comments  
Subject: Just My Humble Opinion
From: mongolia-ga on 14 Apr 2006 16:29 PDT
 
Sublime1

I have read your answer carefully. It does indeed give some vary good sources
as to why the activity the questioner has to endure is illegal.

What I do not see in your answer is a practical serious of steps that
the questioner (Caroleboo) can take to stop this annoying/obnoxious
behaviour.

Regards

Mongolia
Subject: Second Opinion
From: mongolia-ga on 14 Apr 2006 16:46 PDT
 
Caroleboo

Just my couple of cents

If I experienced this here is what I would do 

1. Find out the name and number of the President of your telephone Company

2. Place a call to him/her  and to whoever answers insist that you want 
   to speak only to the President.

3. It is highly unlikely that the President will speak to you and instead you 
   will end up speaking to a PA in the President's office.

4. To whoever you end up talking , explain exacty what you have indicated in 
   your question above. Explain further that you have complained already to 
   the telephone company but the idiot you talked did not believe you (If you 
   have his/her name all the better)

5. If the harassing calls continue, make sure for every harrassing call 
   you make (lets say 5)  to the telephone company (each time asking for the 
   President)

6. Each time you make these calls take the names of everyone you speak 
   to.

Regards

Mongolia

PS If you do get to speak to the president , I think your problem may be solved

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