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I don't think it matter much what they call themselves, as long as you're not recording. Most of the pencil neck geeks that have called me have used everything from initials to numbers to mother's maiden name. Most of these scum suckers have multiple identities anyway, so they can use any part of the alphabet they like and it would probably be accurate. The purpose of the phone call is to intimidate you into paying something. I've even had one claim he was the local sheriff. As many people here have said...

DO NOT TALK TO COLLECTION AGENCIES ON THE PHONE.

And I would add, if you don't have caller id, get it, and if you don't recognize the number or it says something like "out of area" or "private" don't answer. Sooner or later they'll get around to mailing you something, and then you respond only in writing.

Incidently, we've got a service on our phone from Ameritech called "Privacy Manager". If the caller has caller id turned off at their end, they get routed to a recorded message saying our phone does not accept unidentified calls.

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§ 807. False or misleading representations [15 USC 1962e]

A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:

* * * *

(14) The use of any business, company, or organization name other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company, or organization.

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when a CA calls, must they use the registered (bonded/licensed) business name of the CA, or can they use the intials as identification of who is calling?

such as Absolute Bull Collectors, calling and saying "Hello, this is a call from Dimwit at ABC"

The FDCPA says they must use their real name.

Section 807(14) prohibits "debt collectors" from using "any business, company, or organization name other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company, or organization."

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i found in a discussion up on the FTC site that the use of an acronym is acceptable :(

Section 807(14) prohibits the "use of any business, company, or organization name other than the [collector's] true name."

1. Permissible business name. A debt collector may use a name that does not misrepresent his identity or deceive the consumer. Thus, a collector may use its full business name, the name under which it usually transacts business, or a commonly-used acronym. When the collector uses multiple names in its various affairs, it does not violate this subsection if it consistently uses the same name when dealing with a particular consumer.

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