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Collector calling my Son?!?!?


MR CJ
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My Son just called me this morning and said some one called his cell phone number looking for me. The message said that it was imparitive that he to tell me to contact them or they are "going to forward" this case on??

They gave him a case number.

The name of the collector was ES & assosiates.

Can they do that??

I have had no phone calls or letters from these people.

I have a old charge off from Nov. of 1999.....it falls off i think this month.

Pissed me off.

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Ddoes this collector already know how to reach you directly and/or have you spoken with them before?

I ask because if they are making a legitimate attempt to find you then they have to right to do so - generally speaking, a collector has the right to call a "third party" such as a relative, neighbor, etc. when trying to locate the debtor. Obviously, they don't have the right to call or speak with a third party if they already know where you are/how to reach you.

Even if they are within their rights to call, they are not allowed to revel any specific information about the "debt" to a third party and they don't have a right to call over and over again.

I know it's frustrating and embarrassing but from what you've said so far; it sound to me as if this CA has not violated the letter of the law.

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Yes.. what they did IS violate.

They may ONLY call and ask for location information. If they leave a message all they can leave is that they are calling about a business matter and leave a number.

They can't say they are going to FORWARD the case.. this would obviously lead someone to believe this isnt just a message.

Remember.. least sophisticated consumer.

I call foul.

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Attempting to locate is not a violation, nor is leaving a message to return the call or threaten to "forward the matter". The caller did not mention debt, litigation, lawsuit or anything they could be penalized for in this instance. On the next call the son should inquire as to the nature of the call and see where it goes from there. Most people of course know that when they hear "urgent matter" it must be debt-related.

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Attempting to locate is not a violation, nor is leaving a message to return the call or threaten to "forward the matter". The caller did not mention debt, litigation, lawsuit or anything they could be penalized for in this instance. On the next call the son should inquire as to the nature of the call and see where it goes from there. Most people of course know that when they hear "urgent matter" it must be debt-related.

Bzz. Wrong dude.

Any debt collector communicating with any person other than the consumer for the purpose of acquiring location information about the consumer shall --

(1) identify himself, state that he is confirming or correcting location information concerning the consumer, and, only if expressly requested, identify his employer;

Collectors must give their own name only (other sections prohibit use of false names), not who they work for which can lead to 3rd party disclosure of debt collection. Asking a 3rd party to "pass on the message" is also not permissible. CAs may only attempt to verify the debtor's contact info.

Additionally...

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:

(10) The use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.

(13) The false representation or implication that documents are legal process.

Section 10 is where they can't use false names or make threats of "forwarding." Section 13 prohibits giving out a "case file" number which implies legal process.

Granted, none of these are worth filing suit over as they are trivial. But if added into a larger picture of abuse can lead to something greater.

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The caller did not mention debt, litigation, lawsuit or anything they could be penalized for in this instance.

I dunno about that, the 'least sohpisticated consumer' thing could apply here as it WOULD sound as if they're talking about a LEGAL action AND that it's going somewhere for further action if the call isn't returned.

Borderline at least.

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Ddoes this collector already know how to reach you directly and/or have you spoken with them before?

I ask because if they are making a legitimate attempt to find you then they have to right to do so - generally speaking, a collector has the right to call a "third party" such as a relative, neighbor, etc. when trying to locate the debtor. Obviously, they don't have the right to call or speak with a third party if they already know where you are/how to reach you.

Even if they are within their rights to call, they are not allowed to revel any specific information about the "debt" to a third party and they don't have a right to call over and over again.

I know it's frustrating and embarrassing but from what you've said so far; it sound to me as if this CA has not violated the letter of the law.

Well. just got home from work and the same person left a message on the machine. They know how to get a hold of me.

Why did this slimeball call mt Son.

The message left on the machine said that it was "imparitive" to contact this office". also they say that their action is based on my action.

WTF

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[Well. just got home from work and the same person left a message on the machine. They know how to get a hold of me.

Why did this slimeball call mt Son.

The message left on the machine said that it was "imparitive" to contact this office". also they say that their action is based on my action.

That is because they are slimeballs...

Plenty of collectors try all kinds of tactics to locate people and lying is just a normal routine for them... And there are plenty of them that get their kicks out of it because they know it is embarassing and humiliating, especially when they talk to someone that is paranoid...

Some collectors love talking to parents... I know this one collector who loves to tell them how their kid is going to end up in jail once he notifies the authorities...

One collector called every person of my last name in the phone book in order to locate me (there is a small chunk of people so it wasn't that much effort). He eventually got my brother...

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Alegis Group hounded me for years over this stupid charge off. (Bank One)...I tried settling a deal with B1, but they would say one thing and do another. So, I said screw it.

Alegis would call ALL the time and My wife and I would get into shouting matches with them over the phone. They would call us names and talk down to us so I got fed up with it and filed a complaint with the FTC, and sent them a very nasty letter and never heard from them again. They are not on my CR at all....that was almost 2 years ago.

Now the calls start again.

Next time they call , I will tell them that what ever they want to say to me , to PUT IT IN WRITING. And I will tell them that I will Sue, and I have the taped messages on my Sons cell to prove the violation, and tell them the address Where to send me my CHECK.

I cant find anything on this so called CA:

ES & Assosiates Phone 866-607-7161

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The thing that came to mind for me was that the OP said it was about to drop off (did he mean drop off his CR?) If that is the case, wouldn't this be passed the SOL in most states?

Re-read. Won't drop off the CR for another year or so, but should be passed the SOL for collections.

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You are under no obligation to speak to a debt collector on the phone at all. As a matter of fact, according to some case law, demands that a consumer call the CA are violations of the FDCPA:

"Requests that the consumer telephone the debt collector induce the consumer to waive his right to verification by failing to make the request in writing, as required." Miller v. Payco-General American Credits, Inc., supra, 943 F.2d 482 (4th Cir. 1991); Woolfolk v. Van Ru Credit Corp., 783 F. Supp. 724, 726 (D. Conn. 1990); Flowers v. Accelerated Bureau of Collections, 96 C 4003, 1997 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 3354, 1997 WL 136313 (N.D.Ill. Mar 19, 1997).

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Attempting to locate is not a violation, nor is leaving a message to return the call or threaten to "forward the matter". The caller did not mention debt, litigation, lawsuit or anything they could be penalized for in this instance. On the next call the son should inquire as to the nature of the call and see where it goes from there. Most people of course know that when they hear "urgent matter" it must be debt-related.

Spoken like the true collection agent that you are.....

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Attempting to locate is not a violation, nor is leaving a message to return the call or threaten to "forward the matter". The caller did not mention debt, litigation, lawsuit or anything they could be penalized for in this instance. On the next call the son should inquire as to the nature of the call and see where it goes from there. Most people of course know that when they hear "urgent matter" it must be debt-related.

Apply the "least sophisticated consumer" clause here and you have your violation.

You proved the point.

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Attempting to locate is not a violation, nor is leaving a message to return the call or threaten to "forward the matter". The caller did not mention debt, litigation, lawsuit or anything they could be penalized for in this instance. On the next call the son should inquire as to the nature of the call and see where it goes from there. Most people of course know that when they hear "urgent matter" it must be debt-related.

Spoken like the true collection agent that you are.....

It’s sad that ad homimen attacks are so often substituted for true advice.

It’s even more troubling when assertions that a poster is a “collector” is based on virtually nothing at all save that one poster doesn’t agree with another poster’s opinion. Such assertions also serve as a smoke screen to obscure the simple fact that even were ghacorp a collector, it does not mean that his/her opinion or advice is incorrect or should be ignored.

All of us here offer opinions and advice based on usually VERY limited information…none of us KNOW whether the phone contact that generated the original poster’s question is or isn’t a violation…all we can do is offer our opinions based on what we are told filtered through our individual knowledge and experience.

I would suggest that we all concentrate on helping those who come here with questions and leave the personal attacks for some other forum.

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Attempting to locate is not a violation, nor is leaving a message to return the call or threaten to "forward the matter". The caller did not mention debt, litigation, lawsuit or anything they could be penalized for in this instance. On the next call the son should inquire as to the nature of the call and see where it goes from there. Most people of course know that when they hear "urgent matter" it must be debt-related.

Spoken like the true collection agent that you are.....

Please Grim. No mud-slinging. If you disagree with his position, debate it on the merits... as I did by posting case-law on the subject.

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Collectors must give their own name only (other sections prohibit use of false names), not who they work for which can lead to 3rd party disclosure of debt collection. Asking a 3rd party to "pass on the message" is also not permissible. CAs may only attempt to verify the debtor's contact info.

I believe some courts have ruled that giving a work pseudonym (IE Mr. John Smith) as long as that pseudonym is tracable to a specific collector. They can't all call themselves John Smith, but one collector can if John Smith is traced back to that specific collector.

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Next time they call I want to screw with them and not sure what to say.....does anyone have any suggestions??

I suggest if you do not have a phone recorder, to stay off the phone.

Screwing with them isn't going to be particularly helpful to you without some sort of proof of the conversation that took place. I also wouldn't be in the mindset of "screwing with them".

Not sure who "ES & Associates" is.

Closest thing I can see on budhibbs is Ellis Crosby & Associates, which according to Mr. Hibbs, filed for BK11.

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Methuss,

As you know bill collectors and attorneys working on their behalf walk a fine line. That said, and seemingly coinciding with the excerpts of case law you cited below, it doesn't appear the caller in any way violated sections 10 & 11. Calling a cellular telephone to ascertain the location of a person is not considered a deceptive practice. CA's do this routinely and the courts never seem to hold them in violation of any laws. Where is the deception here in your opinion? In 13, I cannot see any correlation to the assumption "forwarding" is a legal process. I may have to go back and reread the incident, but where is there mention of a case "reference" number that would apply in 13? "Forwarding" really only means passing along, but does not in any way threaten or imply it is a lawsuit, potential arrest warrant or the like. Finally, I agree that it should be unlawful for bill collectors to use third parties to relay messages, however, it is being done every day, such as by Trauner & Cohen of Atlanta, GA, yet I cannot recall anyone who has ever been sanctioned for relaying messages to third parties. Can you? The law seems very vague and I believe the incident we are talking about is flying just below the radar, so to speak.

ghacorp wrote:

Attempting to locate is not a violation, nor is leaving a message to return the call or threaten to "forward the matter". The caller did not mention debt, litigation, lawsuit or anything they could be penalized for in this instance. On the next call the son should inquire as to the nature of the call and see where it goes from there. Most people of course know that when they hear "urgent matter" it must be debt-related.

Bzz. Wrong dude.

Any debt collector communicating with any person other than the consumer for the purpose of acquiring location information about the consumer shall --

(1) identify himself, state that he is confirming or correcting location information concerning the consumer, and, only if expressly requested, identify his employer;

Collectors must give their own name only (other sections prohibit use of false names), not who they work for which can lead to 3rd party disclosure of debt collection. Asking a 3rd party to "pass on the message" is also not permissible. CAs may only attempt to verify the debtor's contact info.

Additionally...

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:

(10) The use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.

(13) The false representation or implication that documents are legal process.

Section 10 is where they can't use false names or make threats of "forwarding." Section 13 prohibits giving out a "case file" number which implies legal process.

Granted, none of these are worth filing suit over as they are trivial. But if added into a larger picture of abuse can lead to something greater.

_________________

You can get more accomplished with a kind word and a 2x4 than with a kind word alone.

Last edited by Methuss on Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:47 am; edited 1 time in total

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Methuss,

As you know bill collectors and attorneys working on their behalf walk a fine line. That said, and seemingly coinciding with the excerpts of case law you cited below, it doesn't appear the caller in any way violated sections 10 & 11. Calling a cellular telephone to ascertain the location of a person is not considered a deceptive practice. CA's do this routinely and the courts never seem to hold them in violation of any laws. Where is the deception here in your opinion? In 13, I cannot see any correlation to the assumption "forwarding" is a legal process. I may have to go back and reread the incident, but where is there mention of a case "reference" number that would apply in 13? "Forwarding" really only means passing along, but does not in any way threaten or imply it is a lawsuit, potential arrest warrant or the like. Finally, I agree that it should be unlawful for bill collectors to use third parties to relay messages, however, it is being done every day, such as by Trauner & Cohen of Atlanta, GA, yet I cannot recall anyone who has ever been sanctioned for relaying messages to third parties. Can you? The law seems very vague and I believe the incident we are talking about is flying just below the radar, so to speak.

ghacorp wrote:

Attempting to locate is not a violation, nor is leaving a message to return the call or threaten to "forward the matter". The caller did not mention debt, litigation, lawsuit or anything they could be penalized for in this instance. On the next call the son should inquire as to the nature of the call and see where it goes from there. Most people of course know that when they hear "urgent matter" it must be debt-related.

Bzz. Wrong dude.

Any debt collector communicating with any person other than the consumer for the purpose of acquiring location information about the consumer shall --

(1) identify himself, state that he is confirming or correcting location information concerning the consumer, and, only if expressly requested, identify his employer;

Collectors must give their own name only (other sections prohibit use of false names), not who they work for which can lead to 3rd party disclosure of debt collection. Asking a 3rd party to "pass on the message" is also not permissible. CAs may only attempt to verify the debtor's contact info.

Additionally...

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:

(10) The use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.

(13) The false representation or implication that documents are legal process.

Section 10 is where they can't use false names or make threats of "forwarding." Section 13 prohibits giving out a "case file" number which implies legal process.

Granted, none of these are worth filing suit over as they are trivial. But if added into a larger picture of abuse can lead to something greater.

_________________

You can get more accomplished with a kind word and a 2x4 than with a kind word alone.

Last edited by Methuss on Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:47 am; edited 1 time in total

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Thanks for pointing out something I missed, ghacorp. Collectors are not allowed to call cell phones.

Section 808(5) Causing charges to be made to any person for communications by concealment of the true propose of the communication. Such charges include, but are not limited to, collect telephone calls and telegram fees.

Since cell phones are metered for both outgoing and incoming calls, a collector calling a cell phone is causing a charge to be incurred by the person receiving the call. It may be a small charge, but it is still forbidden.

I slammed a CA for this once. Judge agreed. No cell phone calls. Since the FDCPA is a strict liability law, you do not have to prove that they intended or even knew that it was a cell phone...you only have to prove it was a cell phone they called.

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I would highly suspect this is something (the cell phone issue I mean) that wil change with time.

It used to be that the per minute charge for cell phone use was significant but those days are long past...also, many people, myself included ONLY have a cell phone which I routinely list as my "home" phone on documents that ask for that informaion.

So...should a CA want to contact me by phone (which we all know woudl be their usual practice) they would have no other option but to call my "cell" phone and they woudl have no way to know it wasn't a land line.

I suspect that at some point in the future, courts will begin to take those sorts of circumstances into consideration.

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Methuss,

That's a good argument, but Section 808(5) is vastly out-of-date as the statute addresses antiquated collect calls and telegrams. Mobile phone calls back then were over $1 per minute and you practically needed both hands to hold onto them, but 25% of households today use only a mobile phone as their primary telephone service. Nowadays the minutes are mostly free. That's why bill collectors use them at least initially. Also, should the cell be the only avenue of contact, they can call once per day, at least according to the Lawyer Brian Levy of Phoenix, AZ. (His law firm is one of those flagrant mobile phone violators!)

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