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n00b question, those phone calls


Dazed&Confused
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Hello all, this looks like a great forum.

I have been searching for this one, and although our instance seems to be similar, this one is a little different.

There have been "toll free" phone calls for a while, and they happen to catch my wife last week. The call says "stay on the line for an important call", then the caller asks for my wife. The caller then asked for the last 4 of her SSN.

Of course my wife said NO.

My wife asked who is calling, and they said West Asset Management, then she asked why they were calling, the refused to say why. They stated privacy act.

They asked if we lived somewhere, but haven't been there in 5 years, so the answer was NO. Then they hung up.

That was a week ago. Now we get calls every day, they all go something like this,

May I speak with Wife?

Who is Calling?

WAM

What is the nature of your business?

Personal,

Why are you calling?

Can't say.

What is this about?

Can't tell you.

Click

Anyway, it is obvious that this is a debt collections company. I have no earthly idea what the debt is. We have only a few credit cards, and they are all up to date. We are not going to give some strange company the last 4 digits of our SSN over the phone, and we have not received any written correspondence from them.

If there is some piece of business, then mail it. If I owe someone $$$ then I don't mind working with them. There is either a mistake, or I owe them $$$. This is why I have excellent credit. I am not trying to side step payment, but this is nuts. I have never dealt with a JDB before, and have no idea what this "debt" could be.

How do I get this useless calling to end?

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Well...if these guys aren't on your CRs, the best thing to do is tell them you are on a recorded line, then say cease and desist the phone calls and to continue this communication in writing or you will forward to your attorney and then click.

I would be curious though why they are calling you though.

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Well...if these guys aren't on your CRs, the best thing to do is tell them you are on a recorded line, then say cease and desist the phone calls and to continue this communication in writing or you will forward to your attorney and then click.

I would be curious though why they are calling you though.

I very much disagree - telling a CA to Cease and Desist (not that they are likely to listen to a verbal request) is dangerous when you have no idea why they are calling/what they are calling about.

C&D is a great option when you know the facts - not so good when operating in the dark!

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Hello all, this looks like a great forum.

I have been searching for this one, and although our instance seems to be similar, this one is a little different.

There have been "toll free" phone calls for a while, and they happen to catch my wife last week. The call says "stay on the line for an important call", then the caller asks for my wife. The caller then asked for the last 4 of her SSN.

Of course my wife said NO.

My wife asked who is calling, and they said West Asset Management, then she asked why they were calling, the refused to say why. They stated privacy act.

They asked if we lived somewhere, but haven't been there in 5 years, so the answer was NO. Then they hung up.

That was a week ago. Now we get calls every day, they all go something like this,

May I speak with Wife?

Who is Calling?

WAM

What is the nature of your business?

Personal,

Why are you calling?

Can't say.

What is this about?

Can't tell you.

Click

Anyway, it is obvious that this is a debt collections company. I have no earthly idea what the debt is. We have only a few credit cards, and they are all up to date. We are not going to give some strange company the last 4 digits of our SSN over the phone, and we have not received any written correspondence from them.

If there is some piece of business, then mail it. If I owe someone $$$ then I don't mind working with them. There is either a mistake, or I owe them $$$. This is why I have excellent credit. I am not trying to side step payment, but this is nuts. I have never dealt with a JDB before, and have no idea what this "debt" could be.

How do I get this useless calling to end?

Giving a company/CA the last four of your SSN is not really a big deal (there really isn’t much they can do with just those four digits). However, I fully understand your reticence to do so and you certainly have no obligation to do so.

More importantly, however, is that there is usually very little to be gained in speaking with a CA on the phone.

Therefore, I would suggest one of two courses of action…

1) Simply ignore their calls and don’t answer the phone; they will eventually get tired and stop calling.

2) Answer and explain that you are recording the call and tell them that if they have a personal matter to discuss with someone at this address they should communicate so in writing.

Go on to say that if they continue to call that you will file formal complaints with the FTC, your state’s AG and with the FCC based on their harassing telephone calls.

Then hang up. Do this every time they call from then on (BUT DO FILE THE COMPLAINTS and then you can mention that you already have insted of telling them that you will!)

If there is any legitimacy to their contacting you they will eventually send you a dunning letter or they will simply give up.

The likelihood is that they are on a fishing expedition – no need to help them catch the fish.

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I very much disagree - telling a CA to Cease and Desist (not that they are likely to listen to a verbal request) is dangerous when you have no idea why they are calling/what they are calling about.

C&D is a great option when you know the facts - not so good when operating in the dark!

I do stand corrected and I thank you for it.

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I had a CA call recently asking to confirm my last 4 of my SSN.I said no way.

I guessed at which CA they were and confirmed my guess when their dunning letter arrived a couple of days later , like I knew it would.

I'm trying to remember how I made the correct guess though ?:confused:

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To all who responded, thanks.

I guess I'll try the recording trick. My guess is that they are indeed on a fishing expedition, and that WA requires validation.

I was in a spirited mood yesterday, and sent WAM a cease and desist letter. I really had nothing to reference other than my phone number. Think that was hasty?

Updated CR's are in transit, but they didn't show anything strange last year. We have outstanding credit.

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May I speak with Wife?

Who is Calling?

WAM

What is the nature of your business?

Personal,

Why are you calling?

Can't say.

What is this about?

Can't tell you.

Click

As the Husband, they are allowed by law to tell you why they are calling.

And now that intial communication has occurred, they are required by law to send you a letter within 5 days of that initial communication, stating the name of the creditor, the amount of the debt, and informing you of your rights to dispute and request validation.

Personally, I would have reminded them of this obligation, and then sent a Debt Valildation letter after I received it.

As it is, I hope you told them that you were demanding they cease and desist since they refused to provide the REQUIRED information when asked.

DH

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As the Husband, they are allowed by law to tell you why they are calling.

And now that intial communication has occurred, they are required by law to send you a letter within 5 days of that initial communication, stating the name of the creditor, the amount of the debt, and informing you of your rights to dispute and request validation.

Personally, I would have reminded them of this obligation, and then sent a Debt Valildation letter after I received it.

As it is, I hope you told them that you were demanding they cease and desist since they refused to provide the REQUIRED information when asked.

DH

I disagree, DH.

If the call really went as stated then they haven't revealed anyting regarding the debt they are calling about or even that they are a collection agency.

While someone may infer that this is a CA attempting to collect a debt - inference is not the same as actually communicating information about a debt.

So...until such info has been communicted, it does not trigger the dunning letter/five day rule (which I'm sure is exactly why they are refusing to say anything substantial).

As to the OP's question about sending teh C&D letter; I doubt it will have any impact - without identifying the debt/account; it's likely it will wind up in the circular file and even if they do ignor it, I think you would have a difficult time getting the court to enforece the C&D since it was sent with such limited identifying info.

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I disagree, DH.

If the call really went as stated then they haven't revealed anyting regarding the debt they are calling about or even that they are a collection agency.

While someone may infer that this is a CA attempting to collect a debt - inference is not the same as actually communicating information about a debt.

So...until such info has been communicted, it does not trigger the dunning letter/five day rule (which I'm sure is exactly why they are refusing to say anything substantial).

As to the OP's question about sending teh C&D letter; I doubt it will have any impact - without identifying the debt/account; it's likely it will wind up in the circular file and even if they do ignor it, I think you would have a difficult time getting the court to enforece the C&D since it was sent with such limited identifying info.

So if I stop answering the calls, they go away? From what I read they like to keep calling.

If there is some business with me, why not just mail me something in the first place?

Does the method of recording calls and telling them they will be reported to ftc, ag and the like really work?

I just want my wife to stop getting phone calls. When mama ain't happy....

If I really owe someone $$$, why didn't they contact me directly?

This is just bizarre.:shock:

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I disagree, DH.

If the call really went as stated then they haven't revealed anyting regarding the debt they are calling about or even that they are a collection agency.

While someone may infer that this is a CA attempting to collect a debt - inference is not the same as actually communicating information about a debt.

So...until such info has been communicted, it does not trigger the dunning letter/five day rule (which I'm sure is exactly why they are refusing to say anything substantial).

You're right Robert. I jumped the gun a little; didn't read the conversation carefully enough. What I said would only be valid if the conversation started:

May I speak with wife?

She's not available. I am her husband. May I ask who's calling?

And so forth.

Although they still might not discuss it, and are not required to, I think there's a good chance they might be willing to talk.

And to Dazed&Confused, who said "I just want my wife to stop getting phone calls. When mama ain't happy...."

I hear you, brother. You might try saying what I wrote above, see if they'll talk to you, and/or tell them to put it in writing.

DH

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So if I stop answering the calls, they go away? From what I read they like to keep calling.

If there is some business with me, why not just mail me something in the first place?

Does the method of recording calls and telling them they will be reported to ftc, ag and the like really work?

I just want my wife to stop getting phone calls. When mama ain't happy....

If I really owe someone $$$, why didn't they contact me directly?

This is just bizarre.:shock:

Most normal people would think this stuff is bizarre...you are approaching this as if you are dealing with intelligent, normal, decent people and while some of them may be (doubtful but possible) when not in their “collector” mode, when they are in their collector mindset, they are foolish, idiotic, mean, angry, vicious nasty little people who make their living convincing normal, rational, logical people that paying a 15 year old credit card debt (that might not even belong to the person they are calling) is more important than paying their mortgage payment that month or putting food on the table.

They lie because they can.

They won’t just come out and tell you what is really going on because by not doing so, they don’t have to bother sending you a letter as the law dictates they must.

These are NOT normal people and the collection industry isn’t “normal” in any sense of the word.

Recording them and reporting them may make them stop and it may not – many of them don’t care until you sue them and even then, many of them don’t care…they don’t care because even if they have to pay a fine now and then; it’s nothing compared to the money they can rake in by doing what the law says they aren’t allowed to do.

I wish I had good news for you but the likelihood is that the calls will continue for a long time and/or this situation will get worse before it gets better…it’s going to be up to you and your wife to stand firm and stay in control.

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