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Debt collection for debt that is not mine - help pls.


LRM216
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Just recently I received a letter in the mail from a collection agency in re Direct tv (of which I have been a customer for 15 years in great standing). I called immediately to let them know I have no $650 bill with Direct tv whatsoever and never ever owed them anything other than the monthly bill which I always pay early and in full. I have excellent credit ratings with all three bureaus. Turns out it was for a party in OK with my same name, but different social security number and birth date. Now today I get a call from a collection agency for a medical bill from a medical facility in OK - and again - the same scenario - same name but her date of birth is not same as mine and again - the same last 4 digits of her social that does not match mine either.

Both collection agencies realize I am not the party they are looking for and will "take my telephone number" out of their systems . I have nothing on any of my credit reports that is suspect, so I don't really know what to do at this point about this situation.

Any advice would be most appreciated as the party with "my name" is obviously deep in debt and in collection and I'm not so sure I won't be getting more calls regarding her accounts.
 
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Usually, this is the result of skip tracing.  Not much that you can really do to prevent it ahead of time.  I would simply inform any debt collectors that contact you for this person that you are not the party they are seeking, and if they resist that, then demand validation.  Once you get to the point where you can show that they are after the wrong person, I would send them a certified letter telling them to stop all contact, that you are not the party that they are seeking.  If they continue to contact you with collection efforts after that, find a consumer attorney and make them pay you for your time.

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Yeah, I get calls all of the time looking for other people, usually the previous person who had my phone number or the daughter or grandson of the person who owned my home prior to me. You would think that after 10 years, they would figure it out but as been said here many time, JDBs and debt collectors are not the brightest of people. What happens is that the current JDB takes your number off of their list but usually after 3 - 6 months, the sell the debt on but forget to mention that your number is not a valid number (whether on purpose or by accident really does not matter). The new collector then thinks your number is valid and it starts the process all over again.

I generally follow a 3-step process:

1) I politely inform them that I am not the person they are looking for and they will not contact the person at this phone number and to remove the phone number from their list.  About 90% of the collectors do this and I never hear from them again. I do research and verify that the company has the right to collect (proper license) in Minnesota and note that in a notebook along with calls and what both parties said. If not licensed, I look for their address on the web. If I cannot find it, it is obvious I am dealing with a scam.

2) If I get another call after first one, I again tell them to stop calling and I send a cease and desist letter the address the MN Department of Commerce has or that I obtained from the web. I send the letter CMRRR green card method to verify that they got it. The other 10% of the cases get to this point. If a scam, I will start having fun knowing that they cannot do anything to me.

3) If they were to call after receiving the C&D letter, then I would take them to court if a valid company. I have never had to do this step as of yet. If a scammer, then I would continue to have fun with them.

It is a pain in the rear end but it seems this happens to everyone and until there is a change in the law where a previous debt collector must tell the next one about the invalidity of the contact information, it is just something you have to deal with.

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