Harrassed by a JDB calling for a previous cellular subscriber - would I have FDCPA standing?

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I have been getting pounded by a major JDB for a few months now - telephone calls, robo-calls, and text messages - up to 4-5 a day.  They are calling for debt for that does NOT belong to me.  Seriously, and I mean it, actually, truly, seriously, it is not mine - or anyone I've ever known, or am or have ever been related to.  The party (debtor) they are seeking is the previous cellular phone number holder prior to me from over 10 years ago!

I'm wondering if I can sue, even though I am not the debtor have absolutely no link to the debtor.  I guess my concern is standing - Would the FDCPA provisions be something  someone who is actually NOT the person being sought can use to seek relief?  Further details follow below.  I'm posting here as a previous debtor myself (who was greatly helped by this forum), I am 3 and 0 (all wins on my part - two suits brought by me, one defended - for my own personal debt from years ago...) and am not reluctant to go to court but have had better things to do.   However, I've tried to be polite with the collector and am now sick of being harassed.  At this point, being no stranger to a courtroom, if I can make some cash off the effort, I've decided to turn the tables and why not if viable?


- 09/2010 -  Switched mobile/cellular telephone service providers, from one national carrier to another,  and did not port my old number - I was assigned a new one when I came on board the new carrier as new customer.

- ~4/2011 - About 6 months later, circa spring 2011, later began receiving very occasional calls for a party I assume to be the previous phone number subscriber.  ALWAYS the same name being called for.  All collection calls.  Just so happens that the other party is female and I'm male.  Calls were never frequent enough that I was much concerned about it, but usually would answer (wouldn't know who was calling and back then spam calls were no where near as bad as these days...) and explain that I was the new phone number holder and that I did not know the previous party and would ask for the calls to stop.  They always did.

- 1/2021  -   In January of 2021 I started receiving *aggressive* calls from a big name JDB - sometimes as many as 4-5 a day.  Direct calls, robo-calls and text messages.  Tried talking to them, tried their online portal, tried opting-out using text messages, tried texting them details that I am NOT the party they are seeking.  No luck.  I have been keeping a log however :-)  At this point I've been called repeatedly from at least 4 states.  Interestingly, when going to their online portal and entering my number to notify them that that they are incorrectly calling me - they ask me directly if I am, or are related to, or know the party who I've been receiving all the other the other calls for all these years.  I *clearly* communicate I am no that party, know that party, am not related to that party, and do not know anyone who is.  The only thing I will not provide is my  actual name. Their online system asks for my identity - which I will not provide them as I see no need to.

Aside from writing them regarding the matter, which would currently be difficult, since I do not have an account number to reference, and my name is not their debtors name, I feel I've done everything reasonable.  (More importantly, I think a judge would agree)  At this point, if there is a viable avenue to make some money from a lawsuit, our local filing fee is about $60 - so I'm happy to see what happens - but only if I have standing.  Basically, I don't mind possibly wasting the filing fees, but I don't want to waste the time if a suit is not viable...

Any thoughts or advice on resources like this forum I might be able to use to help?


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Are you sure this really is a JDB, and not a scammer pretending to be a debt collector?  Being called from different states seems scammy.  Suing a scammer is an exercise in futility.

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If indeed this is a big name debt buyer, the first thing I would do is send a Cease and Desist letter CMRRR stating that you are not the debtor they are trying to reach, that you have no relations with the debtor they are trying to reach, and that they are to cease and desist calling your phone number. If they continue to call after receiving the letter, then I would talk to a consumer attorney about what options you have.

I feel your pain however. I have had my landline number and owned my home for 15 years and I still get calls for the previous owner of the phone number and the daughter and grandson of the previous owner of my home (said previous owner is now deceased). For the daughter and grandson, I say good luck to whoever is collecting because I believe they are in Honduras. As for the previous owner of my landline, she is living on social security in section 8 housing and even the judgements debtors had against her went out of SOL in her case (Minnesota has a strict 10 years limit on judgements and the only way to renew is to sue again and at $300/suit, I doubt they wanted to renew). In fact, I am having fun with those calls now such as telling them "15 years and you still can't reach her at this number."

So send the letter and see what happens from there. More likely, they will stop and sell the debt on to another JDB who will start the process all over again because when they do skip traces, you number comes up for the debtor in LexusNexis and there is no way to fix that.

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7 hours ago, brody445 said:

Any thoughts or advice on resources like this forum I might be able to use to help?

I had the exact same problem starting in 2009.  I got the mobile number of someone who owed everyone on the planet money.  80% of the calls ended when I informed them that the number had been transferred to a new subscriber.  I had nothing else to do on those.  Of the rest I did have to send a cease and desist stating the number no longer belonged to Jesus Rodriguez and that I had no relation or connection to him to back up the verbal conversation on the phone.  Those calls stopped after the CMRR letter was received.  One kept calling my job and the head of Security got on the phone and tore them a new one and sent a letter from the hospital stating the same thing and to never call me at work again.  ONE JDB a recognizable one would not stop.  NOTHING would convince them I was not Jesus Rodriguez.  I ended up suing them in JP court in TX for TCPA violations and won. 

Send a cease and desist CMRR as @WhoCares1000said.  If they keep calling then you go after them under the TCPA.  Unfortunately any conversation you had is he said/they said unless you recorded it and had permission to do so.  

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