Lea wrote this comment in response to my post on Gill E. Young and Dillinger. It contains so much useful information that I decided to move it over to a post so that everyone will see it and benefit. I am keeping the letter format.
Thank you, Lea, for taking the time to write and share your expertise, gaIned on the job.
I used to be a collector for a company, which I thought practiced predatory loan practices (that’s why I quit), but when I would get someone who stated the loan was taken fraudulently, I would take down the information and send a report to our fraud department. I would also give the person my own number and extension so they could contact me to see what was going on with it. The fraud department would also contact them and take over from there, but I would still give my number so they would have someone to contact until fraud contacted them.
One lady I remember well was just finding out from my call that someone had taken out a loan in her name. It was someone she knew, based on the address given. She was so distraught that I called her back myself a few days later to make sure that the fraud dept. had contacted her; they had, but she seemed grateful that someone cared enough to listen and to contact her back.
The next time you receive a call asking for that person, I would immediately state that if this is an attempt to collect a debt, I need to speak to someone in their fraud department or a supervisor. It’s aggravating I know, but it’s the best way to handle this on your own. I know with some creditors they keep calling anyway, but if you submit a written request to the company to stop the calls, they have to stop calling you and if they don’t, threaten them with a report of a violation of the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). I think the lowest fine for a company who violates this is something like $10,000 per incident. This will usually stop them in their tracks. However, be sure to first ask for fraud or a supervisor to make sure they know it was fraudulent and that you are willing to press charges against the person who committed it.
Hope this helps and a belated welcome home and happy birthday to you.
Thank you so much for your comment; it is highly informative. Most of us do not know what to do when we receive these collection phone calls. I would like to post your reply where more people will get to see it. Do you have a preference as to how I should give you credit for your words?
You can use them however you like; you don’t have to give me credit. I wasn’t really watching my grammar or anything when I replied.
If you google FDCPA, it will tell you exactly what collectors can and can’t do and what rights you have. Keep in mind that parties collecting their own debts, only third party collectors, are not required to follow the FDCPA regs, but most companies choose to follow FDCPA as a matter of good business and I have to say, they seem terrified of FDCPA violations.
The third party collectors, who are governed by FDCPA, seem to be the nastiest and the worst violators. Doesn’t make sense to me.
When I was a collector I can’t say that I was never rude, a day full of people talking to you like a dog when you are trying to be nice and respectful can ’cause you to snap, but I always tried to be understanding and thoughtful.
A lot of people don’t realize that their number is placed in an automated dialer system, so the people calling them aren’t really dialing their number. I can remember many times where people would freak out because they had just made a payment, and I would attempt to take their # out of the system, and it would not work for whatever reason, and you never knew it didn’t work until you got them again. I would always immediately apologize and advise them that sometimes attempts to remove them from the dialer just don’t take the “first” time.
The automated dialer system is why the person being called often gets a recording when they answer the phone. People would get so mad at this, I have to admit I don’t like it myself, they would yell and say “why are you calling me and playing a recording, or why are you calling me and not answering me when I say hello?”. I would try to explain that I did not actually call them, that a computerized system dialed their #, but it was like they couldn’t understand.
Anyway, I’ve rambled on and on, you can just pass on the info however you see fit. Have a great day!
Made a mistake in my previous comment. To be clear, third party collectors, those who have bought a debt or are collecting for someone else, are required to follow FDCPA. These collectors are usually the worst offenders. Companies collecting their own debts, as I was, are not required to follow the regs, but usually choose to do so as a good business practice. As a collector, we would get written up for violations of FDCPA, even though legally we were not required to follow it.