Debt Collectors

I’m a big believer in paying bills on time.  In my years of paying bills I’ve only been late on one payment and somehow didn’t realize that I didn’t send in a payment one month.  As much as possible I don’t even carry a month to month balance on my credit card so that I don’t pay interest on it.

So this makes calls from debt collectors all the more annoying to me.  I’ve had my current phone number almost two years now and apparently at least two people who had it before me didn’t like to pay their bills and I keep getting calls from debt collectors for them.

At first I answered these calls to tell the companies that they had the wrong number and to take my phone number out of their system.  One company I had to tell six times before they finally got the message.  Lately though I’ve been just getting a recording, instructing me to call them back at their 800 number. 

I’m not taking my time to call back about a debt that I don’t owe and waste my time on hold, all so the company can call me again the next day because they never bothered to remove my phone number from their system.

All consumers have rights.  Debt collectors may only call during certain hours of the day.  They may not call at work without permission.  They may not make threats or use abusive language.  They must identify their company and explain that they are attempting to collect a debt.  Unfortunately many debt collectors don’t follow these rules.

Fortunately you can report such thugs to the FTC.  http://www.ftc.gov explains all of the that collectors must follow.  If a debt collector has broken any of these rules you may report them to the FTC.

First, Google the phone number that the debt collector called from or search www.whitepages.com to find the company name.  After you have found as much information as you can about the company, go to www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov to report them to the government.  You won’t receive anything in compensation for your annoyance by these companies but the government will investigate their practices and fine them if they have been breaking the law.

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