I have a land line in my house that I've meant to cancel for the longest time. I never use it, and no one close to me ever calls me on it. The only calls I get are usually from the Sheriff's Charity, from people who want me to remodel my house, and then, from those dreaded Debt Collectors.
Only Debt Collectors are not calling for me, they call for my neighbor. Former neighbor. One who left many years ago under some very unfortunate circumstances which I will not go into on account of my being brought up to have respect for my neighbors both current and past. Something, collection agencies, this one in particular, $%@&^@$ #$@!# Management, apparently do not have. (for the time being I will withhold the name of the actual agency).
You see, they keep calling for my neighbor, for several years now, like my number was the one he provided them on the loan docs or whatever. This I know to be highly unlikely because I didn't have my current phone number until about a year after my neighbor left, and where he went to, I know he probably would not have access to it nor the motivation to provide it.
Anyway, if they had just called me on one solitary occasion, to say, "sir, we are trying to locate your neighbor, do you know where he might be?," I would have been annoyed by the call, but I might have pointed them in the right direction.
But instead, they call, simply asking for my neighbor, like he's Saddam Hussein, and I'm hiding him in my cellar. And I've tried everything to make the calls stop.
Me: "He doesn't live here, please do not call me."The next month, more calls.
Collector: "I'm sorry. I will take this number off our records."
Me: "He doesn't live here. He is at $#@#$ #$@#$#$@#. (yes, I even told them where they could find him, please don't hold that against me, it was after the phone rang daily for several weeks).As Spongebob would say, three days later.
Collector: "Thank you. We will update our records."
Me: "F! Bomb, F! Bomb, F! Bomb, F! Bomb"Nope, that didn't work either.
Like I said, this has gone on for years now. I am seriously annoyed, but I haven't done anything yet to take action, beyond telling them on the phone to stop calling. Personally, I think that should be enough.
But apparently no isn't no unless it is sent in a formal written communication.
Collector: "Really sir, there is no reason to escalate this. Your number will not be called again."But here's the real thing that is bothering me. I think that the Collection Agency knows where to find my neighbor. They just know that from him, the debt is uncollectable.
Me: "You mean not called again like you are doing right now, or like last month or the month before or the month before that?"
So what do they do? They call his neighbor. They are probably calling the neighbor on the other side of him too. They're probably calling the people that currently live at his house, and of course, anyone who is a relative.
Why? Are they really trying to track him down? No, they are just hoping someone else will pay his debt. They have taken a practice known as skip tracing and are using it to collect debts any way they can.
I am told that it is illegal, that you can only use this practice to get information as to location. And that you can only call once.
But to stop this practice, you have to be proactive. You have to keep logs, write letters, contact agencies. How many people are going to go through this trouble? The collection agencies know this and are taking full advantage of it.
They are basically, just preying on people's good will and good nature, hoping that we will pay the debt of thy neighbors.