Question/ bill collectors

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Question/ bill collectors
24
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 5:59pm
i cant believe this happened again. the phone rang last evening, and i was at the computer where we have a corded phone, and no caller id. i picked it up and they asked for "patricia". i said, im sorry you have the wrong number. they said, well they gave me this number on information. isnt your address 6016....., i said, no, and they said i am looking for patricia (last name). i said, shes my neighbor, and that address is not mine. she said, would you plz give her a message. this is an *emergency* and she must call back collect right away, and the lady gave me her number. now i have had this happen before, but the person identified themselves as from a credit card company, and i told them, they can do their own leg work. i asked this one if my neighbor knows her and she said, she will when she tells her who shes with.

i did not want to be nosy, especially because my neighbors whole familys are waaay out of town, and i figured something was wrong. also, my neighbor is pregnant, and i was worried this would upset her, but i told her what happened in case it was family. i did not recognize the area code either. she came to our house, so her dd wouldnt hear her on the phone. turns out it was a bill collector for a student loan she had a while back.

i was furious. this person invaded my home, and wanted me to do their legwork for their bill collecting!!! after patty was done talking to this woman, i took the phone and told her not to ever call my house again......guess what her answer to me was!!! "well ma'am, you misrepresented yourself". WHAT??? she called me and manipulated me into getting my neighbor to the phone!!! i hung up on her.

has anyone had this happen to them??? just curious as to how common this is.

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Avatar for karenester
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 6:13pm
Bill collectors are truely the most unscrupulous people ever to have walked the face of the eart--even worse than us lawyers.

Want outrageous: The summer after law school, when studying for the bar exam, we fell behind on a few bills--neither dh nor I was working yet and we had a baby, so we had a few tight months there. Dh got a call from a bill collector, asking for me. When I realized it was a bill collector, i just hung up on him, because I had no desire to deal with him and no money to pay him right then anyway. So, he calls right back and tells me that if i don't give him my bank account number, he will call CPS in my area and report me for child abuse, stating that he could hear the abuse going on in the background of the call. I got all his info, pretending to be so that i could send him a check, and instead I reported them to the state attorney general's office in both my state (TX) and his state (VA).

Both agencies told me: "sounds like a personal problem, why don't you just pay your bill." I pointed out to the AGs the spoecific laws that we being broken by this company, and they said they have too much to deal with, that they cannot be concerned with "mean" bill collectors.

This same bill collector called my inlaws and told them about the debt, and even asked my FIL for his CC number to charge a payment to him. (same town, same last name). I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they also called a neighbor.

Thankfully, we are past those days now.

When dh was in college, he worked as a telemarketer for two days. it was for a bill collecting company. he says they were trained to threaten to send cops and have people arrested, to swear at them, call them names, and if they couldn't get their money, at least make them feel like $hit. I wonder how dh made it there for 2 whole days.

Yup, gotta love a bill collector. Now, all we get is telemarketers. If dh answers the phone, he asks them for phone sex--even if it is a guy. i just give the phone to my 2 year old. He loves phone calls.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 6:54pm
ROFLMAO!!!!!!!! that is hilarious!!! i love it. i couldnt believe this lady last night. im really not afraid to talk to anyone on the phone, and she was totally obnoxious!!! how do these idiots sleep at night. i told my neighbor, if it happens again i will ask if she had met her "quota" this month, and go bother someone else. i used to work in the auto finance dept of the bank, and the car dealers were obnoxious, but never like this woman!!

phone sex, that is a riot!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 7:04pm
We have a very unusual last name (unless you happen to live in Louisiana). Every where we have lived we have been the only one with it in the phone book. A few years ago we kpet getting a phone call from somebody looking for Mary Lastname (she had skipped out on car payments). Every time they called we told them that we did not know the person they were looing for (my MIL is Mary Lastname but not the one they were looking for). Finally on about the third call my DH asked them why they keep calling us, we said that we don't know the person. Their reply "Because you have the same last name". DH asked them if someone named Smith owed them money did they harrass every Smith in the phone book.

Last year we got a letter from a lawyer in Dallas representing a hospital. It said that medicare had refused to pay for DH's hospitalization because they said that we were not covered under medicare at the time so we were responsible for the bill.

Couple of problems:

We had never used medicare.

DH had never lived in Dallas.

DH was never hospitalized (at least not in the last 14 years).

We were not even in the country at the time of said hospitalization but were living in Turkey where we were stationed with the Air Force.

We had to the social security office and varify that DH was not the person that they were looking for. It turns out that it probably was a distant cousin.

We asked the lawyer why she contacted us, because we were in the phone book and the name matched.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 9:24pm
Now, tell me why you are mad at the bill collector? You should be pissed the neighbor gave out your phone number. She needs to pay her bills. Bill collectors get a bad rap, they are just doing their job and the more the collect, the less it will cost us people who pay their bills. I can honestly say I have never had a bill collector call my home, because when i get a bill I pay it.
Avatar for virgogirl914
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 9:26pm
Not that I 'like' bill collectors or telemarketers (though dh did a stint pre-military as a telemarketer for Special Olympics). . .but sometimes the 'same last name' tactic is for a good purpose.

Dh got a letter 3 months or so ago saying they were looking for Virgo Lastname (our last name isn't too common) who had relocated from Germany to Kansas. The organization had employed Virgo Lastname and had a 'refund' check for her (they gave more details than this, but this is the general gyst). They were honest that they were sending the letter as his last name was the same in hopes that he would know me. The details were correct regarding the organization, the move, my previous employment with them, etc.

I called and after confirming some information received my 'refund'. . .of $2.21. . .lol.

Avatar for virgogirl914
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 9:36pm
Never claimed that finances were my area of expertise, so I'm asking out of a true interest in additional information. .

How exactly does it 'cost' you money if someone else doesn't pay their bills?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 10:38pm
I've never had a bill collector call me either, but that doesn't make me superior, as you seem to think it makes you. People have troubles and financial difficulties - it happens, and it happens to good people. Maybe they're laid off, or maybe they're like a woman I know who has cancer and has well over a hundred thousand dollars in medical bills that occurred to SAVE HER LIFE during a period of interruption in health insurance. Might want to step down off the high horse before you fall off.

AND, you might want to reread the OP, the neighbor didn't give out the telephone number.

And further, if they are harassing, threatening, and nasty, they deserve every inch of the bad rap they get. Just like the telemarketers who call me back several times after I've hung up on them. Being nice to them only encourages the type of behavior their bosses and companies are asking them to use. The only way it will change is if people don't put up with it.

 

Avatar for taylormomma
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 8:17am
Why do you think the neighbor gave out her phone number? They probably looked up the number on an address cross-reference program.

Bill collectors don't just "get a bad rap". Many of them do things that are ILLEGAL.

Avatar for lola356
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 8:17am
There are many programs available to bill collectors and even to you righ tnow on the internet that gives out contact information for you and people that live on your street. I've found a couple of my neighbours phone numbers that way.

L.

Avatar for taylormomma
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 8:19am
Because companies have to raise their prices and interest rates to cover the loss.

Did you know the biggest contributor to rising hospital costs is unpaid bills? Because emergency rooms cannot refuse treatment to anyone, many people without insurance use emergency rooms for non-emergency care and then don't pay. Paying customers foot that bill.

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