If you are getting debt collection calls or robocalls for someone else, here is what you need to know.
Debt collectors can only call once
Once a debt collector knows they have called the wrong party, they have to stop calling. If you receive a debt collection phone call for someone else, and you tell the debt collector that you are not that consumer, they should stop calling.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) expressly regulates calls to third parties in section 15 U.S.C. 1692b(3), stating that a debt collector shall “not communicate with any such person more than once unless requested to do so by such person or unless the debt collector reasonably believes that the earlier response of such person is erroneous or incomplete and that such person now has correct or complete location information.”
I have helped hundreds of consumers, and I have never come across a consumer that asked a debt collector to call them back—especially when the collector was calling the wrong person.
Debt collectors have to identify themselves
If you receive a debt collection call for someone else, and ask who is calling, the debt collector has to state who they are. They are also required to say they are confirming or correcting location information. And if you ask them who they work for, they have to say the name of their company.
In other words, the collector has to say something like “This is Randall Ryder, I’m trying to locate John Smith.” If the collector fails to say their name, that can be considered a violation of the FDCPA. If the collector fails to provide the name of their company (per the consumer’s request), that can be considered a violation of the FDCPA.
Debt collectors cannot ask you to take a message
Although debt collectors are allowed to contact third parties, they are not allowed to ask a third party to give a message to the consumer.
For example, if a consumer receives a collection call for their brother, the collector cannot say “oh, can you please tell your brother to call John Smith at 612-424-3770.” Or perhaps something along the lines oh “I have an important business matter I need to discuss with your brother, please have him call John at 612-424-3770.”
If you receive a call from a debt collector, and they ask you to take a message for another consumer, that is likely a violation of the FDCPA.
Continued calls can violate federal law in multiple ways
If you are receiving phone calls about someone else’s debt, you are protected under the FDCPA. In fact, third parties (consumers that do not owe the debt) also have the ability to enforce their rights under the FDCPA.
If you are receiving debt collection calls for someone else, contact me today for a free case evaluation.