Not My Debt – Calling Wrong Person

The Scenario

Who is John & Mary Smith and why do people keep calling me for them.  My phone is bombarded by their calls day and night.  Sometimes the caller is polite but most often they are quite rude.  No, I do not know them or how to get a hold of them.  I tried being nice and politely telling them I am not the person they are looking for but they keep calling back.  Yelling and threatening to call a lawyer doesn’t help either cause they laugh at me and hang up.  The calls stop periodically, however they start up again without fail just when I think I am in the clear.  Is there any solution out there or am I doomed to forever receiving these annoying collections calls?

The Reality

I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but this is one of the worst situations out there.  Surprisingly the collection agency is not truly at fault (except for the harassing speech).  You are getting calls over and over again for one simple reason.  There is one industry that you should be directing your ire at.  This industry is the credit reporting industry.  Here is a breakdown of the collections process and why you keep getting calls.

Credit Card Process Collections Process
  1. Debtor opens credit card giving them name, ssn, phone
  2. Card is used and paid monthly for years
  3. The credit reporting companies get Debtors’s information including his phone number
  4. Debtor can’t pay the bills after losing job
  5. The credit card company calls and calls until they decide to take a loss on Debtor and sell his debt
  6. Years go by and Debtor doesn’t pay his bills including his phone bill so his number gets recycled
  7. Years later you get a new phone and they give you the Debtor’s number
  1. Credit card company tries to call the Debtor’s number
  2. Debt is sent to another company with original phone number
  3. Debt is sold to new company with original information but Debtor doesn’t have the number anymore
  4. When you get the calls you ask them to remove your number from their records which they do
  5. Debt is sold again with limited info and no numbers so they pay a credit reporting agency or data aggregator for the info
  6. Credit reporting agency gives them Debtors old numbers including one previously removed
  7. Welcome to the endless cycle that you can’t escape

The REAL Bad Guys

The credit reporting companies keep records of you that would shock you if you knew.  Therefore, ever since Sam turned 18 and received his first line of credit and applied for college loans, they have been keeping records of him.  These records are almost impossible for Sam or you to modify.  Whats more, these credit reporting companies sell this information. Therefore, this is why you are getting harassed no matter how many times you tell the collection agency that you are not Sam and to remove your number.

The only way to fix this problem is for a landmark class action lawsuit against the credit reporting agencies (lawyers, feel free to give me a consulting fee for this heads up).  Although in general I do not like class action lawyers, this is the exception where they could make a significant change.  The government is not going to do anything because as we all know, they do not care about regular consumers and instead they care about the big corporations regardless of if they cause harm.

Make Them Pay

Here are the consumer reporting agency companies that sell data to collection agencies.  We recommend for you to call these companies anytime you get a call for the wrong person. Maybe the reporting agencies will take corrective action if they get as many calls as the public does because of their error and refusal to correct the error.

Equifax
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374

866-349-5186: Dispute Credit Report Items
888-766-0008: Place Fraud Alert on Profile
866-493-9788: Existing Customer Support
888-202-4025: Business Solutions
404-885-8078: Fax Number

Experian
P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013

800-509-8495: Dispute Credit Report Items
888-397-3742: Report Requests & Fraud Help
877-284-7942: Existing Customer Support
888-243-6951: Business Credit Services
972-390-4908: Fax Line

TransUnion
P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016-2000

800-916-8800: Disputes Items & Status Checks
888-909-8872: Place a Security Freeze
800-493-2392: Credit Monitoring Customer Support
866-922-2100: Business Services Assistance
610-546-4771: Fax Machine

Innovis
PO Box 1640, Pittsburgh, PA 15230-1640

800-540-2505: Innovis Consumer Assistance
855-703-9292: Sales Support Center

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