Collection of a debt for a relative who does not reside in our home.

by Jolei
(Wilmington, DE)

A debt collector has continued debt collection calls at my home for my mother-in-law who has never lived at my home. My husband is a junior so often is confused with his Dad. This would not be so bad it they were not so rude when I explain this. They call from different numbers which never identify the collection agency. They will not give me their name or the "law firm" which hired them they keep referring to.

They also use scare tactics like she has charges pending against her and they are investigators. I ask what sort of charges and they refuse to answer anything telling me that I need to give her the number they provide without a name of their company or firm.

They tell me I need to stop hiding her and they will continue to call me until she resolves the debt. What can I do to find out what company is behind this? Where can I complain to have them investigated?

Thank you,


Reply from

Jolei -

Unfortunately there is no easy solution to this. Without a name of a company or any way to identify the company, it's going to be hard for you to report them. (If you decide to report them you would file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The fact of the matter is that if this is a legitimate debt collector and you tell them you you can't provide any information, and to leave you alone, they must do so. So either this is a scam collector or one that doesn't have a problem flouting the law.

Our best suggestion at this point is for you to get some kind of call screening system in place so you can ignore their calls. You can check with your phone company to see if they offer a service that will require callers to announce themselves, or you can purchase a phone that includes a caller announce feature.

Finally, have you talked with your mother in law about this? You may want to send her a link to this site to help her figure out how she can handle these collectors if they are calling her as well.

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