Misinformed Bill Collectors
Help Me Hank: Misinformed Bill Collectors
"The phone would ring and I would turn to my husband and say 'it's the idiots!'"
It was actually bill collectors and Robin saved the voice mails they left.
- Bill Collectors
"We have some important business to discuss with you…"
But the problem was the bill collectors were calling the wrong person!
"Did your mother have that kind of a credit card?"
"She does not."
"Does she owe any money to this bank?"
"She does not!"
Turns out it was a case of mistaken identity, but there was no convincing the callers.
"I couldn't believe it! After you explain the truth to them time after time after time they continued to call."
That's why Robyn called "Help Me Hank." And here's where it gets complicated. There are stringent federal rules, which regulate when and how third party collection agencies can call, but the people bugging Robyn's mom were calling directly from the bank! And the rules for banks are much looser. But the FTC says all is not lost!
- Barbara Anthony, Federal Trade Commission
"The consumer should write a very stongly worded letter to the creditor indicating I don't owe that money."
So we told Robyn, get on the computer and inform the bank it's got the right name, but the wrong person.
- Barbara Anthony
"The bank should make every effort to clear up the problem as soon as possible."
So Robyn's angry fax went out and soon after listen to what she heard when she got home. That's right… nothing!
"Nothing nothing nothing!"
The bank got her letter and instantly went away.
"I was thrilled!"
The key to this situation is Robyn's mom did not owe any money, you can tell a bill collector or bank to stop calling, but if you actually do owe money, that does not erase your debt! So what's the consumer battle you're fighting? Maybe I can help! Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org