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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71057
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I keep receiving calls for Michaela Thomas from debt collection

Customer Question

I keep receiving calls for 'Michaela Thomas' from debt collection companies. No one of that name has ever lived here. But, the companies insist I give them my name and telephone number so that they can cross me off their list. This never works and they sort of suggest it is me. I am getting very depressed over this. What can I do? They insist that it is up to me to sort it out.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Are you hoping to force them to stop calling?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am tired of them calling. I suffer a cardiac condition and they really make me feel ill. Whenever they call they always seem to make it sound as if they have a legal right to my information - so that my saying sod off make me guilty.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Yes, these companies are annoying.

Ultimately though, its very difficult to stop them. There is an argument that continual calls amounts to harassment but the police won't act. I don't know why. They generally do not take the view that this type of debt collection amounts to harassment although apparently phoning a former partner twice to ask for the return of a CD and other similar nonsense does.

You could sue for harassment at the small claims court. Its difficult to quantify that type of loss though.

However, there's really no need. You have a variety of options to deal with this. The first is to just simply put the phone down on them when they identify themselves. You are not the debtor. You don't owe them anything at all. Of course, we all try to be courteous and hanging up mid conversation is not courteous but you can't do any more than tell them she doesn't live there.

The second is this though. When they begin the call they will ask you a series of questions of personal information. Just refuse to answer those questions and then they can't talk to you any more as they can't identify you under the DPA.

I usually find that pretending I can only speak Spanish to them on the phone gets rid of them pretty quickly.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is bad though isn't it that they can (will) demand information from you, but it is difficult to get information from them, e.g. who are you? and why do you keep ringing? Surely, someone, somewhere thinks that something should be done? Or is it a case of 'tough luck, that's the way it is!' If the latter, that is very, very wrong.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Debt collection agents are fairly heavily regulated. Their only real powers are to call and write and generally cause annoyance but they certainly do that to the maximum.