Can debt collectors not disclose their identity when calling to harass relatives of a debtor?
July 17, 2009 12:24 PM Subscribe
Do debt collection agencies have to identify themselves as such when calling relatives of the debtor?
posted by ishotjr to Law & Government (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I got a call today from a debt collection agency who was looking for a close relative who is on the same cell phone plan with me. Let's say my relative's name is Don Smith. The debt collector started by asking if I was Don Smith, and I told them that I am not. They asked if I know Don Smith. I asked them who they're with, and they said NCO, which sounded like a debt collection agency to me. I said, "if you are a debt collector, don't you need to inform me as such before asking for such information?" They said, "Are you a lawyer? You need to get current on your laws." I told them that it's none of their business if I know that person. They asked again and I said no, which is not true. They then proceeded to be a huge jerk to me when I told them not to call me anymore.
I looked it up, and according to the internet, a debt collector can call just once to ask the whereabouts of a relative. Am I legally required to tell them the truth? They should know my relative's whereabouts as they have had the same phone number and address for over 20 years and aren't exactly in hiding.
I plan on complaining to the company no matter what since the debt collector was exceedingly rude, but I'd like to know whether they have to disclose their identity before asking whether I know the debtor so I can add that to my complaint.