Debt Collectors not leaving voicemail
June 15, 2016 7:49 AM   Subscribe

tl;dr: incurred debt as resident of FL, debt collection agency leaves no voicemail. What are my options when I am planning to change numbers?

Hey guys,

I incurred debt while residing in Florida and apparently one of the debt collection agencies calls me and I have paid them once. They kept calling from a restricted number. Now, it seems they are calling from their direct number but they are not leaving me voicemails.

I still have a florida driver's license and recently moved out of state.

What are the options the debt collection agency has if they don't leave me a voicemail? or if they do?
I am also planning on changing numbers for other reasons. Advice is appreciated.
posted by iNfo.Pump to Law & Government (7 answers total)
What are you looking for here? Do you want to pay the debt? Do you want to change numbers to avoid the debt collection agency calling? When you ask what your options are - options regarding what?
posted by jferg at 8:01 AM on June 15, 2016

Response by poster: Excellent question. I do apologize for that.

Can I actually avoid the debt?

Is this Debt Collection agency legitimate?

I would probably pay the debt but I am not at all sure if this agency is legitimate because they do not leave voicemails or were clear about expressing who they were. The place where i incurred the debt said they "sold" it. But this collection agency when they called me mentioned "I have some business with the place of business where I incurred the debt". It seems very odd compared to most debt collection agencies.
posted by iNfo.Pump at 8:08 AM on June 15, 2016

Start by getting written notice of the debt. Do all this.

Just answer the phone once when they call and follow the above steps. Not leaving voicemails is not meaningful with regard to legitimacy.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:15 AM on June 15, 2016 [6 favorites]

The Federal Trade Commission has a good page summarizing the law that protects you, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. It's worth a read.
posted by Zonker at 8:39 AM on June 15, 2016

When did you make that payment on the debt? Debt is governed by a statue of limitations that varies state-by-state. Making a payment resets the clock on that. Also, I believe that Florida is one of the states that always uses Florida's statute of limitations, even if you move to another state.

You can certainly avoid the debt, depending on how much it is and how much they want to collect it. Just don't answer their calls, if you do answer, hang up, ignore any letters, etc. I am not advising this course of action, but for smaller debts, it's highly unlikely they'll sue you.
posted by Automocar at 8:41 AM on June 15, 2016

The voicemail thing is most likely because they have an auto-dialing program that thinks you've picked up, waits for you to say hello, and hangs up before voicemail is done. It's not any indication of whether the company is legitimate or not.
posted by xingcat at 9:58 AM on June 15, 2016

Debt collection agencies will often not leave voicemails because they are not supposed to be informing third parties that they are trying to collect against a debtor, and voicemails are too public.
posted by praemunire at 10:32 AM on June 15, 2016

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