Collection calls continued after finding they had wrong person
Q: Since mid November I have been receiving collection calls from Dell Financial Services. I don't have any outstanding debt with them. I confirmed with a representative that the name matched. However, the date of birth, address and last four digits of the Social Security number did not match.
I requested that my phone number be removed from this account and was assured that no more collection calls would be made to my phone.
After continuing to receive calls, I sent a registered letter to Dell Financial Services, stating the nature of the discrepancy and that any additional collections calls will be considered harassment.
I have received more calls, the most recent being June 7.
Is there anything you can do to help?
A: After getting passed around Dell Financial Services, I finally spoke with a collections representative and discussed your case. It has been confirmed that your number is no longer in Dell Financial's system and you should not receive any future calls. Consumers are protected under federal and state laws, but you made sure to protect yourself as well.
In most cases, harassing debt collection calls from a third party would fall under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This act is regulated and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. In your situation the collector is Dell Financial Services, the originator of debt, and not a third party. Therefore it falls under the regulation of the state of Florida, specifically the Department of Financial Services Division of Consumer Services.
Here are some steps to take when dealing with calls from debt collectors.
• Verify the debt with the company. Ask for the full name on the account, the address and at least the last four digits of the Social Security number. Get the company's name, address, phone number and the name of the operation's manager. Requesting that all calls be recorded is also a smart idea.
• Ask that all calls to your number cease.
• Follow up with a letter to the collection agency, sent certified mail, return receipt requested.
If you continue to receive calls, even after following these steps, call the Division of Consumer Services Office of Financial Regulation and ask to file a complaint. The division's complaint process requires you to complete a form furnishing the accused company's information and a summary of the nature of the accused violation. Also, you must state under oath and in front of a notary public that the information provided on the form is true.
Once a complaint is processed, the state will communicate in writing with both you and the accused company in an attempt to resolve the problem. "In addition, the office shall attempt to resolve each sworn complaint and shall record the resolution of such complaints," according to Florida statute 559.725.
To file a complaint with the Division of Finance call toll-free 1-800-848-3792 or download a form online at www.flofr.com/Finance/Forms/ConsumerCollection%20Complaint%20Form.pdf.