Collection Agency Calls

For six weeks Carol Barnett was reluctant to pick up the phone... concerned it might be a collection agent with a case of mistaken identity.

She says everyone who called insisted she was someone else. They told her. she was Carol Egolf and owed Chase Bank more than
$4,000.

Carol says, "She absolutely refused to acknowledge the fact that there was no Carol Egolf at this house. This is the right telephone number, the right address."

Then Carol says the calls escalated.

She was hearing from two different collection agencies, National Action Financial Services and Creditor's Exchange. Both demanded repayment of Carol Egolf's loan.

Colorado has debt protection laws and Carol followed the advice she was given by authorities, but it didn't stop the calls.

Carol adds, "Neither one of us were sleeping extremely well and we both at two different times thought we were going to consult a lawyer."

As a last resort Carol made a Call for Action. I did a little research online and found the Better Business Bureau had given National Action Financial Services an "F" rating for having 330 complaints against it.

I also was able to find the name and number of a man in charge of the collection agency and he immediately put a stop to the calls.

Carol says, "It's an absolute blessing that this has gone away and we are so grateful to you for finding that for us."
Now Carol and her husband Charles can relax.

So what are the rules when it comes to collection agencies? Katie Carrol with the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado says, "there's an act, a law that regulates this and ensures that debt collectors, legitimate debt collectors behave with respect, in a non-hositle and non-threatening way."

The Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is designed to protect you. The law tells collectors they can't call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
They can't make false or misleading statements or use profanity. The law also prohibits companies from calling you once you tell them to stop at work and at home. Their only contact then can be through a lawsuit.

A few months ago Colorado Attorney General John Suthers warned about a spike in collection agency complaints. His office gets about 800 such complaints a year.

To report a debt collector contact the Colorado Collection Agency Board in the Attorney General's office at (303) 866-5304 or the Consumer Hotline at (800) 222-4444.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Rob me Location: Canada on Mar 8, 2012 at 11:08 AM
    Better get a toll free number to avoid the hassle.
  • by sammy11 Location: Canada on Feb 24, 2012 at 02:22 PM
    I hate hearing my phone constantly ringing. It's annoying for me. These toll free services let's easy calls and I mean easy repeated calls which sometimes are not necessary.
  • by Alex Location: Colorado Springs on Mar 19, 2011 at 01:18 PM
    That must have been tough, getting so many calls from 800 numbers. It's great to see that they took the appropriate action and things turned out well for them in the end. And it's great to know that Colorado has laws to prevent such things from happening!
  • by van Location: springs on Jun 7, 2010 at 02:26 PM
    We canceled our land line a few years back because of this. Apparently a previous tenant owed quite a debt. The calls would start at 7:30 am and go until 10 pm. There did not appear to be any way to stop it, so we canceled the line.
  • by Not Me Location: Fountain on Jun 7, 2010 at 11:28 AM
    Collectors have been wearing me out since August. They are looking for the family that lived in the house BEFORE I rented it. They even sent a repo man with a tow truck to the house. They have now found my personal cell phone and are calling it now to verify who lives at the house. Changing phone numbers hasn't worked either. They always find the new one and keep asking for the old family's name.
  • by Wayne on May 20, 2010 at 04:54 AM
    I get a bunch of them on my cell phone, and they're all robocalls. At first I tried to contact the companies to let them know I'm not who they're looking for, but it didn't work. I ignore them now because it wastes my minutes. If a real person would make the calls, they'd get my voicemail, and maybe get a clue that I'm not who they want.
  • by Erin S. Location: Security on May 19, 2010 at 11:23 PM
    They can however legally sell "your" debt to another agency who can then start calling you again apparently. We've been having that problem with some debt collectors calling to collect on the various and sundry debts of a relative who no longer lives with us, has not lived with us for over a year, and in fact never DID live with us at our current address. Yet every time we think there are no more creditors come calling for her, the calls start again except it's a different company, because the previous one sold the debt apparently.
  • by Karen Location: COSP on May 19, 2010 at 09:42 PM
    Had Carol taken the time to speak clear and concise that she was not the person, validate the address and number, mail in a dispute within 30 dsays of recieving the 1st notice as required by law, she might have not faired so badly..Debtors can't just say stop calling me, it has to be in writing..sheesh! Yes they're are some bad collectors out there sad but true, but come on..when people are vague and can't or won't be forthcoming, it is what it is, their fault as well..
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