Collections Agent Calls For...My Neighbor?!

United States
May 13, 2008 10:01am CST
I got a call from an attorney this morning. First of all, she WOKE ME UP. Second of all, she was trying to locate my neighbor. WTF?! She said, "I'm sorry for calling so early, Mrs. Smith. My name is Tracey Something, and I'm an attorney with Such-and-Such Law Offices. I'm calling in regards to your neighbor at 131 Blue Sky Street, a Mrs. Jenny Jones. Do you know her?" My address is 130 Blue Sky Street, so that has "Jenny Jones" living right across the street. I only know the couple by their first names, so when the attorney said the last name, it threw me off. Also, she and her husband are either separated, divorced, or just work wildly different shifts, b/c I almost never see her over there, and her husband throws loud parties twice a month. So I told Tracey Something that I knew OF her, but I didn't know her, and I asked why she was calling ME to get in touch with my neighbors. "Well, I've been trying to call for a couple of weeks, but I just get dead air. Could you please take down my name and number, and take it over there for me if you happen to go out today?" I asked her if there was something I could write down as to what it was regarding. "No ma'am, it's against the law for me to disclose that kind of information." "Okay, I'm not comfortable enough with my neighbors to go over there for social reasons, much less to give a note that you yourself could mail out. So no, if you can't tell me what it's about, I'm not doing it." I totally forgot to ask why the hell she was calling ME instead of mailing a letter in the first place! Why would she call me? I know my name and number are public information, but she was calling from NEW JERSEY, and I live in GEORGIA. How did she get my number? How is it illegal for her to tell me why I should bother my neighbors, but it's okay for her to bother me at 8:00 in the morning?! I'm not even the one she wanted in the first place! I can only assume she was calling on behalf of a collections agency. My neighbors are not the most responsible with their money, and they had some stuff repossessed a few months ago. How would you have handled it? Should I go and tell my neighbors anyway? Should I let them know that I don't appreciate them dodging for so long that their problems are now calling ME? I know that next time I get a call like that, I'm cussing out the caller and my neighbors! Thanks in advance for your responses!
2 people like this
6 responses
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
13 May 08
I would find out if what they did was even legal. That is quite insane.
3 people like this
• United States
13 May 08
My thoughts exactly. I didn't think they could do something like that, and next time it happens (if there is a next time), someone is catching hell for it.
2 people like this
@laglen (19780)
• United States
13 May 08
Wow, thats nuts. I would slip a note on their door but I think it is probably a collection agency. They do very sleazy things to collect.
2 people like this
• United States
14 May 08
Would they really be so sleazy as to claim to be an attorney's office? And how in the world would they get MY phone number? I'm not listed as a contact for these people in any documents. In fact, my neighbors don't even know my phone number! It was so strange that I couldn't even think up a way to tell the woman off properly. Thanks for the post!
• United States
14 May 08
That's beyond creepy. Not really fair that I just happen to live next to losers, so that immediately makes me responsible for their stupidity. I don't understand people that don't pay their bills to the point of being turned over for collections. I had it happen to me ONCE, but not because I didn't pay my bills, or default on a credit line. I switched car insurance companies, and the agent implied that they would take care of cancelling my policy with my former company. (Turns out, they can't do that. You actually have to call and do it yourself. ID theft, ya know.) However, I just stopped sending the former company my payments, so they turned me over. Honest mistake, and easily cleared up, but inconvenient nonetheless. After it was all cleared up, I got one more call from a collector, threatening a lawsuit, but I told him if he called me anymore knowing that he and I both had proof that the debt was cleared, I'd sue HIM! Anyway, other than a mistake, I can't see anyone intentionally not paying their bills or overextending themselves. Ridiculous.
@horsesrule (1960)
• United States
13 May 08
I guess I always thought that those kinds of calls couldn't be made before 9AM. That's weird that they called you about your neighbors though, I guess they're desperate. I have also heard that if you tell them to NEVER call you again and to remove your information from their files that it would be against the law for them to ever call you again. I'm not sure if that's true either though.
2 people like this
• United States
14 May 08
I found out the times they can call, and it's between 8am and 9pm. Ridiculous, especially since I'm not the one they were looking for, but she woke up me and my 3 year old at 8:01am. Yeah. I'm not even sure how a NEW JERSEY agent/attorney got my phone number in the first place. I live in Georgia! And my neighbors don't even know my phone number, much less have me listed as a contact. It was one of the weirdest phone calls I've ever received. Thanks for posting!
@Hatley (164389)
• Garden Grove, California
14 May 08
the only way a call would be legal is if it was an emergency and the person was a friend or relative of yoour neighbors and they only knew you phone number. bill collectorshave some nasty habits of using others to get to the person that they really want. If they would not tell you what they wanted I would just hang up on them as you are not beholden to these people.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 May 08
That's pretty much what I did. I thought at first, "Ok, an attorney is calling me, something's going on. I hope my neighbors are okay, but wait a second--why would an attorney be calling ME to get in touch with THEM?!" So when I started asking questions back, she started getting defensive, so I just said no and hung up. If she hadn't just woken me up, I would have been thinking a little faster and told her off good! Thanks for posting!
• Canada
14 May 08
I would have told my neighbour that a collection agent called for them. I would have told them that I don't want to know why, nor do I care, and I will not judge them, but I would let them know, only so that they know that their privacy is being violated and that these people are harassing their neighbours. The collection agency is in the wrong, not you or the neighbour.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 May 08
If the wife, "Jenny", was ever at home, I would. She's nice enough, she's just never there. If she was, though, I'd tell her. The very next time I do see her, the sh!t will probably hit the fan. Thanks for posting!
• United States
14 May 08
that's absolutely insane! Collection agencies, or anyone on that matter aren't allowed to call until 9. I would get them in trouble for it if I were you.
• United States
14 May 08
Actually, they can call from 8am to 9pm. This is according to Section 805 A1 in the U.S. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) of 1966. However, I still don't understand how or why they thought that I would be the person to call in reference to my NEIGHBOR'S affairs! I don't even know if they were in fact trying to collect a debt, as she told me she was calling from an attorney's office, but that's what I assumed after the way she spoke to me. At first she was nice enough, but when I started asking questions of my own, she basically told me it was none of my business. I should have told her that she made it my business by calling me, but I was still too asleep to think that fast! If I had thought about it at the time, I'd have gotten her name and number anyway, and then reported her to the FTC. Thanks for the post!