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How to Handle Debt Collection Calls

Updated on February 29, 2020
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You're sitting down to dinner, just shoving the first bite of the steak you cooked up into your mouth when your phone rings. You mutter, throwing down your knife and fork, and check the caller ID. Who is it? Some 800 number with an unpronounceable company name, and if you answer it, they'll ask you to pay that $32.64 you owe some membership program you signed up for when you were drunk three St. Patrick's Days ago.

The fact is, we all hate those calls. Over the course of the normal person's lifetime we are all bound to get at least one of them, and for those of you shaking your heads, you just wait. Debt collectors go to great lengths to get the money from the people they contact, but there is a long list of things that debt collectors are legally NOT allowed to do. Here's the story:

There are laws in place on the state and federal level which restrict debtors from contacting you under certain circumstances. You should check your state laws here.

Consumer Alert - Allied Data

Allied Data Corporation is a scam collection agency located in Texas. Their number is 1(800)275-7176. I was recently approached by this company with their claims that they had taken over a relatively small overdue account with Avon. The lady I spoke to called me names, called me a liar and said I was refusing to pay my debt.

Mind you, I received - one week ago - my letter from a *reputable* collection group that stated I was still to pay Avon.

Doing my research at the Better Business Bureau I discovered that this ADC company has a seriously bad record with the BBB, is NOT accredited, and further research online showed me that this company is reputed by hundreds of people as a total scam.

Do your research! Don't hand over money until you have full verification of your debt in writing and from a source which is registered and accredited by the BBB!

Under the provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) here are some of the debt collector no-nos:

  • Calling prior to 8 a.m. in your time zone. No matter what time zone the debt collector operates in, they cannot call you before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. unless you specifically tell them they may.
  • Belittle, slander or make negative comments about you or your life choices.
  • Claim you committed a crime
  • Deliver to you documents which appear to be legal forms but are not, or legal forms which the collection agency making claims that the forms were not legal forms.
  • Call you at work unless your boss allows these kinds of calls.
  • Lie about who they are, who they work for, or how much you owe
  • Threaten you with a lawsuit, jail time or violence to get you to pay.
  • Call you without notifying you of your debt via mail within five days.
  • Call you more than once after you write a letter for them to cease and desist phone calls.

Armed with this list, the best advice for dealing with a debt collector is to simply keep a level head, take down every bit of information you can, and pay off your debts! Even if you can only afford to pay a small amount every month, you still show through a regular schedule of payment that you have an honest desire to clear your accounts. Good luck!

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    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 

      8 years ago from Space Coast

      Right on (old school)! The cartoonist will love you for the exposure, or did you do it?

      Shattered my knee - total reconstruction. Over-zealous personnel manager took my six months sick leave (accrued over 8 years and bonus for attendance, great firm wanted you to be all good for baby or bad luck). Convalesced and rehabbed for months. Long story. I don’t know how he got it in his head . . new guy trying to look good by saving $ ? Demonic suggestion? Insurance and co-pay all covered. After a while, I got dead beat calls . At first I tried to work it out. Then medical services call wanting me to pay difference between what they charge and what insurance pays. Bogus! Then, illegal repo of van and calls for the balance.

      At first, I was stressing like Ichabod Crane. Eventually, I found relief. I would answer, “I know why you called. You need a sign or a mural for your business. No? well, call me back when you do . . . you have the number.” Click!

      If I was especially bored by watching basic cable daytime, I would go into the whole story of what was going on in my life and why I couldn’t pay. I scored myself by how long I could keep them on the phone. Time flew by and I was disappointed when they quit calling.

    • profile image

      Ruthie 

      8 years ago

      We are 'new' to USA, not understanding medical insurance, etc. We 'fell' for these 'small' owing payment scams only to have our accounts slowly drained, fought with Chase to reinstate and investigate after realizing we OWE NO ONE NOTHING. That our medical co-pays were paid and there were no extra medical incurrances. After I caught on that they scammed us bit by bit and then illegally drained our accounts (YES ALLIED in Houston), I turned the tables on them and phoned them endlessly making insistent demands to mail us information, etc or I will be dealing with the FBI and Attorney General's office in Texas. They attempted to be very confrontative and threatening to me during these calls but I have them all recorded and submitted my case. Then proceeded to phone them until I had supervisors on the phone and I detailed out exactly what I did, the phone calls I RECORDED and have and they have been served! Needless to say its in the courts and I have not heard 1 more call or message from them. If we all had the time and energy to give them a taste of their medicine and TRAP THEM WITH THEIR OWN ILLEGAL THREATS then these types of businesses would shut down - and fast!!! Remember - you do not have to speak to anyone ever on the phone, not even the police. If the police NEED you and your info, they will come to your door. Even then, you have full rights to dismiss them and whatever they ask. You can buy recording devices for about $40 - $50 online including video recording OR use skype to return phone calls and there are online free downloads to use to record the conversations. START being pro-active and fight back. They have no right to threaten or scare you in any manner, it is illegal and I was pleased they choose to continue their threats on me and I have them recorded. How's that for turning the tables. Please, don't be afraid of the court system. If you are Pro Se/ on your own, the judge will allow you to stumble in court and if you're lucky, he/ she will offer ways on what you should be asking or doing at the moment. It costs very little to file court documents and have these people served - with TRUE legal documents.

      Signed, Ruthie now Ruthless screwed over 1 too many times.

    • profile image

      dubious 

      9 years ago

      Why do they ask "are you refusing to pay"???

    • profile image

      bandit 

      10 years ago

      what someone really needs to do is to infilterate allied data and get real comfortable and then reck havoc from within. this company needs to go down. (not kill anyone, that would be immoral.) just find out how they work and sell them out to the people they abuse.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      11 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      I have updated this hub to include an important consumer warning regarding the company called Allied Data Corporation. Please watch out for them, they'll call you from 18002757176.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 

      12 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Should you get one of these calls, even if it's from a trusted source such as your utility company, and the caller suggests you pay over the phone right then and there, don't do it.  Not only will you be coughing up your credit card number to a party who shouldn't have it, you will also be paying a fee of $20 or more for the privilege of paying over the phone.

      Well done, gamergirl.  The link to state laws is very valuable.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Marshall 

      12 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Excellent topic and advice! This is top notch!

    • About-The-Home profile image

      About-The-Home 

      12 years ago

      Good advice.

      ...but assuming it's not a mistake and you took something with no intention of paying for it then aren't you fair game for collection agencies?

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image

      Bonnie Ramsey 

      12 years ago from United States

      Great advice and excellent list! There were a few on there I wasn't aware of. While I may not get as many as I used to, I have had these buggers to call me at 10:30 at night! Thanks for sharing!

      Bonnie

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