There is a woman who is calling me from “account services”. I am unclear whether she is from a credit card company or collection agency. I spoke with her a couple of times, and she said that she is not trying to collect, she was calling to find out my intentions. I’ve explained that there is NO MONEY to pay anything right now, and actually, I have reached the point where bankruptcy is a reality for me.

If she can’t reach me at my work number, she starts calling my co-works by changing the variation of my work number slightly. She leaves messages for me on their voicemail. Is this legal?

I have returned her calls, left her messages. I left her another message today, strong asking that she no longer call my co-workers, as it is jeopardizing my job, and to call me only at home from now on. I requested this under FTC rights. I also requested that she leave me an address if she calls, so I can make this request in writing, but I don’t know if she will.

Is she required to stop calling me at work, or at least call my co-workers, if I make the request verbally?

Nope. You must do so in writing and you must have proof they received, it. So get a real address, not a PO, and send them a letter, return receipt requested, stating they are no longer allowed to contact you at work.

Once you have proof that they received the letter and she calls, gets her full name, then uses it when you tell them that they are in violation of federal law and she will personally be named a co-defendant. Then demand to speak to her supervisor, which you probably will not really do, she will just pass the phone to one of her co-workers sitting next to her. Get their full name also, and repeat the same message.

At this point, keep a log of every phone call, what number was dialed, date and time of the call. If you get them back on the phone, tell them you are contacting a lawyer about suing them.

The woman that is calling you from account services is a collector with the 3rd party collection agency called Account Services. Their staff is known for being complete morons and for failing to follow the FDCPA. When she asks you for your intentions, she is calling to collect on whatever debt obligation it is. IF you have told her there is no money, that doesn’t really mean anything to the collector, everybody says that. If you would like to stop the calls, do this: write a letter that requests that they cease and desist all communication with you, both in writing and by phone.

You can fax the letter to them or email them. The law says it must be sent via certified mail with return receipt confirmation. As long as they get it, that is what is important. Collectors calling coworkers by changing the last digits of a # is a very common tactic.

Verbal requests, as stated in the FDCPA are allowable and usually adhered to, but the collectors at Account Services do not always follow the strictest interpretation of the law. You do not need to file bankruptcy yet, what state do you live in, there might be other options.