I Get Debt Collector Calls for a Previous Resident. - Don
Posted March 19, 2013
WRAL Reader Question
Previous resident of my house apparently skipped out on several debts. I've been living in the house for nearly 7 years. The house was vacant for at least a year before that. I've had my phone number for 12 years. Apparently the debt collectors out there have connected the phone number with the address.
And about twice a year I get phone calls (both the hang-up robo-dialer, and the recorded request to return their call) from debt collectors attempting to contact the prior resident. Someone whom I do not even know. And every time I contact the debt collector and inform them of the error of their ways. That is, if I can catch them during their operating hours. Is there any way I can put a permanent stop to this idiocy?
The short answer is "no."
Here's why. Trying to get a debt collector to fix the error in some bit of data they have stored is practically futile. Even if they fix the error once, it does not mean it's not buried somewhere else in the system and will reappear.
I'm just being frank here and of course I wish there was a way to make these calls stop for you.
But there are some things you could do. Depending on who your telephone provider is you could talk to them about some sort of call blocking option you'd probably have to pay for. That takes money out of your pocket.
And of course you could get a phone that displayed caller ID and pay for that additional service if your telephone company does not provide it for free. You would then screen all your calls and not answer those that don't have a caller ID you recognize. But that approach impacts your good callers more than the two annoying calls a year.
The most reasonable way to handle these two calls a year is just to hang up and go enjoy the day.
WRAL Get Out of Debt Guy
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