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My husband has a debt collection agency that keeps calling him, daily, asking for him by his first and middle name (not his last name). Last year he was in an accident and went to the ER. When he was there, the hospital staff entered all of his information incorrectly including his name, address, and insurance. We never saw a bill from the hospital. We reached out to the hospital about the bill after three months and discovered the error. It took multiple phone calls to even get our information corrected and get the insurance corrected and billed. Now this collection agency keeps calling. When we try to ask what the debt is they say it is from the hospital name but refuses to talk to us about any details because my husband will not say his last name is his middle name. We have asked for them to validate the debt if they would verify the address, but, again, they refuse and hang up on us, and call back the next day asking for the wrong name. We do not want this affecting his credit score, but I feel we should have some rights to get this taken care of, especially if we already paid the hospital in full and this was something that never even was properly billed to our health insurance. They are harassing him and calling him on his cellphone everyday, which I have told this debt collector it is a cell phone and that is against consumer rights. And they hung up on me and called back the next day anyways. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Check what the law in your state is regarding "single party recording". Also listen to what they say at the beginning of the phone call. If they say they may record the call, they're consenting to you recording it. So do that.
    – Ben Voigt
    Commented Jun 14 at 17:08
  • Laws differ around the world and this is an international site. I've tagged your question united-states based on the details you've given, but if I've got that wrong please edit or comment.
    – Vicky
    Commented Jun 15 at 17:24
  • @BenVoigt If you tell them that you're going to record them from now on every time they call, they can either stop calling (in which case problem solved) or continue to call (in which case they have consented to being recorded). Commented Jun 15 at 22:13
  • Most mobile phones have the ability to block calls. Use this feature.
    – Pete B.
    Commented Jun 18 at 17:48
  • @Acccumulation I'm skeptical that recording consent would carry over to an entirely different phone conversation, or would carry over between different agents calling from the same company. Consent must come from the conversing parties - you don't get someone's implied consent to record them by telling their coworker that you plan to do so a week earlier. The coworker can't consent to someone else being recorded since they're not a party to the conversation, and no one is a party to a conversation that hasn't even happened yet. Commented Jun 18 at 18:27

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If a debt collection agency calls you over and over again to basically beg for additional data because they apparently don't have enough data to sent you a real invoice via mail this may indicate:

  • they are scammers
  • they are boderline scammers
  • they don't even have enough data to negatively affect your score with a credit-score agency
  • they are desperate

I would simply block their number on the cellphone. And possibly also block calls from calls without caller-id, in case they are suppressing their number.


FWIW, I got such calls for some time after I switched to a new mobile phone number. Apparently, the previous owner of that number ran up some debt and had used that number with the creditors.

The calls where indistinguishable from ultra trashy scam, performed by the lowest form of scum. Of course I didn't provide them any information, simply laughed at them and blocked 6 or so of their changing numbers.


A scammer knows that when calling up random people and asking about a debt in a general way the chance is relatively high that the callee actually has some dealings with dept. With such a match, a callee might be tempted to fill in the blanks, since it somehow seems to be relevant or even feels like an expected call. The scammer obviously tries to exploit such dynamics and the desire of many to cooperate and be helpful, by default.

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  • Thank you so much for your help. I appreciate all the feedback. Commented Jun 19 at 18:24
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I would first try to talk to someone in the hospital's billing department, or maybe even walk in to the hospital and sit down with an administrator. Explain what happened and ask them to help you contact this company and inform them the debt no longer exists and only existed in the first place due to a typo and that that has been remedied. The debt originated with them -- they should have the mechanisms to note it was a mistake and not collectable.

If that isn't effective, next I would check with your state's attorney general's office. Be sure to emphasize that you are square with the hospital and that this collector is harassing you. They are usually pretty happy to go after summy companies that harass their state's residents -- usually they can levy pretty big fines for every unauthorized contact. They aren't likely to have the resources to enforce, but they can usually scare a company to the point where it isn't worth their taking a risk to keep bothering you.

You and your husband also need to be pulling all 3 credit bureau reports and see if this debt is reported on those as well. The hospital needs to have those removed if it is there and you need to be on the record as challenging it, too.

This process does stink. By the time something gets to companies that operate on that level, they generally care almost nothing about what is actually right anymore. You will have to turn some big guns on them to get them to stop.

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  • Thank you so much for your help. I appreciate your feedback. I did not know I had this option of going to the attorney general's office. We have tried with the hospital billing department and never get anywhere but you have given us another option, which I greatly appreciate. Thank you. Commented Jun 19 at 18:26
  • If your state seems hesitant, too, then don't be afraid to go to the federal level via CFPB/Consumer Financial Protection Bureau consumerfinance.gov They literally exist to help the little guy in financial issues. Commented Jun 20 at 13:54

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