As a bankruptcy lawyer, I get debt collector calls multiple times a day. When I file a bankruptcy for a client, my number becomes associated with all of that client’s collection accounts. So I get lots of calls verifying representation and validating debts and checking account numbers. Many times, creditors simply want to know our timeline for filing the bankruptcy.
Shady debt collector calls
Most of the calls I get are just fine. But some calls are misleading and even shamelessly deceptive. Just listen to this downright shady voicemail I got the other day.
Hi. This is Brian Moore, compliance officer calling with “the state.” I have a legal notice here that I will be bringing out in the next 72 business hours. Now I have been retained to come out between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m. to the address or place of employment. Now a valid state ID will be assigned to us. If you have any questions or concerns, or to be rescheduled, you will have to contact the filing party. The district office number, as showing here, 833-470-0485. Thank you for your time. You have officially been notified.
Note the casual use of pseudo-legal terms: compliance officer, retained, the filing party. Note the ominous references to “the state” and “valid state ID” and “the district office.” The voicemail also contains a thinly-veiled threat: the possibility of in-person confrontation with this person in the next “72 business hours,” whatever that is intended to convey. And the threat mentions a place of employment, too. For those not already scared enough to return the call, there’s a final menacing kicker: You have been officially notified.
Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of scammers. But I truly detest it when someone tries to scam my clients. So I called the number.
I reached a company called S&S Check Services, supposedly based in Amherst, New York. The representative (who refused to identify himself) disclaimed any knowledge of a Brian Moore, or why their phone number was linked to this voicemail. But S&S is a debt collector. And they had one of my client’s accounts. It’s not a coincidence. It’s just plain shady.
We will take your shady debt collection calls
When you retain us, Lee Legal will take your debt collection calls. We do this for two reasons. First, debt collection calls are really, really annoying, and you need to focus on getting your bankruptcy filed. And second, as stated above, I hate it when creditors try to mess with my clients. We’ll take your creditor calls up to two weeks before filing.
Once we file your bankruptcy case, the calls stop. That’s because the automatic stay takes effect, and attempts at collection once a bankruptcy is filed can subject the creditor to heavy penalties and attorney’s fees.