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There Are Rules and Laws Governing Debt Collection

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Dear Annie: Our son's first marriage ended in divorce 10 years ago. From that union, we have a wonderful 13-year-old grandson.

Our ex-daughter-in-law, "June," remarried quickly, and that marriage failed about 18 months ago. Apparently, she used our names as a credit reference, because we've been getting calls from several collection agencies asking for June by her most recent married name. After the first call, I told the agency I would not give out her phone number but would have June call them. I sent her a letter with the pertinent information. She phoned and said I should tell these callers I don't know her.

Lately, I've responded to these agencies by saying June hasn't been in the family for 10 years and I don't know how to reach her. Lying isn't my normal operating procedure, but in this instance, it seems the safest. I don't know what type of retribution there would be for our son, our grandson or us if June thought we turned her in. The calls are getting more frequent, and we're tired of them. What do you suggest? — Ex-In-Laws

Dear In-Laws: There are laws in place to prevent harassment of third parties by collection agencies. Keep in mind, however, that if the collection agencies have reason to believe you are lying to them about June's location, you might not have much recourse in getting them to stop. But please report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state attorney general's office and the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov).

Dear Annie: My husband recently retired, but I still work full time at an office. My problem? My husband does not feel he should have to help me in any way with the household chores. He absolutely refuses.

I have asked him numerous times to please put dinner on before I get home from work, but it falls on deaf ears.

I might add that he's an excellent cook when he is so inclined. A number of his friends are also retired, and they joke among themselves about how domesticated they have become around the house, but my husband just won't budge. I even mow the lawn in the summer and shovel the snow in winter.

I may as well be living on my own. I'm not getting any younger and am simply too tired to keep up with everything along with my full-time job. All I ask is that he take over a couple of chores so I can have a little downtime on the weekends. Is this too much to ask? Don't suggest a housekeeper. He would never allow it. Nor would he ever go for counseling. — Tired and Worn Out in Canada

Dear Tired: Might your husband be depressed since retiring? It is not uncommon and could explain his lethargy and intransigence. But you should not be exhausted because he cannot or will not help out. If you are earning enough to hire housekeeping help, we recommend you do so whether he approves or not. You also could minimize your efforts around the house so that you handle your own laundry and meals and leave him to cook and clean for himself. Of course, he still may not lift a finger, but at least you won't be doing his work as well as your own.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Heartbroken Mother," whose daughter thinks her family will be an embarrassment at her upscale wedding.

I chuckled because, recently, a friend was extremely worried about her "rough and tumble" blue-collar family behaving properly at her well-planned and expensive wedding to a wonderful professional man.

Well, liquor can even the playing field. Her family behaved perfectly. The groom's upscale family, however, nearly ruined the event. — Michigan

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

47 Comments | Post Comment
Ex In Laws: You don't have to lie to collection calls for a former DIL. You don't have to talk to them. Tell them she isn't at this number and to please stop calling you. Make a record. If they continue calling, write down every time. Keep saying the same thing, and find a lawyer who is skilled in dealing with debt collectors. If the calls are robo calls, ask your lawyer to tell them you want $5,000 in damages for harassing someone who doesn't owe them anything with these calls. Make it $10,000. Or call the company yourself and demand the money.

Odds are very good that these debt collectors don't work for the company your former DIL owed the money to. Odds are that was written off a long time ago, but these companies buy this junk debt for pennies on the dollar and then collect all they can from people who aren't savvy enough to know better. If it were your DIL, I'd suggest that she write them a letter denying that she owes them any money and insisting that they provide proof of her debt showing her signature. They'll probably give up, go away, and move on to someone else who is more of a sucker.
Comment: #1
Posted by: LouisaFinnell
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:11 PM
LW1 - stop lying and tell the credit agencies firmly to stop calling. Tell that if they continue calling you will report them for harassment and take legal action. And if they keep calling, do so.
LW2 - You sound like many men who've written in complaining that they do all the work, pay all the bills and also do all the chores. My answer to you would be the same as to those men. If you're husband is being a Class-A jerk, which appears to be the case, give him an ultimatum: to do his share or move. And what's this nonsense about his "not allowing" you to get a housecleaner? I would dump any man in an instant if he pulled that, while refusing to help with the chores. You should too.
LW3 - well put.
Comment: #2
Posted by: sarah morrow
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:16 PM
lW1 - keep telling the debt collectors that June is not in the family & you can't help them. Then hang up. Getting her to pay her bills is not your problem.
LW2- actually agree with the Annie's. If you don't want to do a chore, don't. Hire it done if it needs to be done. Get takeout food for yourself on the way home if you don't want to cook when you get there. Most importantly, rethink the way you talk about this. You talk about these chores like they're your job, and if your husband is doing them he is 'helping' you instead of doing his own job. He needs to own these chores & just do them. For example, my husband 'owns' the job of cutting the grass. He does it, and I never think about it. I don't remind him to do it, I don't make sure there's gas for the lawnmower, I don't make sure the lawnmower is working, etc. He isn't 'helping' me by cutting the grass. He's just doing his job. Same for your husband. I actually do a lot more around the house than my husband, but his job & commute results in his being gone from the house for 11 hours a day. My job requires about 5 hours a day. I have a lot of time to spend on household chores before we're close to even.
Comment: #3
Posted by: kai archie
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:26 PM
lW1 - keep telling the debt collectors that June is not in the family & you can't help them. Then hang up. Getting her to pay her bills is not your problem.
LW2- actually agree with the Annie's. If you don't want to do a chore, don't. Hire it done if it needs to be done. Get takeout food for yourself on the way home if you don't want to cook when you get there. Most importantly, rethink the way you talk about this. You talk about these chores like they're your job, and if your husband is doing them he is 'helping' you instead of doing his own job. He needs to own these chores & just do them. For example, my husband 'owns' the job of cutting the grass. He does it, and I never think about it. I don't remind him to do it, I don't make sure there's gas for the lawnmower, I don't make sure the lawnmower is working, etc. He isn't 'helping' me by cutting the grass. He's just doing his job. Same for your husband. I actually do a lot more around the house than my husband, but his job & commute results in his being gone from the house for 11 hours a day. My job requires about 5 hours a day. I have a lot of time to spend on household chores before we're close to even.
Comment: #4
Posted by: kai archie
Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:28 PM
LW2-
"He would never allow it"? Gee, what else does he not allow, do you have to ask his permission before you can go take a piss?

Unreasonable? I don't believe I'm reading this. Any retired man with two ounces of decency would have taken over the majority of the household chores, not just a few on a "helping" basis. And if you're mowing the lawn and shovelling the snow, he's not even doing as much as the average husband of the fifties used to do for a wife he was supporting. He sure has it got made in the shade. This is ridiculous.

Well, if he is in a position to allow or not allow an expense, I can only assume he is the one controlling the finances. Nobody can force you to turn over your paychek to him, so stop. Start paying your share on your own, and don't forget to deduct HIS share of the housekeeper. You shouldn't be running yourself ragged because Mister Retiree wants to have fun.

However, any change in this situation will require for you to put your big girl pants on and, if you even need to ask if you're being unreasonable, methinks you don't even own a pair. It's not your non-depressed husband who needs therapy, it's you. You need to learn how to grow a backbone - and sort out this yurunda about your mentality about "helping": from the moment the man and woman both work full-time, household chores are both of their jobs, not just the woman's, and the man is expected to do his share, not "helping".

P.S.: Annies? The man is not refusing to lift a finger because he's depressed. He's refusing to lift a finger because he's a sexist pig, an inconsiderate boob and a user.

LW3 -
Having money changes the social class you belong to, it does not insure you HAVE class.

Comment: #5
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Thu Mar 1, 2012 10:28 PM
LW1; Annie's are right about contacting the FTC - however, EVERY TIME they call, tell them to take your number off the list or you will report them to the FTC for harassment; then go to ftc.gov and fill out their form (it's a one-page easy form to fill out on-line - I did this for a phone number that kept calling my cell and hanging up - and went straight to a voicemail I couldn't understand when calling back). They will stop and go away. You don't even need to tell them anything about your dil period.
LW2; I was in your shoes once - married to someone that refused to lift a finger once WE got home from work (worked the same hours), and then had the nerve to criticize everything I did do. I divorced him. The best thing I ever did. I am now married to someone who does share the responsibilities.
LW3; Love it. Not surprising, though.
Comment: #6
Posted by: sotelling
Thu Mar 1, 2012 10:29 PM
* * * * PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT * * * *

LW3 refers to the first letter on 27 January 2012.

Comment: #7
Posted by: Miss Pasko
Thu Mar 1, 2012 10:48 PM
Lw1-My father dissolved the corporation he co-owned, then moved away. The new owner of the home got calls from collection agencies telling HIM he had to pay my father's debt or they'd be coming to seize the house. This man tape recorded the phone conversation, sued the collection agency, and won a $50,000 settlement! As for my father, he eventually got calls from the agency threatening to call every restaurant in his neighborhood and tell them never to let my father book a reservation. Then they threatened to call his health club and cancel his membership. My father told them "don't call here again" and they never did. As for the "debt," he never had to pay because it was a LLC company.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Roger
Thu Mar 1, 2012 11:50 PM
LW1 - You have to start being firm with these agencies and tell them that she does not live there and to stop calling your home because, again, she is not there. And tell them that if they continue to call you, you will sue them for harrassment. You are not the ones who owe this debt so they have no right to harrass you. Keep a record of all the dates and times they call, too, in case you have to contact a lawyer.

I don't know if it'll help, but you could try getting a new number and having it unlisted, too.

LW2 - Lise said exactly what I was thinking. That man is NOT depressed. He thinks household chores are "women's work." Take the bull by the horns. If you can afford a maid, hire one. Tell him to kiss your butt if he reminds you that you're "not allowed" to hire one. And do the chores that you want to do. He won't cook? Fine, then he can starve. Nuke yourself a frozen dinner or get a bowl of cerea or get some takeout for yourselfl. Do your laundry but don't do his. Show him that he didn't marry a maid.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Michelle
Fri Mar 2, 2012 3:57 AM
LW1: There is a special place in hell for debt collectors and I refuse to talk to them. That's especially if the debt isn't mine (which it never is). One time, I interned on Capitol Hill for a Representative in the House. Debt collectors started calling the office because of a "debt" (which wasn't really a debt) owed by someone who knew the Representative. This woman harassed the interns (that would be me) and threatened the staff. When no one would let her talk to my boss, she started calling every single Representative in my state to give them "dirt" on my boss and spread rumors about irresponsibility.

This woman must have been really dumb. For one thing, as nasty as politics is, no one took the bait. In fact, they started calling US back to let us know what the scummy woman was doing. For the second, HELLO, most people in politics are LAWYERS and many used to be judges. Funnily enough, she stopped calling.

Seriously, LW1. Threaten legal action. Bill collectors say what they want to intimidate you, but you do not have to tell them anything as far as I know. It's not your debt.

LW2: Depressed my @ss, Annies. The guy doesn't want to clean, so he doesn't. And why should he when his wife does it for him? The LW needs to stand her ground and give him an ultimatum: you help, or I hire a housekeeper. Make your choice.
Comment: #10
Posted by: AgLee16
Fri Mar 2, 2012 4:38 AM
LW1—“The calls are getting more frequent, and we're tired of them. What do you suggest?” All you have to do is draft a cease and desist letter and send it by certified mail to each of the agencies who are harassing you with nuisance calls. The Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibits this sort of harassment. Once the agency receives your formal notice to cease and desist, they may only contact you once more and only in writing to inform you of how they intend to proceed. If they continue to call you, then they are subject to a $10,000.00 fine per call. If you go online, you can locate a suitable template that you can modify that quotes the relevant sections of the law and the penalties for violating it. No one should have to put up with incessant nuisance calls from creditors, especially when it's your deadbeat ex-daughter-in-law who's on the hot seat.

LW2—“ My husband does not feel he should have to help me in any way with the household chores. He absolutely refuses.” Your husband isn't depressed; he's lazy and arrogant. In this case, turnabout is fair play. I think you should absolutely refuse to fix his supper, pick up after him, do his laundry or otherwise lift a finger as far as he's concerned. When you arrive home from the office, fix yourself something to eat, and then retire to watch television or take a nice hot bath. Take care of your own laundry and let your husband's clothes pile higher and deeper. If he gets pissy, simply remind him that marriage is a partnership and since he's refuses to acknowledge that fact and act accordingly, you seen no reason why you shouldn't do the same. My guess is he'll get tired of living in a sty and start helping out.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Chris
Fri Mar 2, 2012 5:25 AM
LW1: Yourformer DIL used your names and contact info to incur debt. Stop covering for her. Explain to the debt collectors what she did and give them her contact info. Then ask them to stop calling you.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Annie
Fri Mar 2, 2012 6:27 AM
Agree with those that say that LW2's husband isn't depressed, just a lazy arrogant fool. But...being a simpering whiny woman isn't the solution either. Stop the whining and hire a maid...you make money don't you? Get take out on the way home...just for one...you earn money don't you? And instead of mowing the lawn on Saturday, go out and enjoy yourself...take a walk, go to a movie, have lunch with friends. You act like he is your keeper...he's not, you just won't open the door to your own cage. Now get up and have some fun....alone if need be.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Blenie
Fri Mar 2, 2012 6:55 AM
LW2: Yes, he's a jerk for not helping out. But half of the blame goes to you for marrying the jerk and staying with him all these years. And you're just figuring this out now, when he's retired?
I would say : don't cook for him or anything else. Never cut the lawn again. If it looks like a barnyard, the neighbors will blame him, not you. Or just file for divorce (get a lawyer first for advice), and move on with your life. You are enabling his bad behavior, so you are both at fault. But you have things you can do to change the situation. So do them and stop expecting the jerk to ever change .. or move on.

Comment: #14
Posted by: Dave Galino
Fri Mar 2, 2012 7:11 AM
LW1: Yes to all the suggestions above: refuse to take those calls and threaten them with legal action if they keep harassing you. And document everything.

LW2: Please stand up for yourself -- your husband is wrong and he's being a jerk about it, to boot. You are partners in the relationship, in home ownership, and you should both *agree* to a division of responsibilities that is fair. A lot of couples divide "outside" and "inside" chores, and the common stereotype is that the husband will take all the yardwork, physical upkeep of the house itself, repair work, and the wife will vacuum, dust, do laundry -- but that's just one way of doing it, there are plenty of other ways that should be explored.

Frankly, I work 40 hours a week, do all the laundry, do all the vacuuming and dusting, all the yardwork, all the house maintenance. Ike does 80% of the cooking and 80% of the kitchen chores, like loading and emptying the dishwasher and cleaning the counters. I do most of the grocery shopping and other errands like picking up the dry cleaning and taking the dog to the vet. This is only because Ike is in school working on a graduate degree and spends a ton of time studying -- once he gets his degree, we've agreed to re-negotiate the division of chores.

The key here is that it's an agreement, a compromise between both of us, so that we both can keep the house nice AND accomplish our other goals in life, as a *team*.

I know that with opposite-sex couples there's some extra baggage that comes with traditional gender stereotypes, and I'm just as glad we don't have to deal with that -- but still, its just so disappointing to hear of a marriage in which the two partners are not working together to compromise and resolve the problems equitably. It doesn't strike me as much of a marriage, to be honest, since its clear the husband doesn't respect the LW, and doesn't even care about her feelings or well-being.
Comment: #15
Posted by: Mike H
Fri Mar 2, 2012 7:21 AM
My sil drowned at age 19. My mil was beside herself with grief. My sil owed $300 on her first credit card. The collection agencies told my mil that she had to pay to "honor her daughter's memory." I lst it. They never called again.
Comment: #16
Posted by: Mom of Three
Fri Mar 2, 2012 7:22 AM
@LouiseFinnell-I'm unsure as to why the DIL is a sucker for paying a debt she incurred? She borrowed the money, she should damn well pay it. Yes debt collectors purchase that debt, and the original company is no longer in the picture, but....the DIL DID borrow that money (or purchased the item or whatever). If people were responsible and living within their means, debt collectors wouldn't exist. I agree that their methods are despicable, and come people are in debt due to unfortunate circumstances, but many people are in debt because of their own poor choices.

That said, LW1 should have no compunction giving DIL's info. I'd be seriously pissed if someone used my name in this way and I was getting harassed. If if were me, the DIL would be getting two phone calls for every one I received-one from the collection agency, and one from me.

LW2-This really sucks. I second taking matters into your own hands. I know I'm pretty extreme in some of my ideas on these types of things, but if you are for all intents and purposed living as a single, I'd instead take the money it'd cost to get a house keeper and put it toward renting a small one bedroom. Eff this. Your husband gets a life of leisure and you get worked to the bone? Hell no. Move out.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Walkie
Fri Mar 2, 2012 7:39 AM
Re: D Galino
Wife shares half the blame? Why is our society so intent on making sure that blame is spread evenly? Sometimes - quite often - that is just not the case. It's unfair to tell a LW that she shares half the blame for this unless she knew up front that she married a lazy man who wouldn't get off his ass. I seriously doubt this is the case. More likely he has worked hard at his job (he was successful enough to be able to retire in this economy), and she is now seeing a side of him that she hadn't anticipated. I'm not addressing the controlling part here, just the work. You know, people do show sides you hadn't seen before, even when you have known them your whole lives; it's part of evolving as a person.
I just get really annoyed with people who insist blame be shared for all things...not to mention divorce as an option when it's a problem that actually can be solved - no offense, D Galino.
Comment: #18
Posted by: kristen
Fri Mar 2, 2012 7:47 AM
LW2 – Your husband sounds a lot like my (deceased) father. His attitude was old school. Not only was housework a *woman's* job, he was retired! No more work for him. Tell your husband now is the time to move to a maintenance-free condo (no yard work or snow shoveling). A cleaning lady could be hired once a month (on the weekend, so hubby will not be shooing the hired help away while you are at work). Less work, no reason to believe you need to live like a martyr, and who knows, hubby might be happy living in these conditions, and not be nagged at constantly. I'm not saying your husband is a prince, sometimes it is worthwhile to look for solutions instead of stewing over the problems!
Comment: #19
Posted by: Jenna
Fri Mar 2, 2012 7:49 AM
Re debt collectors: On the phone, tell them that if they call you again, you WILL contact the Attorney General of the state and report them. Same thing if by mail: write 'DO NOT CONTACT AGAIN' and mention the AG of the state.

It's your legal right, and I'd say 99% if Americans don't know it.
Comment: #20
Posted by: Samantha Kimmel
Fri Mar 2, 2012 7:58 AM
Re: alien07110
I left you a message on yesterday's thread. It's number 103. If you are interested, think of a way that I can contact you.
Comment: #21
Posted by: Stephanie
Fri Mar 2, 2012 8:04 AM
LW1-- My parents have been through this. When they call, ask for an address. Say you want to give it to her so she can corrispond with them herself if you have to. Then, write a strongly worded letter to each company saying that you are not her message center and they are to cease and desist the phone calls or the next letter will be demanding a large settlement for harassment. It doesn't matter what state you live in. If they recieve a letter asking them to stop, they have to stop or they can be sued for harassment. Send the letters registered mail so you are sure they got there and keep the tracking numbers and e-mails alerting you that they got there. If you get any calls after that, talk to a lawyer. Don't listen to any threats they might say, they are ILLEAGAL. The letters work, my parents haven't had a call since they sent ceast-and-desist letters.

Comment: #22
Posted by: p
Fri Mar 2, 2012 8:07 AM
On occasion, I've gotten calls for my ex-husband who has never lived at my address or had the same telephone #. When this happens, I do not tell them that he's my ex-husband. I tell the caller that there is no such person at this address...which is the truth.
That generally works for me. The minute you acknowledge that you know the person, that's generally a clue for them to try to pressure you into passing along messages or giving them contact information. I've never been asked if I know the person. I generally tell them that so-and-so has never lived here and I do not know how they can be reached.
Comment: #23
Posted by: Wordsworth
Fri Mar 2, 2012 8:13 AM
kristen: re: LW2: Ok, I guess it's possible that the LW didn't realize that her husband was lazy the way you suggested. But I'm reading this that she's been doing all the cooking and cleaning and lawnmowing for many years, even though both of them were working full time. If this is correct (and given the lack of details in some letters we don't always know), she should have realized who he was long before this. But I still feel it's her fault for not taking a strong stance long ago (or at least now that she knows) and enabling his behavior. As I pointed out there are things she can do. I think reasoning with him is a waste of time, since she's tried. If someone is not willing to do what it takes to solve a problem, I feel that they deserve some of the blame. No offense ... kristen.
Comment: #24
Posted by: Dave Galino
Fri Mar 2, 2012 8:14 AM
Re: Annie

She said her ex-DIL used her as a reference. My sister did that with my parents and they used to call until they sent the letter. I think the creditors think that the reference is just another contact number and use it as such. My sister moved to TEXAS. This is NOT another contact number. Just telling the caller do not call will not end them. They might stop for a few days, but next month, when the new billing cycle starts, the calls will start again. Send the letter to stop them permanently.

Comment: #25
Posted by: p
Fri Mar 2, 2012 8:33 AM
Re: D Galino
I can't disagree with you that people (all people) need to do what it takes to solve a problem; if they don't then, yes, they share blame for allowing a problem to continue.
But we have to take into account the ages of these people and what expectations of gender/responsibilities come with the time they were born in. If this man is 65 (and most people are retiring later than that, especially with what took place economically in the last few years) then he was born in 1947, and likely she was born within a few years of that. These are people that probably have been raised with a traditional mindset, so wife's expectations of what responsibilites belonged to her have been a lot different than is normal or deemed acceptable these days.
It also means than her expectations of a husband would have been a lot different when she married vs. what her expectations are in current times. So, this is why I was annoyed that she was assigned blame simply for marrying him.
This does not mean he isn't a jerk or that she doesn't need to grow a backbone.
Comment: #26
Posted by: kristen
Fri Mar 2, 2012 8:59 AM
Re: p
"Send the letter to stop them permanently." And send the letter by registered mail with proof of receipt because the company otherwise can claim they never received it.
Comment: #27
Posted by: kristen
Fri Mar 2, 2012 9:01 AM
LW2, I don't often tell people to leave. But I think your husband regards you as the housekeeper, which is why he won't hire one. It's also why he doesn't care about your emotional need for a partner to pitch in, or at least realize that there's a LOT to running a house.

It worries me that if you got sick (and you guys are around 60, and things start to fall apart) I don't think your husband would lift a finger to care for you. Has he done anything to help you in the past if you've thrown your back out? What comments has he made when a friend's wife has had surgery, been hospitalized, etc? I see very little kindness from him, I'm sorry to say. You can tell him that you want to sell the house and buy a condo that's easier to take care of. But my question is, would you like to be in that condo alone, because you know even then he won't lift a finger? I think you ask yourself if you're better off without him, once you've met with a good divorce lawyer. You could have enough for a nice condo and a nice life. Are you okay with hanging out mostly with the girls, or do you think that you're better off with a husband, even this one? Are you good at making friends? You need to examine your needs, because we already know what he's like, and he's never ever going to change (sorry).

If he won't go to counseling, I'd see a lawyer and soon have enough money for a cute condo and a new life, but that's just me. I wouldn't want you to keep him for his salary, any more than I'd want him to keep you because you're a great housekeeper. I want you to have someone who's crazy about you, even if you were the worst cook in the world and didn't know what a lawnmower is for.
Comment: #28
Posted by: angoradeb
Fri Mar 2, 2012 9:06 AM
Re: Walkie

Yes, sometimes people don't pay their debts. Yes, they SHOULD pay their debts. However, many times debt collection agencies didn't really buy debts, or they bought something one company has reported as a debt when it's more of a dispute. Case-in-point: one time, I went to the ER and paid my co-pay. I ended up owing more money b/c my insurance didn't cover all of it. I didn't have the cash on-hand so the hospital offered to break it into 3-4 payments and I agreed (and paid on time, I might add). Then, they transferred the debt to an agency who began calling me right after I made the first payment and threatened me with all kinds of things.

Needless to say, both the agency and the hospital got a strongly worded response from me. I was not delinquent in my debt, nor was it that much. Ridiculous. In the case of the story I related above, the "debt" was a dispute with a landlord on damages owed after move-out and was working its way through the court system (and in my state, that means it doesn't have to be paid until ruling).

It is inexcusable for agencies to harass people who the debt doesn't belong to. No excuse. Frankly, she might not have listed the ex-mil at all. Debt-collectors look up this kind of information all the time and will often look-up neighbor's phone numbers and harass the neighbors to pay the debt. Inexcusable.
Comment: #29
Posted by: AgLee16
Fri Mar 2, 2012 10:34 AM
LW1: I don't know what the Annies are smoking. These people don't work for the government and don't have any special rights. When they call you tell them to stop and guess what - they actually have to.

LW2: It sounds like this is how its always been. You did all the work and he reaped all the benefits. What excuse did you use before? His job was harder than yours? LOL You're too old not to know better. You can't change other people. Work on changing yourself.

LW3: Stupid people equate money with class.
Comment: #30
Posted by: Diana
Fri Mar 2, 2012 11:39 AM
Re: angoradeb (post #28) – I hear you, but with all due respect, what I saw from single women in their 60's+, all many wanted was a partner. Regardless whether the man was a drunk (sorry, Dad), a man that expected the woman to wait on them hand and foot, didn't matter. Dad had no problems finding a woman after Mom threw him out because, well, he is a man, and so many desperate women out there are ready to cater to their every whim.

LW2 is tired. I suggested a way to make her life easier. You say that hubby won't take care of her if she gets sick; who will if she is alone? I recall posting a while back regarding my husband not caring if the chores in the house were done, and someone responded back that my husband didn't love me, then. We chuckled together about that asinine statement, considering all that he does to help me with my illness.

The point is we don't know everything that goes on in LW's relationship, she just wrote what was exhausting her, never mentioned anything about divorce. Just so people know, if you choose to kick your partner to the curb, well, careful what you wish for – many women will be knocking on his door, ready to fill your place (and happily do it, for that matter). Just my HO.
Comment: #31
Posted by: Jenna
Fri Mar 2, 2012 11:53 AM
@Jenna
Agree that if you are kicking someone in the curb in the hopes that they will realize how great you are, can't live without you etc etc. yes, you are playing a dangerous game. But if you kick someone to the curb because you are truly done with their shenangians.....well done. And who cares if they find someone else?
Comment: #32
Posted by: Walkie
Fri Mar 2, 2012 12:10 PM
Re: Jenna Well, that's why I said "better off with a husband, even this one". I know a lot of older women hesitate to go places when they're single. And she said she "might as well be living on my own", so to me that says she's thinking about it. Either she's going to leave, or she's going to make his death look like an accident. . . .
Comment: #33
Posted by: angoradeb
Fri Mar 2, 2012 12:12 PM
Surprisingly, Mom did - who'da thought? But that is another story...
Comment: #34
Posted by: Jenna
Fri Mar 2, 2012 12:16 PM
Sorry post #34 was for Walkie. angoradeb – yeah, many people say things out of frustration, but to take that enormous step (divorce, not murder ;)) WOW!! That should be the final step, after all possibilities are exhausted. But again, I hear you.
Comment: #35
Posted by: Jenna
Fri Mar 2, 2012 12:24 PM
When the phone rings answer it, "Ralph, Ralph, is that you? (Don't) stop) That nosey neighbor Helen called again today, can you believe Fred gave the dog his Viagra and the damn dog has had an erection for 12 hours (Don't stop keep going) It scared the Jones' cat to death, I mean to death, cat died on the spot. Ann reported Fred to the damn PETA people, what? what? just shut up and listen to what I'm saying "(Keep going mention that you dropped your hearing aids in the terlet. You migh as well have some fun instead of getting annoyed!
Comment: #36
Posted by: Penny
Fri Mar 2, 2012 3:44 PM
@ Annie, comment #12, and Walkie, comment #17: The problem is that the ex-DIL has something on LW: access to the grandson. “I don't know what type of retribution there would be for our son, our grandson or us if June thought we turned her in.” Maybe LW's paranoid; or maybe he/she knows ex-DIL all too well. Someone who would have the gall to use her ex-inlaws as credit references on evidently iffy loans and then instruct the ex-inlaws to lie for her is a person I wouldn't put much past. So the Annies are correct to limit their advice to the interaction between LW and the harassing callers, and the illegality of the harassment, as are the posters who followed up with more specific instructions about what to do about it. The debt collectors are trying to con and bully LW into doing their job for them, and LW just can't afford to go there.
Comment: #37
Posted by: Khlovia
Fri Mar 2, 2012 4:07 PM
LW1: Are you kidding me? June is about 2 seconds from stealing your identity and robbing you blind. She will get credit cards IN your name and then YOU will be the ones who need to pay. Tell her what she is doing is illegal and you will consult a lawyer if she doesn't stop.

LW2: Are you kidding me? Your husband is a quasi-abuser and isn't much of a partner. Why did you stay this long? You shovel the snow and mow the lawn? What has he ever done? Tell him to man up and get some things done. Just don't mow the lawn. Let the field grow and people will ask what happened - you tell them he doesn't mow the lawn and your joints ache. He needs to help you, or you need to consult a lawyer. What a lousy excuse for a partner. There doesn't seem to be any way he will lift a lazy finger. if you are still working, YOU hire the housekeeper. He won't ALLOW it? Is he your personal dictator or owner? Why, again, are you still with him? Housekeeper might be $60, and get one twice a month or something. When he complains, say the only way you will get rid of the housekeeper is if he acts likea a grownup and stops making you work like a horse. No? Then leave.
Comment: #38
Posted by: Salty
Fri Mar 2, 2012 4:15 PM
LW1 - What am I missing here? Give them June's phone number. It's her debt, her issue and she needs to own. Also, get caller ID and learn how to use it.


LW2 - Yeah your husband is depressed. Get it fixed. Also, stop on the way home from work and get YOURSELF some dinner and don't share it. The first week my dad was retired he was sitting in the kitchen drinking his coffee. My mom started vacuuming the dining room while he watched. He got up, looked at her and said, "Here honey. Let me show you how to that."..... she never vacuumed again.


LW3 - Doctors are late because they are in their offices smoking pot and playing with hot young nurses. That was easy. Actually, the original LW nurse who was complaining was being kind of mean and whiny. This issue doesn't warrant this much attention.
Comment: #39
Posted by: Rick
Sat Mar 3, 2012 8:28 AM
Do any of my posts ever make it to this arena??? I preview, and there's a new Number thingie to enter, and most of my highly informative and entertaining posts are lost to the ether.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Comment: #40
Posted by: Samantha Kimmel
Sat Mar 3, 2012 8:31 AM
Re: Samantha Kimmel
If you're getting some yurunda from this site, I suggest you type your post on Word first. This way you don't lose it if something dire happens to it. And it won't be little grey letters in an 8 font either, AND you get spell chaek!



Comment: #41
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Mar 3, 2012 3:26 PM
As someone who has had to collect rent on apartments (which I own), I find the comments about bill collectors a little weird. Sorry, but didn't the DIL INCUR the debt and isn't it the job of responsible adults to pay back money they've borrowed?

I find debt collectors can be fairly insistent, but I'm assuming that when the DIL borrowed the money, she agreed that it wouldn't be free money, right?

I had a roommate who ran out on some debts and left me to deal with about half a dozen bill collectors. And like Salty said, this DIL may end up borrowing more than just money--my ex-roommate was using my address as a "home" address for at least a year after she moved out, and she used it to open new accounts everywhere. When I called her parent's house, her brothers would come on the phone, giggling, and would tell me she was out of the country.

Well, the stupid woman also forgot to forward her bank statements, so I sent them, unopened, to each collection agency. I knew her wages got garnisheed when she phoned me, screaming down the phone like a banshee. Out of the country, my -ss.
Comment: #42
Posted by: et
Sat Mar 3, 2012 5:48 PM
As someone who has had to collect rent on apartments (which I own), I find the comments about bill collectors a little weird. Sorry, but didn't the DIL INCUR the debt and isn't it the job of responsible adults to pay back money they've borrowed?

I find debt collectors can be fairly insistent, but I'm assuming that when the DIL borrowed the money, she agreed that it wouldn't be free money, right?

I had a roommate who ran out on some debts and left me to deal with about half a dozen bill collectors. And like Salty said, this DIL may end up borrowing more than just money--my ex-roommate was using my address as a "home" address for at least a year after she moved out, and she used it to open new accounts everywhere. When I called her parent's house, her brothers would come on the phone, giggling, and would tell me she was out of the country.

Well, the stupid woman also forgot to forward her bank statements, so I sent them, unopened, to each collection agency. I knew her wages got garnisheed when she phoned me, screaming down the phone like a banshee. Out of the country, my -ss.
Comment: #43
Posted by: et
Sat Mar 3, 2012 5:48 PM
As someone who has had to collect rent on apartments (which I own), I find the comments about bill collectors a little weird. Sorry, but didn't the DIL INCUR the debt and isn't it the job of responsible adults to pay back money they've borrowed?

I find debt collectors can be fairly insistent, but I'm assuming that when the DIL borrowed the money, she agreed that it wouldn't be free money, right?

I had a roommate who ran out on some debts and left me to deal with about half a dozen bill collectors. And like Salty said, this DIL may end up borrowing more than just money--my ex-roommate was using my address as a "home" address for at least a year after she moved out, and she used it to open new accounts everywhere. When I called her parent's house, her brothers would come on the phone, giggling, and would tell me she was out of the country.

Well, the stupid woman also forgot to forward her bank statements, so I sent them, unopened, to each collection agency. I knew her wages got garnisheed when she phoned me, screaming down the phone like a banshee. Out of the country, my -ss.
Comment: #44
Posted by: et
Sat Mar 3, 2012 5:48 PM
As someone who has had to collect rent on apartments (which I own), I find the comments about bill collectors a little weird. Sorry, but didn't the DIL INCUR the debt and isn't it the job of responsible adults to pay back money they've borrowed?

I find debt collectors can be fairly insistent, but I'm assuming that when the DIL borrowed the money, she agreed that it wouldn't be free money, right?

I had a roommate who ran out on some debts and left me to deal with about half a dozen bill collectors. And like Salty said, this DIL may end up borrowing more than just money--my ex-roommate was using my address as a "home" address for at least a year after she moved out, and she used it to open new accounts everywhere. When I called her parent's house, her brothers would come on the phone, giggling, and would tell me she was out of the country.

Well, the stupid woman also forgot to forward her bank statements, so I sent them, unopened, to each collection agency. I knew her wages got garnisheed when she phoned me, screaming down the phone like a banshee. Out of the country, my -ss.
Comment: #45
Posted by: et
Sat Mar 3, 2012 5:48 PM
Re: et
Frankly - I don't blame you.

Comment: #46
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sun Mar 4, 2012 4:11 PM
LW 1 Why are we making the collection agency out to be the bad guy here? if people made the effort to pay their bills then there would be no need to have them. Has anyone ever owed you money and refused to pay? how does the that feel? The DIL did not have permission to give out personal information like she did. She did so for deceptive reasons. I wouldn't feel any loyalty to protect her at this point. My SIL gave out my phone number on her credit card applications to avoid paying her bill. She had no intention of ever paying them. I got hammered with calls. Once I figured out what she had done I was happy to give out her phone number. Within weeks the calls disappeared.
Comment: #47
Posted by: James Eastwood
Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:10 PM
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