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Why Do Debt Collectors Block Their Phone Numbers?

George Simons | December 05, 2023

Summary: Debt collectors may block their phone numbers in order to intimidate their debtors and prevent them from ignoring collection calls.

They hide their numbers for two reasons:

  1. Intimidation
  2. So you can’t block their number.

Based on my knowledge of existing court law and statutes, it’s totally legal for debt collectors to block their numbers.

In Glover v. Client Services 2007 WL 2902209 the court said a collector could call with a blocked number.

In sum, considering the admittedly non-exclusive examples of “unfair” or “unconscionable” conduct identified in the statute, as well as the purposes underlying Congress' passage of the FDCPA, the Court finds that simply “blocking” a telephone number as alleged in this case cannot, as a matter of law, be considered unfair or unconscionable under

This is legalese for: The FDCPA doesn’t prohibit calling from a blocked number.

Since it’s not illegal, collectors do it sometimes because it’s more scary to get a call from a blocked number.

Also, since the number doesn’t show up on caller ID, it’s harder to block.

How to block debt collector’s calls

If you want to block their calls, this article should help.

Also, you should send them a debt validation letter. Use one of these government-approved templates. You can request they no longer contact you in this letter.

If they move to sue you, you can use one of these templates to respond.

Other ways debt collectors can violate the FDCPA

Hiding their phone number isn’t illegal, but here’s a list of things prohibited by the FDCPA.

A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:

(1) The false representation or implication that the debt collector is vouched for, bonded by, or affiliated with the United States or any State, including the use of any badge, uniform, or facsimile thereof.

(2) The false representation of--

(A) the character, amount, or legal status of any debt; or

(B) any services rendered or compensation which may be lawfully received by any debt collector for the collection of a debt.

(3) The false representation or implication that any individual is an attorney or that any communication is from an attorney.

(4) The representation or implication that nonpayment of any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of any property or wages of any person unless such action is lawful and the debt collector or creditor intends to take such action.

(5) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken.

(6) The false representation or implication that a sale, referral, or other transfer of any interest in a debt shall cause the consumer to--

(A) lose any claim or defense to payment of the debt; or

(B) become subject to any practice prohibited by this subchapter.

(7) The false representation or implication that the consumer committed any crime or other conduct in order to disgrace the consumer.

(8) Communicating or threatening to communicate to any person credit information which is known or which should be known to be false, including the failure to communicate that a disputed debt is disputed.

(9) The use or distribution of any written communication which simulates or is falsely represented to be a document authorized, issued, or approved by any court, official, or agency of the United States or any State, or which creates a false impression as to its source, authorization, or approval.

(10) The use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.

(11) The failure to disclose in the initial written communication with the consumer and, in addition, if the initial communication with the consumer is oral, in that initial oral communication, that the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose, and the failure to disclose in subsequent communications that the communication is from a debt collector, except that this paragraph shall not apply to a formal pleading made in connection with a legal action.

(12) The false representation or implication that accounts have been turned over to innocent purchasers for value.

(13) The false representation or implication that documents are legal process.

(14) The use of any business, company, or organization name other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company, or organization.

(15) The false representation or implication that documents are not legal process forms or do not require action by the consumer.

(16) The false representation or implication that a debt collector operates or is employed by a consumer reporting agency as defined by section 1681a(f) of this title.

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