(WSVN) - He’s getting hounded by debt collectors. But he’s not the person they’re looking for. Can you stop a debt collector from calling? Let’s call on Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to find out.

Raul started working when he was 12. You can imagine how he felt about retiring.

Raul Rios: “It’s good. I have time to do things I never had time before.”

Good thing he has extra time for things like checking a phone that keeps ringing.

Calls coming in all the time.

Operator: “We’re calling you regarding a legal business matter attached to your name.”

Raul Rios: “No, this is not Dominic.”

All the callers are from collection agencies.

Operator: “I have an urgent business claim against your name that requires your immediate attention

Looking for a fellow named Dominic.

Raul Rios: “I tell them, ‘Please, my name is Raul. I am not Dominic. You’re calling the wrong person. You’ve been calling the wrong person.'”

For five, that’s right five years, the collection agencies, which like to call themselves mediation firms, have called looking for Dominic.

Raul has tried blocking them.

Raul Rios: “But they have so many numbers. Even though I block, I keep getting 833,844,305,786. I mean, the combinations are endless.”

He has tried to explain they have the wrong person.

Raul Rios: “I am an old retired person and I don’t owe anyone anything. I don’t have a mortgage. I don’t owe anybody.”

He did some research and thinks he found the Dominic they are looking for.

Raul Rios: “He’s in North Miami, and he has a very similar telephone number to mine, except two digits are backwards.”

But the debt collectors didn’t say thank you. They weren’t that polite.

Raul Rios: “And sometimes they get a little, threatening, and ‘It’s urgent and there’s going to be legal action’ and ‘Before we send the cops after you,’ and this and that.'”

Of course the cops don’t come and Raul is amazed at the bill collector’s incompetence. All of them chasing the wrong guy for years.

Raul Rios: “And the person you want is not getting any of these messages. You’re just wasting time and resources.”

But they don’t listen and don’t stop calling.

Operator: “Please press one to be connected.”

Raul Rios: “I cannot believe another call. It is a nuisance.”

Raul’s a smart guy who’s tried everything. So, Howard, legally, how can you stop debt collectors?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Whether you are the actual debtor or the wrong person like Raul, your rights are the same. Tell them not to call you. If they will give you an address, send them a letter, telling them to leave you alone. But a lot of these debt collectors do not follow the law. If that happens to you, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

I contacted three of the debt collectors companies Raul said were calling him. Apex, Meridian Financial and Cornell and Associates. I explained they were calling the wrong person.

They all agreed to delete his number and stop calling. I asked for their address to send them a letter. They said they couldn’t release it for security reasons.

Raul Rios: “I hope now, with Patrick calling them, they will finally stop.”

Hopefully, when Raul’s phone rings now, it will be from family or friends after his quick call to Help Me Howard.

Raul Rios: “It’s absolutely great to have somebody that pursues the problems and really looks for a solution.”

You are right, Raul. It’s easy to point out the problem. At Help Me Howard, we try to solve it. As far as the debt collectors, there may be many more after that guy Dominic, so it may be a few days before Raul can notify them the rest of them to back off.

Also, the links Howard mentioned on tips to stop collectors or file a complaint against them are embedded and linked below.

Problems got your ears ringing? Don’t want to just phone it in? Let us collect some solutions so you won’t be indebted to anyone.

With this Help Me Howard, i’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

More Information:
How To Block Debt Collectors

File a Complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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