How One Man Got Even With a Debt Collector… in Court
Kevin Jones just did what he felt was right, but you might think of him as a hero once you hear his story.
When Jones was hassled by debt collectors to pay a bill he didn’t owe, he did more than tell them to get lost. He sued — and got $1,000 and a whole lot of satisfaction. Here’s how.
Jones, 53, provided to Credit.com an amazingly detailed record of events related to his lawsuit, which was filed in a Cook County, Illinois federal court. The first troublesome phone call came in 2007, but the formula he used to exact sweet revenge on the debt collection firm would work equally well today.
The call came on a Thursday night in November, said Jones, who lives in Evanston, Ill. It was an automated call; he didn’t answer, but he did call back.
“Representative said she was looking to collect a debt for Sprint. I told her they had the wrong person, that I’ve never even had an account with Sprint. She asked if I lived on Mulford, a street in Evanston, and I said no but didn’t say where I do live,” according to his notes.
Jones hung up with the uneasy feeling that call wouldn’t be the end of it. But he also knew his rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, thanks to an earlier bout with identity theft issues, so he took a critical action that would trigger those rights almost immediately. He sent a letter the next day via certified mail to the collection firm saying. “You have the wrong Kevin Jones…I hereby order you and all employees and agents…to immediately cease and desist all communication with me.”