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Diversified Collection Services, Inc. (DCS) / Harassing phone calls

1 Livermore, CA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

My friend and I are academic tutors, and recently I put up a website for our services. It's basically a page with profiles of me and a few of my friends who do tutoring. Each page contains a short bio of the person and his or her contact information. Well one of them, let's say his name is John, has a bunch of debt with some credit card companies and one of them farmed out the debt collection to DCS. Now DCS is calling ME trying to get to John! The first few times a man called to ask to talk to John; I explained that my phone number was not John's phone number, and that John was merely listed on a website I built but was not an employee of mine.

A couple weeks later a woman from DCS called me and I explained to her, again, that I made a page for John on the website but that I did not hire him or pay him any wages. I explained that we work individually, that students or families paid us directly, and that there was absolutely NO exchange of money or wages between tutors. I also explained that we do not keep a master client list either so if she wanted to know who John's clients were, she would have to ask him because I didn't know a single thing about that. I also asked not to be called again.

About a month went by and everything seemed to be okay until another guy called me from DCS asking to talk to John. I told him that this was not John's number and that he should call John and leave me alone. He said that he had spoken to John on my number before, which was patently untrue. When I told him that this was my personal cell phone and that I would know if he talked to John on it, he became testy and rude. When I told him to call John's number he said that John was not picking up. I told him that was his problem, and that if he looked up my number he would find MY name on the account, not John's. I asked again not to be called.

Another month has passed and today I got another call from DCS. This caller simply said, "Hi Randall can I speak to John?" I angrily told the caller that this was NOT JOHN'S NUMBER, and the caller became rude, said "Okay well thanks a lot, _Randall_ ("Randall" in a sneering and rude tone)" and hung up. I called the number back, got someone else, and asked once more to be removed from their call list or phone book or whatever directory they used.

What recourse do I have when a debt collection agency is harassing me for debt that isn't even mine? It's clear also that they know I cannot garnish John's wages since I don't pay him any wages - if they thought they could get a garnishing order they would already have sent it. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks

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  • Am
      21st of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    Randall, I would recommend keeping a little notebook and write in it the name of each person who calls, along with the time. You could also get detailed bills from you cell phone carrier since it keeps track of all numbers in and out. I know you have told them several times already to stop calling you. I would tell them three more times and emphasize each time that you are keeping track of all the harassing phone calls that have no reference to you and if they do not cease you will sue DCS and each collection agent that has called for harassment, stress, mental anguish, and monetary compensation for unnecessary use of your cell phone minutes after telling them on previous occasions the number does not belong to the person they are trying to reach.

    I hope this helps. I would also be glad to help do more research, than I have already, on this company's illegal and deceitful practices that violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

  • Al
      1st of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    File suit against them for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Those are $1, 000 phone calls those Einsteins are making.

    If you need more info, contact DCS is no stranger to violating federal statute.

  • Su
      2nd of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    I'm a professional debt collector and what I say here could probably cost me my job, but you - and anyone else reading this - have a right to know.

    As a collector, we are trained EXTENSIVELY on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I can tell you, if what you are saying about DCS is accurate, they have a MAJOR legal issue on their hands.

    First violation: the law states that a debt can be discussed with NO ONE than the debtor or the debtors spouse (or a parent if debtor is under age 18). DCS cannot legally even tell you who they are, much less why they are calling. The fact that you know who it is that is calling and why they are calling violates the FDCPA.

    Second violation: Skip-tracing. They have your number. They probably got it via skip-tracing tactics. That is perfectly legal. HOWEVER...if a collection agency finds the number is not valid and cannot obtain a valid number, the number MUST BE REMOVED FROM ANY DIALING SYSTEM. Also, they must keep record in the debtors account that this is not a valid number and it cannot be called again.

    This is just a quick summary of FDCPA and I'm sure if you want to take the time to research, you can find alot more that is on your side.

    By the way, AmbrosiaTatum and allduefairness are do need to keep track of the names of the people who contact you, because debt collectors are PERSONALLY LIABLE for these violations, as well as the company. In a nutshell, you can sue DCS and each of their representatives who call.

    Speaking as a debt collector, we are only doing the job we are contracted to do, and we have every legal right to do so. And believe it or not, 90% of us are not the enemy and are willing to work with debtors in a fair and legal way. It's the 10% like this that give us all a bad name, and frankly, it pisses me off. So I am all for someone sticking it to the shady ones. Hope I was helpful.

  • Se
      17th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    The funny thing about this and other agencies is that once you call them, then THEY DONT ANSWER, specially if they garnish your wages and get their money. The agency who should have received the payment has not received it and the lady I have to speak is never available. Her voicemail works pretty well!

  • 0 Votes

    I was in the state of Virginia 13 years ago for about 6 weeks helping my mother with my stepfathers illness, I needed some money while I was there and I sold some stocks, that were purchased in the state of Nevada. I called the broker in Nevada had them sold in NV and then had them send the check to me in VA at my mothers. A year later I received a bill from Va. for 1100.00 for state tax on the sale, because of the address, the IRS sent them a copy of the 1099 i rec'd to declare the income on my federal taxes. I called the taxes dept in VA. got a letter from the broker that no transaction took place in VA. and they assured me this was taken care of. Now 13 years later they say I now owe $3400.00 with penalties and interest, and have sold my account to DCS, I have tried to prove again that no transaction took place in VA. but it has been 13years and I didn't keep the letter from the broker or even the federal tax return. They have now had my Driver license suspended in Nevada. I found out today when I got a ticket.I was never notified they even had that authority or that was even a possibility. The debt was still in dispute. I have some other friends from Virgina that have had state taxes due as far back as 20 yrs, that they didn't even know were due. They were given 24hrs to pay it or lose their License in Nevada, how is this even possible to take someone's lic. in another state for a debt?

  • Fa
      20th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    DCS number# 1-325-224-6188 the guys name is Adam. Give hime a call. just talk about nothing and bug him all day like he does you. He hates it. I have been doing it for months now. Makes me feel much better about the calls every other day. He is an ### too so its even better. If he would have been nice and removed my number I would have left him alone.

  • Bu
      10th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    I received a call today at work from Kerri Patrick at DCS. Although I am an independent contractor and not an official employee of the organization for which I was working. I can only assume that this information was culled from my professional website as DCS would not have had this number available to them through any tax documents or other sources.

    My neighbors have also reported receiving phone calls inquiring about me from debt collectors as well.

    Is there any recourse other than filing a lawsuit as I am unable to afford the cost of retaining a lawyer?

  • Sp
      9th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    I was receiving numerous phone calls everyday and letters every week. I wrote to the the DCS on the letter and asked that I not be called. I stated that all coorespondence would have to be in writing. I answered each one of their letters that repeated say the exact same thing over and over again no matter what your response. I have filled out the financial sheet they sent, yet there letters still state to better evaluate my financial situation that I must call them. This is even though I have given them all financial information. I'm am glad that the phone calls have ceased. However two letters a day Monday thru Saturday are now becoming annoying.

  • Th
      28th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    well randall let me just tell you this company almost got me fired from my job! i have a student loan with them and they called my work three to four times a day asking for me or my supervisor becoming rude with the receptionist when she told them i couldn't except personal phone calls and continued to call i cussed them out at home my husband cussed them out trying to tell him that we didn't have the money that they were asking for they wanted me to give like a 700 dollar down payment then make monthly payments i said if i had that kind of money just laying around don't you think i would of already paid you people they didn't want to take no for an answer i told them i could give them 75 a month but no down payment and they didn't want it so i told them basically to get in line with everyone else. they continued to call me at work and home until finally they said that i wouldn't have to give a down payment just 63 a month. ridiculous how these people are my job even told them the last couple times they called that i no longer work there and they still continued to call

  • 1n
      3rd of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    wow! this is awesome. i am copying and pasting all of this valuable info gained from you guys in my email complaint to DCS. Those people seemed to think they have it all figured out to harrass you with the ongoing phone calls and mail. I will not dummy down to their pathetic tactics, however. And kudos to the rest of you that don't either. Thank you!

  • Fe
      24th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    I just received a call looking for someone I know in Minnesota, while I live in Washington. Of course she couldn't tell me what it was for, but said she was with DCS. After seeing all you have been through, I started a log, and will be definitely looking into what actions I can take. Thanks for all the detailed info, everyone, and keep it up!

  • As
      5th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have a student loan that they are collecting on and when I talked to the lady she was really nice. She wasn't accusatory and didn't seem to think of me as any less of a person for not having money. The process was quick and painless. They gave me 3 options for repaying the debt, all involving various arrangements of a down payment and monthly payments after that. We reached an affordable agreement and she thanked me for coming to a resolution. Now I get a monthly letter to remind me of the next automatic payment. Maybe it just depends on the person that calls you, but the lady I deal with is really nice.

  • Co
      27th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    So I lived in Virginia 10 years ago for part of the year. I filed my taxes twice that year and twice it was returned to me. I never understood why and the reason was never given. I filed a federal 1040EZ that year because I was 19 and just a kid. The total refund DUE TO ME was $20. I got a letter from DCS last month. I immediately called the VA Dept of Taxation immediately and explained the situation. They were very nice and understood the situation. They told me to re-file and fax it to them directly and it would be taken care of. All done.

    Now, 30 days later I receive a very harassing phone call from Melissa Cooper at DCS. I explained that I no longer owed it and gave her the contact information from the VA Dept of Taxation. She said she didn’t care about the situation, I owed the VA Department of Taxation $1, 088.54 and she needed it immediately to prevent a judgment against me. She said she needed the money today or she would have my wages garnished or the money removed directly from my checking account. She then informed me that even if it was deemed by the Dept of Taxation that I did not owe it I needed to pay it today. The reason she gave me was that it would take 30-90 days for your department to provide them with the information that it was clear and by then she would have been made a judgment against me and I’d end up owing the money anyway. I told her she would hear from my attorney and she responded that the VA Dept of Taxation had audited my account and they deemed the debt was correct so I could get my attorney involved because I owed the money and she needed it today. I said, "It's clear! The creditor says I no longer owe this!" She told me “It not personal, how would you like to take care of that today, credit card? This will be a judgment against you if you don’t pay today.”

    I'm so sick of this, I do not owe this and have more than enough to prove that but they don't want to see anything, they just want to be paid for a debt that is already paid. Anyone know if they can force a judgment against me without my knowledge? I want to opportunity to fight this in court before they destroy my credit...I legitimately do not owe it.

  • Jr
      31st of Mar, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I had this DCS collection agency contact a neighbor concerning my debt. This is in violation of the law. The collectors name was Aaron Marks.

  • Jr
      31st of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    I called the FTC concerning DCS. They told me that they are clearly in violation of the law. The lady I talked to told me that these collection agencies are called "scavenger" collectors. She told me that sometimes they will call everyone within three blocks of your residence in order to get info on you. I hope these people get stuck with a huge fine.
    I had a lady down the street, whom I do not know showed up at my door and told me this guy wanted to talk to me. She had this collectors name and phone number. This is really awful that these collectors can get away with this.
    The collectors name was Aaron Marks at 1-800-927-7667, extension 3650.

  • Tk
      10th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    lets talk about laws unfortunately neighbor calling is not against the law by law they can call 1 neighbor a day at every address you may have lived at they can call all the same last names. They can call pretty much everyone that may know you restaurants, movie rental places ect... I know this must be an upsetting matter but let me tell you if you would just pick up the phone and here what they have to say you may be surprised One said that they just ignore there calls then they will call everyone you know until they give up then they will go after your wages they do not have to take you to court these are government loans there is no statue of limitations. get into a voluntarily small payment plan and if you don't have money just let them know and everytime they call let them know they will help you believe it or not I did use to work for this company I know that people used to get mad but in reality they are only giving you a courtesy call if you keep running they will finally give up and move forward with direct collections without your permission

  • Th
      23rd of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    This company just called my job pulling the same tactic, saying "Hi, my name is Cindy and I'm looking for *insert my brother's name here*, I really need to get ahold of him can you give me his number?" I had no idea who she was nor what she was calling about, and initially thought she might mean another person in my office who shares my first name. Then she mentioned my brother by first and last name and after a few questions on my part it was pretty obvious that she was probably a collection agency. All she would say was that her name was Cindy Harris and that she was calling from DCS and needed to get ahold of my brother regarding something related to her job. When pressed for more info, she said legally that's all she could tell me. My brother lived with my parents for all of a year, and now he's bouncing from place to place in another state and we have no way of getting ahold of him. But that all aside, there is no reason she should call me at my job! I lived in a city over an hour's drive away when he was living with my parents a few years ago. I told her she is not allowed to call me or any of my family members at our jobs, and that we don't have any information on my brother anyways so they should stop harrassing us. I'm prepared to take the next legal steps if they don't respect that.

  • Aa
      28th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have been a debt collector for 5yrs. I can tell you I have worked for DCS and everything they do is by the book. First of all the Goverment give's people this money to go to college and before you get the money you sign an agreement stating if loan ever goes into default it would be paid in full. What people dont know is if you make your payments on time you would not have the calls to family or neighbors. Another thing people dont realize is the loan is a federal debt and because of this the goverment can take your taxes also they can take your goverment monthly income up to 25% I really think it is sad people want the money to go to college but dont want to pay it back. If you do your research you will find out there is billions of dollars in defaulted student loans and the department of ed dont have the man power to collect so they hire companies like DCS AND ACT AND PIONEER to collect for them. Another thing people dont understand is that when you get the call's you should listen because all you have to do is make 9 monthly payments the loan comes out of default is no longer on your credit report then the collection fee's are waved I think that's a great deal. When they ask for a down payment let them know you dont have it they do have guidelines from the dept of ed they have to go by as far as the monthly payment but it's only for 9month's And for the people that want to take them to court remember the agreement you signed you dont have a leg to stand on court's will side for the dept of ed or the co that is hired to collect for them.

  • 35
      13th of Sep, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I recieved a letter from the DCS office that was dated July 20, 2010 stating my balance was $597.33, after they deducted $300.00 from my checking account I then recieved a letter in September stating that my remaining balance is $600.78. When I called and spoke with Shannon Borba she insisted that she had made me aware of this balance. If I had been aware of this I certainly would have asked where the extra $300.00 was tacked on!

  • Ab
      10th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    Karen Lynn from DCS calls me at least twice per day. She has left numerous messages on my voice mail at work. She has called my work and asked for my supervisor when I do not answer her calls. She called my father's house and left a voice mail and then sent a letter to his address. She called me 2x this afternoon already and when I did not answer she called the office of my apartment complex and asked them to verify my address which they would not. She then left them her name and phone number and they called me with the message.
    How do I make her stop? The last time I spoke to her (october i think) she wanted the whole amount (90, 000+). I told her i'd love to pay her but I need to avoid my electric getting shut off. She was rude and said she wasn't calling me anymore that she was done with me but she hasn't stopped.

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