Report: #873878

Complaint Review: Windham Professionals

  • Submitted: Wed, April 25, 2012
  • Updated: Thu, April 26, 2012
  • Reported By: Wendy — Twentynine Palms California United States of America
  • Windham Professionals
    380 Main Street
    Salem, New Hampshire
    United States of America

Windham Professionals harassed one MY friends and threatened my family over my husband's debt from before he met me. Salem, New Hampshire

*Consumer Comment: Here are some ideas - could use more info

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The person who originated the call, contacted a friend of mine who has no connection to my current husband. He said he was calling from the Department of Education because my husband had used her name as a reference.  They tried to obtain information from her about him and asked her to get in touch with him for them. 

She got their number and promptly called me because I am the one who does all the finances for our family.  When I called them back, the person identified himself as "Will" and did not want to give me any information at first.  He then told me that the name of the company was not the Department of Education, but Windham Professionals.
When I demanded to know why they called my friend, "Will" told me that my husband had used her name as a reference on his school loan.  My husband did not even know my friend or me the only time he ever applied for a school loan so I told him that his information was untrue. 

He then tried to get me to verify that we had the correct person by giving out my husband's birthdate and SSN.  When I refused on the basis that this is private information covered by the Privacy Act, "Will" got angry and threatened me and my family.  He told me basically that since I was not going to cooperate and since I wouldn't put my husband on the phone, this debt will now be made to affect me and my family too.

I informed "Will" that what he was doing was a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and that I am fairly certain that whatever means they used to gain my friend's unlisted, private cell phone number was likely in violation of the Privacy Act, and then hung up.
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#1 Consumer Comment

Here are some ideas - could use more info

AUTHOR: Tagurit - (USA)

 Debt collection agencies can reach out to others but only to obtain information to find the debtor - they cannot under any circumstances reveal they are collecting for a debt or discuss the debt with anyone other than the debtor.   So on that part they didn't violate the FDCPA.   However when they said  "this debt will now be made to affect me and my family too." they did.  They are not allowed to threaten non debt owners that they will somehow  be responsible for the debt.

Bottom line the debt collectors will lie in order to get information. 

It would be helpful if you provided info on what type of student loan - was this a Federally backed student loan?  Student loans will have different statutue of limitations and Federally backed ones do not go away so ususally you are better off working out a payment plan on those.  Non Federally backed student loans and/or other types of debt you'll need to find out what the statute of limitations is for your State for that debt.  If past the Statute of limitations you have a defense against the collection of that debt.    

Also, you need to find out if Windham purchased the debt or is simply collecting on behalf of another entity.  If they are collecting on behalf of another entity you are going to be better off negotiating with that entity if in fact you need to pay the debt.   If Windham purchased it outright, you'll need to deal with them directly.

If I were you I would not pay anything or admit to anything until you find out (1) who is the legal owner of the debt Windham or someone else, (2) how old is the debt, (3) is it a Federally backed loan/debt (4) is the debt valid, (5) what is the statute of limitations for that type of debt for your state.   Once you have this you can make an informed decision on whether you need to negotiate a payment plan or tell them to go jump in a lake.   Going forward I would record all calls - check if your state is a dual consent state on recording - if so simply tell them you will be recording the call.   Better yet, I would request they do everything in writing - better proof/protection for you.
Good luck.
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