Bill Collector Showing up for a Bill That's Not Even Late?!

Updated on July 27, 2011
M.M. asks from Lake Charles, LA
22 answers

So we have a credit account with a local appliance/electronics company. Times have been hard in the last year (my husband was in a horrible accident last june) and it took us a while to get on our feet.. So in the past we'd been up to like 2 months late on the bill but the company worked with us and we got caught up no problem. Fast forward to today. The bill isn't due for 2 days and I run out to the shed (no bra on) and some guy pulls up asking for my husband. He say's he's from "X" company and we have a bill due. He wants me to pay him the 120, I say um, well we're going to go pay in store (because they give you a receipt). I assume I'm wrong about us being current and we MUST be late (my husband was pissed at me) and it turns out it's not even due for 2 days! 2 DAYS. Me and my husband are furious! So I guess my question is is this even legal?! We've never had a debt collector show up in person much less for a debt that wasn't even due yet! We're thinking this borderlines on harassment.. we've had this company call about a bill that was 2 days late (not even legally late) and they called his old command (he's in the military) telling them we owed a debt that we weren't paying. My husband can be kicked out of the military for stuff like that and if they would have showed up at his station he'd be 10 ways of screwed! Is there anything we can do to make sure this doesn't happen to us here at home or anywhere else for that matter? Thanks in advance, we're calling the company in the morning and I'm going to blow up on them but I wanted to see what our rights were before then.

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So What Happened?

added: So when i went to pay in store the clerk said she'd never heard of them showing up in person... especially for a bill that wasn't even late.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

The credit companies are all getting CRAZY these days....I'd call the store and tell them exactly what I thought of that tactic.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

You should have gotten the guys name. This way when you speak to the company they can tell you whether or not he actually works there. This way if he doesn't work there or did work there you could file a report with the police. He is trying to scam money from ppl. I have never heard of ppl showing up in person unless the company is sueing you over payment. Sounds very fishy to me.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Anchorage on

sounds like someone was trying to steal money from you.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

I have never NEVER heard of a store sending someone to your house to collect on a debt. I would really question whether this man was who he said he was.
Did you ever see any form of identification from him? Never talk to anyone unless they can show you legitimate identification.
Your husband needs to go in and talk to his CO...take copies of the bills and the payments you have made...I would also write to the company and ask for an explanation of what has occurred and take their response into his CO. My husband is retired from the Army and I can tell you that overdue bills can be a huge no no. My husband 1st wife almost cost him his career by running up thousands of dollars in bills and bad checks! It took us years to get out from under it . ( At one point his Efficiency report stated..."Unless this officer divorces his current wife I would demand that he be separated from the US Army"!!!!
There are laws about what a debt collector can do....check with your JAG office to see what is legal and what isn't

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

This was a SCAM. Lucky you did not pay. You should make a report to your police station's non-emergency number and the attorney general. We had this happen in our old neighborhood and the police increased their patrols for a while as a deterrent (I don't think they ever caught anyone). These people often get information about your bills/debts by rummaging through your trash - you may want to get a shredder for stuff like that.
Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Ten bucks says it was someone going through their accounts and thought they could swindle some money out of you..

I'm sorry things have been tight and tough...thank him for his service and sacrifice to our country...yours too...being a military wife isn't easy!!!

Yes, he can be kicked out for financial irresponsibility - however, not for one has to be serious - like all of them, bounced checks and the payments or repo'ed cars...THAT hurts...but I do know several guys with high clearances AND DUI's in the military - and their's all about openness..if your husband holds a clearance...ensure that he talks to his First Shirt and keep him appraised of the long as he's not hiding it - it can't be used against him...

Okay - sorry for the digression...any way - no. To the best of my knowledge a debt collector MAY NOT come to your home to collect a debt...if someone from the company sent him out - he would have a badge and a way to give you a receipt...although, seriously - I doubt any company would do this...if he comes again - snap a picture of him with your cell phone! :) and get his name and plate number....

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

First, you need to find out who the guy is! It's possible he is a current, or former employee looking to make cash. It's also possible he isn't from the company and he came across your information. If the man is from the company you should insist they do something about the man. If he's not, you need to call the police.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I would call the police, and the attorney general. This sounds like a scam. It could have been someone going through your mail, an employee or ex employee of the company looking for cash, someone could have hacked into the businesses computer system, I could go on....Anyhow, legal or not, never never never pay someone who comes to your home, except maybe your neighborhood paperboy. Call the company, AND the police. Even if they show you ID and/or offer you a receipt. You can go to Office Depot and get the material to make those yourself.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Always, never give any personal information or money, to anyone who just shows up at your door, unannounced. Even if they show I.D., it can be fake.
They are probably not legit.
And CALL the company that they claim to be from, RIGHT there in front of them, to double check.

Too bad, you didn't get a license plate number, off of the guy's car.
You could have filed a police report/complaint.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Illegal, contact the BBB and atty general and let them know what happened.

When I worked collections (commercial not private) we would go to our customers but typically that was a set up appointment to recify the debt.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dothan on

Call, call, call & report them! BBB, Government agencies (look in the yellow pages), Consumer Affairs, etc.. My husband says go to the CO & up front tell him/her exactly what happened when the guy came (make sure you have your receipt that shows you are current in your payment), this gives you the, 'leg up' if they pull this #$%^%^&^%&*&%@# again! File the complaints after your phone calls, both the BBB & Consumer Affairs have paperwork for doing so.

In reading other posts, I feel I must make a comment about the 'guy @ the door' not being from the company. We had an account with Aaron's actually had an account for several purchases, when I was in the hospital & my DH was out to sea we were late twice, the first time my mom called & used my CC to make a pymt. the second time I knew I would be paying soon so I was going to wait until I got home, they not only showed up, they called my mom & told her they were going to put out a warrant for my arrest unless she paid them! Many companies ARE unscrupulous in their collections, surely you have heard about all the terrible things they do in the news (?). I am NOT saying that it isn't possible the man was a scam artist, just that you need to be aware that companies ARE coming to homes & ARE doing things that are illegal in order to frighten people.

ALWAYS be vigilant about who you are dealing with THAT is a certain!

All that said, it's also possible they made a mistake (I know, HA!) call them & ask for the accounting dept. as well as the manager & let them know exactly how much you APPRECIATE the visit when you were NOT late & that you have contacted the above entities about the matter. They MAY apologize and make the call to the old C.O. if they say they are going to do so tell them you want a LETTER stating they were wrong.

Hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

I wonder if it wasn't a scam - someone who works for, or used to work for, the company trying to scam some cash? Good thing you didn't hand over any money.

Put in writing what happened and give it the store manager. include a description of the person who came to your door along with a vehicle description if you have one. Was the person in a company logo vehicle? have on a name tag or logo shirt?

I think you did the right thing not paying anyone who comes to the door to collect a bill.

Anyhoo, it sounds really suspicious to me.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I don't know what the laws are regarding this situation. My guess is that since this is a small local company they are feeling a financial crush and need the cash flow. However, it doesn't make sense that they would want to pay an employee to travel to your house. Personally, if that happened to me, I would have called the police. Are you sure the man was from "X company"? Did he have id?

I would call the store and make an appointment to see the owner (manager, if owner is not available) and discuss the situation in person. Bring your current payment with documentation showing the bill isn't due until the 28th. Bring along your documentation proving that you've been current for the last 6 months. Let them know that you will press legal charges if it happens again.

I would also keep documentation of all communications with this company in case you need it at a later date.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

That isnt good. I would call the company and tell them that this is unacceptable and that you are 100% sure that your bill isnt even due yet. That is ridiculous that they are showing up at your HOUSE. They didnt even call?? I'd be soo mad!

And your husband should go to his commander and tell him what the situation is and bring a copy of your bill and show him that A. you have been paying, and B that it isnt even due yet. His commander should take that into note, and if anyone is calling him they will dismiss it. JUST as long as your husband IS the one to be telling him all this information and not the collection company itself. Because yes it is a big deal and he can get kicked out.

My husband was in the Army too and we knew some guys that had this happen to and they can get an article 15 for this, and further measures can be taken. So its serious, and important for you hubby to inform someone of the correct details.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

That man that came to your house was trying to scam you. He probably works for the company you owe and knows you have a history of being late but are now working to pay things on time. These types of people target consumers in your situation. His company probably has no idea he made a visit to your house. NEVER PAY without getting a receipt from the company.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

As long as he only asked it is perfectly legal, strange but legal.

Okay if the store never heard of them is it possible he went through your mail, found out what stores you deal with and tried to trick you into giving him money? You may want to call the police.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Sounds like a scam to me. A reputable company, wouldn't send someone out with just a small bill to pay to collect in person. You would have to have gotten several notices in the mail, phone calls, harrassing messages etc. for this to remotely happen. I would report them to the BBB and see what they say. File a complaint once you find out that that is what they did. GL


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Call Dave Ramsey and ask him!! I listen to him, and he always tells people what the law is regarding bill collectors, and what is lawful to respond to them. I doubt them coming to your house is legal, especially if it is not even late!! In my opinion I would pay it off as quickly as possible and get them off your back!!! I would also go to the store and ask the manager about it, I'm sure he can help you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

that seems fishy to me. i'm glad you didnt pay him. i wonder if he stole a computer with info on it, got your info, and went to visit you. i bet he's just a thief!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

I wonder if this guy is even legit. Especially if he is showing up at your door wanting money.

Although in response to them calling your husband's old command, late is late, whether it's two days, two weeks, or two months. Especially if you have a history of paying late. It was shady of them (possibly illegal? I don't know) to release details to your husband's employer.



answers from New York on

I would make sure he really was from the company. Sounds really weird
to me. I have never heard of someone coming to the door in the year 2011.
Call in the morning and then go from there.



answers from Charlotte on


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