This smacks of fraud. A call to the Michigan AG or a visit to its site might prove useful.
The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
You very well may have a consumer case. Contact a local consumer protection attorney and keep all your records including proof of calls
The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as forming an attorney-client relationship. No attorney-client relationship between the reader and Abbas Kazerounian has been formed.
No, it is not legal. Interesting that the debt collector is set up to show your wife's cell as the caller ID -- I'd bet from that fact that they are doing this to a lot of people and I would love to talk to you about your rights and remedies. You might even have rights against the technology company providing this ability to the debt collector.
If you would like to talk with me, I can be reached at: (248) 540-9270, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The technology used is called "spoofing." The debt collector pulses out a false ANI (caller ID) in order to get you to pick up the phone. Courts have ruled that the ANI is a communication and that by misstating their actual return number, the debt collector makes a materially false representation for purposes of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This is actionable and would entitle you to statutory damages of up to $1,000 plus any actual damages. The other side would also have to pay your attorney fees if you win.
You can visit my web site at www.MichiganConsumerLaw.Com.