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Consumer Debt Collection: 101

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posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 06:48 PM
So you just got one of those unlabeled envelopes in the mail.
You open it up to see its from a Collection Agency (also called the CA for collection agency) who is representing a lender or a business (also called the OC for original creditor) and they want your money - most usually NOW .

So… what are you to do?
First and foremost – you need to assess rather or not this debt belongs to YOU .

No! This debt does not belong to me!!

Immediately and without hesitation, you need to send what is called a “debt validation” letter. A very good example of this kind of letter can be found Here send this letter through the USPS vis registered mail with a signature required delivery.

Yes – It belongs to me.

Okay then. No sweat! Either its something you’ve forgotten about…perhaps a late fee from Blockbuster (I personally have been sent to a CA for a $7.00 late fee from Block Buster video that I forgot all about).
Or you’ve hit hard times. Perhaps a divorce, a medical problem, or you got laid off of your job. It all happens – to millions of hard working, good and honest people- just like you.

Most delinquent debts (bad credit) do not happen simply because people don’t want to pay. True – some people choose that route, and that gives everyone else a bad name, but you, personally, aren’t that way. There is no reason to live with any guilt.

The first steps of your new road to recovery, before you EVER pick up that phone, is to educate yourself on your options, and your rights. Never, and I repeat NEVER pick up the phone and talk to a collection agency without first educating yourself to your rights and your options.

----- The FDCPA -----

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a compilation of federally regulated and federally enforced laws that are set in place to protect you – the consumer – from shady practices by business owners and collection agencies alike.
The existence of the FDCPA does not suggest that ALL collection agencies are bad. This is not true at all. But that does not mean you should not plan for the worst, and hope for the best when dealing with any collection agency.

The first thing you should look for when you open that envelope is rather or not this correspondence contains what is called the Mini-Miranda Warning, and usually appears as follows:

This is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information will be used for that purpose. You may choose to dispute the validity of this debt, in writing, within 30 days of receiving this notice

And exists in order to comply with the following from the FDCPA:

FDCPA Section 809. Validation of debts [15 USC 1692g]

(b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection

(a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.

In additional posts in this forum – I will cover the FDCPA and its application to you in much more depth.

But for now – if your notice from a Collection Agency does not have a mini-Miranda notice on it – you need to save this letter (in a fireproof box or something) and immediately contact a lawyer who specializes in the FDCPA – a simple google search will give you plenty of results. You may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the collection agency.

-----The Collection Agency ----

Within five days of their first contact with you, the collection agency must send you a written notice which outlines:

  • The total amount of money that you allegedly owe
  • The name of the original creditor
  • That unless you, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, dispute the validity of the debt or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed valid by the debt collector;
  • That if you dispute the debt in full or in part within that thirty day period, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt and mail it to the consumer; and
  • That upon your written request within the thirty day period, the debt collector will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.

One of the hardest things to do when repairing your credit is picking up that phone. One thing to keep in mind is that – now – your debt belongs to the Collection Agency (in most cases). A lot of Collection Agencies are also called “bad debt buyers” wherein they will purchase the debt from the OC (original creditor) for a very small fraction of the actual cost. What they are doing is buying the rights to collect the full amount from you.

This is in the best interests of the Original Creditor, because the creditor can then write off your debt, and basically forget about you. Here we see one of our first “conspiracies” in the Lending industry – but we’ll discuss that in future threads

You can easily find out if your debt has been purchased by the collection agency by calling the original creditor. The OC will be able to tell you who owns your debt. If it is the OC (original creditor) then my personal suggestion is that you do your dealings with the OC.

If the debt belongs to the Collection Agency, however; you must do all future correspondence with the Collection Agency – the original creditor has written you off, and they have no way of rectifying this account any longer, you are stuck with the CA.

If it does get to this point – don’t panic. Its in the best interests of the CA (collection agency) to work with you within the confines of your financial situations. Don’t, however, expect them to take your word for it… this will be a tough road if your debt is a large sum. But it is something that you can accomplish.

----Picking up the Phone -----

Keep a pin and paper nearby – and write down names, dates, times, and foot notes of the conversation. You never know when it’ll come in handy – please learn from my mistakes…

But….Its simple. Call them. Don’t be afraid – keep in mind that you are talking to another tax-paying citizen on the other end of the phone. Don’t expect the worst, but do plan for it.

Your collection agent is typically going to first verify your information to make sure that you are who you say you are.
You are now going to get the mad-libs style inquisition of “why did you let it get this bad”

You are left with two options. Pay in full, or try to negotiate. Collection Agency employees are paid on Commission – so don’t expect it to be easy to negotiate in the event that your debt is relatively high. But it is still doable.

Never disclose where you work – OR – where you bank.
NEVER send a personal check to them in the mail or give banking/credit card information over the phone. Never !!!.

It’s best to send a cashier’s check or a money order. Make sure you keep the copy of the cashier’s check/money order in a safe place where you won’t lose it.

Do it this way rather you are able to pay in full, or if you reach a payment agreement.

If you are able to reach a payment arrangement with the collection agent on the phone – never send them a dime until the agency its self sends you the new agreement in writing. Politely demand that the new agreement be mailed to you in writing.

Never…never given in otherwise. Always send the payment via registered mail – using either a cashier’s check or a money order.

Never enter a payment agreement that you are unsure of your ability to keep. If you fail to live up to the new agreement – the chances that you’ll find your butt in court are going to be very high.

Whichever route you take – make sure you keep track of your steps. The CA is keeping track of them – and you need to be responsible for yourself, in the event that you wind up in court and they are able to cherry pick your actions and use them against you…you will be able to defend yourself to some degree.

In the event that you are unable to come to a payment arrangement, and you are also unable to pay in full – I suggest sending them something as a gesture of good faith. A symbolic payment which says “I want to pay, but I just can’t do it all at once”

Send this payment at the same time – every month, and never miss it.
Don’t allow your fear to force you to send $500 in the first month, and only be able to pay $20.00 next month, because they will frown upon it. They want to see consistency to ensure them that you are serious about settling this debt. Keep your head cool, and you’ll be fine.

Of course – the easiest way to deal with collection agencies is to never do anything to have them calling you in the first place. But life happens. Don’t let it get you down – there are bright lights at the end of these tunnels.
I hope to be contributing much more to these forums in this light, and hope to have more feedback from you – the readers.
A few closing thoughts:

Never sign a commitment that you can’t oblige.
Always pay your bills on time. If you run into hard times – call your original creditor before it ever gets close to going to a collection agency. They WILL work with you.

No matter how far in over your head you are – there are ways out. You have to have a strong stomach and an iron clad determination most of the time – but there are people out there to help you.

posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 05:14 AM
Thanks for the post. There is A LOT of good information in there and I hope people use it. Especially in this day and age of so many people going under, even if you know you have some legitimate collection letters coming, you need to check them all very carefully.

Do not just ignore them, some of them are mistakes. When in doubt, (or not) dispute immeditely and then work it as hard as you can.

posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 05:25 AM
I wish more people i knew would take an interest in how credit works.Even though it works differently where i am its sound advice and i look forward to your next entries.

posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 06:31 AM
Great post Andrew. Lots of great information, some that most people aren't aware of. As someone that has had to deal with a CA in the past, I wish I had known half of this information back then. You/I can't stress enough to people that in MOST cases the OC or CA will work with you to come up with a payment arrangement. Ignoring the debt is the worst possible thing you can do.


posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 07:00 AM
I think more and more people will need this info. Unfortunately those who are in a bind can not afford a lawyer when they need it most. The banks and CA's know all the legal ins and outs and the consumer is flying blind and in a panic. It certainly makes for a level playing field.doesn't it

posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 10:34 AM
reply to post by crimvelvet

It certainly makes for a level playing field.doesn't it

and that is the goal that i pursue with so much vehemency.

Most people know they don't like collection agencies, but i believe that sour taste in their mouths is misplaced most often.

But you should still know what to look for.

i'm inundated with a lot of work stuff right now - but i do plan on diving much deeper into this very topic.

If anyone reading this has questions about Collection Agency tactics, laws, news, conspiracies, please, by all means, ask them here.

There are no pointless questions when it comes to understanding collection agencies and your credit.

Thank you all for the feedback so far - i was beginning to think this forum was only for the talking points of the MSM

Your feedback was a very refreshing breath of fresh air

More to come later.

[edit on 8/25/2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]

posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 11:40 AM
Not that I have a debt or am in the usa to be subject to these particular rules regarding debt collection , but one thing I would not do is phone them up. If they didn't know your number before they will now and there'll be no end of them calling you up morning day and night . So if you do phone, use a pay phone or use some way to block the number you are dialling from. That or just correspond by letter only .

Make sure the debt is not statute barred either , a lot of so called zombie debt collecting going on in the usa.. zombie in bringing it back from the dead, ie subject to limitation legislature.

[edit on 25-8-2008 by Gun Totin Gerbil]

posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 05:22 PM

Originally posted by Gun Totin Gerbil

Make sure the debt is not statute barred either , a lot of so called zombie debt collecting going on in the usa.. zombie in bringing it back from the dead, ie subject to limitation legislature.

GTG brings up a very good point.

Every debt - every contract with the exchange of currency - has a statute of limitations. Every state has a different statute.

If your debt (even if it IS yours) is passed the statute of limitations - you DO NOT have to pay it.

Most debtors will be taken to court upon the arrival of the deadline for the S.O.L. but these statutes exist to destroy frivolous law suits from corrupt businesses, lenders, and collectors.

If your debt IS past the SOL - do not make a payment on it. Period. If you make a single payment of any amount (1 penny) you will reset the counter, and the SOL will start over.

The SOL begins from the first day of delinquency (the first time you ever missed a payment on this current debt)

You can review This website for a full list of each states SOL laws regarding debt.

If the SOL turns out to be in your favor - you STILL can pay on the debt, its up to you. But you don't have law.

In the event that a collection agency tries to collect on a debt that is passed its SOL - you should immediately send them a Cease and Desist letter, and separately send them a Debt Validation letter (see: Why Debt Validation letter is the greatest tool in your arsenal

You should always send your letters via the USPS with "signature delivery required" meaning someone on the receiving end HAS TO SIGN for the delivery of your letter, so that you have proof that they received your request.

In your letters - you should kindly remind them that they are in violation of the FDCPA and that you have contacted your local States Attorney's office

and that you have let the FTC know about the violation of the consumer protection laws

10 times out of 10 - they will leave you alone forever.

(because here is what happens when they dont )

Of course - this is only reference material. You should always contact an attorney for legal advise before taking action, in the event that a states law has changed and has not been updated on the above linked source.

[edit on 8/25/2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 12:57 AM

In the event that you are unable to come to a payment arrangement, and you are also unable to pay in full – I suggest sending them something as a gesture of good faith. A symbolic payment which says “I want to pay, but I just can’t do it all at once”

Good Faith payments can backfire - lets say you have a debt that is years old, you have never been able to pay it and under some states jurisdictions, it is about to become uncollectable. If you send a token payment of any kind, the CA can then state to the courts that you have re-certified the debt and that the total is now due in full. It is a cheap scam that CA's will run on people in States that have expiration dates, I know, it happened to a friend of mine who just won't pay friggin attention.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 01:01 AM
Very true

its called Statute of Limitations clause

The thread of mine before this one here talks about it a little bit

There so much to learn when it comes to protecting your own hind end

thats what im gracious for places like ATS

if only i had know then, what i know now

My credit would look oh so much better

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 10:11 AM
On debt collection: I agree that the statute of limitations is very important, and unless you know the account they are dunning you for is current or recent, that should be the first thing you look up: when was your last payment, and what is the statute of limitations for your state.

Forcing them to "verify" the debt as mentioned above is extremely useful, even if you know it's your debt. If for some reason they don't have proper documentation and can't do it, you're off the hook. Even if they can, it buys you a little extra time and also puts them on notice that you know what you're doing and may be more trouble than you're worth. Check social security numbers and personal identification carefully; collection agencies don't mind a bit if they collect money from the wrong person and will quite happily pursue you for a debt that is owed by someone with the same name, until you prove that it's not yours.

If you're like me, resist the impulse to call them until you have your ducks all in the proverbial row. They record every phone call, or most of them do, and any rants can be used against you. Don't let the 30 days run out, but do assemble every bit of information you can find, and have a goal and a plan of attack before you communicate with them. Keep this plan firmly in mind and don't let any threats or verbal abuse rattle you.

Know your rights, and be the first to (CALMLY!) inform them if they've done anything wrong such as call your work, call in the middle of the night, etc. You can also tell them that you request that all communications be in writing, no calls. This not only provides you with documentation of everything, but makes it less stressful on you; they tend not to put threats, insults, and derogatory statements in written communications.

I would suggest also digging up any information you can find on the original debt, and find out how much the debt actually was at the time you defaulted on it. I know someone who was dunned for $13,000 on a debt that was less than $5,000 at the time of default. Remember also that they have "purchased" your debt for much less than the "total due" amount, and if you have any funds you may be able to settle with them for pennies on the dollar.

Some less than reputable collection agencies will also try to collect from you on debts that have been discharged in a bankruptcy, as was done to me. The first mistake I made was to fax them a copy of the bankruptcy papers, which they then claimed they'd never received. Send them by registered or certified mail, and include a letter informing them that you will report them to the federal bankruptcy court, which will cost them $10,000 if they are found guilty.

Do NOT avoid process servers. One of the worst things that can happen to you is the creditor going to court without you and getting a judgment against you by default. They may then sit quietly on the judgment (which you don't even know about!) until it is too late for you to effectively protest it, and then suddenly wipe out your bank accounts, start garnishing your wages, or call you and demand payment. If you get served, go to court! Even going without a lawyer is better than not showing up at all. We went to court last year without a lawyer, and the judge was quite reasonable. We will have to pay because they already had a judgment against us, but we were able to negotiate paying a much smaller amount than they actually wanted, and we are able to make monthly payments for a specified period of time.

If you are served with court papers, I would also recommend trying to negotiate with the agency to avoid going to court. Once there is a judgment against you, your options become severely limited, and not paying can lead to charges such as contempt of court. In any case, do not ignore court dates or summons!

That's all I can think of for now, I'll probably be back to add more. If anyone has any questions, ask away. If I don't know the answer we'll find it.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 10:27 AM
reply to post by Heike

Very Good stuff there.

The one thing im not sure if is the contempt of court..i wonder if that may only be applicable in certain states?

There certainly is no "debtors jails" but i do know of one case it can happen

In the event that the CA or OC is issued a judgement against you - they can take you BACK to court to pursue garnishments or leins against your property/assets

It is in this court appearance which you must appear. It will be very specific on your summons that you have to appear - no questions asked.

In the event you don't, the sheriff will be picking you up - and you'll have to explain to the judge why you couldn't show up to court.

In this proceeding - you will be asked a lot of questions by the attorneys for the CA or OC and they'll basically be getting banking information out of you.

You cannot plead "the 5th" that i know of - though some suggest it

the 5th amendment serves you the right to not testify against yourself to reveal evidence which may be incriminating

that said - i also am not a lawyer....always check with a lawyer first

Before it ever goes to court - 99.999% of the time, the CA or OC's lawyers will try to contact you for a settlement out of court.

Keep in mind

These lawyers are NOT the collection agency. They are paid law advisers who are doing their job . If you are rude to them - its going to jab their ego's, and they're going to be extra vicious on you.

Be most polite to these guys/gals if you ever get a call from them. They'll legally have to tell you which firm they represent, and if its a collection agency pretending to be a law firm - you'll know pretty quickly, as they are not interested in legal discussion - but seem to be trying to get your money a.s.a.p.

My "law firm" phone call from Valentine & Kebaratas (collection agency) ended with the woman telling me that the County Sheriff was being called and i were to be arrested, so i had better contact an attorney

i knew right then i had not been talking to a lawyer.

The phone call was recorded on my cellphone's memorycard - but - here's another conspiracy for you.

Its not presentable in court.

Thats right.

You cannot record them even if they're recording you - unless you obtain verbal permission from them.

If you've ever asked for permission, they'll hang up on you.

Most collection agencies work by stepping over the line of the law and tramping your rights - just a little bit - so to scare you into paying as much as you possibly can.

The conspiracy is - you cannot record them breaking the law without their consent, but if they give their consent, they'd know not to break the law.

That seems so ridiculous to me.
But im saving my phone conversation with "Miss Lopez" and if it ever comes about that evidence like that becomes permissible in court, ill be giving my attorney a call

My advice is IF you choose to call the Collection Agency, make sure you tell them up front that the call will be recorded. This serves you a few times over

1.) If they hang up and don't allow the call to be recorded, you have evidence that they don't want to TALK to you.

2.) If they do continue with permission for you to record them - then they'll be forced to remain civil - making your experience a lot more enjoyable

3.) If #2 does happen -then any verbal agreements will be solidified and be much easier to obtain in writing.

Remember - never sign anything without reading everything - especially from a collection agency

Never agree to a payment policy that you cannot keep

Never send them 1 red penny until you have the new agreement in writing, signed by them and you.

Never take their word for it over the phone.
Never give your bank info over the phone
never give your credit card info over the phone.

If they're asking you for that kind of stuff - and dancing around the "can i have it in writing" request, then you know you're dealing with a shady person who doesnt mind tramping your rights to get his commission that week

Be careful
Be mindful
Be educated

They'll never know what hit them if you are.

[edit on 8/26/2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 10:44 AM
Great posts all around. Thanks.

As the credit bubble is about to burst, the money supply is tightening and budgets are stretched due to inflation, I fear many members may need to brush up on their rights.

Debt is a four-letter word.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 12:06 PM
Credit Card Management

Credit Card companies are in business to make money. They make money off of you charging purchases, and off of you paying interest. Their business goal is to keep you in debt and paying interest. That is the first thing to understand. A lawyer who does collections work informed me that credit card companies call people who pay off their balance in full every month "deadbeats." Does that tell you anything? They do NOT want you debt free, and they will not try to help you become debt free, no matter what they claim.

Check your interest rate, every statement. If it goes down, smile. If it goes up, find out why and complain. Most credit card companies will raise your interest rate if you are late with a payment, pay less than the minimum payment, or go over your limit. If you haven't messed up, call them and find out why your rate went up. Even if you have, if you have a pretty good record with them, explain what happened. "My husband was in the hospital having an emergency appendectomy" might just get the late fees reversed and the interest rate dropped back down (If it's true; don't lie to them!). This past December we had a terrible ice storm and were without electricity for over a week. During that time my husband missed a payment that he usually makes online. After making the payment late, he called the company and explained; after checking his history of making the payment online - and of course they'd already heard about the ice storm and power outages - they refunded all of the charges and dropped his interest rate back down to what it previously was.

Watch for annual fees. Unless you have a card that you knew was going to charge you an annual fee, question it if you see one. My Intrust visa (which is one of my backup cards and had a zero balance) suddenly charged me $59.00 for an annual fee in Jan. of 2008. Surprised and annoyed, I called them up and told the CSR I wanted to cancel the account. She immediately made the connection and informed me that the annual fee had only been charged because I hadn't used the card at all. She reversed the fee and politely asked me to use the card at least once a year. So I charged $60 worth of gas and paid it back over a 2 month period. I saved $60 and apparently they're happy.

The minimum payment is designed to keep you in debt forever, or as long as possible. Look at the interest they've charged you this month and then look at the minimum payment. Some companies will ask for a minimum payment that barely covers the interest, in which case you aren't even paying down the actual balance! Try to always pay at least 5% of the balance over and above the interest. Example: You have a $2000 balance and they've charged you $22 interest and are asking for a $25 minimum payment. 5% of 2,000 = $100 + 22, so pay at least $122.00 that month.
If you pay at least 5% of the balance every month and do not charge any more on the card, the balance will be paid off in approx two years or a little less; that's a reasonable goal. Note also that your credit report shows one of three things on a monthly basis: did not pay as agreed, paid as agreed, or paid MORE than agreed. Paying more than the minimum payment every month actually improves your credit score.

Having a backup credit card or two - with a high limit and zero balance - is a great idea if you can manage it. If you think it's worth the trouble, you can even manipulate the card companies. Periodically they may make you a "balance transfer offer" with a very low - or even zero! - interest rate. Transfer the balance, pay no interest (or the low rate) for six months, which could save you as much as a few hundred dollars depending on the balance, and then start looking for another transfer offer. If you have several credit cards, you can keep bouncing that balance around to new offers and save yourself a lot of money! Hey, it's the kind of thing they would do to you in a heartbeat if they could; take every advantage you can get!

If you're a good customer with a good payment record for at least a year and you're paying more than 6 or 7% interest, call them up and ask for an upgrade or a lower interest rate. One of my cards is down to 6% and they know what I'll do if they raise it on me.
If they refuse look for a card offer with a lower rate and apply for it; if you get it then threaten to transfer your balance and cancel their card. But don't lie about this either, remember they can look at your credit report any time they want and they know exactly what cards you have, what the credit limit is on each one, he balance you owe on each one, and what the interest rate is you're paying on each one.

You should also know that your credit score is partially determined by the ratio of available credit to outstanding balances. In other words, a person who has 4 credit cards with limits totalling $15,000 and a $4,000 outstanding balance on one of them may have a higher credit rating than a person who has only one credit card with a $5,000 limit and a balance of $1,000. Yes, I know it doesn't make any sense, but that's the way it is.

Remember, too, that a good credit rating doesn't only mean that you can GET credit; it can get you lower interest rates on mortgages, auto financing, home improvement financing, and other loans.

Probably all of us would like to be able to live on a cash basis with no debt, but I know very, very few people who manage it. Realistically I try to minimize debt, not use credit cards to pay for consumables (food, gas, etc.), and make sure that I am always working towards actually paying down my debt instead of just coasting along. If you don't have a goal, you can't move towards it.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post. I'm not an expert, just an "old woman" trying to share the wisdom of experience. I wish someone had told me these things when I was in my 20's!

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 01:13 PM
Here is one that is not listed anywhere in the fine posts above, but should be listed.

If you are EVER asked if you owe a debt, your response is "I can neither confirm nor deny that". If they say "Do you remember buying such-and-such" your answer is "I can neither confirm nor deny that". If they say "You don't know if you had such-and-such procedure done on you?", your answer is "I can neither confirm nor deny that".

If it goes to court, make sure you get the ORIGINAL paperwork (I.e., the one you actually signed), NOT COPIES. Various state laws make exceptions. For example, in the state in which I live, the Director of Medical Records is allowed to sign off on copies of medical records, indicated they are as depicted in the original medical chart. If they present you with a signed copy (not the original) you say "I can neither confirm nor deny this document is what I signed".

Why do you ask for the original? Because you are SURE you read the original, and you want to make sure that they did not copy your signature to another document, differing from the original.

By neither confirming nor denying the allegation of the debt owed, you are not lying and saying you do or do not owe the money involved. You are simply making them PROVE that you actually owe a valid debt.

You'd be surprised how often this ends the conversation.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 06:18 PM
Don't you have some kind of law that allows you get a copy of your original signed credit agreement from them ? If they don't have that.. who is to say you ever agreed to this account in the first place . How about notice of assignments.. so you know they have a right to ask you for this money, ie legally transferred from the original creditor. How about asking for a statement of account ? I bet all they know is your name address, account number and amount.

If they have no statement of account.. then how do they define the date of the cause of action ?, no date of coa = no cause of action = no case . Default notice won't define the cause of action, thats just a procedural bar. Cause of action would be the time you first failed to make the payment, ie the date the interest being due on the date according to your contract and a statutory time after that, usually 19 or 21 days. No signed credit agreement would also mean that they don't have your signed permission to process your data either and are contrary to data protection legislature so they shouldn't have your details on their system.

Well, that is if it is the case in usa . Would have thought it would be somewhat similar .

[edit on 26-8-2008 by Gun Totin Gerbil]

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 06:55 PM
Another thing I should point out here is that there are companies right now who are harassing people over non-existent past debts. The one I know of is RPM out of Broethels WA.

I have verified with the OC that I owe nothing. The CA (RPM) has been notified of this. So, no, I am not some debt-dodging bum. They, on the other hand, have complaints scattered all across the Internet. Do a Google on 'RPM' and 'Broethels'

If you hear the words 'RPM', the first thing I would do is be very very careful. these people are in complete violation of a half-dozen US laws, and they don't seem to care. They have, on different occasions, called at odd hours (midnight, 5:00 Am) and on weekends, they have threatened to "triple our debt", they have threatened to "continue calling until we pay up". I have asked for a physical address and have been flatly refused. I have asked for verification of the bill and was told "we have already done everything required by law".

My tactic has been to simply ignore them. This has been going on for about a year now, and they still haven't given up though. I may eventually be forced to pay a lawyer to get rid of them, but before I do, I plan on getting my legal fees back in spades from them. In the meantime, I don't answer their phone numbers either at home or on my cell. If I mess up and do get them, I just say "I have nothing to discuss with you" and hang up.

Just wanted to get the word out. These guys are scams.


posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 07:09 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Nicely put!

I had something similar with a medical bill once where it was paid but still reported.

Took a while but i finally got it cleared up.

There are a lot of bad collectors out there....some of them are finally coming around - but the stereotype of the scumbag collector exists for a reason

and it isnt because people are lazy and don't want to pay their bills

Thanks for sharing that - every contribution helps us all that much more!

Keep them coming

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 07:10 PM
Thanks Redneck!

It's important for people to remember right now, on top of real collection agencies abusing the system, it's so bad now we are ripe for fraudulent collection scams, where legitimate collection companies aren't even the ones calling.

Everyone be careful. You could just think it's a mistake and call them back to clear it up. Be careful what you tell them.

posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 07:39 PM
Just had a look at USA statute of limitations legislature, varies state by state .. makes it complicated. But some of them say that it can be re-initiated ..orally! , they only got to catch you out on the phone once and it's reset . I definetely wouldn't advise anyone to phone them then, these collection people would be well trained to get people that didn't know better to say the wrong thing.

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