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Hundreds harassed by debt collectors

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posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 12:19 AM
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Hundreds harassed by debt collectors

The economic crisis has seen a surge in debt collectors chasing people who owe money, as regulators try to curb cases of bullying and harassment.

Hundreds of Australians in debt still face verbal abuse, harassing phone calls or letters threatening legal action from debt collectors each year.

An Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) spokeswoman told ninemsn there has been a push towards stricter compliance for debt acquisition agencies, prompted by the economic downturn as well as increased outsourcing by businesses wanting to recoup unpaid debts.

Industry representatives insist bullying and intimidation are not common.

But regulators still receive frequent complaints from people pursued over money they don't believe they owe, or debts they've not heard about for many years, or when unpaid bills seem to double with so-called administration fees.

"If you can't afford to pay your debts," one mother was told recently, according to Anglicare financial counsellor Sandie Groves, "how can you afford to adequately feed and clothe your children? "Maybe the Department of Child Protection should look into it."


As somebody with family experiencing these things, I can understand the strain put on them from debt collectors. I do realise that many people who get into debt are responsible for their circumstances, but these methods to intimidate those in debt are not helping by any means. They are in fact making things worse. When calls start coming regularly into your house from corporations asking for money owed every week, it makes the whole mood in the house rather stressful. When you receive written warnings that all of your possessions will be taken from you, you feel hopeless.

Next time you hear about family or friends that are in debt, warn them that the longer they push the problem away the worse it will get. If a positive message can be taken from this messy situation it is this: be very careful with your money and how you spend it. Do not get credit cards or take loans on things that are luxuries. Make a budget that details all your living expenses. Try and be honest and open with your family and friends about your situation. Who knows if they too are in a similar situation. They are likely to want to help and support you when they know the truth.

[edit on 17/6/2010 by Dark Ghost]




posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 12:49 AM
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I had over $13k in credit card debt.
I lost my good paying job offshore and could not make payments. I had credit insurance but they denied my claim and I had no way to pay.

After about 60 days they bled my bank account that was associated with the card. I got a job that just barely made my bills and I tried to make a payment. Since I was over 60 days they could not accept a payment. I asked the bank if they were refusing my payment, and indeed to my surprise they did.

Now here is the interesting part. Under the US UCC uniform commercial code the law requires the debtor to accept payment. If the debtor refuses payment on the debt its considered settled. You will have to go to court to have it ruled settled however. I have been contacted by collections agents and I just ignore their calls. I owe the collections agency nothing. Do Not ever make arrangements to pay a collections agency. It validates the debt.

In my case I will be out free and clear once it makes it to court. I have several witnesses and I never signed my card. I never agreed to the conditions and its not fraud caused I paid on the card for over 6 years.

If you can't pay you can't pay. Family comes first. I have never defaulted before but I had no choice.



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 01:28 AM
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reply to post by SWCCFAN
 


Sorry to hear about your situation. Sounds rather complex - just like the corporations seem to like it. Hope it all works out for you and your family.

[edit on 17/6/2010 by Dark Ghost]



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 01:35 AM
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Though many people are irresponsible with credit cards, there are those who use them for necessities.

Here's a true story for you. I'm from the U.S.A and many, many years ago when my husband was in the hospital and first diagnosed as diabetic, we had no health insurance. We were both making minumum wage and barely getting by. We ended up with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Would you believe that we recieved a letter from the hospital stating that if we paid the amount right away, they would cut the bill down to half the amount owed? I was shocked! Obviously we didn't have the money or we would have paid. If we were that broke, you'd think they would offer the discount to us, not to someone who could afford to pay. Wtf??

Anyway we got numerous phone calls even though we paid small amounts at a time. They would ask things like how much more could we pay. I told them well if we don't eat or pay rent and buy medication...


I'll tell you, I am sick and tired of money being more imporatnt than human lives!!!


There are responsible people who use credit cards to help them survive. I know here in the states with all the unemployment we must be going through the same thing.



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 01:52 AM
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What is even worse is when these bill collectors go after the wrong person.

I know of a couple cases where the bullying and harassment has been aimed at the wrong people.

Some one that has the phone number of someone change phone numbers or gave a fake number.

Some one that has the same name.
ID theft.

www.kennethkuhn.com...
caveatemptorblog.com...
deanmalone.com...

I have had problems with this for years till i did a people search and found the phone number of someone with the same name in Texas.

They quit calling me but i always wondered how they liked harassing a private investigator (the guy in texas)
The web site "www.LinkedIn.com " can be your friend
You just tell the bill collector he moved to where ever you find someone with the same name.



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 01:58 AM
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Well add me to the list of people that have been hounded.

When confronted by a rude collector, I calmly informed them that as I had many people interested in my money, they just made the bottom of the list due to the unprofessional and inhumane attitude they presented me with. In most cases that ignites further tirades.

At this point, there are two choices. One, of course, is to simply hang up. BUT most of those folks are commision driven, so if you're unemployed with nothing to do, turn on the TV, and make a game of seeing how much of their day you can waste. Eventually they'll hang up on you, leaving you with a brief sense of victory!

IMPORTANT NOTE: If confronted by a venomous collector, don't let the attacks get under your skin! I would always take the phone away from my wife cause she is thin-skinned and would quickly be reduced to tears...right where those bastards want ya, emotionally damaged. If they can get you there, you're more likely to pay to make the suffering stop. Torture IMO.

Likewise, I reward civil and polite debt collectors by moving them up my priority list, especially if I find they truly are willing to work with me


In a tiny way I am the instrument of Karma.

Edit for the note.

[edit on 17-6-2010 by blamethegreys]



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 03:48 AM
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For those of you that live in the UK and are hounded by debt collectors and your debt is 6 years or older, please consider visiting this link:

www.opsi.gov.uk...

It outlines the Limitation Act 1980. Basically, it states that, if a credit agency try to chase you for a debt that is 6 years or older and, during that time, they have not contacted you, you may consider it null and void.

Please take a look at the act and, if it applies to you, good luck.

Sometimes you just cannot help getting into debt. I have been there, so I know.



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 03:57 AM
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I wish I still had the websites but there are lots of laws around the world that allow you to fight back against harassment from debt companies.

If you live in a state with good consumer laws you may find you have your creditor in a vulnerable position if they harass you the wrong way.

Some place let creditors get away with anything but other you can collect thousands of dollars in fines for simply getting called at the wrong time or by more than one phone number or too often.

Sorry to be lazy and provide no links, but googling "fighting creditor/debt collectors" is good.

If you search look for message boards because a lot of places are just worthless website trying to get clicks for revenue. There are a couple good websites with message boards and all the relevant laws but they are hard to find and I lost the bookmarks.

[edit on 17-6-2010 by thedarklingthrush]



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 07:17 AM
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Thanks for sharing your stories guys. It's not something you want to go boasting about but I saw the article and thought it was important to share. In our situation we were unable to pay the water and energy bill in bulk, but we worked out an arrangement with the company to pay small amounts over a longer period. They were actually very nice and understanding about it and said they were doing the same thing with quite a few others.

If companies are willing to meet half way, it would make things much easier for everyone.



posted on Jun, 17 2010 @ 08:10 AM
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I have a pay as you go cell phone. I never use it, I just want one in case I get out and need to call someone for road assistance or such.

But whoever had that number before me....oh man, I've had some horrid debt collector calls and if I answer they just start out by being real nasty - Then I'll be like "Who are you calling?" and it is someone I never even heard of.

I got a new number. Second number, same thing.
I just leave the phone off. It costs me to tell them they've got the wrong person.

I don't think debt collectors should be able to call cell phones like that and use up your minutes.







 
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