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When debt collectors go too far
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse ^ | August 24, 2004 | Brytani

Posted on 08/23/2006 12:35:53 PM PDT by Brytani

With all the recent news stories of debt collectors landing in prison or being taken out of business for illegal and strong arm tactics, I thought i'd share with my fellow Freepers a great resource to help if you ever have to deal with a scumbag debt collector.

http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs27-debtcoll.htm

This link has resources to use if dealing with collection agencies/collectors, your rights, links to the FTC, sample letters and more.

I hope this is helpful to some Freepers who've been hounded rightly or wrongly by this pretty much unregulated billion dollar a year industry.


TOPICS: Editorial; Miscellaneous; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: credithistory; creditreport; debtcollection; debtcollectors; ftc
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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To: Brytani
How petty do you have to be to ruin someones credit for 38 cents!!!!!

Maybe you should contact them and attempt to work out a payment plan. I think 38 months would be appropriate.

101 posted on 08/23/2006 2:41:24 PM PDT by JavaTheHutt (I'm JavaTheHutt, and I approve of this message.)
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To: Brytani

Bay Area Credit is TERRIBLE!!!

They are a company that buys debt from another, usually for pennies on the dollar. The debt that you thought that you owed to a hospital or company is then owed to...Bay Area Credit!

They come after you tooth and nail for nothing less than the full amount because they now own your debt.

Talking to the original company won't do any good because they have now been paid off by Bay Area Credit.

If you can get past the India contingency making the calls and answering their phones, you're lucky, and you can never talk to one of their managers, they refuse to pass your call to one.


102 posted on 08/23/2006 2:44:38 PM PDT by Texas Tea
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To: Gone GF
It really bugs my ass when somebody calls a spelling error a grammar flaw. ;-)

It really bugs my ass two. :)
Yes, the use of 'two' was intentional.

103 posted on 08/23/2006 2:51:08 PM PDT by JavaTheHutt (I'm JavaTheHutt, and I approve of this message.)
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To: Brytani

Change your phone number. Make it unlisting. Best advise I ever got.


104 posted on 08/23/2006 2:56:41 PM PDT by packrat35 (guest worker/day worker=SlaveMart)
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To: Brytani

Ping for later


105 posted on 08/23/2006 2:58:11 PM PDT by 5Madman2 (There is no such thing as an experienced suicide bomber)
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To: Brytani

My business is in a battle with UPS over a huge bill. I have a lawyer handling it now. UPS sicked a credit collector "NCO" on it. We have gotten the cease and desist letter and lo and behold we have been getting calls nonstop froma real shaddy outfit called Risk Management Alternatives. A quick google search supplied me with most the info I needed. Seems NCO bypasses all the laws in the book by farming out some of there work. This outfit follows no rules or regulations and is real slimey.


106 posted on 08/23/2006 2:58:32 PM PDT by Republican Red (Everyone is super stoked on Gore, even if they don't know it)
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To: deport
If you have caller ID why do you even answer the call? I just let those kind ring or if I feel mischevious I'll take the phone off the hook and let it sit for a while.

Naw, you need to get a portable cd player to keep by the phone. Load up one of those learn to speak a foreign language type cds to play for them when they call, lay the phone down with the mouthpiece right by the speaker and walk away.

107 posted on 08/23/2006 2:58:38 PM PDT by JavaTheHutt (I'm JavaTheHutt, and I approve of this message.)
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To: Brytani

Change your phone number and make it unlisted.


108 posted on 08/23/2006 3:01:45 PM PDT by packrat35 (guest worker/day worker=SlaveMart)
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To: JavaTheHutt

I sent them 38 cents in pennies with a VERY nasty letter telling them to take it off my credit report immediately and sent a copy to the doctors office asking them if he he was petty he'd let his billing company hurts peoples credit for 38 cents.

Haven't heard back from either of them yet.

Don't know if they'll do it but it made me feel better....


109 posted on 08/23/2006 3:09:35 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Texas Tea
Great...well next step will be a lawsuit if they don't stop calling.

What gets me is that my mother-in-law is and has been completely disabled for a few years now, she gets disability, Medicare and Medicaid, she shouldn't have any bills owed to anyone.

She's been talking to dead people, aliens and FBI agents for the last year, wouldn't know what a credit card was on a good day and hasn't been into a store to buy anything in at least 3 years.

I have no clue what "bill" they're even calling about, they'll harass the hell out of me every morning but won't give me any details on the bill. They tell me it's private!!

Real scumbags......
110 posted on 08/23/2006 3:14:49 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: packrat35

I honestly thought about doing that but it's SUCH a PITA. Only at last resort will I take that step.


111 posted on 08/23/2006 3:16:14 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Republican Red
Do a search on NCO on the FTC website, I'm almost positive they were fined BIGTIME and almost put out of business last year for violations of the fair debt collections act.

What makes things worse is that it's illegal for a company to collect or send out to a collection agency any disputed bill, yet they do it all the time!!!!
112 posted on 08/23/2006 3:18:05 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: deport
I'm answering because I'm taping the conversations in case I end up in court with these people.

I'm taping one full week of daily phone calls and so far they've called every day this week. After I get Friday mornings conversation taped, I'll quit answering.

However, if they are like most collection agencies, they'll change their call-out number, what the caller ID reads or block their number from showing up so you don't know who's calling.
113 posted on 08/23/2006 3:21:01 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Republican Red

Hey, check this out!!!


CONSUMER ABUSE ALERT

For Release: May 13, 2004
NCO Group to Pay Largest FCRA Civil Penalty to Date

One of the nation’s largest debt-collection firms will pay $1.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by reporting inaccurate information about consumer accounts to credit bureaus. The civil penalty against Pennsylvania-based NCO Group, Inc. is the largest civil penalty ever obtained in a FCRA case.

According to the FTC’s complaint, defendants NCO Group, Inc.; NCO Financial Systems, Inc.; and NCO Portfolio Management, Inc. violated Section 623(a)(5) of the FCRA. The law specifies that any entity that reports information to credit bureaus about a delinquent consumer account that has been placed for collection or written off must report the actual month and year the account first became delinquent. In turn, this date is used by the credit bureaus to measure the maximum seven-year reporting period the FCRA mandates. The provision helps ensure that outdated debts – debts that are beyond this seven-year reporting period – do not appear on a consumer’s credit report. Violations of this provision of the FCRA are subject to civil penalties of $2,500 per violation.

The FTC charges that NCO reported accounts using later-than-actual delinquency dates. Reporting later-than-actual dates may cause negative information to remain in a consumer’s credit file beyond the seven-year reporting period permitted by the FCRA for most information. When this occurs, consumers’ credit scores may be lowered, possibly resulting in their rejection for credit or their having to pay a higher interest rate.

NCO is so bad, that in 2003, they have been sued 40 times for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These suits are usually filed when consumers are abused in violation of state and federal debt collection laws.

NCO is a money-mill, gobbling up competitors, buying portfolios of old debts for pennies, and expanding globally. These money-beggars are making their bottom-line profits at the expense and abuse of consumers.

One wonders how many lawsuits are NOT being filed because consumers do not know their rights or that NCO CAN be held accountable for their illegal debt collection practices.

Apparently, NCO is not spending enough time and money to properly train their debt collectors in accordance with law, the FDCPA. Do they hire any derelict that may be in-between court and treatment dates simply to harass, abuse, and oppress consumers? There is no mention of drug testing at their web site, so can you be hired at NCO if one has bad habits and a need for fast-cash. This must be a 'dream-job' for anyone with a prison record, drug habit, or any con artist out to defraud some fast money off unsuspecting consumers. Are you aware of the personal consumer information these money beggars have access to? I shudder to think how much information is being illegally used at agencies such as NCO. You should be VERY nervous about the type of individuals who have this unprecedented and open access to ALL of your personal information.

It may be just a matter of time until collectors start calling with accents from country's like India, Pakistan and ....(ooohhh my gawd!!)

NCO's CEO, Michael J. (kinky) Barrist seems to be astonishing Wall Street (NASDAQ:NCPM) with his financial wizardry. He certainly appears to be pumping up the bottom line. (One lawsuit at a time?) In my experience, this type of greed and consumer abuse will catch up with NCO, just as it did with Commercial Financial Systems (CFS) and Outsourcing Solutions Inc (OSI). Both operations were out of control just prior to their filing for bankruptcy protection. CFS's top brass is facing federal criminal charges in highly anticipated court proceedings scheduled for later this year.

If you are receiving abuse from NCO, contact me for referral to a local consumer law professional in your area. NCO, with $800+million in revenues last year, has more money than a South American drug cartel, so use the law to make them pay when they violate the laws and your consumer rights.

Do not let NCO's under-trained, uneducated and FDCPA lacking debt-collectors make a paycheck at your expense.
Big agencies pay big salaries to their ego-driven brass. NCO should spend a lot more time training their collectors and dealing with consumer complaints, in this case BIGGER does NOT mean BETTER! (Except for Kinky and his top brass team of money beggars)

www.budhibbs.com


114 posted on 08/23/2006 3:34:23 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: NerdDad; cdbear; All
FReepers are great.

I never thought I'd recommend someone more then Dave Ramsey, but after reading through Bud Hibb's website, he's coming in pretty high on my recommendation list.

Between Ramsey and Hibb's, no consumer should ever be in debt again, have a problem with collectors, not know how to invest their money or every live paycheck to paycheck again. And I learned about both from FReepers.
115 posted on 08/23/2006 3:49:11 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Brytani

Well I guess each one uses a phone differently and handles it differently as to how they let it rule their life. Take care.


116 posted on 08/23/2006 4:04:48 PM PDT by deport
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To: dinoparty

Spell checking is the last refuge for those that feel inferior.


117 posted on 08/23/2006 4:27:23 PM PDT by MadLibDisease (Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civ. as it commits suicide: Jerry Pournelle)
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To: Brytani

Its not that big a deal. Best $25 dollars I ever spent. One phone call to the phone company and I had a new number.


118 posted on 08/23/2006 4:53:34 PM PDT by packrat35 (guest worker/day worker=SlaveMart)
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To: Xenalyte
"Y'all are bugging my ass, and he asked me to ask you to stop. ;)"

Dammit! Worst of all, the one thing that is just the Mother of All Ass Buggings is when someone's ass is bugged because my ass got bugged over someone else's ass getting bugged over another guy's ass got bugged. Dear God, heaven help us all!

119 posted on 08/23/2006 5:26:16 PM PDT by KoRn
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To: KoRn
do you know what really burns my ass..?

a grass fire about this high (holds hand palm down about waist height)...

120 posted on 08/23/2006 5:48:21 PM PDT by martin gibson ("I care not what course others may take, but as for myself, give me Ralph Stanley or give me death")
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To: martin gibson
" a grass fire about this high (holds hand palm down about waist height)..."

If you ever find yourself in one of those don't 'let one go'. You will go from having a burt ass to having a well done ass!

121 posted on 08/23/2006 5:50:38 PM PDT by KoRn
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To: BJClinton

"What's with all the ass-buggary on this thread?"

Well, the long and short is that one dude's ass was bugged because of a grammar error, which in turn bugged my ass because I hate grammar-based ass bugging, leading to (1) a reply that another fellow's ass is bugged by those whose asses are bugged by grammar-based ass bugging; and (2) a reply that another guy's ass got bugged by my characterization of the first guy's ass bugging as grammar-based ass bugging instead of spelling-based ass bugging; which two ass-bugged replies were followed up by declarations that various asses are bugged by the bugging of asses just because my ass was bugged by the grammar-based ass bugging. Finally, only recently an ass was bugged by the bugged ass caused by those whose asses are bugged by my bugged ass caused by the grammar-based ass bugging.


122 posted on 08/23/2006 5:58:36 PM PDT by dinoparty
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To: Brytani

I'd like to see very, very draconian measures against bad debt collectors and bounty hunters. Shooting ain't good enough.


123 posted on 08/23/2006 6:01:16 PM PDT by RedStateRocker (Nuke Mecca, Deport all illegals, abolish the IRS, ATF and DEA)
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To: Skooz

Entries are only removed if the original record was erroneous.

I own a collection agency. I avoid medical collections because they are difficult and frequently heart-breaking.

Consider this: for every placement we receive, someone took a good or service and did not pay for it. The merchant or vendor paid for the product to sell it. Now the customer won't pay. Not every debt warrants small claims court.

National recovery average for agencies is about 7.6% (we recover 22.6%). We do not harass debtors, we send standard letters, we do not report credit until after the customer has had the opportunity to dispute the debt as required by law, and once reported, we stringently follow the rules and report any and all payments timely. We contact the debtor by phone and are always courteous which is probably why our recovery is so high.

We treat everyone with respect and never resort to name-calling, empty threats or disparaging remarks.

We've been doing this 7 years and have never had a complaint filed or an inquiry from the BBB.

The key is hiring quality people, rigorous training and constant monitoring. We do not have quotas and do not pay commissions to our collectors.

All of you apparently have dealt with the big national guys with 60% annual turnover, pondscum who skim the cream and move on.

Not all collection agencies are crooks, just like not all of you are poor spellers... lol

my 2 baht.


124 posted on 08/23/2006 6:06:22 PM PDT by Smoke6 (And a man said to the Universe, Sir I exist! To which the Universe replied "So what.")
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To: Brytani

I just threw away a scam letter.

Some one I never heard of sent me a letter offering to "Discount" an alleged debt by half if I would pay it in the next 24 hours.

What the alleged debt was for, where it originated, when I supposedly incurred it, NONE of those things were listed. But if I would just send $2,100 it would be settled!

I have legitimate debts like anyone else, but there is NO ONE that I owe that sort of money.

Too many people are terrified of even the slightest ding on their credit, they pay any demand immediately, often not making any real effort to determine if the claimed debt is legitimate.

The criminals now rule the U.S., and the sleazy "credit agencies" are necessary to them.
MANY of these vampires start out by buying small legitimate debt's at a steep discount.
Then they charge incredible "interest and penalties" to jack the original debt out of site, $125.00 easily becomes $1,500.00 in a few months, THEN they begin collection efforts in ernest.
They are organized crime, nothing less, F'em!

I have to wonder how much of these vampires proceeds go to fund terrorist? They had to have some substantial capitol to start with, and the terrorist always seem to have plenty of cash for their endeavors.


125 posted on 08/23/2006 6:20:12 PM PDT by Richard-SIA ("The natural progress of things is for government to gain ground and for liberty to yield" JEFFERSON)
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To: Smoke6
thanks for your candid remarks. your comments bring attention to the fact that you too seem to recognize there is a problem with this industry. your company engaged in business with integrity is a refreshing change.

professionally, how many different people do you think you contact regarding each collection? we have found that most, as you put it "big national guys" will contact anyone and everyone with a similar name living in an area where skip tracing has revealed the consumer may have lived.

i refer to this as payee phishing. the number of vulnerable people (ie. elderly, naive, financially stressed, etc) bullied into paying a debt that is not theirs is higher than decent people in the industry are willing to admit. how many people really understand how to use "validation" when given the chance? how many people will pay something to stop the constant telephone calls? how many consumers can read and understand the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act with enough acumen to advocate for themselves?

look, i understand entirely the industry "mythology" by debt collection being an ancient business and vital to the business world. but lets be real. what advantage does a business have selling for pennies a distressed debt or recovering 20%-25% (my guess) of the original debt?

126 posted on 08/23/2006 7:14:37 PM PDT by APRPEH (visit my profile page to donate to Israeli charities)
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To: dinoparty; Solamente
Yeah, especially when there is no apparent error.
127 posted on 08/23/2006 7:18:04 PM PDT by phoenix0468 (http://www.mylocalforum.com -- Go Speak Your Mind.)
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To: Brytani
a great resource to help if you ever have to deal with a scumbag debt collector.

That, or you could pay the money you owe.....

128 posted on 08/23/2006 7:37:48 PM PDT by Onelifetogive (* Sarcasm tag ALWAYS required. For some Freepers, sarcasm can NEVER be obvious enough.)
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To: Xenalyte

"Grammar" comprises spelling, punctuation, and usage. It's not just parts of speech."

Although grammar does include the study of the "forms and structures of words," in American English it most typically means they're, there, their arrangement in phrases and sentences. That does spill over into grammar win, when homonyms are involved, butt, but most word folks I no, know think of it as a misspelling, knot, not a grammar error.


129 posted on 08/23/2006 7:51:38 PM PDT by Gone GF
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To: Gabz

Sadly there are alot of hospitals who will screw people over by overcharging for little things here and there. I read an article about it. Overzealous/shady hospital administrators charge for the most ridiculous things that you didn't even get. Happened to my mom. You should always check over a hospital bill.


130 posted on 08/23/2006 7:59:35 PM PDT by SDGOP
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To: Hydroshock

Is that legal? If somone dies their kids have to pay the bill?


131 posted on 08/23/2006 8:00:53 PM PDT by SDGOP
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To: Brytani
Without ever sending me an original bill, a radiologist sent my account to a bill collector. The bill collector had all of my medical information, and even read the radiologist's report to me over the phone.
132 posted on 08/23/2006 8:05:43 PM PDT by Excellence (Vote Dhimmocrat; you'll look good in a burqa!)
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To: Smoke6

I'm sure you will admit a persons credit report is one of the most important items for an American to keep clean and error free.

As you show, anyone can open up a collection agency. Pay your fee's to the three credit reporting agencies and you've got instant access to every Americans credit report. Not only access to look at it, but the ability to place items on it.

You have no laws requiring you to train your employees on the laws, consumer rights and such. You have no laws requiring that you do a background check on your employees to make sure they are not convicted felons or other types of people who should not have access to the most personal information on every American.

You claim 40% of your industry are "pond scum", that's 40% pond scum who can and do break laws, ruin peoples credit, harass, intimidate and use illegal practices to collect debts that many times aren't even the person's or are so past the statute of limitations it's not even funny.

That should be scary to anyone. What we have is a billion dollar a year industry with little to no oversight, no requirements on who can receive consumers personal information and no training/licensing requirements for who they hire.


133 posted on 08/23/2006 9:14:34 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Onelifetogive

Or you could actually read the thread and find out how I'm getting phone calls everyday for a debt of my mother-in-law or the others on here who've had bill collectors contact them for debts they never owed.

I know it would be a lot of trouble for you to actually take the time and read the thread, but I guess that just makes you a typical deadbeat FReeper threadhijacker.


134 posted on 08/23/2006 9:16:19 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Excellence
Now that is incredibly scary. Hippa was supposed to keep information like that private. You could have sued the HELL out of the radiologist for releasing your medical information to the collection agency.

In fact, if I was you, I would or at least make a formal complaint to the FTC and your states Attorney General's Office and the medical licensing association in your state. It is highly illegal for a doctor to release your medical information to anyone except another doctor (with your consent) your insurance company and those who you gave written permission to receive the information.

You really should go after that doctor.
135 posted on 08/23/2006 9:19:29 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: APRPEH

I can not tell you how many times I've had a collection agency call my home looking for someone with the same name as my husband who used to live in a state we've never even visited.

Probably 50% of the time we're called liars or worse, hung up on, placed on auto-dialers etc until they finally give up.

If it doesn't stop, I'm making my husband change him name to:
Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero
Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus
Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff
(Guinness longest name record holder)

Betcha I won't get calls after that!!!!


136 posted on 08/23/2006 9:31:39 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: SDGOP

Not only overcharging but a simple keying error on a billing form can turn a $200 blood test into a $22,000 procedure, all because someone transposed a number.

It's also important to make sure your insurance pays their portion on time and at the amount they are contracted to pay.


137 posted on 08/23/2006 9:37:23 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: SDGOP

No,but the debt collectors will try to get you to pay.


138 posted on 08/24/2006 2:31:37 AM PDT by Hydroshock ( (Proverbs 22:7). The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.)
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To: Solamente; Brytani; dinoparty; ElkGroveDan; maine-iac7
Oh My GOD!!!! Call the Grammar Police!!!! I'm sure you'll be calling for my execution by morning!!

.

.

. You called?


139 posted on 08/24/2006 2:39:11 AM PDT by WKB (If I send you a blank reply that means I have nothing else to say to you.)
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To: Xenalyte

He who?


140 posted on 08/24/2006 4:22:07 AM PDT by Toby06 (True conservatives vote based on their values, not for parties.)
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To: Brytani
Thanks! I hope your situation improves as well!

Carolyn

141 posted on 08/24/2006 4:45:42 AM PDT by CDHart ("It's too late to work within the system and too early to shoot the b@#$%^&s."--Claire Wolfe)
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To: Toby06


My ass. He's getting upset.
142 posted on 08/24/2006 5:27:37 AM PDT by Xenalyte (No movie shall triumph over "Snakes on a Plane.")
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To: KoRn
Worst of all, the one thing that is just the Mother of All Ass Buggings is when someone's ass is bugged because my ass got bugged over someone else's ass getting bugged over another guy's ass got bugged. Dear God, heaven help us all!

Oh, man, do I ever hate it when that happens.
143 posted on 08/24/2006 5:29:00 AM PDT by Xenalyte (No movie shall triumph over "Snakes on a Plane.")
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To: Xenalyte
Whoa - I would have thought it was a she. Excuse me for a while, I have to go blow some Crying Game chunks....
144 posted on 08/24/2006 5:29:55 AM PDT by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: Xenalyte

You have such a nice ass.


145 posted on 08/24/2006 5:30:17 AM PDT by Toby06 (True conservatives vote based on their values, not for parties.)
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To: MadLibDisease
Spell checking is the last refuge for those that who feel inferior.

*sigh*

146 posted on 08/24/2006 5:34:03 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings...Modesty hides my thighs in her wings...)
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To: NCLaw441

A creditor can delete an account if it's paid just as they can update it if it's not. There is NO LAW that says a creditor must report at all and there is certainly no law against a creditor deleting a paid collection.


147 posted on 08/24/2006 5:34:36 AM PDT by PleaseNoMore
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To: Toby06

It's hairy. ;)


148 posted on 08/24/2006 6:14:34 AM PDT by Xenalyte (No movie shall triumph over "Snakes on a Plane.")
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To: Brytani
a great resource to help if you ever have to deal with a scumbag debt collector.

That, or you could pay the money you owe.....

Sorry my post seemed to be directed at you (Brytani). It was actually meant as as continuation of your statement directed to other "yous".

149 posted on 08/24/2006 6:39:04 AM PDT by Onelifetogive (* Sarcasm tag ALWAYS required. For some Freepers, sarcasm can NEVER be obvious enough.)
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To: PleaseNoMore

A paid collection may be reported as paid, but if it was reported as delinquent, that entry cannot be deleted if it was accurate. You are correct, of course, that a creditor is not required to make any report to credit reporting agencies if it doesn't wish to. One way to deal with this is for the parties to agree that the entry was incorrect (wink, wink, nod, nod) and settle the case for something approaching the amount claimed to be owed.


150 posted on 08/24/2006 6:45:14 AM PDT by NCLaw441
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