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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
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1 posted on 08/23/2006 12:35:56 PM PDT by Brytani
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To: Brytani

It really bugs my ass when "too" is reduced to "to."


2 posted on 08/23/2006 12:38:04 PM PDT by Solamente (Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out...)
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To: Brytani

Just this weekend I noticed a new collection account on my credit report, the Military Book Club. A few years ago, someone used my name at my old address to sign up for CDs, DVDs, and books, then never paid the bill.


3 posted on 08/23/2006 12:38:29 PM PDT by Lunatic Fringe (Man Law: You Poke It, You Own It)
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To: Brytani

I skimmed through it. Looks like some good information.


4 posted on 08/23/2006 12:40:05 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Brytani

Is this a sequel to "When College Girls Go Wild"?


5 posted on 08/23/2006 12:40:22 PM PDT by RexBeach
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To: Solamente

It really bugs my ass when prissy posters point out the grammatical flaws of others.


6 posted on 08/23/2006 12:41:11 PM PDT by dinoparty
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To: dinoparty

It really bugs my ass when posters get their asses bugged because another poster's ass is bugged.


7 posted on 08/23/2006 12:43:56 PM PDT by KoRn
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To: Solamente
It really bugs my ass when "too" is reduced to "to."

Maybe "far" is a local bar where the debt collectors hang out.

8 posted on 08/23/2006 12:45:21 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (California bashers will be called out)
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To: KoRn

Lol! You tell 'em, Korny! :)


9 posted on 08/23/2006 12:46:58 PM PDT by derllak
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To: KoRn

Bug this, Korn. LOL


10 posted on 08/23/2006 12:48:54 PM PDT by dinoparty
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To: Lunatic Fringe
Just this weekend I noticed a new collection account on my credit report, the Military Book Club. A few years ago, someone used my name at my old address to sign up for CDs, DVDs, and books, then never paid the bill.

It is true that kind of stuff can happen to careful people..........alas there is a large contingent of people who immediately believe if there is credit action against you that you are a dead beat.

11 posted on 08/23/2006 12:49:34 PM PDT by Gabz (Taxaholism, the disease you elect to have (TY xcamel))
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To: dinoparty
It really bugs my ass when prissy posters point out the grammatical flaws of others.

LOL - saved me typing time

12 posted on 08/23/2006 12:51:11 PM PDT by maine-iac7 ("...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Lincoln)
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To: Gabz

True. Also, alot of credit actions are for unpaid medical bills for unexpected catastrophic injuries, etc...hardly the kinda stuff that calls for ruthless collection practices.


13 posted on 08/23/2006 12:51:22 PM PDT by dinoparty
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To: Solamente
Oh My GOD!!!! Call the Grammar Police!!!! I'm sure you'll be calling for my execution by morning!!

Will beheading be sufficient or should they resort to more drastic measures?
14 posted on 08/23/2006 12:51:59 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Brytani
Thank you. We have had some high medical bills lately and this information is very helpful.

Carolyn

15 posted on 08/23/2006 12:53:19 PM 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: Lunatic Fringe

It happens all the time. During congressional hearings the credit bureaus themselves admitted 60% of all credit reports contain at least one error.

Dispute it.


16 posted on 08/23/2006 12:53:40 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: dinoparty

I agree. That is not to say that most collection agencies aren't basically honest.............but the ruthless ones give the rest a bad name.

And medical bills appears to be where the worst offenders reside.


17 posted on 08/23/2006 12:54:04 PM PDT by Gabz (Taxaholism, the disease you elect to have (TY xcamel))
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To: RexBeach

Nah, but I did consider buying when College Boys Go Wild, but I figured it wouldn't fit in with my conservative lifestyle.... :)


18 posted on 08/23/2006 12:54:29 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Brytani
Here's a little secret a lawyer friend told me about outstanding debts. Just wait until you have all the money to pay back then call the original criditor and have them send you in writing an agreement to delete the account from your credit record once you pay up. Any dealing with a collection agency will only worsen your credit.
19 posted on 08/23/2006 12:54:32 PM PDT by Teflonic
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To: dinoparty

Give them he#@, I agree. I think there are some here at FR
so bored with themselves, that is all they have to do, finding flaws of others.


20 posted on 08/23/2006 12:57:44 PM PDT by buck61
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To: dinoparty

=)


21 posted on 08/23/2006 12:59:16 PM PDT by KoRn
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To: dinoparty
Last month I got a letter in the mail, bright flamingo pink business sized envelope with no return address on it.

Opened it up, it's a bill from a doctor who I've never heard of, never saw, and have no idea what he even did for me. In fact, I never got a bill from the guy. I assume he must have looked at or tested something from a hospital visit I recently had.

The letter was all in upper case, big bold letters (the grammar police's ass would need cases of chap-stick) demanding I make immediate payment for this huge debt owed, threatening legal action if I didn't blah blah blah....

The bill totaled .38

I checked my credit report last month, we have one of those monthly monitoring programs, it's on there.

How petty do you have to be to ruin someones credit for 38 cents!!!!!

geeeezeeeee
22 posted on 08/23/2006 1:00:00 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: KoRn
LOL

You tell'em KoRn.

23 posted on 08/23/2006 1:02:07 PM PDT by TruthWillWin
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To: Solamente

24 posted on 08/23/2006 1:03:43 PM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Get off my lawn!)
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To: CDHart
I'm going through the same situation. Plus, we've had problem in that my husbands first and last name is a very common combination. We've had calls and tradelines on our credit report from another person, same name, but it wasn't him/us. It's not impossible but very difficult to prove a negative. They say we owe this debt, we have to prove we aren't even the person they are looking for.

We also moved his mother into our home last year after her house was damaged from hurricane Rita. She's completely disabled, now lives in a nursing home and spends most of her days talking to people who've been dead for 30 years. She was with us for 9 months before we could get her back to Texas. Now I'm getting collection calls at my home about her medical bills. Even after we tell them she doesn't live her anymore, send them letters giving them her current information etc they still call.

IMO, the majority of debt collectors are scum.

I'm glad the info will come in handy for you and I hope you're able to get past the situation.
25 posted on 08/23/2006 1:05:58 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Brytani

That is ridiculous. However, as a lawyer who has done some plaintiff's collections work, I can tell you that at least 80% of these people REALLY ARE deadbeats of the worst kind. (My worst case ... my client spent 2 years pursuing a simple $1000 unpaid consumer bill before he hired me...and then saw the guy driving a brand new Lexis around town.) This does not excuse the behavior of the collection agencies, but it does explain why they are so cynical and impatient.


26 posted on 08/23/2006 1:06:44 PM PDT by dinoparty
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To: Teflonic

That's true, plus if you make a payment on an outstanding debt, you basically restart the clock allowing them to keep reporting the bad debt for 7 more years.

Our problems haven't been our debts, except for medical crap that nobody ever gets right. Our problems usually end up being someone with the same name as my husband ending up on our report or collection agencies calling us looking for the other person.

I swear I'm going to make him change his name.....


27 posted on 08/23/2006 1:07:59 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Teflonic

A creditor is not allowed to delete an accurate credit listing, even if it is subsequently paid. It can be shown as paid, but it should not be deleted, unless it should never have been posted.


28 posted on 08/23/2006 1:08:51 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: Gabz
there is a large contingent of people who immediately believe if there is credit action against you that you are a dead beat.

That is true. Two years ago I went to a local emergency room and was billed, as was my insurance. The insurance company sent my form showing how much the hospital charged, how much was allowed under their contract with the hospital, and how much I owed.

The form stated that for no reason was I to pay the difference between what the hospital charged and the amount the insurer and the hospital had agreed, which amounted to something like $73.00

I paid my portion and thought that was that.

I then got a bill from the hospital which demanded immediate payment of the $73.00. I wrote back that I didn't owe it and to take it up with the insurance company.

Next month I got a call from a collection agency. Some weasel making threats and snarling on the other end of the phone is always greeted with a rude remark and a hangup by me. I told him the situation and hung up.

A few months later, I checked my credit report. There is was: two or three lines that confirmed my dead beatness to the world. The collector had reported my delinquency, all $73.00 of it. Fuming, I gathered my insurance docs and hospital bills and started doing the math, all ready to sue the SOBs.

That's when I found MY error. Because of deficient math skills, I had underestimated what I owed to hospital by........$73.00. I had paid them almost $300, but came up $73.00 short. Of course, I felt like an idiot.

I wrote the hospital a check the next day. I wasn't a dead beat or a bad credit risk, far from it. But, I had made an honest mistake.

Dang. This turned into a long post.

29 posted on 08/23/2006 1:09:17 PM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings...Modesty hides my thighs in her wings...)
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To: Brytani
I could be sympathetic to creditors if it was not for a lot of them are handing out way to much credit to people who are feckless. I know a guy whose son is 14 and has gotten pre approved credit card apps in the mail.
30 posted on 08/23/2006 1:15:53 PM 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: dinoparty

I'm venture a guess it's more like 90% are deadbeats.

I fully agree, if you owe a bill, you pay it, or make arrangements to pay it and keep those arrangements. However, when you don't owe a bill, there is a billing mistake etc people shouldn't be hounded by collection agencies.

Collections is a billion dollar industry that's basically unregulated even with state and federal consumer protections. The tactics used by debt buyers (scum of the earth IMO) are really bad and rarely is anything done against them.

Plus, when a company can purchase a debt, have access to everyones credit reports, can put the debt on someones report without verification it's a legitimately owed debt or even the right person, I've got a BIG problem with that.

It seems that we're getting to the point in this country when you won't be able to walk into a store to make a cash purchase without someone running your credit report. I'd love to see more protections for consumers when it comes to who can access and/or place information on credit reports.


31 posted on 08/23/2006 1:19:16 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Skooz

There is no such thing as an honest mistake to a collection agency.

One month after my I came home form the hospital with my new baby I received a bill from the hospital claiming my insurance company had refused the claim 10 days before. The hospital rfused to show me the paper work from the insurance company, and so I called the company to ask why the claim was denied --- my claim was not denied........the company had not been billed when the hosital claimed it was. In fact the day I got the bill from the hospital was the same day the insurance company received it from the hospital.

It is not always the collection agency's fault..........in this case the particular hospital had a notorious reputation for doing that kind of stuff.


32 posted on 08/23/2006 1:21:15 PM PDT by Gabz (Taxaholism, the disease you elect to have (TY xcamel))
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To: Skooz

Did you explain to the hospital that you'd made an honest mistake and ask them to remove the account from the collection agency and have the negative information taken off of your report?

Most of the time, especially with medical bills, if it's an honest mistake or an insurance screw up, they will remove it for you.


33 posted on 08/23/2006 1:22:09 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Hydroshock

I've read news stories about people's cats and dogs being approved for credit cards!!!



34 posted on 08/23/2006 1:23:43 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: reagan_fanatic
Gosh, his post sounded like a criticism, not a demand. Chill already.

Is criticism an unwelcome thing on FR now?

35 posted on 08/23/2006 1:23:47 PM PDT by TChris (Banning DDT wasn't about birds. It was about power.)
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To: Brytani

Are you sure they would remove it? The information they had was correct. I was way behind on the $73.00.

It was not a mistake by them, so I don't think they can remove it.


36 posted on 08/23/2006 1:24:32 PM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings...Modesty hides my thighs in her wings...)
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To: Gabz
Kaiser Permanente's collection agency sent me a bill for my late father's hospital stay nearly a year after his death. After talking to customer service, they informed me to send back the bill along with an official death certificate copy. Hopefully - that will take care of the matter.

( No more Olmert! No more Kadima! No more Oslo!)

37 posted on 08/23/2006 1:26:28 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Brytani
I know a family that was harassed for contact info on the wife's recently dead mother, even after they were told she was dead.
38 posted on 08/23/2006 1:27:07 PM 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: goldstategop

Good luck.


39 posted on 08/23/2006 1:28:34 PM PDT by Gabz (Taxaholism, the disease you elect to have (TY xcamel))
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To: dinoparty

"It really bugs my ass when prissy posters point out the grammatical flaws of others."

It really bugs my ass when somebody calls a spelling error a grammar flaw. ;-)


40 posted on 08/23/2006 1:28:39 PM PDT by Gone GF
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To: Hydroshock

I know a family that gave the address/contact info for the funeral home when the call came between the death and the funeral.........no calls ever occurred again.


41 posted on 08/23/2006 1:29:43 PM PDT by Gabz (Taxaholism, the disease you elect to have (TY xcamel))
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To: goldstategop

My dad got a collection notice on my Grandma's medicle bills over a year after she passed and after her estate was probated. He just chunked the notice.


42 posted on 08/23/2006 1:29:43 PM 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: Gabz

Cute.


43 posted on 08/23/2006 1:30:32 PM 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: Gabz
Thanks. They'll close his account but if they don't, in a few weeks the estate doesn't owe them a dime and they can go pound sand.

( No more Olmert! No more Kadima! No more Oslo!)

44 posted on 08/23/2006 1:31:10 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Gone GF

Technically, it could be either a spelling error or a grammar flaw, depending on how you look at it. If you use the wrong word, then I'd call it a grammar flaw; if you use the right word but spell it wrong, then I'd call it a spelling flaw. Either could apply here.


45 posted on 08/23/2006 1:31:46 PM PDT by dinoparty
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To: Hydroshock
That's right - after a year, all claims against the deceadent lapse and are not enforceable. So any one with claims against the estate has a year from the date of death to file one and when that passes, they're out of luck. Death is the only thing that can release one from earthly debts.

( No more Olmert! No more Kadima! No more Oslo!)

46 posted on 08/23/2006 1:33:47 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

You mean, my nefarious scheme to bequeath my student loan debt to my children has been in vain?


47 posted on 08/23/2006 1:36:05 PM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings...Modesty hides my thighs in her wings...)
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To: Gabz
Medical bills seem to be the worst and hardest to get cleared up. Especially when you've got some many hands working on it. A simple code error made at a doctors office or hospital seems to be the end of the world to insurance companies.

In the last year and a half, I've had over 16k in medical bills sent to me after sustaining a major injury to my lower spine while at work.

Between insurance, Workman's comp, and disability insurance, all should have been taken care of. However, I'm still dealing with bills going back to last year. It got so bad we ended up hiring a lawyer to help us straighten out things and even he hasn't been able to get everything taken care of.

Funny thing is part of the lawyer practice is collections related. He's even frustrated at how difficult it's been to get this mess taken care of.
48 posted on 08/23/2006 1:37:45 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Brytani

I have a very uncommon Polish surname.

Surprisingly enough, I have discovered another person with the same first name and surname. Unfortunately, he's going through foreclosure in another state (I use Google alerts to track my name on the web).

Checked my credit reports and there were several accounts under my name that weren't mine. Luckily, none were in default and all were closed. There were also previous addresses and employers who did not match my personal history.

I had to dispute everything and now the reports are clean, but I've got to keep an eye out for when that foreclosure goes through to ensure it doesn't end up on my report.

I can't imagine what it must be like to have a name like John Smith - it must take constant monitoring to keep the report clean. If the bureaus can screw up my report with an uncommon name, the rest of their data must be garbage.


49 posted on 08/23/2006 1:38:13 PM PDT by CertainInalienableRights
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To: goldstategop

My dad just told them she passed and the estate was no more and also he told them to get bent.


50 posted on 08/23/2006 1:39:23 PM PDT by Hydroshock ( (Proverbs 22:7). The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.)
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