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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.

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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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 ( -- 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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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
(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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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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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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