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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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To: Xenalyte

Not Brazilian, obviously.


151 posted on 08/24/2006 7:43:23 AM PDT by Toby06 (True conservatives vote based on their values, not for parties.)
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To: APRPEH

We don't buy or sell debt. Firstly, because we don't have the resources to fork out $150,000US for $500,000 face-value debt and, secondly, because you're dealing with 'brokers' who pick and choose who gets what.

Many of the national firms have problems because of poor training, compensation schemes, and poor management.

Today's debtors are more astute and know most of the ins and outs of collection practices. Since we deal solely in small debts (i.e., less than $5,000 and our portfolio is split 60/40 consumer/commercial), volume is an issue. We rely on automated tools, repetitive contacts and simple letters to get across the point that 1)money is owed; 2)disputes have been resolved; 3)please contact us to resolve the debt in a manner you can afford.

As for debtor 'phishing', it's stupid to waste resources calling all the John Smiths listed in a regional phone directory when you can access a subscription database and locate current address/telno for the debtor using an SSAN or prior address info with about 80% success in about 30 seconds.

Failing to follow the FDCPA and reporting laws is stupid, deserves to be punished, and gives all of us a bad name.


152 posted on 08/24/2006 8:12:10 AM 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: JavaTheHutt

I would have sent them 38 pennies glued to a piece of paper.


153 posted on 08/24/2006 8:23:27 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: Brytani

Almost all states regulate collection agencies in some form or another. The licensing process is extremely rigorous and does require background checks, etc. but only on the principles, not employees and it can be quite expensive to be licensed in some states.

You do need to investigate a wee bit more before making a blanket statement regarding credit reporting. There are penalties for malicious erroneous entries, failing to report payments, etc. and the onus for the original legitimacy of the debt is the responsibility of the client, not the agency. That is one reason why there is a 30-day period after initial contact to resolve any disputes prior to actively initiating any collection action, including derogatory entries on retail credit reports and why we carry an enormous fidelity bond.








154 posted on 08/24/2006 8:25:37 AM 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: Smoke6
is this the sort of rigourous licensing process you are referring to:

Collection Agency Laws & Licensing Requirements There are no licensing or bond requirements for governing collection activities in Alabama. However, there is a license tax that must be paid to the town and/or city location where the collection agency's place of business is. PER BUSINESS, VOCATION OR OCCUPATION PRIVILEGE LICENSES, Article 2 Each collection agency shall pay the following: License tax License Tax Information: Alabama Department Of Revenue $100.00 (towns & cities 20k or more inhabitants) $25.00 towns and cities of less than 20,000 inhabitants. [C.O.A. 40-12-80]
collection regulation

155 posted on 08/24/2006 8:35:24 AM PDT by APRPEH (visit my profile page to donate to Israeli charities)
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To: APRPEH
rigorous licensing process for Arkansas
156 posted on 08/24/2006 8:42:38 AM PDT by APRPEH (visit my profile page to donate to Israeli charities)
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To: Hydroshock

Something I've done is to do a common law copyright on my name and in a couple siutations I've sent letters back to an atty/collector where I fired them, ordered them to "prove up the claim", and threatened to invoice them for one million $ because they have used my intellectual property (my name) in commerce/ for profit without my expressed written consent......haven't heard boo since from them. Think about it.......what does Disney do if they see someone using Mickey Mouses image for profit w/o consent?


157 posted on 08/24/2006 8:51:26 AM PDT by american spirit
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To: dinoparty

Not that there's anything wrong with that.


158 posted on 08/24/2006 8:56:24 AM PDT by BJClinton (What happens on Free Republic, stays on Google.)
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To: Smoke6
Excuse my skepticism but having had dealings twice with debt collectors for bills that were not ours I don't think the safeguards you're talking about do anything.

The worst case was a guy who lives in CA who has the same very common first and last name as my husband and his information going on my husbands report.

We pulled my husbands tri-merge credit report and saw that a national mortgage company was reporting a mortgage loan in default. In the section for judgments etc the same mortgage company had foreclosed on the house.

After contacting the lender, sending them copies of my husbands ID, birth certificate and social security card, they acknowledged the error. They could not explain how it was put on my husbands report however they removed the tradeline and furnished us with a letter acknowledging the mistake. Within 72 hours, it was removed from all three reports. All should be well, right?

Wrong. We started getting letters from a collection agency dunning us for the balance owed after the home had been auctioned. We also received phone calls. Within the 30 day limit, I furnished the collection company with a copy of the letter from the original lender, told them it was not my husbands account and to go find the guy who actually owed the money.

They kept calling, sending nasty-grams etc. One of the collectors claimed we'd forged the letter from the original mortgage company. That was enough for me. I called the original lender to let them know what was going on and demanded they fix it. They sent the collection agency a letter explaining the mistake, told them to remove the account etc. I was sent a copy of that letter.

Even AFTER the original lender became involved, they continued to call our home and send mail. They also placed the account on my husbands credit reports after being informed the debt was not his. To make a long story short, I knew nothing about my rights prior to this. After, I knew my rights. It took my states AG's office, a FTC complaint and the threat of a lawsuit to get this collection agency to stop coming after us.

Even after all of that, they didn't really "stop" trying to come after my husband, they sold the account to Asset Acceptance. I promptly sent them copies of all my documentation plus the results from my AG's office and FTC investigation. A few additional letters and we never heard from them again.

After that experience plus the harassment I'm getting from Bay Area Credit and a 38 cent bill (which dropped my score over 50 points)now on my report I don't have much good to say about your industry.

In my opinion, collection agencies have WAY too much power, not enough oversight and most could care less about laws passed by the feds or the states. They know most consumers really do not know their rights and take full advantage of it.
159 posted on 08/24/2006 10:16:45 AM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Skooz

LOL, touche', fact remains, people that need to correct have a screaming need to be recognized due to a perceived shortcoming in themselves. Maybe they got the snot beat out of them on the playground and never dealt with it. Who knows? Whatever the cause it's childish at best. Now, have a climax and correct away.


160 posted on 08/24/2006 11:17:02 AM PDT by MadLibDisease (Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civ. as it commits suicide: Jerry Pournelle)
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To: MadLibDisease

I had my climax at exactly 7:34:03 AM CDT this morning.

Thanks.


161 posted on 08/24/2006 11:18:45 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings...Modesty hides my thighs in her wings...)
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To: phoenix0468

It was corrected by the time you put your critical two cents in.


162 posted on 08/24/2006 11:40:26 AM PDT by Solamente (Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out...)
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To: dinoparty

As a lawyer, you hopefully appreciate the powers of language in the application of your craft.

By calling my remark "prissy," you are saying that only a prissy person: read: "fag" is your concept for the sole authority on the English language, well then, you are a f*cking idiot.






163 posted on 08/24/2006 12:08:22 PM PDT by Solamente (Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out...)
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To: WKB

You spent way TOO much time dealing with my innocuous comment.


164 posted on 08/24/2006 12:10:00 PM PDT by Solamente (Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out...)
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To: Toby06

What's more infuriating is "loose" for "lose."


165 posted on 08/24/2006 12:11:45 PM PDT by Solamente (Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out...)
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To: Solamente

I have no idea what you are talking about in your recent post. I do know that your response was prissy.


166 posted on 08/24/2006 12:16:37 PM PDT by dinoparty
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To: Hydroshock

The fact she's dead isn't really germane. her estate still owes the debt.


167 posted on 08/24/2006 12:16:51 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Keep watch for the Mahdi...... he's coming on 22 August!!)
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To: bert

Not after the will is probated it does not. At that point there is no estate.


168 posted on 08/24/2006 12:21:18 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

To: Solamente

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

6 posted on 08/23/2006 3:41:11 PM EDT by dinoparty


169 posted on 08/24/2006 12:23:55 PM PDT by Solamente (Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out...)
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To: Solamente

Looser is a FReeperism for loser.


170 posted on 08/24/2006 12:28:33 PM PDT by Toby06 (True conservatives vote based on their values, not for parties.)
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To: Hydroshock

I mean during the probate process. Debtors submit claims against the estate and the executor must pay if a vlaid debt.


171 posted on 08/24/2006 1:51:11 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Keep watch for the Mahdi...... he's coming on 22 August!!)
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To: bert

A Vlaid debt? Is that Vlad's distant cousin? Another bloodsucker??? :)


172 posted on 08/24/2006 2:13:46 PM PDT by Brytani (Someone stole my tagline - reward for its return!!!)
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To: Brytani

Just for the record, my comment was only a comment, off the cuff. Nothing personal ever entered my mind. Pax Vobiscum.


173 posted on 08/24/2006 3:44:03 PM PDT by Solamente (Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out...)
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To: buck61
I think there are some here at FR so bored with themselves, that is all they have to do, finding flaws of others.

Well, you know, English is written a certain way.

It isn't subject to whims or opinion. It makes FR look bad when spelling errors occur, especially in titles.

It has been fixed now, I never saw the error, but wrong is wrong.

174 posted on 08/24/2006 3:50:58 PM PDT by humblegunner (If you're gonna die, die with your boots on.)
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To: goldstategop

"Death is the only thing that can release one from earthly debts."

Too bad it doesn't work that way with taxes. ;-)


175 posted on 08/24/2006 4:28:35 PM PDT by Badray (While defending the land called America, we must also be sure to preserve the Idea called America.)
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To: Solamente

oic.


176 posted on 08/24/2006 4:33:44 PM PDT by phoenix0468 (http://www.mylocalforum.com -- Go Speak Your Mind.)
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To: Solamente

I wasn't aware you could go back and edit a thread or post after you had submitted it.


177 posted on 08/24/2006 4:59:35 PM PDT by phoenix0468 (http://www.mylocalforum.com -- Go Speak Your Mind.)
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To: dinoparty

Collection agencies give people a chance. To make good on their word once it already has been broken. That chance, FRiends, is rarely given in life. Hooray for collectors!


178 posted on 08/24/2006 5:40:29 PM PDT by bvw
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To: Solamente


You spent way TOO much time dealing with my innocuous comment.




Oh that's OK It was no trouble at all.


179 posted on 08/24/2006 7:07:17 PM PDT by WKB (If I send you a blank reply that means I have nothing else to say to you.)
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