Debt Collectors Gone Wild

20/20 conducted a three-month investigation into the wacky world of debt collectors and what they found will revolt you. They’ve got several recordings and transcripts up.

    “Collector: You’re so ignorant. Ignorant. You need to go back to Mexico.
    Consumer: OK, ma’am.
    Collector: Haha! Watch me big boy. Watch me. “

Listen to this heinous call (part 1, part 2) and read the transcript inside.

This is why consumers need to be aware of their rights under the Fair Debt Collection Act. Some debt collectors will use illegal and abusive tactics if they think you don’t know what parts of the law are on your side.


Collector: Are you ashamed of your name? Your parents gave it to you. Are you ashamed of it?

Consumer: Mmm, maybe so, but…

Collector: Probably so, probably so, probably so.

Consumer: OK. Yeah. Well, when he gets home, I will give him the message.

Collector: Hmm, hmm. Yeah. Just let him know I need him to call me now. What part of this don’t you understand? Call him now!

Consumer: OK. Like I said, as soon as he gets home, I will give it to him.

Collector: Call him now.

Consumer: Do you understand what I just said?

Collector: Do you not understand?

Consumer: Uh, like I said, when he gets home, I’ll…

Collector: OK. Gues what you just caused to happen? Good luck to you, good luck to you. Good luck to him. And next time, stay off the phone. Put an adult on there. Put an adult on the telephone. Babies shouldn’t play with the phone; it’s against the policy.

Collector: Are you too dense to understand what I’m saying to you?

Consumer: No, it’s just…

Collector: Do you not understand? Is there someone else there that’s got some intelligence that I can talk to?

Consumer: No, not right now.

Collector: You need to go get the next-door neighbor and put him on the phone with somebody I can talk to, someone that understands.

Consumer: Well, he comes back at about 7.

Collector: No, you need to understand what you’re saying. Go get the next-door neighbor and let me explain to them. Obviously you don’t have a head for business.

Consumer: No I can’t do that, ma’am.

Collector: Then I’m gonna call the neighbor and go knock on the door and ask for them. I’ll get in touch with your neighbor to come knock on the door and see if they can’t get him up. If you don’t want to do what’s right, then guess what? You just got him sued in the court of law.

Consumer: OK, ma’am.

Collector: You’re so ignorant. Ignorant. You need to go back to Mexico.

Consumer: OK, ma’am.

Collector: Haha! Watch me big boy. Watch me.

— BEN POPKEN

Debt Collectors Gone Wild [ABC News]

Comments

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  1. missdona says:

    I once had a recording calling me day and night for about 6 weeks. It said “please call about your delinquent account.” I didn’t have any delinquent accounts, so I kept ignoring it until I couldn’t take it anymore.

    They were calling my number for my deadbeat neighbor. They just didn’t understand that apt 1B was different than 1D. Then they asked me for his number, and I’m like “I don’t talk to him; he’s a deadbeat.”

    These people suck and so do deadbeat neighbors.

  2. dwarf74 says:

    One of the companies I worked for had a third-party collection arm, collecting debts for Verizon, Dish Network, and quite a few others. I can say I heard some heated arguments, but never anything nearly that bad. Most were actually pretty mellow and just doing their things. Although there can be a lot of money involved, the company I worked for was a lot more worried about staying within the letter of the FDCA…

    The one thing I’d like to point out is that a collection agency just gets lists of the debts from the companies they service… If you are disputing a charge, you generally need to work directly with the company who thinks you owe them money. Since a collector only really knows basic information and the amount you owe, trying to dispute a charge with them is pointless at best.

  3. cindel says:

    Send a Cease and Desist Letter; make a copy, send it certified and get a signed receipt.

  4. DeeJayQueue says:

    i just got a new phone number, and apparently it’s pretty easy to transpose 2 of the numbers in it, or it used to be the number of someone with worse credit than me, because i keep getting calls at all hours of the day and night for other people, and most of the time they’re collections people. grr.

  5. Jon Parker says:

    The worst for me was being continually harrassed by a bill collector at work. He was leaving 10-15 voice mails every day. I was completely confused, and he never left a name or callback number. A couple of times he even had me paged.

    After about a week of this I was finally at my desk when he called. It turns out that he had been using our voice mail system’s “spell by last name” feature, and was looking for another employee with the same last name (who didn’t have a desk or phone) whose first name was James — mine is Jon.

    Once I finally understood what was going on, I explained the situation to him, only to be met with disbelief. He continued to insist that I was really James and became verbally abusive. He only quit after several more calls when I flat out told him not to call me or my workplace again.

  6. phrygian says:

    My one dealing with a debt collector was due to BankOne not honoring an account closing. (They waited 3 months to actually close it.) The bank only notified me that I owed them money for overdraft fees (on the closed account) 15 months after the charges occurred — no mail, no calls, nothing. I asked for an itemized bill of the overdrafts and charges and was told it would take 6 months to generate it due to a backlog. Supposedly, my account was set to “dispute” and they were going to mail me the report once it was generated. Several years later, a debt collector starts calling, demanding payment and I still had no clue exactly what I was paying off. My husband and I were barraged with all sorts of verbal abuse and they lied to us several times during the process. Anytime we said we were recording the call, they’d hang up on us. I finally just paid to get the jewrkwads to stop calling, but even then they never sent me confirmation that I paid the debt. (And did I mention that they refuse to accept anything sent with signature required?) It wasn’t a large amount of money, but I fully expect another collection company to try to collect the debt every few years for the rest of my life. Not because it’s legal, but because they can. :P

  7. trinidadiv says:

    If you pay the collection agency directly, never pay without negotioating the removal of the account from your credit report. Get this agreement in writing before paying, and upon payment get a recipt of yuor payment. Then go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com and dispute the tradeline right away.

    Also a handy tidbit, dispute any negative accounts via the website and the creditor might not respond to the dispute, causing the removal of the information on your credit report by default!

    Good Luck!

  8. Fuzzy_duffel_bag says:

    I had one calling me after I had had my number for several years. They wanted the old lady who used to have the number, who owed them money. I told them she was not at the number, I spoke to supervisors, I did everything, and they still called me several times a week, sometimes several times a day (woo, caller ID), and were very rude on numerous occasions (except for the one guy who asked “yes, she was an elderly lady, do you know her?). I finally got the AG’s office involved and they got it to stop, but until then people in my office were really enjoying keeping up to date with what was happening.

  9. Falconfire says:

    This right here is why I feel major government regulation needs to be handed down to ban collection agencies.

    Having been the victim of one myself (swore up and down I owed 500 dollars harassing me AND my parents while I was at college despite my sending certified letters showing that I had canceled the account paid in full thank you very much Capitol One your dipshits) I have nothing but seething murderous hatred for anyone good or bad who works for these companies. They are like loan sharks, except even loan sharks know exactly who their target is, unlike these guys of whom most dont even care if you settled the account with the parent company, they want your money now, in many cases scaring people into paying twice.

    People who work for collection agency share a circle of hell with lawyers

  10. Debt collectors are surely the lowest form of existing life.

  11. WindowSeat says:

    I’ve had my present number for about five years and I get at least three phone calls a week from debt collectors looking for the people who had the number previously. For the most part, the callers are apologetic, but occaisionally I get some prick that decides I’m lying to them and I’m about ready to shitcan my land line.

  12. infinitysnake says:

    “These people suck and so do deadbeat neighbors.”

    Yep. My house number is very similar to the folks across the street, so I get their collectors all the time- the worst are the ones that try to tell me they won the lottery.

  13. We have some local deadbeat lady who gives out our number as hers — both to collections agencies and to the truant officer at her son’s school. Maddening.

    Reading those transcripts on the ABC story made me feel physically ill. That’s just disgusting.

  14. aka Cat says:

    I got a call from a debt collector (after numerous answering machine messages) for my (then current, now ex-) husband many years ago.

    From the info they gave me (street address, phone number, wrong city & zip, no ssn), I deduced that somebody had grabbed the info out of the phone book and used it to open a department store account.

    The debt collector actually asked me to give them my husband’s ssn! I told them ‘sucks to be you’, and hung up.

    A few days later they called again and caught my husband on the phone. Being young and naive, he almost gave them his ssn. I grabbed the phone and finished the conversation for him.

    Never heard from them again.

  15. The Notorious T says:

    You have to learn to have fun with these people. Having once clerked at a law firm whose specialty was credit card debt collection, I was given some insight into the Fair Debt Collection Act and learned numerous ways in which you are legally able to screw around with debt collectors, inluding but not limited to:

    –informing them in writing of exactly when you will allow them to contact you regarding the matter. If you send a letter stating that you can only be called between 6:34pm and 6:38pm on the third Thursday of every month, that is the only time they can call you. Any calls outside the designated time frame entitle you to file countersuit that will not only result in the likely forgiveness of debt, but could also result in compensatory damages to you.

    –requesting an official notice of the debt, then immediately disputing it. All you need to do this is to inform the collector in writing. They can’t contact you again until the debt is verified. If they do, there is again a chance of countersuit resulting in debt forgiveness and damages.

    –bartering with them. If the debt is legit and you are going to have to pay it anyways, try to talk it down. Offer to bring in a check for 60% of the alleged debt on the very next day if they will provide written proof that the debt is paid AND that it will be taken off your credit report. Most debt collectors A. work on a bonus system i.e. they have to collect a certain amount of money every month to get bonus money and B. couldn’t care less about who you owe the money to. If they see a chance to get some money, they are authorized to take it.

    I agree that debt collectors are an extremely low form of life. I spent two months working at this law firm and I swear I saw them keeping raw beef in their desk drawers to snack on in between phone calls.

  16. Mike_ says:

    There needs to be a “Do Not Call” list for debt collectors.

    For more than a year, I’ve been getting collection calls for the guy who had my number before me. They leave answering machine messages. Sometimes they hang up on me. Every once in awhile, I’ll get someone who accuses me of lying. It’s obnoxious.

    Verizon says the only thing they can do is change my phone number, which is inconvenient to say the least. I asked them to give me free CallerID for a few months, but apparently this is too much to ask.

  17. drrew says:

    While I’m all for cracking down incredibly hard with enormous fines and legal action against any collectors that even hint at the tactics that everyone has described, the fact of the matter is that there is an absolute epidemic in this country with people simply not paying their bills.

    Student loans, credit cards, cash advances, etc etc etc, any type of credit that’s been extended has ridiculous default rates. A big part of that problem is whatever yahoo extended the credit but at the same time just as big a problem are the people who don’t pay. The part that sucks is that people liek myself who actually pay my bills get screwed with higher prices and charges because of these idiots.

    The bad companies need to be run out of business and the deadbeats need to be harassed, it’s a tough cycle.

  18. drrew says:

    I forgot to add, the FDCPA is your friend. Spend a couple minutes reading it, it will be well worth it should you ever become the victim of this type of harassment.

  19. Youthier says:

    Word on Capital One, FalconFire. I lost my card almost 2 months ago and tried to get a new one reissued. Not only have I not received a new card but I can’t get anyone to give me a final balance.

  20. supedve says:

    In 2004, my wife placed an item for sale on ebay, it ended up having a bidder and then their account mysteriously was closed and no payment was sent. This non sold item was allegedly cleared up with paypal/ebay, but low and behold this past summer we started getting call from a collection agency saying we owed fees on a $3000 ebay purchase. After ignoring their daily calls for awhile (they would never leave a message), I finally answered and got a live person. They told me what was owed and they had sent me a notice in May re: the account that I MUST have gotten! So I pressed on and asked why I would keep a letter I was never expecting, nor signed for and send me another one. Oh, that couldn’t be done was the response.
    An hour later I get a call from another agent re: the same thing. This time I told him I was recording the call and to please state his name and verify that the call was being recorded. After I made him try and tell me every detail about the item: When was the transaction, how much (oh they added on alot of late fees to for a .25 listing fee the amount, was about $65.), when and where was their May bill sent, etc.,etc. I turned their scam on them and was making him do too much work, he would put me on hold for a minute or so, suddenly he said that my account had JUST popped up on the screen as we were coincidentally talking and was all taken care of.
    Since he was admitting that we would no longer be in their sights, I informed him (still on tape) that if they contacted me again re: this item I would take legal action and he said ok and hung up. He probably didn’t have authority to say that but, it was funny that when I asked the collector to provide documentation they were unwilling to do so and that my seemingly outstanding account just happened to get cleared while I was on the phone. Amazing!

  21. mikelove says:

    drrew – agree with you that default rates in this country are way too high, but if anything this has a positive impact on prices and fees for people who pay their bills on time; if it weren’t for obscenely high finance charges and the idiots who pay them we’d all be forking over $200 a year for the privilege of carrying a credit card. Much as worthless “service plans” at electronics stores allow them to put up with narrower profit margins on products, keeping prices lower for those of us wise enough to avoid them.

  22. acambras says:

    @drrew

    I understand your frustration, but not everyone who has trouble paying bills is a deadbeat. Sure, some people overextend themselves and then try to get out of paying.

    Then there are other people who have fallen on hard times — maybe an unexpected job loss, a medical crisis, or losing a spouse (either through death or abandonment). And then there are victims of identity theft who never incurred the debt in the first place.

    I too felt sick when reading the transcripts, and I think it’s terrible that people have to put up with that sort of abuse, regardless of how much they owe or how they got into debt.

  23. timmus says:

    I wonder how much of this would be solved by just dumping the phone number. Change the number and tell the telco to make it unlisted and no-marketing. Or get a cell phone… you can get disposable ones without handing over any info.

  24. Sam Glover says:

    If you are suffing from an abusive debt collector, do the following:

    1. Take careful notes (DOC link to collection call log);
    2. Record if you can; and
    3. Find a consumer lawyer and sue.

  25. drrew says:

    I understand that not everyone that doesn’t pay their bills is a deadbeat unfortunately, the majority of people who do…are. I’ve never been a collector but I did work in a student loan office at a major University and the people who had a geuine reason for not paying their bills were outnumbered by about 5 to 1 by the people who just had no intention of ever repaying the money.

    The sad part is that the people who genuinely have had something happen in their lives that makes them unable to pay also end up on the wrong end of these illegal collection tactics.

  26. Sam Glover says:

    This isn’t about whether or not a debtor owes the debt. This is about the right of everyone to be treated like with some basic respect in the course of debt collection. For example, the right to be free of racial insults, threat of violence, etc. Everyone deserves that much.

  27. planetdaddy says:

    I had to get rid of a phone number because I was getting calls for a relative of mine. Basically they wanted me to collect their debt for them by harassing me with phone calls. After the last time I requested that they do not call me I called the phone company and got an unlisted number. Now I keep the ringer to my LAN line cut off, and check the caller ID periodically. Anyone who really needs to get in touch with me knows my cell number. Problem solved, yeah me.

  28. Michael says:

    Although I don’t anticipate getting into debt and having goons come after me, this is one reason I’m glad I signed up for a free phone number through Grandcentral.com. You can have that number forward to your real number and give out the Grand Central number to any businesses you deal with.

    Here’s what makes Grand Central a great tool:

    When someone calls you the first time, it asks them to state who they are. Then you receive a call from Grand Central, which plays back what the person said.

    * If you wish to take the call, you can.
    * If you wish to send the call to voicemail, one button sends it to voicemail.
    * If you want to listen in while they’re leaving voicemail, you can do so.
    * If you wish to pick up while listening in during the voicemail, you’re welcome to.
    * If you wish to record a call while it’s in progress, all it takes is one button press.

    And best of all:

    * If you wish to mark a caller as spam, you can, and you’ll never be bothered by their calls again.

  29. North of 49 says:

    We keep on getting phone calls for a woman with the same last name as Ms. No49. She has called every single one of the people back to let them know that she is not related to anyone in the country with the same last name other than our children. This is a verifiable fact – Ms. No49 is half american and her paternal family lives in the US, not Canada.
    This has not stopped the calls. We both believe that a scammer decided to grab Ms. No49′s name etc from the phone book because it matched hers.

  30. thrillhouse says:

    Yep, this is standard practice in the collections arena. Good to see more people bringing these scum to light.

    What they are doing is trying to evoke strong emotions. Many times, yelling at and berating a person will make them so mad that they will cut them a check. Also, when a specific tactic works, they make a note for later – Note: calling the neighbors = payment sent. Then they’ll exploit that one over and over.

    No, not all people with accounts in collections are deadbeats. If you legitimately owe a bill and find yourself dealing with abusive collectors:

    > Agree to speak with them no more than once every two weeks. And if they can’t be polite when you do take their call, then they get the dial tone.

    > Don’t let all this talk of lawsuits, garnisheed wages or other threats get to you. 99.8% of the time its BS. People do get sued, tho things have to go pretty far to get there. They cannot garnishee wages without a court order – see previous statement about lawsuits.

    > Pay the bill. If you owe the money and have the means, then do the best you can to pay the bill. Send them a payment every month, even if its just a few dollars. If you are very hard pressed to come up with the cash, then work up a pro-rata plan. Send a copy of it with the payment along with a letter explaining your situation. Funny thing will happen – you won’t get sued and the calls will slow down.

    > Never ever give electronic access to your accounts – they’ll take a lot more than the small payment that they agreed to

    > Never write them post-dated checks – besides being illegal, they’ll cash it and it will go thru.

    > If you work out a deal with them about payments or the amount, always, always always get it in writing prior to sending the first payment. Otherwise you’ll find that your ‘deal’ doesn’t exist.

    > Its not uncommon to settle a debt for the original amount (that is, their amount minus all the bogus fees, charges and interest). Also if its an old debt, you can usually settle it for pennies on the dollar. Old debts will get sold to collectors sometimes for a very reduced rate, and even getting half out of you will mean a profit for them. Once again, demand to get the deal in writing.

    > Any and all correspondence needs to be sent certified mail, with return receipt requested. Once again, things will ‘disappear’.

    > Last, if their mouth is moving, then you know that they are lying. Take nothing at face value unless it is in writing.

  31. squidhat says:

    To all the people who say they get calls for someone who used to own the number, I must point out that I would see this as an opportunity rather than a problem. Here is someone who is prepared to be rude, ignorant, and threatening, towards you, or anyone in your family who picks up the phone. Blow off some steam. Get angry, or just calmly say things you’d never dream of saying otherwise. They are getting paid to call, and they can’t really hang up. I pray that this happens to me again, because the first time still gives me a warm cozy feeling inside.

  32. Godders says:

    I quite enjoyed getting debt collectors phoning me hassling me for money (my number clearly used to be owned by some poor soul who got on the wrong side of their bank and a couple of credit card companies). They assume, of course, that I was lying when I said I was not the person they were looking for and I didn’t know them. But being able to mentally abuse some persistent idiot knowing full well there would be no comeback on me was rather fun :)

    My favourite tactic (one that works quite well against telesales idiots too) is to explain to them, at great length and in excruciating detail how I’m actually doing them a favour by giving them a hard time.

    The logic goes something like this: Distateful or unpleasant jobs pay more than more enjoyable vocations, simply because you have to offer more money to find people to do it (feel free to go into depth about the intricacies of supply and demand here). Dustbin men (that would be ‘garbage collectors’ for you americans), for example, get paid more than you would expect (at least in this country) due to the unsociable hours and unpleasant nature of the work, and the same goes for other less fun jobs. So, by giving the person that called a hard time you are in fact helping to increase wages for people doing that or a similar job. Rinse and repeat in more detail until their will to live begins to wane.

    Incidentally, I got the debt collection agencies (three, so far) off my back (after half an hour or so of taunting, of course) by first getting full details of the company they work for and the company they claim I owe money to, then getting (and writing down) any information I could about the person they thought they were calling (full name, address, account numbers, money owed, any specific transaction details, etc). Then it’s just a simple matter of announcing that they’ve broken *many* of the UK’s data protection laws, and you are drafting a complaint to the Information Commissioner regarding their flagrant abuse of supposedly confidential personal and financial data.

    Fun.

    If you are unlucky enough to get an incorrect call from a debt collection agency, I encourage you all to first make sure they don’t know anything more than your phone number, and then make their lives as difficult as possible. It’s for their own good!

  33. tjrchicago says:

    Squidhat – wishful thinking!

    I’ve had about 250 different interactions, over the past two and a half years, with collection calls for the woman who used to have my phone number. I’ve tried being honest, and I’ve tried lying (she’s my 12 year old daughter, she’s dead, she’s hospitalized, she’s never going to pay so stop calling), but nothing ever works. The best part is, I think she is still using the phone number as hers! Apparently, we use the same cleaners and our phone number now reflects her account (thankfully, they only take cash!).

    But that’s not even the best part! I’ve had so many conversations with these folks they have given me her:

    Maiden name
    Husbands name
    Address
    and I kid you not…her SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER!

    Collections folks truely are the lowest form of life!

  34. Godders says:

    Since that last post was lacking any real advice for anyone who does find themselves on the wrong end of a debt collection agency, here’s a couple of bits of advice:

    Pay your debts!

    If you can’t pay your debts – talk to your creditors! they are often more willing and able to help that you expect. Even if they’re not, at least explaining the situation to them can help in many cases, and it costs but a phone call

    Do not lie, do not be ashamed. If you don’t have the money to pay, say so. Don’t try to hide or ignore the situation, it will only get worse.

    If the situation does get so bad you get a call from a debt collector, they can in many cases help. You can very often avoid paying the full amount (the debts are usually sold to them at 60-75% or so of their full value) or pay in instalments. So if you can afford to pay it off, do a bit of negotiation first.

    It’s often beneficial to contact the company to whom you owe the money directly, especially if it’s possible it’s an error of some kind, or if the debt is very recent. This was you can have them ‘call off the dogs’ and often avoid a black mark on your credit history. If it’s an old debt chances are they won’t be interested, however.

    In the UK the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (www.cccs.co.uk) can help if you get in over your head (they offer the same service as many paid-for debt management companies, but for free). It’s free and confidential, and beats the crap out of hiding and hoping it’ll go away.

  35. kenposan says:

    I have only dealt withe debt collection once. I had subscribed to the local newspaper. They never once delivered the paper and never once sent me a bill. But they did turn me over to a collection agency, who sent me a letter. I called them and explained the above. This must have happened often because I never heard from them again. To this day I refuse to subscribe to the paper. And yes, I sent a letter to the paper to complain. Never got an answer.

  36. ValEl says:

    Whoa whoa whoa.. …Easy guys. I happen to work for a major credit card company and I work in collections. This is all about the third party companies that buy the debts off larger companies. My company has STRICT policies regarding treating customers with respect. I happen to (sort of) like my company because they FIRE people who harass customers. Before I begin to ramble on….I blame the credit card companies for letting teenagers, people who use their 93 year old grandmothers info on the application, and common house hold cats get a credit card. They need to legislate credit card companies to make them follow thru after the application is put through. But that’s a logistical nightmare in its self.

    But this call Ben and Co. posted….oh man. No wonder alot of third party companies are going broke. It’s calls like this that make me plead with customers to work with us before “charge off”. I’m such a soft hearted guy when it comes to debt because I’ve dealt with 3rd parties before.

  37. Matthew says:

    Talk about a sleaze-a-palooza: debt collectors and the 20/20 team deserve each other.

  38. Wasabe says:

    I just received a notice from Capital One about my Visa (I lost the card two years ago and had the account frozen) – apparently I owe them $0.00. I’d like to see them try to collect on that!

  39. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    After reading this, I’ve got to tell you, I’m perilously close to tears. This really, really makes me sick.

    I hate the credit card industry more than any other, with the possible exception of the good folks at big tobacco.

  40. Newt says:

    Not all people in the industry are horrific asses. Some of us leave that industry due to those horrific asses though.

    I didn’t garner a lot of bonuses, but I never once generated any complaints. If anything, I generated just the opposite.

  41. zentec says:

    The only thing worse is being treated this way when you don’t owe any money because you’re *not* the person they’re seeking.

    I’ve had to change my cell phone number twice because the number I’m given ends up being the old number of a deadbeat debtor. Just last week I became tired of these collectors calling me saying “why do you hide ‘Roger’?”, “why don’t you pay your bills ‘Roger’?”. I’m not Roger, and they won’t give me any information in order to stop the calls.

  42. ValEl says:

    Sorry Gilbert. But it’s a necessary evil that you will have to deal with. But equating the credit card industry to the tobacco industry? When I needed to get my car towed six months ago in the pouring rain I used a credit card. When I got paid a week later I paid the full amount owed. See, being a consumerist like myself is understanding the rights of the consumer and the industry in which we operate. Without debt collections there would probably 59.99 percent interest rates and a mandatory 1000.00 down payment on a cell phone. But alas, just like no one holds a gun to your head to suck on a coffin nail there is no one holding the proverbial gun to your head to open a credit card account and NOT pay it back.
    By the way, I was past due on several accounts years ago however paid them all off and have committed myself to staying current. YES, I may fall on hard times but I won’t blame the collectors that call me. That’s because I’m aware of my rights.
    Oh, take this from a collector….want to REALLY stick it to a company or third party collector? My smart ass side says to pay it back but seriously, if they call your workplace and you VERBALLY tell them to QUIT calling but they don’t? You can sue and you WILL win. All 50 states have the same law when it comes to callling a work place.

  43. ll07 says:

    ValEL how do you know so much about Collections? I read your comments about USAA and now this. Why did they let you go? Surely they had to give you some reason? I used to work their in 2003-2004. They let me go too. I was also in DSS but didn’t do much with collections. Who was your manager? What unit were you in? I worked for S. Hill. Remember him? I heard he’s gone too.

  44. Vandi_graf says:

    I know that im going to get alot of negative feedback, but i NEED to say this. Im a Debt Collector. there. i said it. However, at the company i work for, we don’t toerate breaking the law, harrassing people, or just being plain evil. i can honestly say that i am one of the few people at my company who is always nice, regardless of how evil the people are. 1 thing that has to be understood though. we work a very stressfull job 9, sometimes 12, hours a day, there is ALOT of work involved trying to find most people and when we do find them, they yell at us when they can’t pay their bills and they ac like it’s our fault that there bills are so high. Everytime i get someone on the phone, i ALWAYS treat them with respect because the saying i was raised with is true, you catch more flies with honey than you do Vinegar. unfortunately, most people don’t see this and before i get a chance to tell them that i WANT to help them resolve the matter that is in my office, i get called all sorts of names and evben my mothers rought into and they hang up on me. i think that everyone ill find that if hey are willing to work with the bill collectos, we are more than willing to help out. we understand that everybody falls onto hard times, but w are not the ones ringing up the bills. we are just doing our jobs and trying to help people out. if anybody needs help in getting rid of Harrassing creditors, ask me and i will tell you exactly what u need to do to get them to stop.

  45. l951b951 says:

    A workplace accident put me out of work and into a position where 1 of my credit cards When I finally called to pay my card off in full, the company had written it off and sold the debt to a collections agency. When the collections agency called I spoke to them and explained that I had the money and would pay it over the phone by Debit if they would fax me something stating the exact amount due. The collector said give me one second, put me on hold for a bit and then came back and asked me for my debit card number. I told her I hadn’t received the fax. She said she sent it and when I asked her to repeat the number she didn’t have it with her?!?

    Anyway we did this song and dance frequently for the next week or so. Finally it sunk in that I would not pay until I had something in writing. Her exact phrase one night at 7PM “Oh, I see Mr. XYZ outside walking by our building. He handles this companies collection accounts, let me go get him.” Seriously. I just laughed, “how fortuitous for both of us”. Minutes later my fax spit out company letter head giving me the exact amout owed, I paid it by debit, and my credit shows account paid in full. I wish I had known about asking them to remove the debt entirely from my report, but live and learn.

  46. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Um if someone pisses me off, I’m not going to turn around and cut them a check. I’m going to bill them for any loss of productivity and yell back. If some debt collector calls me, I WILL tell them to fuck off, and if they don’t I’m getting a restraining order.

  47. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    I wouldn’t trust those scumbags to be honest with your debit card. I’d probably pay by cash if some idiot calls me. But considering how I made 2 payments EARLY on my credit card before the first statement, I’m not expecting collection agencies to call my house anytime soon.