Recording Of A Pathetic Debt Collector

In this audio recording with subtitles, American Credit Collections (ACC) tries unsuccessfully to scare an informed consumer into paying a debt that had already been charged off and was past the statute of limitations. ACC threatens to send a sheriff to the guy’s work to arrest him, and says they’ll, “go to any lengths to embarrass you.” When he sends them letters requesting verification of the debt, they feign incomprehension and say, “the verification of your debt is that you paid it for two years.” (hint: that’s not what the law says). He asks if their company, based in Pennsylvania, has a license to operate in North Carolina. The rep unconvincingly says that she’s sure their attorneys have taken care of everything. If they don’t have such a license, it’s a first class felony. Take a shot every time they violate the FDCPA!

[via Caveat Emptor]

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  1. darkened says:

    Law suit time.

  2. gundark says:

    That’s awesome. Does anyone know of any good sources to gather this type of information at a local level? I don’t personally have any need of it now, but I would like to already be informed if this type of issue ever comes up.

  3. hypnotik_jello says:

    debt collectors are teh scum

  4. meeroom says:

    I actually got a call from a collections agency today for someone with the same last name and similar first name to me. The guy was such a jerk, I really enjoyed being mean to him. Before I realized it was a mistake I explained to him that I’ve NEVER had any outstanding debt and he told me not to bother lying to him, and he could call the police, etc. I feel bad for anyone who really is in collections who has to deal with shenanigans like that.

  5. firestarsolo says:

    In this thread, we glorify deadbeats who don’t pay their debts.

    Sure, the debt collectors are violating some rights, but in all honesty, debt is debt.

    Is there more of a story behind this? Why did he not pay in the first place? I won’t pretend I have a large knowledge in debt collection or debt itself (I avoid it like the plague), but it seems to me that both parties were in the wrong on this one.

    How can someone just NOT pay debt and expect to get away with it?

  6. Plague says:

    Okay, please tell me how this guy who made the recording is not an ass*ole?
    Sure sounds like he’s using some legal runaround to get out of a debt to me.
    And all his faxes and letters, etc? I’m sure he’s getting some cheap thrill out of annoying an annoying person, but he even admits it’s his account and he’s jut not going to pay it.
    Nice bit of condescension, buddy.

  7. hotrodmetal says:

    That was funny. What’s funnier is that this is another big area for lawyers to make big money, no matter who loses.

  8. Plague says:

    @Firestarsolo-

    Why you avoidin’ me, pal?
    ;)

  9. homerjay says:

    @firestarsolo: @Plague: I was REALLY hoping this guy would at least say that he doesn’t owe the money but he makes it pretty clear that he does. She may be making threats but if he’d just pay his bills he’d have never heard from her in the first place.

  10. hypnotik_jello says:

    @firestarsolo: Whether or not he paid the debt is wholly irrelevant. Debt Collectors are not above the law and do not have a reason to abuse people. (And by the way, there are a multitude of different reasons why people don’t or can’t pay their debt, ranging from laziness to financial hardship).

    He was asking for verification of the debt, which they were unwilling to provide. What’s so hard about asking debt collectors to comply with the law?

  11. firestarsolo says:

    @PLAGUE -

    I lol’d. Anyhow, if it kind of sounding like I was defending the debt collectors, it’s because I was, in principle… I have no patience or sympathy for those who are indebted and are unable to repay. Where I realize that scare tactics are taboo, what else would get this guy to do what is supposed to be done anyhow?

    I might be missing something here.

    • Anonymous says:

      @firestarsolo:
      I’ve been there and know what it’s like to have a debt that you are unable to pay. There is a difference between unable and unwilling. Don’t judge the guy if you don’t understand his situation.

  12. SVreader says:

    I wonder how much of the laws the phone reps are told in training, or if they’re just told, “These people absolutely have to pay, we don’t have to give them any verification, and we can totally use threats.”

  13. IrisMR says:

    The biggest problem is that they do not seem to be a legal debt collection agency. They are making a massive felony right there.

  14. Buran says:

    Thank you for finally posting a movie with subtitles. That’s, what, a 1% success rate at helping out those of us who can’t hear so well?

  15. Buran says:

    @firestarsolo: *sigh* This isn’t about whether or not the guy was “right” to be in debt in the first place. This is about CRIMINAL abuse of other people for profit. This is about illegal conduct. This is about violation of other peoples’ rights.

    Can we get off the debt high horse, JUST ONCE, when discussing debt collector abuses?

  16. Buran says:

    @firestarsolo: Yes. You are. That even debtors have rights. So you’re saying you have no sympathy for those who are the victims of crimes?

  17. Buran says:

    @meeroom: Hee hee. “Sure. Call them. I’m sure they’ll love to hear how you wasted their time and tied them up when other lives could have been in danger, just because you felt like calling up an innocent party and harassing them.”

    It’s a crime to make a false police report.

  18. firestarsolo says:

    @BURAN:

    The best part about it is that there would be no debt collectors if people were diligent and didn’t get into debt in the first place.

    Now where to place the blame?

  19. hypnotik_jello says:

    @firestarsolo: Because all people have unlimited financial security. Classic case is a person getting into debt for medical reasons. Sucks to be those people who got sick. What were they thinking! Shame on them for getting sick and having to go into debt to pay for a medical procedure.

  20. Sure, the debt collectors are violating some rights, but in all honesty, debt is debt.

    @firestarsolo: Debt is debt but in all honestly the collectors are breaking the law here.

    How hard is it to send proof he still owes the money?

  21. firestarsolo says:

    @hypnotik_jello:

    So you’ve nailed one example where I’m wrong. Do I need to list ones where I’m right? I won’t, but it seems to me that the medical example is a bit extreme. I don’t have proof or numbers, but from what I’ve read and from what’s been in the news (read: sub-prime lending), the majority of debt is from irresponsibly handling your money. . .

  22. Sam Glover says:

    Verification is not just about finding out whether the consumer owes the debt.

    It is just as important to find whether the debt collector actually owns the right to collect the debt. Most have no proof, and therefore no guarantee that if the consumer pays, he or she will actually be paying off the debt.

  23. Now where to place the blame?

    @firestarsolo: The debt collector took it upon herself to violate the FDCPA. That’s all on her and the company she works for.

  24. firestarsolo says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: I stand by what I said before, the debt collector wouldn’t have to do this if the debt was never accumulated. I understand that it’s a roundabout way of thinking, and rather idealist, but it’s what sounds right to me.

  25. klondikedog says:

    My wife had a legitimate Capital One account. It was paid in full and closed. A full eight years later we began receiving notices that she owes $1500+. The debt was bought by a junk debt buyer (JDB) out of North Carolina. They could provide no verification of the debt other than an amount and that it was from Capital One. The fact is even if she had owed a legitimate debt, it would have gone to the JDB not Capital One. What many JDBs hope for is people get freaked out and pay something they don’t owe.

    I had to pay a $20 late fee on a video from a video store long gone out of business to close on my house. Yeah I should have returned that video on time 12 years ago, but did my late fee put the store out of business? Will, the owner get a check in the mail for $20?

    No.

  26. JNighthawk says:

    Wow. Both sides are in the wrong there, but that guy started it.

  27. @firestarsolo: We’ll have to agree to disagree then because I fail to see how it’s necessary to break the law to do your job (assuming that your job is legal in the first place).

  28. firestarsolo says:

    @klondikedog: If that happened to me, I’d find some way to sue the JDB and get the money from them. I’m sure this has happened in the past?

  29. Nick says:

    I hate debt collectors as much as the next person, but threads like this (in which the person legitimately owed a debt at some point) are a poor way to illustrate the scumminess of collectors. The collector’s actions were illegal, but the “victim” brought it on himself (technically, it is illegal to bail on a legitimate debt).

    I would have been 500% more moved by this video if the person truly hadn’t defaulted, or if the person paid the debt only to be continually harassed by collectors.

    The person in the video could have handled this with much more maturity and probably reached a much more effective conclusion by making a simple statement that incorporates some aspects of the FDCPA:

    “Kim–I understand that it is your job to collect this debt from me, and I understand that you feel you have a legitimate right to collect this debt; however, it is long past the statute of limitations, and I don’t believe that your company is licensed in my state, and so I am going to refuse to pay your company. If you believe that the debt is still active and that you have a legitimate right to the money, then we will have to continue this process in the courts. Please consider this your final notice about this, and do not contact me again.”

  30. Buran says:

    @firestarsolo: And you’ve never, ever had something unexpected happen to you, like break something when you don’t have insurance for whatever reason? That’s why they’re called “accidents”.

    Stop sneering for just a minute, willya? Consider that scenario, and think of possible variations upon it that explain how even the best and most responsible of us can end up in debt and unable to repay.

    Like, getting diagnosed with cancer and having your insurance drop you, so you wind up in a deep hole.

    It’s debt or DIE.

    Think about that for a second.

  31. firestarsolo says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Apologies I’m not getting my point across, I am against the fact that the collector is breaking the law, and therefore needs to be held liable.

    But I must stress that in my opinion, not paying your debt may not be illegal but it’s just as bad as breaking the law.

  32. Buran says:

    @schwnj: And they’ll call you back within 5 minutes if the last “scummy debt collector” story is any example … that’s a great statement, but if you really think that will solve the problem then there’s some parallel universe out there where debt collection firms are all actually honorable.

    Yeah, I wish.

  33. @firestarsolo:

    Please note, this debt, if at all legitimate, is way beyond the statute of limitations…According to my records, the account was opened March 24, 1998, last payment May 10, 1999 and charged off on December 20, 1999 for $658.

    – from the About This Video section of the YouTube page

  34. firestarsolo says:

    @Buran: We’ll avoid topics on life or death for now, I don’t think you care to hear my views on it.

    Okay, so not every case is clean-cut. But the main issue here is that there was a debt that was clearly left unpaid, and I’m venturing a guess here, intentionally.

    If what you propose were to happen to me, I would not sit around after the fact (though I can’t prove that’s what our victim is doing), I’d try to pay it off. If it weren’t possible, well, I wouldn’t be able to afford a phone service for the collection agency to call me, would I?

    Hah. I don’t know why I’m all worked up over this. Just bored at work, I guess. Good arguing though!

  35. Plague says:

    @Rectilinear-

    Yet somehow he didn’t bother to say that in any of his recordings!

    Seems to me he was just enjoying the battle here, no matter how wrong the actions were of the collector.

  36. XorntobeBad says:

    “Pay your bills!” Is a statement that just makes my blood boil! I have gone through economic hardships and have had collection agents call and tell me to get a job and pay your bills and you wouldn’t be in this mess.

    After reading an entire forum on ABC’s 20/20 expose on the practices of debt collectors. I have come to a few conclusions.

    1. First I think collection agents are first brainwashed to believe this great lie that everybody that has debt just doesn’t WANT to pay it.

    2. Collection agents have no clue as to the downward spiral of our economy.

    3. Many people want to pay off their debts but creditors are unwilling to settle. (I have one agency that refuses my 50$ a month because they want a lump sum up front. I figure something is better than nothing, but oh well, they get nothing until they take what I can afford)

    4. Debt collectors have to justify what they do so they can sleep at night. I’ll admit it must be a hard job.

    5. People fall upon hardships and often have to make tough decisions. Car, insurance, food and utilities come first.

    6. Even legite debt colletors are sneaky. I used to have a guy call from a major credit card company call all the time and was like , “Hey man what’s up? Is Keith home?” I’d reply “Who’s this?” He’d reply “A friend.” Umm… no fooling me.. I have caller Id. No company name, no “hi this is so and so from…” when asked who this was, he would reply “It’s al’right, I’ll just catch him on his cell.” Calling me Keith was the first tip off. No freinds of mine who know me at all calls me by by full name.

    7. Companys make unreasonable arrangements. “Ok, we can put you on a payment plan, but first you need to put down $500 dollars.” In response… “I’d like to pay, but I don’t have the 500$. I can do $50 a month” This is replied with “Well, without the 500$ down first, we can’t process your account for a payment plan”

    8. The other thing that debt collectors say that makes my blood boil. “Just ask a friend or a family member!” You don’t think that will lead to problems down the road?” Spread the debt!

    9. “Just pay your bills!” OK. I’m sitting here with my budget before me. My bills, not even including debts isn’t covered by my income. Rent, car loan, heating oil, food, and weekly gas. I’ve cut back on as much as I can, sold off as much as I can, drained my savings, drained my retirement fund just to keep my car on the road so I can get to work in an attempt to pay my bills, and then if I’m lucky with what I have left over I try to pay my debts. So the next time somebody says, “just pay your bills.” I don’t live beyond my means and constantly try to better my life through carreer advancement and education.

    All I can say is to those who say “Pay your bills” continue to tell yourself that people don’t want to pay their bills, so you can sleep at night and help the big company you work for get rich, while you make your 12$ an hour.

  37. firestarsolo says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: So if this is the case, is there no contacting the company the account was opened with and asking how this could have happened? Why or how did it happen?

    If you cut the problem off at the root, it will stop happening. Was the account company not notifying him of his outstanding debt? I’m going to go figure out what statute of limitations means and I’ll come back and chat more.

  38. DeeJayQueue says:

    Ok, so this guy is a deadbeat. He, for whatever reason, had a credit card go into charge-off, and now the debt has been bought by collections. Deadbeat or no, that doesn’t give them the right to threaten him with legal action, refuse to send verification of debt, or acknowledge that they’re even licensed to collect debt in the state of NC. The lady doesn’t even seem to know the rules about 1 party consent in regards to recording a phone call. Not only that but there seems to be some ambiguity as to the statute of limitations regarding charged off debt. Of course, the collection agency will say that it starts from the date they purchased the debt, not the date it was charged off by the CC company, but that may or may not be right.

    What really needs to happen is someone needs to record a call, except instead of getting all haughty, just say “Well, according to section XX of the FDCPA, You must do XX and YY in order to begin collection on the debt, and the statute of limitations starts on XX/XX/XXXX, not, as you claim on YY/YY/YYYY. In which case, it’s already run out. So, sorry about your luck, stop calling me.”

  39. firestarsolo says:

    Okay, I know now what the statute of limitations is. While I understand why it’s necessary, I fail to see how it’s acceptable that a debt was left unpaid. Again, were this to happen to me, I would get to the source of the problem and stop it there, wherever it be – the account holding company, fraudulent collectors, or whatever it may be.

  40. AlisonAshleigh says:

    Uggghhh. I was in a super nasty car accident last year and racked up a literal shitload of medical bills, and maxed out my credit cards while I was out of work. My ex had just bailed on me and wiped out my bank account and took all my furniture, but all was good until the accident.
    I started getting calls about my car loan (which had been paid in full by my insurance co.) from a collection agency at work. They would NOT STOP CALLING me at work. They’d leave messages telling the people in my office who they were. The woman kept identifying herself as “Agent Jones” which to me was a tactic to make me think she was some sort of law enforcement. She threatened to have my wages garnished.
    I’m pretty sure ALL of that is illegal.
    I know I still have some stuff floating around due to the accident, and a car lease I co-signed (sigh…I know…should have known better…but it was my DAD) and I just started getting calls again Monday. TWELVE phone calls from the same collection agency between 3pm-8pm. I believe its from a hospital bill from the accident, and my settlement should be here within two months so they’ll be paid, but they don’t want to hear it.
    I LOATHE collection agencies, seriously. I remember when I was a kid my mom had let something slip for a while, and they called and threatened to TAKE HER KIDS. Jesus.

  41. BugMeNot2 says:

    This is what is wrong with America. You people all have it backwards!!!

    This jerk (the guy) is the worst kind of human being. He wants to get something for nothing and he thinks he is entitled to it. PAY YOUR BILL YOU ASSHAT.

    That recording made me want to reach into my computer screen and strangle that irresponsible little baby.

  42. @hypnotik_jello: Not only are you never supposed to get sick yourself, but neither is your spouse or children. You are not supposed to take care of a parent or grandparent if they become ill. Unexpected pregnancies are not allowed. Injuries are not allowed. You are not allowed to develop any kind of mental illness. Allowances will not be made for genetic defects.

    Do not get fired, laid off, demoted, or otherwise lose or reduce your main source of income. Your small business is not allowed to fail. The large business you work for is not allowed to fail. The same goes for your spouse.

    Your home is never supposed to be in the path of any natural disaster, including drought. Neither is it allowed to suffer from any man-made damage. This includes any other property you own.

    You are not allowed to become a victim of credit card or identity theft. You are not to be the victim of any major crime.

    There may be other things that are not allowed that are not listed here.

  43. Javert says:

    What the collection agency did was wrong and they probably violated the Federal Credit protection laws. As to the statute of limitations, I had a hard time finding what triggered it in NC. The date of last payment or the date is was written off by the company (she claims it was 2k7, we are not given more info).

    I don’t know much about wire taping laws but from what it sounds like, he was calling them. I did not hear him inform them he was taping the conversation. My only point being that if he sued them for violating debt collection law, the tapes of them being stupid/lying would not be admitted.

    From the sound of his voice and attitude, he is not dying nor had a tragic accident. He seems to have not paid a debt and now does not want to now. If it is w/in the statute of limitations, he owes it by law. Sure, he can take action for their violations but he still owes it. IF it is outside the SOL he owes it not by law but morally.

  44. firestarsolo says:

    @BugMeNot2: I think you and I are on the same page here.

  45. Yet somehow he didn’t bother to say that in any of his recordings!

    @Plague: Because it’s already in the description of the video? Why be redundant? He probably doesn’t even know the video is up here. Consumerist got it from Caveat Emptor.

    If this was a bit taken from a text article we’d still be expected to follow the link and read the whole thing.

  46. JeffM says:

    @firestarsolo:
    I hear ya- I believe folks would be a bit more receptive to your opinion if you took the edge off of it. :P

    There is another wrong with debt- for many it is necessary or a choice they are making. I find, just as you do, that there is no excuse for not paying debts you agree to- and even if this guy is a bit sleazy and coy- the lady is both aggressive and ignorant (a lethal combination in almost any scenario).

    So she broke the law- he broke a contract- it is hard to say who is worse. I’d still say from my judgment the non-paying debtor is worse, even though at this point he is legally in the clear I find his ethical violations to be more offensive than her ignorance.

  47. I don’t know much about wire taping laws but from what it sounds like, he was calling them.

    @Javert: There were returning his calls to them. You can hear the “your call may be recorded” audio on one of them.

  48. firestarsolo says:

    @JeffM: Thank you for the tact I lack. It has been a long day, and this is the response I would have posted myself if I weren’t running on empty.

    Thread closed (;

  49. klondikedog says:

    @firestarsolo: The problem is that it is not very easy to get to these people. On the Capital One card I mention above- I received the notice, sent a request to verify the debt, received a letter saying, “As on XX,XX,2007 you owe $1500.” I sent another angry letter back saying thats not verification (nice to be a lawyer sometimes) sue us. Dead silence for a month and we receive another letter from a different company with the same address. Repeat steps above.

    I have not heard anything since, but with a good working knowledge of the FCRA and debt collection I was able to block them. I fear for those not in that position.

    K.

  50. Buran says:

    @firestarsolo: Whatever our opinions on this, the discussion is not about that sort of thing anyway.

  51. KogeLiz says:

    I have had sheriffs come to my work, calls past 8pm, tons of letters, etc.

    I had outstanding credit until I was laid off, evicted from my apartment, trying to support my homeless father after my parents divorce, having my car stolen and torched, sleeping on my uncle’s couch, having to pay $1000 in prescriptions a month while unemployed and looking for a job in Florida’s horrible job market, helping my mom pay her bills so her electricity doesnt get turned off because her husband had his leg amputated and was waiting several months for disability checks, etc.

    So, really, paying back a credit card bill was last on my list.

  52. Buran says:

    @AlisonAshleigh: Look up what you need to do to send a “drop dead letter”. It’ll help a lot.

  53. DrGirlfriend says:

    The thing is, with the “if ___, then ___” arguments don’t really address the larger point. If people paid all their debts, they wouldn’t have to deal with lawbreaking collectors in the first place. If unicorns were real, then Legend wouldn’t have been such a fantasical movie.

    The fact is that there are people out there who do skip out on debt for nefarious reasons, and there are people who do not have nefarious reasons. Also there are people who do not owe the debt in the first place (like I didn’t, when I made a payment I was supposed to make the exact day that I got the bill, and was sent to collections anyway). There are tons of reasons why people have to face debt collectors. In the end, the issue *at hand, in this post* is that a debt collector and her company are resorting to illegal tactics and abuse. Perhaps another post can be geared towards scummy people who resort to illegal tactics and abuse in order to avoid paying their debts.

  54. rolla says:

    haha…love it.

  55. stopshopping says:

    Regardless of how or why debt is accumulated, the question of payback is a legal matter for some, ethical for others. In the USA the law is structured to encourage debt in our falsely inflated, dollar based economy. The law allows several ways out of the obligation to pay back borrowed money. How do you think corporations walk away from Billions while execs still get fat payouts? Some of that “benefit” trickles down to us little folk, so unless things change, many people will continue to borrow and escape repayment. They usually suffer through several years of bad credit – but there are plenty of greedy lenders willing to give second chances (see mortgage crisis). So if this person followed all legal requirements and is no longer obligated to pay, he has 100% legal right to get that debt collector off his case. The moral obligation is another matter…

  56. iMike says:

    This guy should either ignore the collections efforts or sue for violation(s) of the FDCPA. Anything else is a waste of time.

  57. AlisonAshleigh says:

    @Buran:
    Thanks…Its just so hard, because they get their money once I get my settlement, so you’d think they’d relax a little, but no. My boyfriend (til xmas day anyway…i accidentally found the ring :-})thinks I should just file bankruptcy now, since my credits already royally fucked from the whole thing and I’ll never need a car loan (he owns an auto shop) and we both inherit a house eventually anyway. But I don’t know, it seems like an asshole thing to do, even if the car lease thing wasn’t 100% me.

  58. North of 49 says:

    I’d like to find the Canadian version of these same laws. Debt collectors are nasty pieces of shit for brains here.

  59. BugMeNot2 says:

    No… he should pay his freakin’ debt!

  60. D-Bo says:

    @BugMeNot2:
    So if people make a mistake it’s ok to treat them like garbage and violate the law?

  61. chartrule says:

    From the video it seems to me that while the guy’s being a jerk that the company can’t provide proof of the debt

    no offence – but if someone were to call me up and say I owed money – I would want proof and if they can’t then the debt mustn’t exist

  62. BugMeNot2 says:

    Make a mistake? It’s this “everybody’s a victim” attitude that makes me want to puke. All we know is that the guy has a debt that he doesn’t want to pay.

  63. Crymson_77 says:

    @AlisonAshleigh: And don’t forget to record dates and times of calls, who they were, and what they were calling about. Record the call if you can. You too could be the winner of more than $800,000!!! :)

  64. chartrule says:

    here are debt collection rules for Canada

    [www.bankruptcycanada.com]

  65. Crymson_77 says:

    @BugMeNot2: That is beyond the statute of limitations, being collected by an unlicensed collector, who makes threats of embarassment and criminal mischief. I think the guy had every right in the world to tell them to go stuff it, especially since they couldn’t even prove that the debt ever really existed.

  66. AlisonAshleigh says:

    @Crymson_77:
    Ha forget the money, I just want my phone to stop ringing!
    (for the record i also have an IMPOSSIBLY shitty lawyer who is handling the case but does next to nothing. Shes called these people, and they still call me.)

  67. ThinkerToys says:

    FIRESTARSOLO/PLAGUE/BUGMENOT2 – whichever you wish to be called:

    You have completely misunderstood the situation, the complaint, and the reason this is important. I would hazard a guess that your self-interest lies in muddying the waters, but the point is that this was illegal activity, no matter by whom it was taken. The debt was incurred legally, and could have been collected legally, but it wasn’t. This is not an unusual situation. There are many bottom-feeding debt-collectors who buy dead debt to try to squeeze something out of nothing. They can ask for money, but they have no right to it at all. When they decide to break the law they become criminals, where the debtor never does. Do you understand, now? If not, it is because you don’t want to, or, more likely, you want to pretend that it isn’t clear so you can confuse others.

    My guess is that you are either a debt-collector or someone benefiting from these sorts of practices. Maybe this blog, its comments and its visibility threaten you somehow…

  68. D-Bo says:

    @DrGirlfriend: Nice Legend reference :D

  69. Buran says:

    @XorntobeBad: Ouch, good luck. Are you able to carpool/bike? Also, have you sent drop-dead letters to the collectors as yet?

  70. D-Bo says:

    @BugMeNot2:

    So how are you privy to the details of this person’s life or are you of the mind that there is no excuse for someone to be in debt regardless of the circumstances?

  71. Firstly. Why is this guy using the phone at all? All correspondence with a Collection Agency should be done by Certified mail with a Return Receipt only.

    Secondly. The need for validation of Debt is extremely important. Let’s say someone shows up at your door and says, “Hi. You owe me $1,000.” You should be, and are allowed to say “Who are you? I’ve never met you before. Can you provide me with some sort of validation that you are entitled to this money you say I owe? I’ve never had an account with you. Can you please legally show me how I’m obligated to pay you?”

    Without the right to validate, anyone from any shady company could just start claiming that you owe them money. And maybe they won’t get you to pay them. But they WILL get someone to pay them. There are plenty of elderly people who will just send a check to anyone who asks. Laws are there to protect people who don’t know or study consumer laws and practices. Maybe this guy owes this debt. Maybe he owes it to Providian/WaMu. Maybe he owes it to ACC. We don’t know, and neither does he until they can prove it. As in they have to send copies of his application with Providian, and they have to show how they legally purchased his debt.

    If you disagree with me, please send me your address, because I think you owe me $1,000.

  72. HRHKingFriday says:

    One time, a douchetard collector called my new cell number (I guess it’d belonged to someone else, oh, 7 years ago, that owed money). I really had to wonder what little education and morals you have to have to be a collector these days. I understand collectors working in-house, because hey, the company’s gotta stay afloat some how. But these last chance, “write me a check or I’ll sue you” turds are as low as it gets.

  73. floydianslip6 says:

    @DrGirlfriend: WOAH WOAH WOAH, don’t go peddling your fancy logic and reason around here. This is the internet!

  74. @BugMeNot2: The debt collector can’t even prove they have the right to collect it!

    Please see Sam Glover’s comment above. If they aren’t even licensed to operate in his state why should he believe that they own the right to collect?

    If the debt is legitimate he should pay it to whom it is owed, not random people calling him up demanding money.

  75. kellyd says:

    This guy has a pretty big pair to record himself being a total jerk to a woman who was nice and professional initially–especially because he admits the debt was charged off and he’s just being a deadbeat. What a total loser–the reason these folks are so mean is because they get jerks like this guy. I’d love if the collectors who called me were as nice as that woman was originally. The guy’s a loser.

  76. kellyd says:

    @Crymson_77: he was giving them major attitude before they made the threats. she was totally polite and professional before he started being an ass.

  77. gingerCE says:

    Someone I know got a call for debt allegedly owed PG&E from 10 years ago–ten years so she no longer has any paperwork to prove those were not her bills or any way to prove that she did pay her bills regularly. But if she really owed it, why did she have PG&E service for the past ten years with no problem–why had she never heard of this debt before? As far I’m concerned the debt sounded fraudulent or a mistake.

    As for this guy, whether he owes the debt or not, he asked for proof of verification that he owed this debt and the collector had no way to give him any. If Visa/Providian was calling that might be one thing, but how does he know this company is legit or has the correct paperwork? Seven years is a long time.

    That being said, this guy sounds like a jerk as well, but so does she. They both sound awful.

  78. trujunglist says:

    C’mon people. Debt collectors are actual people, you know, who actually have to work to get money to pay off… DEBTS. Guess what, that’s how life is.
    I worked in a collections agency for a while as a skiptracer, and so I know first hand what it is like to be on the floor. MOST people who don’t pay their debts are simply a-hole scum, plain and simple. They’re irresponsible with money because they don’t really care about it and think that it’s free. Well, someone has to pay for it, and technically, it should be them (not us the consumer or the company that trusted them to you know, pay for their services as originally negotiated)! You can automagically tell who’s in serious trouble (medical condition, accident, death in the family) because of the information that you get in their file. It’s very easy to spot someone who’s just a filthy scumbag that doesn’t want to pay. But wait, here’s a guy who has many accounts with medical offices. Surely, that guy must be having medical problems. It’s really a no brainer, and you can seriously tell who’s legit and CAN’T pay and who’s scum and just doesn’t WANT to pay. Most collectors know that, and will work with a debtor who is experiencing real problems with life, not just a guy who doesn’t want to go flip burgers because he thinks he’s too good for it. Do you know how often I heard one of our people tell a local person to come and apply so that they could A) pay off the debt cheaply (because people with in house debts got them taken care of) B) have money to pay off their other/future debts.
    Most collectors have very little or absolutely no knowledge of the laws. Guess what, they’re more like CSRs; straight out of high school, some still in high school! The supervisors make sure to cover some simple basics of the law, but the majority of the time I would only hear about what I wasn’t supposed to be doing after I’d already gone ahead with it. After a few months at the place, I think I have a good understanding of the laws, but it wasn’t instantaneous, and there’s definitely no high school courses on debt collection law, so what exactly are you people thinking, that this knowledge is instinctual or something? So, debt collectors very rarely know EVERY law and in what states they’re allowed to call and at what times because it varies and there is a ton of pressure from the supervisor to meet your quotas. Most people in this country don’t know those laws either (except for maybe on this blog). It’s a terrible job that pays minimum wage and works on commission, which 95% of the time they will NOT get because most people, as I said earlier, are filthy scumbags and won’t pay.
    So, it’s really actually dicks like this guy that make debt collectors the super aggressive liars that they are. What if people were more willing to pay their bills? Well, shit, debt collectors might make above minimum wage and not have to work on commission, and therefore not be a-holes or break laws to make sure that they can put food on the table and still pay off their credit cards.
    Next time you get a call from a collector and you actually feel like paying your debt because you actually owe it, you can probably ask for a steep discount because you’re willing to pay it at that time. 25%-75% off of a debt was not uncommon, but you certainly can’t be an ass about it or they’ll just close your account, send to litigation, or send it to someone else in the group. Then, if you want to be really nice and possibly get an even greater discount, ask how you can most effectively get the collector their commission, which is usually a check by phone.
    Alright, rant over. Please continue consuming.

  79. gingerCE says:

    @HRHKingFriday: I have also gotten calls on my home phone/cell for people with names I’ve never heard of. Even letters for a woman I have no idea who she is from debt collectors.

    I have to believe there are lots of mistakes being made by these collections agencies as they transfer debt between each of them. Makes you wonder about their accounting practices.

  80. gingerCE says:

    One time officers came to my apt. door with a warrant for a woman that wasn’t me. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a debt case as it involved the DEA I believe. Luckily, my landlord lived right across the hallway and opened his door at the commotion. He told the officers the woman had moved out a few weeks ago and I was the new tenant.

  81. So, it’s really actually dicks like this guy that make debt collectors the super aggressive liars that they are.

    @trujunglist: No, it’s the debt collectors that “make debt collectors the super aggressive liars that they are.”

    No one forced them to send this guy a letter threatening to sue him. If they had no intention of suing they shouldn’t have sent it. All they had to do was send a letter telling him he owed the money and to send proof they own the right to collect the debt when he asked for it. If the debt is valid and he won’t pay, take him to court.

    At not point is it necessary to break the law or even lie.

  82. Indecision says:

    @trujunglist: “So, debt collectors very rarely know EVERY law and in what states they’re allowed to call and at what times because it varies and there is a ton of pressure from the supervisor to meet your quotas.”

    Are you using ignorance of the law as an excuse? I think there’s a saying about that…

  83. hypnotik_jello says:

    @trujunglist: “So, debt collectors very rarely know EVERY law and in what states they’re allowed to call and at what times because it varies and there is a ton of pressure from the supervisor to meet your quotas.” The Fair Credit Reporting Act, which governs debt collector conduct, by the way, is a Federal law, and not a state law.

  84. Buran says:

    @AlisonAshleigh: Hmm. Maybe talk to a bankruptcy lawyer? Just get a consultation? The fees aren’t that high for that and it might help you out to talk to someone who knows about this stuff and can give you better advice.

    And isn’t it fun when you find gifts before you’re supposed to know about them, and then have to act clueless? I found out when my bf was planning to visit for my birthday and was scheming with my mom, and had to act like I didn’t know.

  85. trujunglist says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    Since I am at work an unable to listen to the conversation or see any proof of the letters, I will have to take your word for it. But, most collection agencies threaten further legal action, which is so vague that there’s no way to get into trouble. If they actually did threaten to sue, then it would be in the form of garnishment. Are you sure they didn’t intend to sue?
    Obviously the debt is not valid if it is past the statute of limitations. Unfortunately, we will probably not get any updates to this story to actually find out the outcome of it because of the serious anti-collections attitude on this site (especially of the collection agency wins in the end).
    I hate to be called by collectors too. I get calls constantly from collectors looking for random people, as well as for my ex-wife. But, it’s their job, just like it’s my job to take noise measurements. I deal with a-holes a lot too, but I have to get the job done so I can get paid.
    “You need to do your job and make it less noisy!” “Yeah, that’s what I’m doing, if you’d go inside instead of yelling at me and ruining my measurements, then everything would get taken care of much faster.”

  86. Buran says:

    @hypnotik_jello: Aren’t they covered by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act? (FDCPA)?

  87. hypnotik_jello says:

    @Buran: Ooops, my bad. too many acronyms.

  88. num1skeptic says:

    for all on the debt high horse:

    %60 of americans have bad credit.

    medical bills being the number one reason (sorry to burst an ealier posters bubble).

    divorce being the number two reason.

    i know because i work in high risk financing. not all of our customers are scumbags. some i actually feel sorry for.

  89. trujunglist says:

    @Indecision:

    I’m not using ignorance of the law as an excuse. You all just expect everyone to know everything about their job instantaneously, even though half the time they’re like 16 years old and don’t even know advanced algebra. When you got your first job, even if it was just out of college, I’m sure you knew everything about it.

  90. trujunglist says:

    @hypnotik_jello:

    At the collections agency I worked for, there were several states such as Illinois that required different handling than other states, such as Arizona where the company is based. So, I guess my supervisors were full of shit and everything is exactly the same across the board. Well, no, because some states are common law and others aren’t.

  91. num1skeptic says:

    i’ve known kids who were only 6 years old and already owed debt by their scumbag parents puting bills in their kids name. what are they supposed to do? put their parents behind bars? think about it like it was your mom……sure financially she was an idiot, but i wouldn’t put her in jail.

  92. HRHKingFriday says:

    @trujunglist: Yeah, but these are the basics, not weird loopholes. You must provide verification, you cannot be insulting, and you cannot make unfounded threats (sheriffs, etc). I mean, what kind of job doesn’t train you on a few very important rules that you must follow?

  93. num1skeptic says:

    i graduated with core 40 requirements when i graduated high school, and in not ONE SINGLE class, not even government and econ, did they teach about credit, how to get it, how to maintain credit, how the reporting system works, who the major bureaus are……….none. i firmly believe it should be taught in high school. if all you have are your parents to teach you about that stuff, you’d better hope they know about it. oh wait, most adults don’t even know all the in’s and out’s, so no wonder america is where its at with debts.

  94. dantsea says:

    @trujunglist: tl;dr, I gather it has something to do with OMGZ DEBT COLACTRS R PPL 2! which is nice, but has little to do with the legal issues raised here. It’s no one’s fault or problem but the debt collector and/or their employer if they don’t know the regulations for the business they’re in.

  95. trujunglist says:

    @num1skeptic:

    I totally agree. Wasn’t there some push for that recently, like not allowing high school kids to graduate without taking a class on money management?

  96. num1skeptic says:

    that’s like saying it’s ok if they restaurant has rats running through it because they were told by their employer that it wasn’t a healthcode violation.

  97. trujunglist says:

    @DanB:

    Oh, you mean like the guy clearly stealing money from someone and basically laughing about it?

  98. vdragonmpc says:

    Actually sometimes the debt is not real either. I have had a hell of a time getting a Hospital to remove a bill for services they refused to deliver. You see my son was born 5 years ago and he had issues but they sent him home anyway (you know insurance controls the medicine now) Well we had to return the next day to the ER as he was still having issues. I signed in and we waited from 11am to 4:48pm and they came out and told me to go to the Pediatric Neo unit at another hospital the next day as they were NOT equipped to help us in the ER…
    uhm WHAT!>! So I left and made it to his new Pediatrician the next day and he got better… Imagine my surprise when a bill for co-pay when they refused to treat my son? They say because I signed in I owe for the visit… That bill is now a principle thing, I get calls from all kinds of fools wanting their money and my simple reply is: No service rendered no payment due. Period.

  99. dantsea says:

    @trujunglist: Oh, you mean like the company that can’t prove it owns the debt and can’t even follow basic federal regulations?

    You’ve been pwned, son, by every person who posted after you. Give it up.

  100. trujunglist says:

    @num1skeptic:

    Not really, because no one likes rats. I don’t know one person who doesn’t think a rat is a pest (ok, maybe some snake, rat, etc loving freak). Everyone knows that food + rats = bad.
    In other news, I just got another collections call for my ex-wife while I was typing this. Hooray.

  101. num1skeptic says:

    @trujunglist: i didn’t learn about credit untill i got in the high risk finance industry and not only had to pull ppls bureau, but decipher it as well. you’d be surprised what all goes on there. everytime you apply for anything credit wise, it stores when and where you applied at, what job you claimed you work, and the adress you claim to be at. so if someone tells me they’ve been at their address for 5 years, and i can see on their bureau they’ve applied with 4 different addresses in the last so many years, i know weather they are full of sh*t or not. i can see all kinds of stuff on there. part of most application process include a part where consistancy on information plays into the decision. even on our loan calculator which is popular one in the industry has a spot for your “gut feeling” although it just says gut, but it plays into the scoring system which determines if your are approved or not.

    so remember to be honest on you applications or it could hurt you.

  102. deadlizard says:

    Things were much simpler when the mob was running debt collection.

  103. dantsea says:

    @deadlizard: Haha! I’m just picturing that:

    “You want debt verification? How ’bout we break one of your kneecaps? That enough verification for you, recording boy?”

  104. trujunglist says:

    @num1skeptic:

    As a skiptracer I had to do the exact same thing. Pull reports, decipher information, figure out if the debt was paid already, figure out if it’s past the statute of limitation, find what’s current and what’s not, etc etc. Of course, I wasn’t giving people loans so I didn’t have to dive too much into it beyond the most recent info (although a trick to find people was to go back to the first 1 or 2 addresses; that’s likely a “permanent” address), just calling them to see if they were home and then hanging up on them and forwarding the account to a collector.

  105. num1skeptic says:

    the reason there is limitations on things like these is so these calls don’t happen. my problem with all this is why didn’t the first few collection agencies that recieved the account ever pursue? if providian or whoever it was wanted to do something about the debt they had seven years. thats plenty of time for action. they dropped the ball. there very well could have, and sounds like should have a judgement on this guys bureau, and a garnishment on his paycheck. apparently providian thought the money was pocket change and not worth it. so who sent who the wrong message?

  106. trujunglist says:

    I’m kind of thinking that they did pursue, couldn’t skiptrace him because he kept moving around and changing jobs (the bill was what, 600 bucks?), giving them false information, lying to them, etc, until finally they’d sell off the account to another agency. He kept that going as long as possible using his understanding of the law and just recently the statue was reached.

  107. num1skeptic says:

    @trujunglist: he knew there wasn’t a judgement on his bureau though. even the collector knew that. you can change jobs and stuff and run all you want. you can’t run from a judgement. if they pursued, the judgement would be there, and game would be played. after you put a judgement on him, there is legally nothing more you can do.

  108. num1skeptic says:

    besides the obvious: skiptrace, and garnish check.

  109. spinachdip says:

    @trujunglist: Restaurants have signs in the bathrooms that say “Employee must wash hands before returning to work. Los Empleados deben lavarse las manos antes de regresar al trabajo” in two languages. Which is to say, even a minimum wage fast food worker is made aware of the very basic food safety regulations, because, you know, laws that directly affect the way you work are important. So it seems awfully odd that a debt collection agent wouldn’t know the very basic laws about what they can and cannot do to pursue debts.

  110. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    We are so priveleged to have folks post here who have perfect credit and have never broken any laws.

  111. num1skeptic says:

    @spinachdip: the debt collection agencies truley keep their employees in the dark. and lie if they need to to cover their azz. you can’t record their conversation legally, and i’d be willing to bet you never get them to cough up their copy, so its he said she said. it would be impossible to prove what laws they broke verbally. now a letter is documentation and proof.

  112. warf0x0r says:

    That was awesome. Thank you.

  113. trujunglist says:

    @spinachdip:

    Well, I see what you’re saying. I also think that food prep is so common sense that there need not be signs stating that. But, at the same time, food prep is also much more dangerous than bill collection, because if you screw up someone’s food, they might die. If you call a debtor, they admit to the debt and laugh at you, and then you screw up and break the law, then.. they laugh harder?

  114. trujunglist says:

    @num1skeptic:

    I was thinking that he probably gave them enough of a run around so that they decided not to get a judgement. You know, after a year or so, he finally gets around to contacting the original collections agency. He plays games with them for a few months, makes a payment or two, then skips out again. They can’t find him but think he’s maybe willing to pay, so they spend more time trying to find him. Maybe they do months later, and he apologizes, makes another small payment, and then completely disappears. They still think he might pay, so getting a judgement would be jumping the gun. The account gets lost in the system for a while, and maybe that agency goes out of business and sells it off to another agency. etc etc. Rare, maybe, but definitely possible for it to go around in circles long enough so that there wouldn’t be a judgement. Apparently, he was making payments, so that may have given him the leeway he needed.

  115. warf0x0r says:

    Hrm, just did some googling. Yeah this guy is 100% right. They were trying to collect a debt that is 7 years old. As long as this guy didn’t do anything to the account from 2004, because SoL is 3 years and if he made a payment it would be extended, he’s in the clear pending the company trying to sue him. So the collection agency has no right to try and collect the debt.

    [www.fair-debt-collection.com]

  116. SexierThanJesus says:

    I recently had an issue with a debt collection agency named “GB Collects”. They swore I owed them money for a one year renewal of my LLC. I told them this was impossible, because I did not renew my LLC last year. I sent an e-mail to the head of their department, who was pretty easy to track down, insisting that I be given written documentation to prove that I owed this. I also sent a cease and desist letter. He said he would “look into” getting me documentation, but that he wouldn’t honor my cease and desist letter. I said “screw it”, and filed an official complaint with the FDCPA, and attached his e-mail stating that he would not honor my cease and desist letter. I haven’t heard from them since.

    Sure, it would have been easier to just pay the cash and be done with it, but that’s my money. Nobody gets to say that I owe it to them without proving it. I also had a similar situation where Global Vantedge kept calling me and my old roommate (!!!) about a credit card debt, even though I’d consolidated it a year ago and paid it. Calling my roommate is crossing the line, and I didn’t hesitate to raise holy hell with that “poor, innocent” collector when I got him on the phone. I’ll play fair if they do. They don’t.

  117. trujunglist says:

    @sexierthanjesus:

    I’m tellin’ ya, you’re one of the few who were legit. Most debtors don’t play fair. So, you know, it goes both ways.

  118. csdiego says:

    @trujunglist: I’m sorry you had a crappy job, but if debt collectors are cutting corners by hiring naive high-school students to handle legally sensitive matters and aren’t training them properly, that’s not my problem or anybody else’s on this board, it’s theirs. There’s a reason they don’t let high-school students work as jailers or court clerks or title underwriters either.

  119. KogeLiz says:

    @trujunglist:
    The thing is, debt collectors get so personal about it like you seem to be doing. Like, THEY are the ones owed money.
    Also, judging by your views, I am scum, because my credit history doesn’t show my thousands of dollars in prescriptions I pay a month, my father’s homelessness, that I was laid off, the job market in Florida at the time, me helping to support my mother dealing with a recent amputee husband that cannot work, the fact that I was living on someone’s couch, etc.
    not everything is in a “file”.

  120. spinachdip says:

    @trujunglist: It’s not my fault that a debt collector can’t (or as num1skeptic suggests, won’t) adequately train its employees.

    Look, you’re making it a personal thing, like the borrower is hurting the creditor’s feelings by not repaying debt. But that’s not how creditors think – credit is merely an investment. Some people are safe investments, some people are risky investments. Credit companies know exactly what they’re doing when they invest in risky – it’s natural that some will default. So let’s not shed tears for poor little Citicards and Capital Ones who aren’t getting the money they were promised – at least they managed to sell off the debt.

  121. trujunglist says:

    @kogeliz:

    They are the ones owed money. If you don’t pay them, they’ll likely be paid much less money and/or fired. You know what it’s like not to have a job, so you know what I’m talking about. They don’t want to get calls during dinner time by one of their co-workers either…

  122. num1skeptic says:

    @trujunglist: sorry i was gone away but i don’t think this guy is really that clever. obviously he wasn’t that hard to contact. i still say that providian had 7 years to pursue him and they didn’t. they don’t need to know where you are to sue you. if you don’t show, you lose. i think this is straight up, providian would rather sell his $600 owed for $250 to a different collection agency and be done with it. much more cost effective than sueing. one company probably tried with no luck and sold to another and then another. after 7 years, the agency calling now probably knew it was past limitations and bought the account for practically nothing. they took a risk when they bought the 7 year old debt and therefore are totally in the wrong for even calling. surely they knew this guy was a deadbeat when they bought the account. they were just hoping to scare or intimidate him into paying, and hope he paid.

  123. spinachdip says:

    @trujunglist: Then they’re looking at it the wrong way. Their employer is not owed money. It just so happens that they specialize in investing in high-yield assets.

  124. num1skeptic says:

    which leads me to my next question……what idiot company buys accounts that have been unpaid for 7 years? if they weren’t paying the other agenies, and the debt is over 7 years old, they are the suckers for buying it. i hope they lost millions on buying accounts like these.

    although if they called him 6 years 11 months and 30 days on the last hour and he admitted he owed the debt, that opens him up for 7 more years of collections.

    learn a lesson from oj. live your lie till even you believe it. i would have told the agency that i have no clue of what they’re talking about and that i’ve never had an account with providian, but i did have a problem with someone stealing my identity years back and that i would need written documentation to prove i owed this. deny it all the way! when they say something about payments being made, i’d say well maybe the id thief payed it to get a higher spending limit before he vanished.

  125. D-Bo says:

    @trujunglist: You can try to justify it all you want but him being a jerk, deadbeat, loser, a-hole whatever does not excuse the illegal tactics being employed to collect a debt.

  126. rmosler says:

    So from what I understand, the lady is claiming that the man owes $1500 on a $600 cc bill that was charged off in 1999. In 2003 the statute of limitations runs out on the debt. The company purchases the discharged debt for some small amount, then tries to make him pay it off. He was in the wrong until 2003. They were able to legally collect the debt up until that time, but they chose not to. He could have had a settlement and have his wages garnished. They didn’t do anything until now. He is no longer at fault. Why was he an a$$ about it, because he baited her into comitting a felony by trying to collect a debt after he requested that she prove the debt was owed. The threat of the lawsuit after that is a felony. Much worse than failing to pay $600 almost 8 years ago.

  127. shades_of_blue says:

    To the guy harassed by this debt collector, after taking note that this debt collection agency is located in PA, I googled for it’s address and surprise, surprise.. it’s located in Scranton. There’s another debt collection agency located in Scranton too. I would not be surprised at all if they were the same company, it’s called NCC. So if you get a call from someone at NCC make sure to play your previous messages for them too. ;)

    I can’t go into details on how I know NCC is a debt collection agency, but I will say that their boss is a bipolar sociopath. And his lawyer is all talk, just slap a legal document at his lawyer’s feet and she’ll back off. But you may hear a beeping sound as she does, because she’s a very large women.

  128. D-Bo says:

    @trujunglist:

    It’s sad that your view is that most people don’t play fair…. You have a very jaded view of humanity.

  129. trollkiller says:

    @trujunglist: Most collectors have very little or absolutely no knowledge of the laws. Guess what, they’re more like CSRs; straight out of high school, some still in high school! The supervisors make sure to cover some simple basics of the law,

    Not my problem. There are laws in place that the collectors must follow. It is the responsibility of the agency to make sure those laws are followed.

  130. Buran says:

    @num1skeptic: Since minors can’t sign contracts, the 6-year-olds owe nothing.

  131. trollkiller says:

    Ok the debtor is an asshat, I had to turn off the volume and just read.

    The fact he is an asshat in no way gives the collector any leeway. When the validity of the debt is questioned and you can not provide verification that you own the debt, and other necessary information (who, what, where and when) then you have no right to collect the debt. And you have no right to break the law.

  132. ElenorR says:

    @JNighthawk:

    From the FDCPA

    809. Validation of debts [15 USC 1692g]

    [www.ftc.gov]

    I got the impression he was making a legal request, in writing, to the debt collector for what he can demand by law when a debt is in contention.

    If the debt collector was continuing to call him even after multiple written requests (which were referred to in the call) then the collector was in violation of the law.

    A legitimate debt collector can provide written proof and does so. IF they did not provide written verification, then this collector was violating the law and harassing to boot.

    There is no “who started it”. This is exactly what the Fair Debt Collection Practices was written for.

  133. quail says:

    @AlisonAshleigh: As to the debt collectors still calling you: It’s illegal for the collectors to call you when they’ve been referred to your lawyer. Take names, explain that you have a lawyer dealing with sorting out the debts, and let them know that each call they make to you since they were notified is considered harassment. People have sued and won over such things, and the states have levied penalties over such behavior.

  134. Cad06 says:

    Pay your debts on time and people won’t lean on you like this. It is pretty simple.

  135. num1skeptic says:

    i hope all you people on your high horse experience what its like to not be able to pay your bill on time. its not always a choice. if you really feel that way you should voice it to all your friends all the time. you’ll soon notice some of your friends not wanting to hang out all of a sudden.

  136. num1skeptic says:

    if anyone were to come to the economically depressed area i live in and go to any local bar with you pay your bills on time lecture, you wouldn’t make it out alive.

  137. Curiosity says:

    @Indecision:

    Absolutely correct ignorance in the law is of no excuse, especially since it is state law that governs a corporation here. He might as well argue that he does not know the speedlimits.

    The ironic thing however is that he should have known that most states have adopted the uniform commercial code when dealing with things like negotiable instruments -

    As the easily accessible site [www.law.cornell.edu] states -

    “Negotiable instruments are mainly governed by state statutory law. Every state has adopted Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) ([www.law.cornell.edu]), with some modifications, as the law governing negotiable instruments. The UCC defines a negotiable instrument as an unconditioned writing that promises or orders the payment of a fixed amount of money. Drafts and notes are the two categories of instruments. A draft is an instrument that orders a payment to be made. An example is a check. A note is an instrument that promises that a payment will be made. Certificates of deposit (CD’s) are notes. Drafts and notes are commonly used in business transactions to finance the movement of goods and to secure and distribute loans. To be considered negotiable an instrument must meet the requirements stated in Article 3. Negotiable instruments do not include money, payment orders governed by article 4A (fund transfers) or to securities governed by Article 8 (investment securities).”

    In each of the states the consumer can look to the law to figure out what exactly they should have to have proof that a debt was paid (Look through [www.law.cornell.edu])

    Generally however, these debts are like (but not the same as I.O.U.) It would do little good if a consumer paid a person claiming that there was an I.O.U. if they neither had proof that the person held the I.O.U. (such as seeing it) or that the I.O. U. was destroyed. Otherwise the “debt collector” is really a scam artist despite what they claim to be and more importantly THE PERSON WHO ACTUALLY HOLDS THE DEBT MAY NOT GET PAID, OR THE DEBTOR WILL PAY TWICE.

  138. Curiosity says:

    @Buran:

    Actually that is not generally correct. A minor can enter into a contract, sign a contract, and be liable for a contract, however under a large amount of circumstances the contract is unenforcable. Look to state law and a lawyer to figure out when.

  139. Plague says:

    @Thinkertoys-

    Nice blathering assumption on your part. No, I am not a bill collector, nor any of the other alias you list.
    I’m a guy who in the past has had 34 credit cards put under my SS number- so I’ve dealt with many a debt collector for my fictional “debt” due to identity theft.
    I dealt with it. So screw you.

  140. ppiddyp says:

    Wait, wait, wait. I don’t get it. This guy charged a bunch of stuff. He decided to stop paying. I don’t see much to indicate that this is somehow a case of fraud or mistaken identity.

    Soooo, he’s got a legitimate debt. It gets purchased by a big sleazy company sure, but that makes it ok to steal this money? Sorry? Just because the law is on your side doesn’t mean you’re in the right.

  141. ninjatales says:

    Those collectors were real noobs. If they know they’re getting recorded, they should hire a spin doctor to speak on the phones. Or someone who doesn’t let their emotions get the better of them.

  142. SJActress says:

    The debt is 7 years old. Providian Visa had PLENTY of opportunity to collect their money. Too bad for them.

  143. gjhead says:

    Man, I hate telemarketers, and I would probably not like debt collectors either, but the dude making this call sounds like just as much of an asshole.

  144. Are you sure they didn’t intend to sue?

    @trujunglist: That’s what the woman said in the audio when he first said, “So are going to sue me”. She says, “I mean in all honesty, probably… I mean for $1500 you’re not one of our higher bills”. He then asks why they sent the letter if they aren’t going to sue. It sounds to me like the “…” was supposed to be “not”.

    No, you can’t read what that letter actually says at the beginning but from the conversation it sounds like they threatened to sue them.

    Unfortunately, we will probably not get any updates to this story to actually find out the outcome of it because of the serious anti-collections attitude on this site…

    1) The audio was not produced by Consumerist. Whether there will be any updates depends on the guy that put this up on YouTube.

    2) It’s an anti-abuse and/or anti-illegal attitude.

  145. @Cad06: Sure, let me know when you plan on handing out your endless supply of money.

  146. @PatrickAustin:

    1) We don’t know why he stopped paying. Maybe he decided to stop paying and maybe he simply didn’t have the money.

    2) We don’t know that the big, sleazy company even purchased the debt. That’s why you ask for verification. Why should he be giving money to someone who doesn’t even own the right to collect the debt?

  147. tk427 says:

    This guy admitted nothing to this agency except that the last 4 of his SSN = the last 4 of the SSN on record for an account.

    So, is he supposed to run around paying off debts for everyone who shares the same last 4?

  148. Anonymous says:

    Technically from my point of view this woman is completly within her boundries. If she was doing thrid party collections then she would be just reckomend to the client she is collecting from to take those actions with there attorney. FDCPA is disgned to not control what you say as a debt collector but how you say it. she did make a mistake though. she shouldnt of called back she should of let him think about what he is doing because it would of been paid 1 way or another. voluntarily on involuntarily. We cant be held accountable becuase we cant say anything that we dont intend on doing. bottom line we do reckomend that you get sued, doesnt mean that our client will sue. just that we reckomend that as a next step. Mr Rock