We’ve discussed zombie debt, zombie bills, and zombie accounts, and even zombie retail on this site before, but we had never heard of zombie returned merchandise…until now. Reader Michael reports that he returned something to Amazon in March 2013, received a refund, and that was the end of the story. Until it wasn’t the end of the story. [More]
From calling at all hours of the day and night to contacting you at work, we’ve told you before about the large number of banned practices for debt collectors. But one man says he’s the victim of a tenacious debt collector trying to collect a debt he doesn’t even owe. [More]
Movie Gallery/Hollywood Video went bankrupt with only one real asset: enough outstanding overdue notices to make a librarian weep. Americans owed the chains something like $125,000,000, which is not a typo. These debts were sold, and the new owners zombified them and really, really want to get their paws on that money. A year and a half after we first reported that customers and even employees were receiving invoices from collection agencies for zombie debts, they’re still at it. [More]
Zeke once worked for now bankrupt and defunct Hollywood Video. Employees had special accounts allowing them to rent older movies (more than a few weeks old) for free and not have to pay late fees when they didn’t bring them back. Zeke is sure that he wouldn’t hallucinate free movie rentals, but the collection agency that sent him the letter insists that this policy never existed, and that it’s up to him to prove that he didn’t owe the company $28.95 in late fees at the time he quit. [More]
No pressure, but it’s all up to consumers to heat up the U.S. economy which will then help the rest of the world out as well. Unfortunately, we’re all acting a bit sluggish still in our spending. [More]
For decades, U.S. debt collectors have plied their trade under the watchful but lazy eye of the Federal Trade Commission, which has the authority to go after the worst of the bunch but can’t create new rules governing these businesses. But later this summer, debt collectors will come under the supervision of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau… and that scares them, especially after complaints about debt collectors jumped 17% last year to 140,036. [More]
Leigh thought that she had laid her Wells Fargo checking account to rest. It was closed, gone, out of her life forever. When some forgotten auto-payments hit the account, though, instead of rejecting the payments, the bank zombified the account, brought it back to life, and charged Leigh and her husband a $35 overdraft fee for each item that hit their account. Wells Fargo put them on a payment plan to repay their balance, then turned around and sent the account to collections less than a month into the agreed-upon payment plan. Now they’ve been flagged as overdrafters in the Chexsystems database, and are still watching the account to make sure that no erroneous auto-payments hit it and trigger more overdrafts. [More]
It’s not that Whitney is stuck in a zombie debt situation. Her problem is that her debt never existed in the first place. She’s being billed for DSL service by “Frontier Communications” – which is a real company, but that doesn’t seem to be who she’s dealing with. The Frontier that’s billing Whitney is unreachable and apparently not real, despite their ability to generate bills, then sell them to a collection agency. If that’s the case, though, how did they get her credit card information to bill her? [More]
Christopher is currently being haunted my a small debt from his past. At least, it might be from his past: he’s not sure. A collection agency is after him trying to collect a $315 PayPal balance from the dot-com bubble era. He doesn’t remember owing PayPal any money, but who knows? That was a crazy time. He wonders what his next steps should be. [More]
“I’ll go through any lengths I have to in order to embarrass you,” says one of the many debt collector chicks who keep calling this guy up at work, trying to get him to pay for a credit card debt from 1998 that he doesn’t remember and for which they refuse to provide verification. [More]
“RJM Acquisitions” mailed Mark a funny notice asking him to pay up $4,448.23. The address they had associated with it was indeed Mark’s, 20 years ago, that is. Not only was the debt invalid, but even if it hadn’t, the statute of limitations was well expired. Mark got to work and drafted a kickass letter to dispute the debt and tell them not to contact him again unless they wanted to be sued $1,000 each time. Here is his letter, which can serve as a good model for any other readers fighting off invalid debt collection attempts, and his story: [More]
Jesse has turned to Consumerist for help because he is being haunted by a relic from his past. Specifically, he writes that a debt collector has contacted him, claiming that he owes them for having a gas service account that he never used–in an apartment where he thought all utilities were included. What should he do? [More]
Here’s the problem with Crocs. You either love them or you can’t stand them. You make fun of them mercilessly, or you can’t imagine a more comfortable shoe. What’s problematic for the company that makes Crocs is that they don’t really wear out…and who needs multiple pair of glorified garden clogs in a recession?
The three big credit reporting agencies—Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax—have been inaccurately reporting debts on millions of consumers’ credit reports even after the debts have been forgiven during bankruptcy filings. Once forgiven, the debts are supposed to be removed from credit reports, but the agencies are continuing to report them as active. They have until October 1st to comply with Judge David O. Carter’s order to “revamp their systems,” writes Jane J. Kim on the Wall Street Journal’s finance blog. Now if you’re in debt trouble, you can look forward (?) to having either unpaid debts on your credit report, or a bankruptcy filing, but hopefully no longer both at the same time.
Palisades Collection is offering Jeremy a great deal: he can pay half off his debt of $237.64 and get the account settled! Small snag, though, Jeremy never ordered the Verizon service they’re trying to collect on, the debt has passed the statute of limitations, and he got it expunged from his credit report years ago. Still, Palisades persists in sending collection notices for him to his grandma’s house. What’s a boy to do? Read on and find out.