Friday, February 17, 2006

There's "Nothing Fair About This..."

Abusive debt collectors have discovered a new source of revenue – people who DON"T owe money.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors are supposed to advise you of your right to dispute a debt. However, if you don’t do so – in writing – within 30 days, the collector assumes the debt is valid.

It doesn't matter if you owe the money or not. Failure to dispute can result in a bogus debt collection attempt attached to your credit record.

According to, an abusive debt collector contacted Paul Alappat about a credit card debt. Paul had never owned this particular card, told the collector so, and asked them to stop calling.

When he applied for a home equity loan 2 years later, this $394.74 collection attempt appeared on his credit report. Paul was in a hurry, so he had no choice but to pay this bogus debt in order to get his equity loan.

These collectors are taking advantage of ignorance of the law, fear of credit score attack, and disorganized personal finances, to extort money from unsuspecting citizens.

If you’re contacted about a debt you don’t owe, take at least these steps:

1. Get collector’s name, address and telephone number.

2. Send a certified letter, return receipt requested, informing them they’ve contacted the wrong person.

3. Monitor your credit report
for bogus debts and dispute them immediately.

All of this is at your time and expense, of course. Unfortunately, once contacted, it’s about the only way you can avoid becoming a victim.


Greg Moore is the Architect of the Debt Freedom System,
'DebtIntoWealth -- Lessons from My Journey to Debt Freedom.'


At 9:21 AM, Blogger angel, jr. said...

What will they think of next. It's enough that our phone numbers have been sold to numerous telemarketers.
Just this week I got a call from a magazine subscription telemarketer. She told me that had made a mistake and that the magazines I had ordered were suppose to be 50% off. I somehow said something that made her think I had ordered magazines and she continued by saying "is this still your current address" and then batted off my address. And then I said, "wait a minute, how could you have gotten this cell number, I've never ordered magazines while owning this number". She quickly tried to recover and then said, "I'm so sorry"--I told her to take me off their list pronto. She almost had me agreeing to whatever magazines it was she was peddling. They are sneaky frigging snakes in the grass.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

Thanks for that post. I'm trying to help my son in a debt collection action. A collection agency mailed him a first-notice, which we responded to, denying the debt. Then a SECOND collection agency also sent a first-notice for the same debt. We sent a copy of our response to them too.

Unfortunately, with computers being so fast and cheap nowadays, they can even put parking tickets on your credit record. Just another way for the man to pinch the average joe.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

That makes me angry! It seems we have to be watching out for BAD people all the time. If they're not stealing our identities, they are charges us bogus debt.

At my blog, you were not aware that I just had my 19th throat surgery a couple of weeks ago. That is why I posted about using a bullhorn, just for your info.
I can't talk above a whisper for several weeks, even if I wanted to.

At 5:41 PM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

This kind of stuff makes my blood boil. But I will tell you that I always put up a fight.

Particularly, on those late credit card fees. It is always smart to ask if they can be waived. And most of the time they are.

My motto: do not take no for an answer!

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Lavender Dawn said...

The credit card fees- i have a credit card that charges me $30 for being overlimit, but then tells me my minimum is less than the amount that will get me under limit. If I hadn't caught this, I would have been charged another $30, making me over my limit again- in a vicious cycle! I am so very very glad that I caught that- and it only has a $300 limit!

Evil evil...

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Tim Rice said...

Boy, that is lousy; it ought be a criminal act.

At 11:48 PM, Blogger Mountain Mama said...

It's interesting that you posted this. I had several calls from one of these leeches, I even recorded a voice mail message one man left, making threats. He told me my son was using my social security number and I was in big trouble.
It was all a big lie. He was trying to make us pay him money we didn't owe.
I finally filed a complaint with the Attorney General and the call's stopped coming.
It is a sad thing that these people are allowed to pull this. I hope the laws get tougher and they get more than a hand slap! I would like very much to be one of the disciplinarians.

At 12:18 AM, Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

I have a friend who is going through this very thing right now, I will have to send him to your site!

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

My god, this makes my blood boil! This is such a rort, how i'd love to get my hands on these weasels and get them in court, i'd make certain they'd never be able to do it again.

At 6:47 PM, Blogger Drywall Mom said...

Mom, this happened to Justin's brother Nathaneil, he closed his capital one card and paid it off when he closed it. The account was no longer open but he had a payment protection plan on there and so they just kept charging him and since it was a closed account, it was repoened and they started charging him fees b/c had not paid the $4 fee that they were charging him for his payment protection. It came to about $200 in fees b/c he had his old adress on it when he closed the account and felt no need to give them his new address b/c he no longer had the card. Let's just say after 2 hours on the phone with them and threatening them with a full scale investigation for this they took it off.

This also happened to his mom with the same capital one company. She gets her mail at our house and they went and opened up a new card in her name without her authorization and started charging her. We did the same thing as above and they closed it and took off the charges and she didn't have to pay them. So I agree, people, be careful with companies that try this b/c it does happen.

At 8:45 PM, Blogger An80sNut said...

Great post and I'd go so far as to say that credit disputes should be made as easy as a phone call but instead you must usually contact each of the 3 major reporting agencies (if 1 is left uncorrected, it will find its way back on the other reports.)

At 12:52 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

I read an article last year that says that when you close an account that you can request a letter to that affect. I keep those letters in a special file just in case I need them. Now I know of another reason to keep them...Credit cards can sure be a pain in the a_ _.

angel jr. - We all need to be careful what you tell people over the phone. Emails are just as dangerous.

big dave t - I have dealing with collection agencies.

jamie dawn - get that bullhorn and please accept my appologies for not knowing about your throat surgery.

barb - you have the right idea about those late fees. I have heard that you can get two a year taken off on each card.

dawn marie - It is best if you can get your card down $100.00 lower than you limit, just for that reason.

tim rice - I agree.

mountain mama - It is a shame that having credit can be this hard...

live, love, laugh - maybe this will help him. Glad to see you again.

michele - weasels they are.

jenner menner - I heard about Capital one cards several years ago from Sis. Beattie. I wouldn't have one if they were the last cards out there. I always tear up their advertisements that come in the mail...No to Capital One.

an80snut - I'm glad you brought that up because someone told me that all you had to do was report it to just one of the agencies and that they would handle it. I knew that didn't sound right. Thanks.

At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Nettie said...

Oy, hate to be in that situation...

At 5:46 PM, Blogger TNChick said...

Oh my! ... and you know, I use to work for a collection agency!

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Keshi said...

Stuoid and unfair things always happen to customers...



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