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(The Consumerist)   Not news: Debt collector sues the wrong person. Not news: The debt doesn't even exist. Fark: The judge is pissed, orders collector to pay missed wages to defendant under penalty of sanctions   (consumerist.com) divider line 350
    More: Hero, debt collectors, collectors, T. Andy Wang, criminal court, Judge Noach Dear, Mark Hoyte, wages, office workers  
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29221 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Dec 2009 at 4:10 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-12-01 01:57:03 PM  
I understand that there are a handful of "legit" debt collectors out there, but this is truly a case of 90% of the industry giving the remaining 10% a bad name. This kind of crap happens all the time. Worse, what do you do when you get sued for a debt that you don't owe? Would you even know how to proceed?

Debt collector: Your honor, the defendant owes us $15,000. That's $8000 in credit card debt plus interest, plus $7000 in legal and filing fees.
You: But your honor, I've never even HAD a credit card, let alone a credit card with these guys!
Debt collector: Your honor, here's an affidavit of sale from Big Bank Assets LLC, here's the bank statement from January 2008, and here's proof of proper service.
You: But that's not mine! Look, they just pulled my address out of LexisNexis! They don't even have my signature!
Debt collector: Pennsylvania RCP 2511.18 states that a contract is said to exist upon demonstration of usage. And the defendant agreed to the contract upon his usage of the card. Thus, no signed paperwork is needed.

Now what?

It's crap like this that made me read up on my local rules and sit in on court sessions. The staggering number of people who show up and get steamrolled by collectors with shaky-at-best "evidence", or who "defend" themselves by claiming it isn't theirs, really calls into question just how effective this is.

And more importantly, how many honest people get taken.
 
2009-12-01 02:03:12 PM  
Unreal:

"I told them on the phone it's not me," (the defendant) Mr. Hoyte said. (Plaintiff's attorney) Mr. Wang appeared outraged.

"So without any written proof that it's not you, you would expect someone just, you know, to go on say-so?" he demanded. "Is that correct?"


Let me make sure I get this. The plaintiff, who identified the wrong person and continued the suit even after the person's Social Security number and date of birth didn't match up, is accusing the defendant of not proving he's the wrong guy? Because I tend to think the burden is on the plaintiff to ensure that they're suing the right person, not the defendant to ensure that the plaintiff is suing the right person.
 
2009-12-01 02:03:48 PM  
floor9

I clicked on your profile and the pictures of the abandoned turnpike are frickin AWESOME!!
 
2009-12-01 02:03:50 PM  
floor9: Now what?

If you're savvy enough (or hire a consumer rights attorney) you could very well be in the position to countersue for FCRA/FDCPA/TCPA violations, all depending on the history has been. Most debt collectors don't just sue without first attempting less expensive phone calls and letters.

But for the average person, "Now What?" is exactly the question.
 
2009-12-01 02:06:44 PM  
Rev.K: I clicked on your profile and the pictures of the abandoned turnpike are frickin AWESOME!!

Thanks!
 
2009-12-01 02:09:21 PM  
As someone who just successfully sued a collections agency for thousands of dollars for violating the FDCPA, I'm getting a kick out of this story and these replies.

Actually sticking it to these f*ckers was one of the most emotionally satisfying things I've ever done in my life. I recommend it to everyone.
 
2009-12-01 02:10:34 PM  
sigdiamond2000: As someone who just successfully sued a collections agency for thousands of dollars for violating the FDCPA, I'm getting a kick out of this story and these replies.

Actually sticking it to these f*ckers was one of the most emotionally satisfying things I've ever done in my life. I recommend it to everyone.


If more people did that, they'd follow the law. Too few do, so FDCPA litigation is simply a small `cost of doing business' to them.
 
2009-12-01 02:11:33 PM  
I told them on the phone it's not me," (the defendant) Mr. Hoyte said. (Plaintiff's attorney) Mr. Wang appeared outraged

What a dick.
 
2009-12-01 02:12:43 PM  
floor9: And more importantly, how many honest people get taken.

Mine went something like this (over the course of more than a year):

Debt collector: You owe Capital One $XXXX.
Me: Yes, I owed Capital One $XXXX, and here's a letter from them showing my account has been paid in full. And I've retained a lawyer and will be suing you for fraud.
Debt collector: Oh crap, here's some money so this thing can be over with.

/get a lawyer
 
2009-12-01 02:13:32 PM  
nekom: If you're savvy enough (or hire a consumer rights attorney) you could very well be in the position to countersue for FCRA/FDCPA/TCPA violations, all depending on the history has been. Most debt collectors don't just sue without first attempting less expensive phone calls and letters.

Absolutely. And although debt collectors can often get away with the "bona fide error" defense described in the FDCPA, it would seem that in this case the attorney's tirade might have been enough to blow away any such "error" claim. He's actually suggesting that it's the defendant's job to prove innocence, not the plaintiff's job to prove guilt -- and that's just not how the legal system works.

Since the FDCPA also provides for recovery of legal fees, and suing someone on a debt that either isn't theirs or is unenforceable (say due to expiration of the SOL) is a violation of the FDCPA, Mr. Hoyte should be able to find a local pro-consumer attorney willing to help him out.

Debt collectors prey on "now what". They know that setting foot inside a court strikes fear into most people. They know that in the majority of cases they file, the defendant won't even show up because they're scared or don't understand how the system works. Debt collectors buy junk debt, often past the statute of limitations or with missing paperwork, and file suit in bulk knowing that they'll eventually make more in recovery -- legit or otherwise -- than they'll incur in cost. It's disgusting.

Consumers need to empower themselves. Learn the laws. Sit in on court proceedings (they're almost all open to the public). Become knowledgeable enough so that if this happens to you, you'll know not only how to assert your rights but also how to make them pay.

/rant over
 
2009-12-01 02:14:54 PM  
sigdiamond2000: Actually sticking it to these f*ckers was one of the most emotionally satisfying things I've ever done in my life. I recommend it to everyone.

My lawyer got almost 80% of what we settled for, and honestly I didn't care one bit. Just loved sticking it to those evil farkers.

/how bad do you have to be to have someone preferring lawyers to you?
 
2009-12-01 02:18:38 PM  
sigdiamond2000: Actually sticking it to these f*ckers was one of the most emotionally satisfying things I've ever done in my life. I recommend it to everyone.

Hi-5!

I fought off a collector after years of abuse, but I didn't have the iron balls necessary to take it to federal court. At the time I didn't realize I probably would have won at the local level, or at least provoked a settlement offer. I also didn't fully realize that I could have recovered several grand under the FDCPA and FCRA. Long story short, the collector "corrected" a "mistake" in their records by "updating" some deadbeat's name to mine. Turns out they were looking for the prior resident at my address, and "corrected" his name to mine, then released it to the credit bureaus.

In the end I won, but I really didn't.
 
2009-12-01 02:19:39 PM  
floor9: Consumers need to empower themselves. Learn the laws. Sit in on court proceedings (they're almost all open to the public). Become knowledgeable enough so that if this happens to you, you'll know not only how to assert your rights but also how to make them pay.

Absolutely. And every debt collector that will say "Just pay your bills deadbeat" should read this article and know that it's not an isolated incident. You could never be late on anything in your life and still get harassed by these vultures.
 
2009-12-01 02:21:31 PM  
nekom: If more people did that, they'd follow the law. Too few do, so FDCPA litigation is simply a small `cost of doing business' to them.

One of the things my lawyer told me (he actually worked in collections prior to becoming an attorney) is that the majority - the majority - of debt collection agencies knowingly violate the FDCPA all the time because so few people call them on it.
 
2009-12-01 02:22:40 PM  
nekom: And every debt collector that will say "Just pay your bills deadbeat" should read this article and know that it's not an isolated incident.

I can't wait for the TF / Fark debt collectors to show up and say "Well I don't know how other debt collectors work, but at *MY* agency we *ALWAYS* play by the rules, and *I* am a reputable collector and etc etc ad nauseaum". People do need to pay what they owe, and I'm sure there are 2 or 3 legit, honest debt collectors out there. But as I said, it's 90% of the industry giving the remaining 10% a bad name.
 
2009-12-01 02:32:41 PM  
floor9: I can't wait for the TF / Fark debt collectors to show up and say "Well I don't know how other debt collectors work, but at *MY* agency we *ALWAYS* play by the rules, and *I* am a reputable collector and etc etc ad nauseaum".

Oh, you can count on that. Happens in every one of these threads.

People do need to pay what they owe, and I'm sure there are 2 or 3 legit, honest debt collectors out there. But as I said, it's 90% of the industry giving the remaining 10% a bad name.

Yep. And before anyone accuses me of being a deadbeat and "gaming the system," I had been disputing this alleged debt for years. The original creditor has not, to this day, been able to provide me with an accurate statement of my account with them. I have proven to them time and again that their records are inaccurate. Their attitude seems to be "we know you owe us something, we just don't know how much." It's ridiculous.

And, within a week of their collections agency settling out of court with me, they've got a new one on the case. I just recently sent them my notification of representation, so here's hoping they start harassing me too. I'd love another payday.
 
2009-12-01 02:33:25 PM  
sigdiamond2000: As someone who just successfully sued a collections agency for thousands of dollars for violating the FDCPA, I'm getting a kick out of this story and these replies.

Actually sticking it to these f*ckers was one of the most emotionally satisfying things I've ever done in my life. I recommend it to everyone.


I get many calls to home number for the previous deadbeats that lived here. I've actually been asked the following from these whizkids:

Collector: Yes, I'm trying to get in contact with Michelle.

Me: You have the wrong the number.

Collector: Are you sure she isn't there?

Me: Let me dig around in the back yard, I'll get back to you. F*cking moron.

I've actually had a nearly identical conversation with someone else, but someone that asked if "I was Michelle". No, I wasn't speaking in falsetto when I answered the phone. These people are certified idiots.

You gotta love getting a new phone number that was previously used by deadbeats. AND love the incompetent 3rd / 4th tier skip-trace / collection idiots that think that an old number might still be valid after a year or more.
 
2009-12-01 02:36:36 PM  
Some douchebag has been racking up bad debt and using my cell phone number as his - for years. He doesn't use my name; he doesn't know my name. He just changes his own name regularly and always uses my cell phone number, which he probably just scribbled down randomly. I get bounced from agency to agency. As soon as I send a letter proving my identity, they back off with the calls. Then my info simply gets forwarded to another agency and the calls return. I'm on agency #4 now.

There is no recourse for me. I've tried. My attorney would love to humble these assholes, but since they cease and desist after the letters, no one agency is really culpable. Instead, the entire industry is the problem.

Yes, I could simply change my cell phone number and solve the problem. But I've had this number for 16 years. I'm not changing. Though I admit, the temptation grows with every Saturday morning call from some collection agency douche looking for "Michael Dittman" or whatever his name is this month.
 
2009-12-01 02:36:46 PM  
floor9: Let me make sure I get this. The plaintiff, who identified the wrong person and continued the suit even after the person's Social Security number and date of birth didn't match up, is accusing the defendant of not proving he's the wrong guy? Because I tend to think the burden is on the plaintiff to ensure that they're suing the right person, not the defendant to ensure that the plaintiff is suing the right person.

about 8 years ago, Sallie Mae started sending me past due student loan notices for a woman with my last name. the name is latonya. my wife and kids and I are whiter than miracle whip, so it's pretty obvious she's not here.

i kept ripping up the notices--obviously, she skipped on them after beauty school or whatever. then the calls came. eventually, i contacted Sen. Arlen Specter and they got me a letter from Sallie Mae saying sorry, but that the calls may continue for some stupid-ass computer or list reason.

and the calls keep coming to this day, a year after i thought it was over. when i say there's no latonya here, they say, "are you sure," then hang up without another word when i insist. bastards
 
2009-12-01 02:40:50 PM  
hey, keep the stories coming. this could be fun.

another one: some debt collector calls me up and asks me if my ex-con neighbor is home and, if so, would i go over and tell him to call him back. yeah, right
 
2009-12-01 02:46:17 PM  
albo: another one: some debt collector calls me up and asks me if my ex-con neighbor is home and, if so, would i go over and tell him to call him back. yeah, right

Got this phone call once. Debt collector thought it might be a good idea to contact all the neighbors of the neighborhood drug dealer and inform them he owed Citibank eight hundred bucks, and ask if we would like to inform him of the debt. Needless to say, I didn't jump at the opportunity, and I'm pretty sure no one else did, either.
 
2009-12-01 02:52:10 PM  
I had some debt that went to collections. I sent a certified bank check for the full balance to the debt lawyer via certified mail. Then I filed all of the relevant paperwork (proof check was received and cashed) in my filing cabinet.

/Cool story, bro.
 
2009-12-01 02:52:54 PM  
I love debt collector stories. *settles in with popcorn*
 
2009-12-01 02:58:12 PM  
JoJoTheIdiotMonkeyBoy: Got this phone call once. Debt collector thought it might be a good idea to contact all the neighbors of the neighborhood drug dealer and inform them he owed Citibank eight hundred bucks, and ask if we would like to inform him of the debt. Needless to say, I didn't jump at the opportunity, and I'm pretty sure no one else did, either.

That's wholly illegal. They may call third parties such as relatives and neighbors once and ONLY once, and ONLY for the purpose of obtaining updated location information (i.e. do you know this guy's number or address?), they are NOT allowed to tell you that he owes a debt.
 
2009-12-01 02:58:54 PM  
I had a batch of calls when some data wizard matched my phone number up with some deadbeat with the same name. We verified that SSN and DOB didn't match yet they continued to call.

First I stopped giving them any information. I informed them that my privacy policy would only allow me to verify info they provided to me. They seemed confused when caught in their own web.

Then I informed them of my policy which said that if they continued to call I would become increasingly surly. I made that point clear and asked them to note it in the file.

When they called again I would ask them to look for that note and then proceed to be surly. They only called back twice before they lost the nerve to see what lvl 3 surly might be like. Never heard from them again.
 
2009-12-01 03:02:41 PM  
TwoHead: When they called again I would ask them to look for that note and then proceed to be surly. They only called back twice before they lost the nerve to see what lvl 3 surly might be like. Never heard from them again.

Level 3 Surly.

Is it too late to change my TF login?

/another one for the list
 
2009-12-01 03:03:27 PM  
albo: hey, keep the stories coming. this could be fun.

another one: some debt collector calls me up and asks me if my ex-con neighbor is home and, if so, would i go over and tell him to call him back. yeah, right


I actually had a woman from the collections agency I sued scold me with the following: "You know, we've contacted your parents about this!"

First of all, I'm 36. The "I'm telling your parents!" thing doesn't really work on me anymore.

Second, my father has been living off the grid like an outlaw for the better part of the last 25 years. It's hard for me to find him. I have to scour the redneck bar scene of mid-Michigan and leave notes with bartenders just to track him down sometimes.

Third, I asked her how she had been contacting my mother, and she wouldn't give me the phone number, but she did give me what she thought was her address, which was, of course, wrong. Wrong number...wrong street name.

Most of these collections agencies and the people who work for them are morons. Take the battle to them and they fold up like a card table.
 
2009-12-01 03:07:00 PM  
nekom: But for the average person, "Now What?" is exactly the question.

I'm currently being sued for a debt that isn't mine (getting a kick, etc.), and I am considering a counter suit. Can't afford a lawyer, though, and the only one I "officially" spoke with was an asshole who assumed the debt was mine and wanted $200 to have me come in and talk about it. For now, I'm waiting for the judge to set a hearing date or for the 10 months to go by so I can get it dismissed for lack of prosecution (which is what I expect to happen).

Also, to be clear, the TF lawyer who answered my questions was very helpful and is not the asshole in this story.
 
2009-12-01 03:15:21 PM  
albo: and the calls keep coming to this day, a year after i thought it was over. when i say there's no latonya here, they say, "are you sure," then hang up without another word when i insist. bastards

Have you tried a cease & desist letter via certified mail? Once they receive it, they are obligated to halt further collection efforts and either haul you to court or DIAF. It doesn't have to be anything fancy -- in fact, simple is always best:

Dear Sallie Mae,

The debt you have been attempting to collect from me is not mine. Do not contact me via any means, ever again.

Sincerely,


Send it by certified mail. Give them a 30-day window to stop. If it continues past that, it's a pretty clear-cut FDCPA violation. HOWEVER -- since you're not actually a debtor to SLM, I'm not sure if the FDCPA would apply to you. Still worth checking in with a lawyer.
 
2009-12-01 03:16:56 PM  
skinnycatullus: I'm currently being sued for a debt that isn't mine (getting a kick, etc.), and I am considering a counter suit.

If you post DIT, I'm sure a lot of Internet e-Lawyers will be happy to offer free assistance! Seriously, EIP. I'm not a lawyer but I'm happy to offer any commentary if desired.
 
2009-12-01 03:25:50 PM  
floor9: Have you tried a cease & desist letter via certified mail

not yet. but if getting a US senator involved and a personal signed letter from Sallie Mae won't do it, i don't know if the other method will work, either.

if it gets worse, i'll consider it. i'm assuming those calling me aren't sallie mae at this point, but contractors of some kind. pretty soon i'm going to get an air horn.
 
2009-12-01 03:26:43 PM  
When you get a letter from a debt collector, the first thing you do is send a certified letter demanding proof of the debt. This is called a validation letter. It obligates the collector (in most cases) to obtain proof (which can be damn near anything) that the debt is valid. This helps put the brakes on invalid debts, outdated debts (check your state's statute of limitations), or debts that may be legit but that have been incorrectly targeted at you.

I am not a lawyer, your mileage may vary, this may not be appropriate for all debtors or alleged debtors, etc:

Dear (debt collector),

I have received your correspondence of ___/___/___ regarding account # __________. Please be advised that I am disputing this alleged debt. Please validate this alleged debt and send the results to my address above.


Send it certified mail. When you get the signature card back, hang on to it for dear life. If most -- but not all -- cases, if they receive your validation letter within 30 days of their initial contact with you, they must halt all collection efforts (including filing lawsuits) until they can provide the validation. Failure to do so can result in damages under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), which are $1000 plus legal costs. The collector has all eternity to respond, but they (usually) may not pursue the matter until they do.

There are exceptions to this that go beyond what I'm going to get into here. Contact an attorney if you have questions.

While this won't stop a legitimate debt, it will make a junk debt collector's life more difficult as they'll have to chase down a paper trail that may not even exist anymore. If more consumers did this sort of thing, we'd see a serious drop in these junk debt / wrong person lawsuits.
 
2009-12-01 03:27:38 PM  
albo: not yet. but if getting a US senator involved and a personal signed letter from Sallie Mae won't do it, i don't know if the other method will work, either.

This is Sallie Mae we're talking about. I believe the only sure-fire way to get them to stop involves incantations and dead goats.
 
2009-12-01 03:28:28 PM  
floor9: skinnycatullus: I'm currently being sued for a debt that isn't mine (getting a kick, etc.), and I am considering a counter suit.

If you post DIT, I'm sure a lot of Internet e-Lawyers will be happy to offer free assistance! Seriously, EIP. I'm not a lawyer but I'm happy to offer any commentary if desired.


Thanks for the offer. Might take you up on it.
 
2009-12-01 03:31:59 PM  
floor9: When you get a letter from a debt collector, the first thing you do is send a certified letter demanding proof of the debt. This is called a validation letter.

i did this with playboy, which thought i subscribed, and wrote in the section of the fair credit reporting act that allowed me to do so, complete with "15 USC section 600 et. seq." yadda yadda.

never heard back
 
2009-12-01 03:57:11 PM  
floor9: albo: not yet. but if getting a US senator involved and a personal signed letter from Sallie Mae won't do it, i don't know if the other method will work, either.

This is Sallie Mae we're talking about. I believe the only sure-fire way to get them to stop involves incantations and dead goats.


If you need help getting those together, let me know. I have contacts.
 
2009-12-01 03:57:32 PM  
More fun advice for dealing with debt collectors:

Never speak to them on the phone.

Get their address and send a certified letter stating you would prefer all communication in writing because telephone calls are inconvenient for you. Debt collectors will no doubt argue that "if you've done nothing wrong then you have nothing to fear by speaking to us". I would then argue that "if the debt collector has done nothing wrong then they have nothing to fear by putting everything they say in writing."
 
2009-12-01 04:00:21 PM  
More fun trivia for dealing with debt collectors:

Look up your state's statute of limitations pertaining to litigating a debt. It's a part of the legal code that bars a lawsuit over a debt after a set period of time. For fark's sake if you have an overdue bill then just pay the damn thing. But if a debt collector comes after you for that credit card bill from 2000 that you know you paid but no longer have the paperwork for, your state's SOL may facilitate you telling them exactly where they should look for payment.
 
2009-12-01 04:05:32 PM  
skinnycatullus: I'm currently being sued for a debt that isn't mine (getting a kick, etc.), and I am considering a counter suit. Can't afford a lawyer, though, and the only one I "officially" spoke with was an asshole who assumed the debt was mine and wanted $200 to have me come in and talk about it. For now, I'm waiting for the judge to set a hearing date or for the 10 months to go by so I can get it dismissed for lack of prosecution (which is what I expect to happen).

This just recently happened to me too. A junk debt buyer in another state - all they had for proof was a notarized affidavit saying I owed them money. I found an attorney at National Association of Consumer Advocates ^.

As soon as I lawyered up they dropped the lawsuit. Still had to pay the attorney but his fees were a 1/4 of what they were trying to sue me for.

Thankfully NC just changed the law as of October that they are required to have more proof than just a affidavit from someone who works for them that says I owe them money.

Still working on trying to get the arsewipes off my credit report 1 agency down - 2 to go.

/debt collectors can bite me
//yes - just a touch bitter
 
2009-12-01 04:15:35 PM  
Do we really need EVERY SINGLE STORY from the Consumerist posted at Fark?
 
2009-12-01 04:18:52 PM  
CitizenTed: Some douchebag has been racking up bad debt and using my cell phone number as his - for years. He doesn't use my name; he doesn't know my name. He just changes his own name regularly and always uses my cell phone number, which he probably just scribbled down randomly. I get bounced from agency to agency. As soon as I send a letter proving my identity, they back off with the calls. Then my info simply gets forwarded to another agency and the calls return. I'm on agency #4 now.

There is no recourse for me. I've tried. My attorney would love to humble these assholes, but since they cease and desist after the letters, no one agency is really culpable. Instead, the entire industry is the problem.

Yes, I could simply change my cell phone number and solve the problem. But I've had this number for 16 years. I'm not changing. Though I admit, the temptation grows with every Saturday morning call from some collection agency douche looking for "Michael Dittman" or whatever his name is this month.


send the C&D to the company that you supposedly owe as well as the collector.


oh.. and if you have a legitimate debt- always bypass the collector and pay the people you owe directly. Just another way of sticking it to the collectors.
 
2009-12-01 04:20:37 PM  
JoJoTheIdiotMonkeyBoy: albo: another one: some debt collector calls me up and asks me if my ex-con neighbor is home and, if so, would i go over and tell him to call him back. yeah, right

Got this phone call once. Debt collector thought it might be a good idea to contact all the neighbors of the neighborhood drug dealer and inform them he owed Citibank eight hundred bucks, and ask if we would like to inform him of the debt. Needless to say, I didn't jump at the opportunity, and I'm pretty sure no one else did, either.


I wish I had a neighborhood drug dealer :(
 
2009-12-01 04:21:08 PM  
Kazan: oh.. and if you have a legitimate debt- always bypass the collector and pay the people you owe directly. Just another way of sticking it to the collectors.

Be extremely careful in doing this. The original creditor may not own the debt and may not legally be able to accept money. They may forward it to the collections agency, then bam! a paid chargeoff that you just admited to owing by paying it to poison your credit reports for 7 years.

It's not always in your best interest to pay. And don't give me this boy scout "if you owe it pay it" nonsense, deciding whether or not to pay an old debt is a business decision, nothing more.
 
2009-12-01 04:21:54 PM  
Hau Ruck: I've actually had a nearly identical conversation with someone else, but someone that asked if "I was Michelle". No, I wasn't speaking in falsetto when I answered the phone.

I see you've never met my friend Michael from France.
 
2009-12-01 04:21:55 PM  
floor9: I understand that there are a handful of "legit" debt collectors out there, but this is truly a case of 90% of the industry giving the remaining 10% a bad name. This kind of crap happens all the time. Worse, what do you do when you get sued for a debt that you don't owe? Would you even know how to proceed?

Debt collector: Your honor, the defendant owes us $15,000. That's $8000 in credit card debt plus interest, plus $7000 in legal and filing fees.
You: But your honor, I've never even HAD a credit card, let alone a credit card with these guys!
Debt collector: Your honor, here's an affidavit of sale from Big Bank Assets LLC, here's the bank statement from January 2008, and here's proof of proper service.
You: But that's not mine! Look, they just pulled my address out of LexisNexis! They don't even have my signature!
Debt collector: Pennsylvania RCP 2511.18 states that a contract is said to exist upon demonstration of usage. And the defendant agreed to the contract upon his usage of the card. Thus, no signed paperwork is needed.

Now what?

It's crap like this that made me read up on my local rules and sit in on court sessions. The staggering number of people who show up and get steamrolled by collectors with shaky-at-best "evidence", or who "defend" themselves by claiming it isn't theirs, really calls into question just how effective this is.

And more importantly, how many honest people get taken.


Ya know, I am almost convinced they pull people's names out of the phone book and try the 'bully approach' to intimidate them into paying something they don't even owe.
 
2009-12-01 04:22:37 PM  
T. Andy Wang sounds more like a dick.
 
2009-12-01 04:22:55 PM  
floor9: People do need to pay what they owe, and I'm sure there are 2 or 3 legit, honest debt collectors out there. But as I said, it's 90% of the industry giving the remaining 10% a bad name.

This. I wish debt collectors weren't necessary, but they really do serve an important function. Those who don't perform to impeccable standards, however, need to be smacked down hard.
 
2009-12-01 04:24:17 PM  
albo: about 8 years ago, Sallie Mae started sending me past due student loan notices for a woman with my last name. the name is latonya. my wife and kids and I are whiter than miracle whip, so it's pretty obvious she's not here.

Is Ms. Mae standing outside your window?

How the fark do you expect people to know the color of your skin when sending you a letter?
 
2009-12-01 04:24:34 PM  
Hau Ruck: sigdiamond2000: As someone who just successfully sued a collections agency for thousands of dollars for violating the FDCPA, I'm getting a kick out of this story and these replies.

Actually sticking it to these f*ckers was one of the most emotionally satisfying things I've ever done in my life. I recommend it to everyone.

I get many calls to home number for the previous deadbeats that lived here. I've actually been asked the following from these whizkids:

Collector: Yes, I'm trying to get in contact with Michelle.

Me: You have the wrong the number.

Collector: Are you sure she isn't there?

Me: Let me dig around in the back yard, I'll get back to you. F*cking moron.

I've actually had a nearly identical conversation with someone else, but someone that asked if "I was Michelle". No, I wasn't speaking in falsetto when I answered the phone. These people are certified idiots.

You gotta love getting a new phone number that was previously used by deadbeats. AND love the incompetent 3rd / 4th tier skip-trace / collection idiots that think that an old number might still be valid after a year or more.


Or calling you because you have the same name as someone they're looking for, apparently pulling your name out of the phone book, asking if you ever lived at this address that you never resided at. Or better yet asking for someone with a different first name, I guess trying to find out if you're related. My last name is like the Spanish version of "Smith", aka very common among Latinos, lots of luck with that one.
 
2009-12-01 04:24:55 PM  
I wish I had a way of recording calls about 5 years ago. Had a collector call me asking for someone I didn't know, who lived in a town not even in the area code of the number he was calling.

He called back again pretending to be a Private Investigator, using a really crappy fake voice.

I simply told him he was the worst PI in history if he can't even use a map to find out the 703 Area Code is in Northern Virginia and the address he thought he was calling was in Alabama.

All of them are a bag of dicks
 
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