I have some questions about collection agency. I need to know what they can and cannot do.
First of all, the bill that I owe to the credit card was more than 5 years ago. Somehow or another, they got a hold of my daughter’s cell number which is unlimited, yesterday. They scared my daughter and she handed the phone to my husband. They wanted my husband to give them our bank account number and/or debit card number. They wanted us to pay $400 a week til the bill paid in full. They also told him that if we don’t start paying on the credit card that they are going to start charging 27% interest. This is an old bill and they won’t take any offer, not even $25 a month. I don’t have the credit card anymore because it was expired. At the time, I was paying them $100 a month before I couldn’t pay it anymore and I don’t believe that I owe $6000.
I’ve tried reason with them and all I was paying was interests. I had to stop paying on it because I lost my job and we were living on my husband’s income til he lost his job. Our jobs aren’t great and I don’t make more than $400 a week neither does my husband. They don’t care if we live in our car or street. They want their money. My husband almost gave them our bank account number and I told him, no way. I’ll explain to him that if they did, they will take any amount that they want because we gave it to them permission by giving them our bank account and there is nothing that we can do. All we can do is contact our bank that they did not have permission.
I want them to stop calling me and my family. How did they get my daughter’s cell number??
They even lied to my husband that they mailed the bills to our old address. What old address?? We lived here more than 12 years.
Any advice and opinion will be appreciated.
P. S. Sorry, I forgot to mention that I lived in the state of Texas. They called my daughter several times today. She was away from her phone at the time that they called. They are bothering her at work as well. My daughter is only 19.
Okay, I’ve send the bill collection a drop dead letter. They mailed me back a letter like this.. what does this exactly mean? They didn’t certified the letter..
The purpose of this letter is to advise you of the results of our investigation of your dispute pursuant to the Texas Finance Code and/or the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Please be advised that we have determined that our credit file and credit reporting of the above-referenced account is accurate, and therefore we deny the inaccuracy of the disputed item. We will be closing our investigation of your dispute and resuming regular collection activities as allowed by the Texas Finance Code and/or the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
In response to your dispute, we have requested that the three major credit bureaus change the status of this account to “Disputed.” Your credit report will not be updated if the federal reporting period has expired.
If you have additional documentation or information related to your dispute, please send it to:
Attention: Consumer Support Services
Should I worry?
Go to Clark Howard’s website and download the ‘Drop Dead’ Letter. Then send it, certified, return receipt. That tells them to stop contacting you period! If they do, you have the right to sue them for violating federal law. What you will need is an actual street address and not a PO Box. How I have obtained that information was to tell them, the next time they called, that I was over-nighting them a payment via FedEx or UPS which do not deliver to PO Boxes, therefore I needed their street address.
Then, you can contact them on your time schedule and tell them to send you proof of debt, in accordance with the law. If they told your daughter they were trying to collect on a debt, they violated the law.
Lastly, find out exactly how much you owe in principal and offer them 25% of it (you have to scrape up the money) if they send you a letter stating that they will accept it as payment in full. If they say no, tell them you will call them back next month and offer 22%, they will refuse. Then the next month, offer the 22%, if the refuse them the following month it will be 19%, etc. Chances are, the second month, they will agree to the 25%. BUT SEND NO MONEY WITHOUT their letter stating they will accept it as payment in full.
But always remember, if it is a Collection Agency, they now own the debt and are not acting on behalf of the client. They bought the debt for pennies on the dollar and all you have to do is whittle them down to an agreeable amount. But you must have the money available in a certified check only. NEVER give them electronic access to your account, but I think you already said you knew that.
I would NOT contact any debt over 6-7 years old. IIRC once a debt has come to 7 years without mutual contact to or from the borrower, the debt is void. If you send letters, or pay a dime to it, that in a sense ‘re-energizes’ the debt for another seven years.
Of course States and such may vary, but that is my understanding of this.
Best of luck!