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Debt Collector to Pay $1.5M

Justice is served!

Learning to live life richly each day is my goal for those of you that read my posts. There are many ways to live richly and one of them is to address your past debts with the peace and understanding you do have important rights. First is the rights to be treated fairly and with respect by those whom you owe money. Even by those that are preying on old uncollectable debts, you know what I am referring to… the bottom feeding debt collector of the likes that have finally been caught and exposed in the below story.

I hope each of you take away the fact that you are protected by the law of the land from these sharks and it is vital you document every communication you receive! Record phone conversations, archive voice messages, and never throw out any written communications. YOU are in the driver’s seat…

Vulgar voicemails force debt collector to pay $1.5 million
by JASON WHITELY
WFAA
Posted on May 28, 2010 at 11:30 PM
Updated Wednesday, Jun 2 at 12:19 AM

DALLAS — The harassing and threatening voicemail messages left on Allen Jones’ mobile phone are nothing short of vulgar.

“This shouldn’t be tolerated,” he said. “Nobody should have to experience what I had to experience.”

Debt collectors from Advanced Call Center Technologies, LLC left eight messages for Jones in August 2007 trying to collect what it said he owed on a credit card.

Most messages were laced with profanity and spewed racial slurs:

READ MORE CLICK…

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Debt Collection Phone Calls – Who Called?

Use Caller ID to Capture Collectors Phone Number

Use Caller ID to Capture Collectors Phone Number

I am sure by now everyone has had a bill collector or two call them. In fact I wrote about this last week and it’s still a hot topic in my email. To address the latest questions about finding out who is calling you while you are away, I’m going to write a few words about how to identify your callers using the Internet.

First of all please leverage the use of caller ID to track who is calling you. Sometimes you are not even aware who is taking collections actions against you and if you are getting repeated calls from the same number and it is listed as “unknown” on your ID, you can use the internet to identify the caller.

Here are some tips for searching a phone number on the Internet:

Free Search Options

Google: http://www.google.com/ (Additional tips located belwo)

Reverse Phone Directory: http://www.reversephonedirectory.com/ (Searches
WhitePages.com, 411.com, and PhoneNumber.com)

Who Called US: http://whocalled.us/ (My personal favorite as it is almost real time data entered by consumers)

–Google Search Tips–

When using Google to search using XXX-YYY-ZZZZ (EX: 888-555-1212) will yield the best results, although sometimes you will want to try the following:
XXXYYYZZZZ
(XXX) YYY-ZZZZ
XXX YYY-ZZZZ

You can also try using numbers adjacent to the one you are looking for (like
888-555-1211, 888-555-1213) since many companies use blocks of numbers. This
technique isn’t always accurate but it may help you find out who’s calling you.

Being prepared in advance knowing who is calling you when answering the phone will make you more in control of the situation. Hope you find this information useful and keep it handy when you need it.

Live Life Richly Today

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Cease and Desist Letters – Just Do It!

My apologies in advance to Nike and their “Just Do It” ad campaign. But when it comes to sending a Cease and Desist Letter to a collection agency or debt collection law firm, it’s first step in your strategy to address an old debt owed.

The C&D Letter is the means by which you are granted federal law protection from predator debt collectors. This letter gives the collector notice that you a hereby giving notice that you consider the debt invalid until proven otherwise. Of course the debt can be proven valid or invalid by a number of means but that’s a post for another time. Today let’s focus on the actual parts of the letter itself.

Key Sections:

  • Your Name and Address
  • Regards Section: Listing account numbers and balances
  • Collection Agency Name and Address
  • Body: Identifying Cease and Desist request under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act
  • Your Name Printed and Signature
  • Important Tag Line: NOTE: This is an attempt to make a debt collector obey the law. Any information obtained, will be used for that purpose

These are the most important components of an effective Cease and Desist Letter. I want to make it clear that I am not purposely avoiding showing you an example here as I am sure there are literally hundreds on the web already. But I do want to make you an important offer. For following me on this blog I do want to give you my own version of this letter for free. All I ask is you sign-up for my newsletter in return. The free report sign-up is located here and will only take a couple minutes to complete.

In the free report you will get a sample Cease and Desist Letter and much more. Included is the step by step tutorial on how to send certified mail with receipt. This is vital in your success and a must in order to keep track of your progress and hold the collectors accountable.

The Cease and Desist is powerful tool… Just Do It my friends!

Live life richly today!

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Are you taking the phone off the hook?

It’s a very peaceful Sunday afternoon and I’m enjoying the sun and summer like temperatures. What a great day to just unwind and prepare mentally for the coming work week! However in the midst of this Zen like moment the phone is ringing off the hook! Who could that be???

Boiler Room Deb Collections Call Center

How many calls can I make today and how many dollars can I book?

It’s a bill collector calling my home on a Sunday afternoon! Is nothing sacred I think to myself! It was a cordial lady on the line wanting to work with me on paying off an old medical related bill that I had most likely overlooked. I told her I was not prepared to discuss the bill until I had received some sort of validation of debt via snail mail and asked her to kindly stop calling me about this matter. I promised I would respond once I researched the situation myself and had contacted my health insurance provider to see if there was some sort of error. Bottom line my Zen moment was killed with that darn phone ringing and me answering it!

To put my mind back into to the previous peaceful state I decided to write about my experience and share with everyone who reads my blog. If you are one of the millions of Americans with debt collectors calling you on a regular basis then you need to know how to deal with them. I write this with the caveat that you do deal with the original creditor in most cases rather than the collection agency and that you do resolve the matter. (Unless the darn original amount owed is way way past the statute of limitations and in that case re-starting payment on such an old debt leads to prolonged issues with your credit files) To that end please make good on your promises and then learn to never get into that situation again. Agreed? …Good!

What should you do if a debt collector calls you on the phone at home or work?

  1. Answer the phone with utter calm and a powerful smile.
  2. Ask the caller to identify themselves and let them know you are logging/recording the call. At this point also ask for their mailing address and case file number for this attempt of collection. (Send Cease and Desist Letter via mail to them as soon as possible)
  3. In a clear and pleasant voice state you are not willing to do business over the phone at this point disputing the validity of the debt. (They must cease contacting you on this notice)
  4. Ask the caller to identify the original creditor and request written documentation be sent to your home mailing address.
  5. Do not let them threaten or harass you! They can’t do that under your rights. If they do this tell them once again you are not in a position to agree to anything and that you will certainly not do any business over the phone.
  6. Finally please calmly reinforce your demand to have the caller’s company cease and desist all collection activities on this matter as you are disputing this debt until it’s fully validated under your rights given by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Smile even more!
  7. Hang up and log the date and time of the call. If you get a future call from them log it once again and repeat steps 1-6 again. If they continue to ignore your cease and desist demands you may file a complaint against them and or sue for damages.
Your reward for handling that debt collection call with firmness and ease!

Your reward for handling that debt collection call with firmness and ease!

It all seems very easy but it can be very intimidating. Just remember you have the upper hand. You have the rules on your side! Essentially you are dealing with a person whose only interest is getting you to fork over some money. The debt collection phone rep is paid a salary and commission and the commission/bonus is based on converting old past debts into current revenue and profit. So don’t let a phone queue rep just doing their job ruin your Zen moment!

Whew, now that we have mastered how to deal with the collections sharks, let’s get back to making some ice tea and enjoying the backyard patio! The birds are in singing and having babies! The flowers are in full bloom! Butterflies are fluttering about! My friends, life’s too short to let a phone call ruin your day!

Live life richly today!

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Beware Debt Relief Prowlers

I don’t believe in the validity of the debt relief programs that promise to save you thousands of dollars by letting them manager your payments on outstanding debt.

I bet you have seen/heard the ads on TV and Radio promising you can participate in Obama’s stimulus bailouts by contacting the ABC Debt Solutions company and if you qualify you can to eliminate over $10,000 of credit card balances… blah blah blah. What you don’t know is that in most cases the consumer will end up with horrible credit records and will pay dearly in the long run with unexpected consequences.

If you possess high balances and are having trouble paying your minimums it would be much better you take control of your own situation. For instance please don’t ignore the phone! Either answer the collection calls or make the calls the creditors yourself. Be bold and preemptive. There are programs in place with most lenders to help with payment options during these tough times and all you have to do is ask. If the account is only recently past due you should be able to work something out to make your account current or at least work towards current status. This will save your credit score in the long run.

If you are already beyond missing a payment or two and your account is in collections or turned over to a third party company, you can certainly also take control and make an effort to begin addressing the situation. If the collection agency is calling you relentlessly you can use the cease and desist letter to call off the dogs. This action will require them to stop contacting/harassing you for the debt. As part of the letter you are stating you are contacting the original creditor and will be dealing with them directly. So you must call the original creditor and begin negotiating next steps.

Finally if the account is extremely beyond past due or is charged off by the creditor then you must contact the original creditor and begin talking about a settlement in return for a status change for this account within your credit files. This can be trickier but it can happen!

Keep in mind all of this should be done by you. You don’t need to hire someone to take control of your situation. If you follow these simple steps you can earn the satisfaction of self resolution and save valuable dollars along the way! For details on this and other strategies please go to my website at CreditMania.com.

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