I hate collection agencies. I have hated them for many years. They are the scum of the earth. I wish there was a way to do away with them. But there isn’t.
I first got acquainted with them when I first was married, as they came after my ex trying to collect some debts. Not only were the debts past the statute of limitations, his ex-wife was supposed to have paid them. So they didn’t make an impression on me as honest, law-abiding citizens. Even with the passage of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, they are still scumbags. Maybe just a little less so. They can’t call your neighbors or boss now.
The most recent encounter was with one that tried to collect on a debt that is out of the statute of limitations, and which has more than doubled with all the penalties and interest they’ve added. Hey, I’m sorry I became disabled and can’t pay the debt. It wasn’t my intention. I got caught in a sub-prime car loan scheme, then got sick. I thought I was doing the right thing by turning the car in and saving you the trouble of repossessing it. Little did I know. It was fully insured. Next time I’ll just wreck the sucker.
What’s especially hilarious is that under the law, they can’t come after you for these debts if your only income is Social Security. So when I got the call, I laughed in the woman’s face. She didn’t take it well. Then I explained the law to her. She said, “Yes, we can.” I hung up on her.
It was a miracle she got to talk to me at all. I generally don’t even pick up on those calls unless I wish to amuse myself as I did in this case. I find there is no use talking to them, they have their script, and they will just keep badgering you.
The other that’s bugging me is the secured credit card account I closed, but which they managed to tack a bunch of fees on so that it wasn’t fully paid off. Dang their hides, anyway. They are calling daily, and since they work for the credit card company and not a collection agency, I can’t get them on the federal “you can only call three times a week rule.” Funny thing is, I’m making payments on the thing, and I got on a hardship thing that reduces my interest and stops all the fees. But they seem to take no notice of that. Well, there’s nothing that says I have to answer their calls, and I have less heartburn when I don’t.
mo-fo’s little darlings have been bugging me enough that I went to the Google to find out what I can do. I found a website (pdf) on things you can do in Washington State. And how to communicate with them. And the laws on Social Security and debt collection. But I like my plan better. Just don’t answer the phone.