Posted by: silverstar98121 | October 16, 2008

Collection Agencies

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.

These 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.

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Responses

  1. Hi

    A view from the UK. I absolutely agree with what you’re saying. How many jobs would you go through before you decided to be a collection agent? When they’ve spoken to me I cheer myself up by thinking “my life may be bad, but at least I’m not a collection agent!”

    The best idea is, as you suggest, not talking to them at all. They will tell you absolutely any lies to get you to give them some money. I wrote a post on this on my blog The Lies Credit Collection Agents Will Tell that you might find interesting.

    I hope everything turns out OK for you.

    Neil

  2. I haven’t had any interaction with debt collectors but it sounds like a lousy job. then again, if I were unemployed with several starving kids to feed, about to get kicked out of my house… and someone offered me a job as a debt collector I’d probably take it so I could pay my bills.

    then hopefully I’d move up in the world and become a parking ticket officer or a car salesperson

    🙂

  3. They are lying pieces of shite. I had one bad experience with them that required a lawyer. One of the credit reporting agencies mixed my file with a woman who lived in the area with the same last name. She’d defaulted on a car loan about 8 years earlier.

    The collection agency hounded me despite my not even being the right person. They called me employer and lied to get my social security number – which should have told them I wasn’t the right person but instead they began to accuse me of using two SSN#’s. A woman I worked with had a husband who was a partner with a high priced firm. He loathed collection agencies and took my case for free. Between him and the local police, I got these people off my back but they tried again the following year – another letter from my lawyer and I never heard from them again.

    Took me forever to straighten out the mess they made of my credit report at Experian (the others were fine). I learned from the police that these people routinely go after people with the same name as the debtor because often they will pay just to make them go away and get their credit report fixed.

    They are scum. If there was a hell, they would rot there.

  4. Neil-Interesting blog. Yes, I think I’ll continue with my plan, especially since if you promise them any money, it resets the statute of limitations.

    Nurse Myra- I quit one job when it looked like the agency was going to switch from help to collections. I’d rather clean dog pens, and yes, I have done that.

    Annie- yes, they are liars. Some poor fool got turned down for credit at Sears because of my record. I got the notice. She lives in Idaho, not Seattle. I was able to put a flag on my credit report that makes them verify the SS number for any applications. Since my credit is total shite, I hope that keeps them from mistaking her for me again. Or they will be doing to her what they did to you.

  5. A collection company used to call my parents at 6 in the morning because of someone with the same name’s problems! Once, I was there and answered the phone. I knew that they weren’t supposed to call that early. First I tried polite then I got nasty and threatened to report them. They did back off then and quit calling.


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