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User Topic: collections agency? anyone experience this?
Faithful w/Love
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Member # 33128
Default  Posted: 3:24 PM, April 12th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Opps that was suppose to be a PM....sorry.

[This message edited by Faithful w/Love at 3:35 PM, April 12th (Friday)]


BS(ME)40 WH(HIM)38
DD 20 and DS 15
Separated Aug 2012
Moved back home Oct 31 2013
Separated again June 2014. Heading toward divorce.
False R. Still Lying.

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is all you have left"


Posts: 2791 | Registered: Aug 2011
Faithful w/Love
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Member # 33128
Default  Posted: 3:26 PM, April 12th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

DON NOT GIVE THEM ANYMORE INFORMATION... okay. they are crooked.


BS(ME)40 WH(HIM)38
DD 20 and DS 15
Separated Aug 2012
Moved back home Oct 31 2013
Separated again June 2014. Heading toward divorce.
False R. Still Lying.

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is all you have left"


Posts: 2791 | Registered: Aug 2011
aesir
♂ Member
Member # 17210
Default  Posted: 3:29 PM, April 12th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Then he told me "you've already provided me with your routing number, all I have to do is look up your name and we can deduct from your accoutn without your approval".

Someone might have said this but number one they cannot debit your account with just the routing number. You can get a bank's routing number just by calling a branch. Also they cannot debit the account unless they go to the court with proof of your debt and get paperwork to place a legal hold on your account which is sent to the bank's legal department.
While this may be legally true, it is not how the system works. Anyone with access to this system can yank money out of any account they want, as the process does not actually check for approval to do so. You then have a certain amount of time where you can have the transaction reversed. I was shocked when I first heard this. It doesn't change the fact that what is done is fraudulent, or whatever other laws may apply, but it can be done.

The fact that the will only accept banking info over the phone as a form of payment is nonsense however. Legally, they are required to accept cash payments. Laws vary across jurisdictions, so you want to check this out yourself.

Just to be an asshole, I would be inclined to tell them that since they can not provide any documentation regarding this debt, then you have no prior relationship with them. Then tell them the magic words "Place me on your do not call list!" That way, they have to dig up all the required documentation before they can call, or they face big fines from the FCC.


Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.


Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
ntgvngup218
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Member # 26882
Default  Posted: 3:40 PM, April 12th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Amen faithful! You rock! So I'm NOT going crazy here. I'm thinking my gym is crooked now too since they are partnering with these people. Time for a new gym membership.

What a nightmare.


"The pain that you've been feeling can't compare to the joy that's coming"

Posts: 696 | Registered: Dec 2009
Unagie
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Default  Posted: 3:47 PM, April 12th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Aesir they have her routing number and no account number. I worked in banking and if we debited an account with a name and routing number with no legal paper work stating why we went into this account without customer approval our asses would have been on the chopping block.

ETA: Now if she gave her account number and routing number she gave them all the approval the bank needed.

[This message edited by Unagie at 3:48 PM, April 12th (Friday)]


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

"To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think."


Posts: 2762 | Registered: Oct 2012
Faithful w/Love
♀ Member
Member # 33128
Default  Posted: 3:59 PM, April 12th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

UMMMM yeah, the gym may be crooked also. Looking for a cheap way to collect. And I never heard of a business that you can not direct pay even if it went to collections.
Block their number and do it all in writing and tell them that.


BS(ME)40 WH(HIM)38
DD 20 and DS 15
Separated Aug 2012
Moved back home Oct 31 2013
Separated again June 2014. Heading toward divorce.
False R. Still Lying.

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is all you have left"


Posts: 2791 | Registered: Aug 2011
ntgvngup218
♀ Member
Member # 26882
Default  Posted: 4:04 PM, April 12th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand the calls keep coming. now it is some woman.


"The pain that you've been feeling can't compare to the joy that's coming"

Posts: 696 | Registered: Dec 2009
JanetS
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Default  Posted: 4:18 PM, April 12th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'd be suspicious of the gym too. A normal company has accounts that fall into the 30/60/90 days overdue...and will contact their client about the debt. Usually with a polite first letter, then a stronger reminder, then a threat to send to collections. They don't want to send it to collections because they lose a percentage....so that's why they REMIND you a few times first....at least most companies do that.

Were you going to the gym during all of this time???
Curious why they didn't remind you.

I have satellite tv (new). My credit card expired and I received the new card in the mail with a new expiry date. I forgot to contact satellite company with new expiry. I loved how they reminded me....a window opened up on my tv giving me the 800 number to call as my credit card information has expired.

I called them, gave them the number, and then said "wow, I wish all of my financial faux pas were this easy to correct".

Curious to see your updates on this....something is really off with this.


Posts: 2594 | Registered: Nov 2003 | From: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
MissesJai
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Default  Posted: 4:37 PM, April 12th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

file a complaint with the FTC and add your number to the Do Not Call registry. The next time they call back, inform them you have reported them to the FTC, your local attorney general, etc etc. They now know they can get a rise out of you so they are going to harass the crap out of you. Are they calling from the same number? If so, call the phone company and have them blocked.


FWW - 41
"Don't think first about the risks of speaking up. Think first about the risks of not speaking up." ~ Kerry Patterson

Posts: 5978 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
hexed
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Default  Posted: 5:01 PM, April 12th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The fair debt collection practices act requires that they provide you in writing what the debt is, proof of the debt and validation that they are legally authorized to collect the debt if you request. you have 30 days from receipt of that letter to dispute the validity of the debt.

DO NOT PAY THEM. MAKE SURE YOU RECORD EVERYTHING IN WRITING.


But that's just a lot of water
Underneath a bridge I burned
And there's no use in backtracking
Around corners I have turned

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -foulton oursler


Posts: 8460 | Registered: Apr 2008
ntgvngup218
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Default  Posted: 5:26 PM, April 12th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Were you going to the gym during all of this time???

No, I had stopped going to the gym in December actually, due to my work schedule.

Are they calling from the same number? If so, call the phone company and have them blocked.

No, it is a different number. Sometimes it is an 888 number, a 603 number, a 714 number. The female who just called me was from the 888 number.

ETA: Now if she gave her account number and routing number she gave them all the approval the bank needed.

When I initially spoke to the guy this morning, I was going to set up a monthly pymt plan of $100. I gave him my routing number. I did not give him my account number as I got a gut feeling not to, so I told him that I had to get back to work, and would call him back when I could locate my account number. Thats when I called the gym and they gave me the "managers" number who was not happy to hear from me...

I will definitely follow up on this. Hopefully others can learn from this too!!

[This message edited by ntgvngup218 at 5:27 PM, April 12th (Friday)]


"The pain that you've been feeling can't compare to the joy that's coming"

Posts: 696 | Registered: Dec 2009
aesir
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Member # 17210
Default  Posted: 5:54 PM, April 12th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Aesir they have her routing number and no account number. I worked in banking and if we debited an account with a name and routing number with no legal paper work stating why we went into this account without customer approval our asses would have been on the chopping block.
ETA: Now if she gave her account number and routing number she gave them all the approval the bank needed.
The way it was explained to me by an insider in the preauthorized payment system, all the other paperwork authorizing debits to accounts was stuff for lawyers in case it got disputed later on, anyone with access to the system to place preauthorized debits could in fact debit any account they had info on, and nobody ever checks for authorization while processing the transactions.

I still say your response should be "Place me on your do not call list!" Then if they call back, they are obligated to prove that they have a valid reason to contact you.


Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.


Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
Dreamboat
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Member # 10506
Default  Posted: 6:01 PM, April 12th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

UMMMM yeah, the gym may be crooked also.

Many years ago I have a VERY VERY bad experience with Gold's Gym wrt account payments and a late payment. IMO, they call themselves "Gold" because they get rich ripping people off.


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17689 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
Mommato4
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Default  Posted: 11:06 AM, April 13th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just have to say canceling a gym membership is a pain in the butt. I'm doing this now and you have to jump through hoops with certified letters, etc. They make it so easy to sign up though. It's not golds gym but have read some awful things about them online with their practices.

Good luck with all of it.


Updated 2014:
BS-me 41
XH-doesn't matter
4 kids
Divorced-7/25/08

SO-5 years together-he decided to end it by cheating too


Posts: 1379 | Registered: Aug 2007 | From: PNW country
hexed
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Member # 19258
Default  Posted: 1:17 PM, April 13th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Please also realize that as soon as you tell them to stop calling you that you will only communicate in writing they are supposed to stop harassing you.


But that's just a lot of water
Underneath a bridge I burned
And there's no use in backtracking
Around corners I have turned

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -foulton oursler


Posts: 8460 | Registered: Apr 2008
circe
♀ Member
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 7:41 PM, April 13th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Whoa, this is not a legit debt collection company.

1.

The fair debt collection practices act requires that they provide you in writing what the debt is, proof of the debt and validation that they are legally authorized to collect the debt if you request. you have 30 days from receipt of that letter to dispute the validity of the debt.

This is absolutely true. By law they have to provide you - in writing -with proof that the debt is yours and the amount they have is valid. This will probably be a copy of your gym membership contract plus a copy of the gym's records of when you stopped paying. If the debt collector doesn't have that information, then you have no way of knowing if they own the debt. Heck, I could call you and tell you Gold's Gym sold ME your debt and you owe me $5K. By law, they have to show you proof that they own the debt.

2. They can threaten all they want - until it ends up on one of your 3 credit reports, you don't have to worry about it in regards to your credit. If it DOES show up on a credit report, then you can dispute it with the credit report company directly. Then they will contact the debt collector and ask for the exact same thing - proof. The debt collector will have to provide them with the contract and debt transfer or else the credit reporting company has to remove the mark from your report.

This happened to me when Verizon was going through their changeover and sold all kinds of old bills to a debt collection agency. They tried to tie me to two different phone numbers I never had. They even put it on my credit report, but when I disputed, they had no proof (obviously, since those weren't my accounts) and so they were forced to remove them from my record. However the stupid company kept calling until I moved.

3. You can't take someone's money from their routing number. And if they can find your account and do manage to take money, you can dispute the theft.


Posts: 3196 | Registered: Mar 2005
ntgvngup218
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Member # 26882
Default  Posted: 11:51 PM, April 13th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ok so update:

I cancelled my debit card. Even though the one my gym has on file is expired, it's still linked to that acct and I didn't want to take any chances. My gym sold ALL my information to them. So I'll be getting a new one in the mail I. Two days.

Today I went to the gym and explained to them what had happened and how the "collections agency" was treating me when I asked for something in writing. Of course the desk clerk couldn't help me but offered to have the manager call. He wont he able to do anything, I already know that. BUT she did provide me with my contract and as far as I can see, there is nothing in there about a 500% increase. It doesn't really say anything about sending an account that is not paying to collections. Says nothing about any penalties, everything that the "collector" said I would find, I'm not finding.

The desk clerk did tell me that thy sell my debt to a third party so that's why they can't take my payment, because this company bought my debt from them. Yet this "collector" told me if I pay $1200 I'll have access to the gym again until July. But if they bought my debt from the gym, and I no longer owe the gym because essentially the collector paid for it, then how does paying $1200 give me access to the gym again?

Anyways, I havent read any responses yet, I wanted to update first.


"The pain that you've been feeling can't compare to the joy that's coming"

Posts: 696 | Registered: Dec 2009
ntgvngup218
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Member # 26882
Default  Posted: 12:03 AM, April 14th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is absolutely true. By law they have to provide you - in writing -with proof that the debt is yours and the amount they have is valid. This will probably be a copy of your gym membership contract plus a copy of the gym's records of when you stopped paying. If the debt collector doesn't have that information, then you have no way of knowing if they own the debt.

This is what throws me off too. When I asked the collector for something I writing, he said "it's all in your contract". So I told him to send me my contract, and he said he doesn't have my contract. Sooooo....that doesn't sound right.

Great thing is I work for a company that provides identity theft protection and fraud protection so I will be calling them on Monday as well.

If it DOES show up on a credit report, then you can dispute it with the credit report company directly.

I had a friend tell me the same thing. She told me to check my report in 3 months and she could help me dispute it. So, fingers crossed, I can get this all taken care of.


"The pain that you've been feeling can't compare to the joy that's coming"

Posts: 696 | Registered: Dec 2009
StillGoing
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Default  Posted: 12:51 AM, April 14th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am about to fall asleep so will jabber more tomorrow, but 2 quick notes... first is dont let thrm freak you out because they are feeding you standard fare bullshit. Dont give them any more info at all. A lot of these agencies buy debts cheap so a collection is like a risk gamble. You arent legally obligated to them. Wrt the contract thing i had the exact same issue. If they have no signed dox they have nothing anyway. This is not about makng you pay adebt you are willing to pay it is a for profit biz model. Dont let them fuck with you.

eta:

Okay. So, a lot of these places are basically just legal scams. Most of these "collections" are just small companies from as few as one friggin person who buy debts that are considered lost causes because they're hard to prove, so long overdue it's unlikely they'll ever get paid, deadbeats, etc for pennies to the dollar so that collecting on one of them results in a windfall.

They all use the same tactics involving harassment, threats and dismissive attitudes. They are not legally allowed to say or do any of the shit they say and do there and they know it and they don't care, because they also know it will cost you more in time and money to legally beat their asses. Further, arguing the legalities of it with them tells them you are worried enough about it that you are worth going after, and that they are in your head. If you ignore them to the point where you tell them they may not call you (they still will) and then hang up every time, eventually they will stop calling, but it may take a couple weeks.

If it is a legitimate debt then you can pay the person you originally owe. If they will no longer accept payment from you then document it and ask them for documentation that says you tried to pay them but they refused. This way when the legal system gets involved you have that and the judge will throw it out.

Because the judge WILL throw this shit out.

Similar situation to this, the phone company did not turn off our line after we left our last apartment. I know we gave that notice but they claimed we did not. A lot of expensive calls were made on the line after we had left, which I disputed it, they sent documentation that showed calls made but apparently had "lost" my request to shut the line off. My wife told them we'd give them 50% of what they wanted just to go away and everyone wins. They laughed at her and were pretty nasty.

So the court notice came and I accepted the date and set it rolling. This makes them panic because now they need to back their shit up or get in trouble. When they called back 3 days before the court date they asked if we could reach an agreement.

"You laughed at my wife when she asked you to reach an agreement here."

"Yeah... sorry..."

"You have no documentation, no proof the line was used beyond 3 year old bills your own company printed, for an apartment I have documentation showing we left months before these charges were made."

"I know, we've decided that a settlement is the better choice."

"No, look, asshole. Yes, I called you an asshole, and if you recorded it for later use I'd be happy to know you were playing it back to have me call you an asshole in absentia, asshole, because you fucking laughed at my wife when she offered to reach an agreement. So here are your choices: you take 10% of what you are asking for and this all goes away for everyone, or I will embarrass the fuck out of you in court and you will lose money. It will cost me some time and money to do that but by then I will be so fucking pissed off it will be worth it, and we are rapidly approaching the delineation point between you being an annoyance I want gone and you being paid entertainment."

So we paid them like 30 bucks, directly to the phone company, because I refused to deal with the collections.

Just *do not* talk to them. Tell them if they have to contact you then to do so by mail, you dispute their charges, and throw out their mail unless it's a legal notice. If they do go after your bank account then tell your bank that was not authorized and it was fraudulently withdrawn. I know Bank of America is really good about that, and they spanked the shit out of a couple of these people because while BoA is a giant soulless corporation they appear to have a lot of wonderful people working there who are just itching to do something nice. It's a really weird thing.

Don't panic. That is their most powerful tool. It's just a semi-legal scam.

eta again:

I am almost positive that it doesn't matter if they sold the debt or not, you are only required to pay the company whose services and products you purchased from.

I have dealt with collections assholes on several occasions, I am convinced they are all the kind of people who are incapable of good, honest thievery that your insurance will cover and the cops can round up.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 8:09 AM, April 14th (Sunday)]


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7488 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
circe
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Default  Posted: 9:31 AM, April 14th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was chatting to DH about this over coffee, reminiscing about the Verizon debt collection issue - we can only laugh about it now because it was such a farce and so ridiculously unnecessary. Anyway.

DH reminded me that each time the asshole agency called me, I answered and said "Hi, I'm recording this phone call for my records. Can you please spell your name for me?" The first time I ever did this I'd had a glass of wine with dinner and they called at 830pm and DH and I thought this was a funny way to turn the tables on them. However the result was that they hung up. So we kept doing this, and I did record 2 phone calls with them, though I never needed them as the entire thing was resolved via the credit reporting agency shortly thereafter. But the "recording" did make them more polite.

One time a woman called and she screamed at me "No I won't, stupid woman!" when I told her she was welcome to put all of the information in writing and mail it to the address they had on file for me. This was in the early days. That sort of things stopped after I started telling them I was recording the calls.

I can't remember how long our harassment lasted, but a few months I think. Ridiculous.

But no, even if the company has bought your debt legitimately, they have nothing to do with the gym membership and so they can't reinstate anything at all. They basically own the right to collect a certain amount of money, plus they can inflate the total with penalties. I'm not sure, but maybe someone else knows, how much they can legally charge for that.

Most people reach a settlement for roughly half the amount you originally owed. The company probably bought the debt for 5% of what you owed, so they still make money. It's a shame you can't just pay the gym directly and give the company that at least "earned" the money what they're owed, rather than these buzzards.

I'm curious to know if there's a computer program or app that helps people who have changed banks or credit cards or accounts to figure out all external bills that are linked to that account and help smooth the changeover. I would definitely use something like that! I've also run into my fair share of accidental oversights of infrequently used accounts that were attached to a bank account or credit card I was transferring. Something always seems to get lost in the shuffle, even though we have no intention of missing anything.


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