Debt collector’s new way of cell phone harassment under attack!

It is said that a debt collector’s biggest problem is an educated consumer. I constantly preach that at all my seminars. It’s the classic phrase “Knowledge is Power”.

One of the biggest things to know is Can you actually be sued? You can find this out by going to Google and type in “State Statute of Limitations for debt collectors in (insert your state). Then for most accurate information click on the link from your states site. As an example in Texas and California it is 4 years. Some states are less, some are longer.

In the 11th Circuit case, Osorio v State Farm Bank the court reinforced restrictions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act .

The main thing it accomplished was prohibiting debt collectors from using automated dialing systems (nicknamed Robocalls) on a consumer’s cell phone without their express permission.

Many lenders now if you pay attention on a collection call to your current lender asks if it is ok to keep in touch with you via cellphone or by text message and has a code to type in to stop it.

Many people have been using this law to sue debt collectors over harassment rather than the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act as studies have recently shown.

No one ever gets a product, service or line of credit with the intention of defaulting on that obligation, but life does happen. And thanks to the government and a special provision that lender can take a tax break (exact amount unknown) and then still sell the debt for collection efforts and then try to sue you for the full amount. The example I give is from Seinfeld in the scene where George “double dips” the chip.

Like everything in life it’s not what you said or did but what you can prove so keeping a notebook for accurate records is a MUST. Claiming you told them to stop calling you is stopped by the other party saying “no you didn’t”

While technically a debt can be owed forever once it passes your states statute of limitation and becomes over 7 years old if you still get harassed by a debt collector the nickname we have for them is “Zombie” debt collector. Someone who most likely got the debt for free and tries to get any money they can from you.

While I always tell my clients while I never advise them to not to pay their debt as a credit expert and consumer advocate I also need to inform them of the consequence good or bad of doing what they perceive is the right thing.

So beware of anything you sign where you are giving permission to them to utilize you r cell phone for debt collection as its your right to have them contact you via mail to your home thus lowering the stress of cell phone harassment. While this issue is far from over it’s a great positive step toward preventing harassment by debt collectors.

Most people do not realize the debt collector does not have to just curse and threaten you to break these laws. Implying they can sue you when they can’t or stating they are calling the constable on you for breaking a car lease is a civil matter.

Hope this helps everyone and go to my website for more and feel free to call me if you need help with your credit or just to get to that next credit level in life!


Debt Collector B.S.

Great, funny story that I just got from a client a few minutes ago that not only needs to be shared but also to educate consumers to debt collector scare tactics. She called to tell me she got a call from a process serving company asking for her ex-husband’s name (not hers) and said she wanted to know if she would be home to receive the paper serving. She stated do I sound like a man? The answer was no of course so she asked so why would you ask if I would be home to get served papers for someone else that I have no affiliation with for the last 5 years. The lady replied that’s not my job I just make these calls and ask.

She gets a call later in the day from a man who says he is recording the call and has a bit of an attitude with her on a debt that she said the last time she paid on it was in mid-2009. He states the date of last payment was sometime early 2010. Of course the original fee (turns out the card was hers) was approx. $500 but they were trying to collect approx. $1,300.

During her conversation with him he put her on hold 6 times… this is a delay tactic that crappy debt collectors do to make it seem that they are more important than you and make you wait thus making it seem “more official”.

I trained/educated her like I do all my clients to ask what was the charge off date. He kept repeating that he is recording the call for legal purposes to bring to court all of her false responses and then when she mentioned she had an advisor (me) he quickly got very snippy and said well I hope he is an attorney and you can just tell it to the judge this week and then hung up on her.

I told her that is the telltale sign of a BS debt collector. I advised her to contact the original creditor and talk to their collection department (for true peace of mind) and ask them what was the date of charge off and if they sold the account when did they sell it?

Turns out the account was sold in February 2010 to a collection company and while technically she does owe the debt the threats of a lawsuit were illegal and unable to occur as in Texas as in many other states (but different times for different states) is four years. So the debt collector who was the new owner of the account failed to take advantage of the legal remedy they had thus resorted to this type of tactic.

While the statement is obvious that you should always pay your bills, very rarely does anyone ever get credit of some sort with the intention of not paying them. However life happens and if creditors take advantage of every law out there for them, should consumers not do the same?

Understanding Credit & Credit Scores

Dallas Credit Repair Expert Talks Credit Scores

Understanding Credit & Credit Scores

One thing people need to realize that credit is a fluid concept. It is a mathematical equation where creditors and possibly collection agencies are reporting information on your personal consumer credit file. Taking that into account and the possible amount of information that is changing slightly or greatly the results of this will equate to the changing of your credit score, typically on a monthly basis however as new information is added or removed that score can change just like a math equation.

What also confuses people is how it seems every place they go to pull their credit they get a different credit score so which is the real one? The answer is actually a very simple one.

Different lenders place different point values on the same bits of information thus while you will never see the exact same credit score from a car and mortgage lender they typically are not very far off, typical variations range from 10-30 points.

The above does not factor in if the score is from the Vantage score model as that is a topic for another time.

About Wayne the Credit Guy:

With nearly a decade of experience working in the credit industry, Wayne Sanford has personally reviewed more than 11,000 consumer credit files. Sanford is a regular credit advisor for television and radio news programs and frequently contributes to several of the more renowned financial websites on the internet today. Sanford is a licensed and bonded credit company and is Fair Credit Reporting Act certified by the Consumer Data Industry Association.