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?