Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Debt collectors illegally threatened arrest, assault

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU
 
grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:46 PM
Original message
Debt collectors illegally threatened arrest, assault
Source: CNN

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Michele Minton was crying as she listened to a man tell her she'd be arrested within the hour if she didn't pay a $4,400 debt.


Michele Minton says a collector bullied her into revealing her bank account number, though she didn't owe.

The man on the phone said he was a lawyer. Minton was at her Springville, New York, home with her children, ages 2 and 3, and her husband was away.

" started talking about, 'Your kids will see you arrested. If ... your husband can't make it home, child protective services will have to take your kids,' " she said, recalling the 2006 conversation.

Minton didn't owe anything, she says now. But feeling under pressure during that call, she gave the man her bank account number and she lost $900. Watch Minton describe the phone call

The caller, Minton alleges, wasn't a lawyer, but an employee of a debt-collection operation that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is trying to shut down.

In a lawsuit filed this month in state supreme court in Erie County, Cuomo's office alleges employees of 13 debt collection companies run by Buffalo-based Benning-Smith Group illegally posed as law enforcement officials or lawyers and threatened to arrest and harm people unless they made arrangements to pay


Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/08/21/debt.collection/ind...



This type of thing makes me so angry - god help the poor sap that tries this BS on me.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
sasquatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. I hope they try it with me, but then again I know W.C. Fields' three rules
-You can never cheat an honest man.
-Never give a sucker an even break.
-Never smarten up a chump.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. The worst ones nowadays are the outsourced collectors.
Some sap from India calls up who neither knows or cares about American collection law. I had one of these idiots call me up a while back alleging that I owed a bill on an old account that I'd closed out years ago. I demanded an itemized list of all transactions on the account for the 18 moth period prior to my closing the account, and told the guy that I'd pay the bill if the charges were legitimate. He offered to provide that to me, if I'd pay the bill first. Obviously I refused.

Things got really entertaining when I pointed out that I could pay the $150 bill right then if I really wanted to, but that I had no interest in paying unconfirmed bills. Suddenly I was a deadbeat who he was going to have arrested for fraud, and the guy launched into a long tirade about how he was going to destroy my life if I didn't fork over my bank account number right then. I mentioned that his demeanor was illegal, and he quite bluntly said "I'm not in America, and I'm not employed by an American company." I replied, "In that case, I don't give money to terrorists" and hung up.

My phone has call screening built in, and their number is now on it. I have no clue if they ever called back.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. This is going to continue to get worse.
These collectors are the scum of the earth.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. Everyone needs to read the FDCPA;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Debt_Collection_Pract...

Know it well enough, and almost anyone can make almost any debt disappear. Debt collectors are constantly violating the FDCPA. It's easy to trap them as well.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Screw FDCPA, let them redate you and then press charges for forgery
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. They don't usually do that unless you somehow prompt them.
That's tricky.

If they pay a $ on your account to reset it, then you can eviscerate them. Usually, it's easier just to get them to do or say the wrong thing and make the debt vanish.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. they often do if only to make the debt more saleable
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 12:13 AM by Sen. Walter Sobchak
It is pretty risky to try and collect, redate and then try to collect again. Since anybody with two braincells to keep each other company would press forgery charges.

In the junk debt market debts that have valid contact information and have not passed the statute of limitations for litigation are most valuable, and to inflate the value of a portfolio one firm will try to reset the clock. Investor collection agencies buy debts blind, all they know is the sum, stale date and if there is contact information.

No honor among thieves was never truer than when it comes to junk debt investors fucking each other over, this becomes a problem for individuals because they might be harassed by no less than a dozen different collection agencies about the same claim who might be acting in as much "good faith" as possible.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ejpoeta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 04:27 AM
Response to Reply #4
17. you don't have to trap them. tell them you want a validation of the alleged debt
and follow up by sendng a registered letter requesting validation of the debt. Usually they will send you a bill, which is not a validation. By law they cannot continue collection activity until they validate the debt. If they do, they can be sued under the FDCPA. Usually they will send a bill. Or you won't hear from them again. Bob sued one debt collector, and they were sending bills during the court proceedings, which is also a big no no. A big thing is, send any correspondence via registered mail so you can prove they received it. The people bob was dealing with tried to claim they never got a validation request but Bob had his receipt to prove that they indeed had. And keep records of every contact... phone call... who you talked to. Usually, though, if you show them you know the law they will not even bother you at all. They would rather go after people who they can bully and get away with it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Q3JR4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 05:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. I second that. Read the FDCPA.
Q3JR4.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
23. Not just read it --print it out and have it handy near the phone.
I've had great success quoting it to debt collectors who stuck to me like glue because I wouldn't tell them my SSN or name because quite frankly all they needed to know was that I wasn't the person they sought. It's amazing how quickly they come to attention when you start quoting the FDCA.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. I still like to trap them. Makes debt vanish for good.
I strung one along over a $4000 debt that just couldn't be justified. (BS interest charges on a few hundred from years before)

I strung him along, made him think I'd pay, then when I started cold-shouldering him, he left an 'oopsie' on my voicemail. He said I'd be served. BIG boo-boo. Had attorney draft a nice pointy letter, and *poof* debt gone.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. Want to get rid of debt collectors in one simple step?
When they start blustering and making threats over the phone, you laugh at them as loud, hard and sincerely as you can.

If they have a legitimate claim against you they consider worth collecting they will sue you and try to collect on a judgment. Nothing happens over the phone except bullshit threats.

If you are a particularly heinous asshole consider pretending to masturbate or even proposition them.

Anything to undermine their sense of power and authority, their calls are recorded and reviewed by management for performance evaluation, if you make their calls to you as embarrassing and uncomfortable as possible they will stop calling you if only to save face in their extremely harsh performance evaluations.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Or, just tell the collector that you are recording the call.
Instant dial tone zone. Works every time.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Howardx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #10
20. yep
that has worked for me in the past.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. I had a bill one time that was only $100...
and I was disputing the bill. It was with a vet. Instead of working with me, the vet turned
it over to a collection agency.

The guy called me at work and screamed at me. He said the conversation was being recorded and that
I was "violating FCC rules" by talking back to him.

I said, "Sir, you don't know what the hell you are talking about. The FCC governs the airwaves, not
the phone lines. I'm also recording this conversation too and if you ever call me again I'll sue
you for harassment".

He never called again.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
9. Before we went banko years ago we got dunned on a regular basis...
I used to ask the collectors, the threatening ones, the most disgusting, vile graphic sexual questions I possibly could which, as you may imagine was considerable...like a version of "The Aristocrats."

I made a few call me a sonofabitch and hang up.

Most were just doing thier job, and that was fine, they got no trouble from me, just the explanation about the situation.

But I've no truck with bullies of any stripe, and they got my best, most disgusting work.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AzNick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:58 PM
Response to Original message
11. I bully them back
They went after me for a $30 order placed for roses from Breck's so I bullied them back, then sent them certified letters asking them all sorts of B.S. like to prove they were licensed to collect in my State, etc... etc... and I kept calling them back for a month asking if they had replied to my letter or not, and that if they don't I would be the one taking them to court.

I was late by 2 or 3 days on a car payment (just forgot to pay, sorry) and the guy started talking about details about the loan to a friend of mine who happened to work in a car dealership. 3rd party disclosure is a felony :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Th1onein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:18 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. I used to work as a debt collector.
These nasty tactics are both illegal and useless. The best debt collectors LISTEN to people and then try to help them resolve the debt. You don't have to threaten people to get them to pay. Most people want to pay their bills. There are less than 3% of the people in this country who are actually credit deadbeats and never intend to pay. The rest of them are just having a rough time and if you're nice, YOUR client is the one who will get paid, while the others will wait.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ejpoeta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 04:21 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. definitely. if someone is nice to me and treats me like a human being...
and is willing to work with me if things are tough, i'll go out of my way to make sure I get them paid first.... but people who are rude and say mean things to me... or try to threaten me.... you can just forget it. i am not going to even talk to you.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 03:52 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. Are you advocating making threats against their families? n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ejpoeta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 04:17 AM
Response to Original message
15. these people don't know they have rights, i don't think. i hope they
get those assholes good!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JoDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
19. Before my bankruptcy
I got some real pieces of work on the phone. One, after getting told that I intended to file chapter 7 within 30 days, started trying to tell me that I couldn't file for bankruptcy, that I wouldn't qualify because I was still paying my student loans, etc. I told her that according to the current bankruptcy code, I needed to continue payments on all debts that bkr would not wipe out right up until the day of my filing. She then started arguing with me about the law. I then threatened to report her for attempting to practice law without a license. She hung up.

Another bunch harassed me and tried to sucker me into thinking that the state law of the collection agency's location governs a garnishment case. The agency is based in Minnesota, which has the worst laws for consumers (creditors can garnish without a court hearing). I told him no, that the state of the debtor's residence is the law of record. And Illinois requires a court hearing, and I would be filed for bkr before they could get me in court. That started a tirade against me. At that point, I handed the phone to my best friend, an ex-collector. He ran circles around them and ended up getting 2 people fired for FDCP violations. Good times.

Not only are these companies getting desperate for payments by any means necessary, they are also now hiring cheap bottom feeders with barely high school educations. Meanwhile, my friend, a trained investigator and negotiator, who was dedicated to helping people caught in ID theft or who genuinely wanted to pay but needed special conditions, is collecting unemployment.

But on the bright side, he has been inspired to start a new business. Clients sign over limited power of attorney to him, and the collection agencies are legally required to call him, not the debtor. He takes the abuse, sends the idiots running in circles, and the clients get some peace and quiet while they decide their next steps.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #19
24. I just don't answer the phone, lol.
After a while, they stop calling.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #19
25. Interesting business plan your friend has there.
I wish him good luck! Sadly, he has a bright future.

I can understand the demand, tho. Good Consumer Lawyers are very difficult to find.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
22. k i c k
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Aug 20th 2014, 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC