13 Things a Debt Collector Won’t Tell You

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1. They teach us that all debtors are compulsive liars,

1. They teach us that all debtors are compulsive liars,
and no matter what you tell us, we’re supposed to keep pushing. So we ask, Can you borrow the money from friends and family? Can you take money out of your 401k? Can you pay it with another credit card? All horrible ideas that would make a good financial planner cringe.

2. Like us or not, we’re a vital part of keeping the cash flow going in this country.

2. Like us or not, we’re a vital part of keeping the cash flow going in this country.
In 2010, more than 10,000 collection agencies collected over $8 billion. Can you imagine the impact on the economy -- and on all the companies that were owed money -- if that $8 billion hadn’t been collected?

3. We’ve heard every tale of woe.

3. We’ve heard every tale of woe.
We may listen and act sympathetic, but in our notes, all those excuses are summed up as HLS, for “hard-luck story.” You’re wasting our time, and time is money.

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4. The more money I get out of you, the bigger my bonus will be.

4. The more money I get out of you, the bigger my bonus will be.
Every month, we watch top performers get bonus checks of $10,000 or more.

5. We also have an astounding power to wipe out thousands of dollars of your debt.

5. We also have an astounding power to wipe out thousands of dollars of your debt.
Most accounts have a one-time settlement rate that’s preapproved (typically 15 to 35 percent on credit card debt).

6. A lot of agencies buy debt for pennies on the dollar,

6. A lot of agencies buy debt for pennies on the dollar,
so always start your settlement offer low, maybe 25 cents on the dollar. Say something like “I have $200 that I can apply toward this debt. Will you accept that as payment in full?” If I say no, ask what I’m willing to accept as a settlement and negotiate from there.

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7. Sometimes when we’re negotiating, I’ll say I have to get a manager involved,

7. Sometimes when we’re negotiating, I’ll say I have to get a manager involved,
and then I’ll have another collector be the “bad cop.” The theory is that just having another voice on the line will open up your wallet.

8. Always check whether the debt has passed the statute of limitations

8. Always check whether the debt has passed the statute of limitations
in your state (see a list at creditcards.com). If it has, we can’t sue you or put it in your credit report. However, if you make any kind of payment or even acknowledge the debt, that usually starts the clock over.

9. If you decide to settle, I am trained to “take your application.”

9. If you decide to settle, I am trained to “take your application.”
In a bored voice, I ask for your cell number, your spouse’s work phone, and so on, as if I’m filling out a form. But it’s just a way to get the information we need to find you in case the settlement falls through.

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10. We love calling you at work

10. We love calling you at work
because of the extra pressure it puts on you. If you specifically ask us not to, by law we have to stop, but we’re not going to tell you that.

11. Don’t ask for a manager.

11. Don’t ask for a manager.
He or she will not help you. You’re better off just calling back and getting another collector on the line.

12. Many times when we leave a message on your phone,

12. Many times when we leave a message on your phone,
it’s just a recording of a made-up person. Our office uses the name Jim Taylor. When you call back and ask for him, we say he’s out to lunch and offer to help you instead.

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13. If I threaten to have you arrested, use profanity, or call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.,

13. If I threaten to have you arrested, use profanity, or call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.,
report me to your state attorney general's office (naag.org) and the Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov). Those are violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Sources: Fred Williams, who worked as a debt collector for three months to write Fight Back Against Unfair Debt Collection Practices (FT Press, $21.99),; Michelle Dunn, former owner of a debt-collection agency and author of The Guide to Getting Paid (Wiley, $24.95); and debt collectors in Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

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198 thoughts on “13 Things a Debt Collector Won’t Tell You

  1. WTF?
    Why would a debt collector be made out as the “bad guy”.
    It’s a victim mentality instead of a REPSONSIBLITY mindset.

  2. Good article .., it give ideas and must appreciate the things that they do.,

  3. Good Guy Bill Collector – Isn’t a debt charged/written off before it goes to collection? (Pretty sure it is in most cases) So with that being the case, how can one try to collect something that no longer exist? “Dead” debt is bundled and sold for pennies on the dollar to collection agencies. They then are hedging their bet that the person their trying to collect on is naive to the matter that there really is nothing to collect on because the original debt had been written off as bad debt

    1. Actually, that’s not true. Charge offs generally do not occur until after 180 days / 6 months. Debts can go to collections as early as 30-60 days. Trust me, I’m on your side in case you couldn’t tell by my username! I devote a great deal of my time helping others to combat debt collector harassment.

  4. i have something in collections from 4years ago the agency and att never contacted me never called sent a letter, nothing to tell me! I pull my score today and there it is I called the agendy and they put it into dispute my question is what do I do? if it does get disputed will my score change in a positive or negative way? and if it doesn’t how will I prove they never got ahold of me isn’t that against the law? if I knew I would of payed it 4 years ago like I did my other ones.

    1. All you can do is dispute the bill and try to have it removed. By it being 4 years old, they may not be able to find the original information on the debt and therefore must remove it. The fact that they didnt notify you of the debt is no defense. Your credit score should go up slightly if you have the collection removed but there are other factors involved so this is not guaranteed.

  5. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CANT PAY ITS DEBTS WHY SHOULD I?

    1. ITS PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO PUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INTO THIS POSITION BY NOT PAYING YOUR OWN BILLS!!!!

  6. Someone said that if a collection agency tries to sue you then file a “request for production”. What is this and how do I do this? I’m being sued by a collector and need to know what to do. The original creditor refused to take part in my debt management program and I couldn’t afford to pay what they were asking at the time. I need advice please.

    1. I’m very curious to know what became of the lawsuit against you. I was sued by a bill collector in March of this year and I fought it and won. Had I noticed your comment earlier, I would have reached out to you sooner.

      1. The judge ruled in their favor and my wages are currently being garnished. Le sigh.

        1. I am sorry to hear that. I take it that you did not submit an answer to the court in response to the summons you received. I belong to a prepaid legal service that gave me step by step instructions on how to prepare my answer and the advice was free other than the $9.99 a month that I pay for the legal service plan. It has saved my butt more than a few times. Totally worth the money!

  7. After reading all this BS (ESPECIALLY FROM COLLECTORS) I have this to say, it doesn’t matter, you’re more than likely getting paid a measly 10 – 15 bucks an hour plus some commission for collecting on said debts, while your bosses are in bed with the MULTI-BILLION dollar original creditors, so why work so hard for these scummy people and companies to begin with. When you average what you’re getting paid versus what the higher ups are getting paid based on YOUR collection efforts, AND what the original creditors are paying your said company (or vise versa), the fact is most people aren’t going to pay even with suits being filed. And then when you attempt to collect debts from people that have an I.Q. over a 100 you guys are really screwed because they know ways to screw you back. For instance, if creditor A sells a debt to Collector B, then Collector B goes after John Doe for the debt that was bought off of Creditor A for pennies on the dollar. Say Mr. Doe owes $3000 for a credit card from ImASleazeBank Inc., 1st. Mr. Doe has NO contract with Collector B, so that in itself screws Collector B, if that doesn’t work, then Mr. Doe says to PROVE he even had a debt with ImASleazeBank Inc., and Collector B gets this “paper work” and “contract” together, and sends it to Mr. Doe, Mr. Doe gets the letters, and then calls you back, and the collectors are pulling their BS shenanigans, and in the end, Mr. Doe says to PROVE that he even SIGNED the original contract, good luck with that. Signatures can change in an instant unless there are photos, videos, a witness, etc. proving that he signed a contract, again, there’s no PROOF. OR there’s pictures or videos of Mr. Doe using the card, again there’s no proof, there could have been, but MOST companies delete old camera footage every 1 to 3 years therefore the debt is dead, because the debt can’t be proven, nor the signature on the contract can be proven. Here’s what I mean, HOW does Collector B KNOW that Bob Doe (John’s brother, uncle, cousin, etc.) isn’t the one that filled out that original credit card form under John Doe’s name, using all of John’s information, and he even signed John’s name to it? The burden of proof is on the debt collectors, NOT the consumer. Is it “ethical” no, but this isn’t ethics class, this is business in a capitalistic society, and unfortunately, business isn’t fair to ANY party involved. And once any of this CAN’T be proven, the collection efforts MUST be stopped, ALL negative info on John’s credit report has to be removed, and the company gets screwed. The ONLY way the debt is valid is if John ADMITS to owing said debt. Put that in your pipe and smoke it…

    1. Not all CAs are JDBs.

      Also, you know as well as I do, VOD, as defined in the FDCPA does not include video surveillance nor signed contracts. VOD includes any proof from the OC that shows the debt is from the consumer which could included: statements, and contracts. Many times, credit cards are applied to online or on the phone; therefore there’s no physical signature.

      The consumer would know if it’s someone else because the billing information isn’t going to match.

  8. After reading all this bullshit (ESPECIALLY FROM COLLECTORS) I have this to say, it doesn’t matter, you’re more than likely getting paid a measly 10 – 15 bucks an hour plus some commission for collecting on said debts, while your bosses are in bed with the MULTI-BILLION dollar original creditors, so why work so hard for these scummy people and companies to begin with. When you average what you’re getting paid versus what the higher ups are getting paid based on YOUR collection efforts, AND what the original creditors are paying your said company (or vise versa), the fact is most people aren’t going to pay even with suits being filed. And then when you attempt to collect debts from people that have an I.Q. over a 100 you guys are really screwed because they know ways to screw you back. For instance, if creditor A sells a debt to Collector B, then Collector B goes after John Doe for the debt that was bought off of Creditor A for pennies on the dollar. Say Mr. Doe owes $3000 for a credit card from ImASleazeBank Inc., 1st. Mr. Doe has NO contract with Collector B, so that in itself screws Collector B, if that doesn’t work, then Mr. Doe says to PROVE he even had a debt with ImASleazeBank Inc., and Collector B gets this “paper work” and “contract” together, and sends it to Mr. Doe, Mr. Doe gets the letters, and then calls you back, and the collectors are pulling their BS shenanigans, and in the end, Mr. Doe says to PROVE that he even SIGNED the original contract, good luck with that. Signatures can change in an instant unless there are photos, videos, a witness, etc. proving that he signed a contract, again, there’s no PROOF. OR there’s pictures or videos of Mr. Doe using the card, again there’s no proof, there could have been, but MOST companies delete old camera footage every 1 to 3 years therefore the debt is dead, because the debt can’t be proven, nor the signature on the contract can be proven. Here’s what I mean, HOW does Collector B KNOW that Bob Doe (John’s brother, uncle, cousin, etc.) isn’t the one that filled out that original credit card form under John Doe’s name, using all of John’s information, and he even signed John’s name to it? The burden of proof is on the debt collectors, NOT the consumer. Is it “ethical” no, but this isn’t ethics class, this is business in a capitalistic society, and unfortunately, business isn’t fair to ANY party involved. And once any of this CAN’T be proven, the collection efforts MUST be stopped, ALL negative info on John’s credit report has to be removed, and the company gets screwed. The ONLY way the debt is valid is if John ADMITS to owing said debt. Put that in your pipe and smoke it…

  9. How much of that 8 billion collected as you described in number two was interest? If there is anything that is weighing the economy down I would blame interest! But I mean, atleast you’ve got great job security, because even if all of the money borrowed from a lender whether its a private institution or the fed, there will never be enough money to pay everything back on top of the interest. You can collect for eternity!

  10. Dear Dr Okafor, I wanted to thank you (yet again) for bringing Emily back to me. We had known each other for what seemed a lifetime and dated on and off during that lifetime. A couple years ago some rich beau moved to town and swept her away from me. They got married after 2 months of dating and moved away, I had no idea where she was or how to get a hold of her! I requested that the split them up and reunite us love spell be cast for me. A week later, out of nowhere, Emily showed up on my doorstep. Said she had been miserable in her short marriage, the guy was great but not for her. I helped her file for divorce and we got married at a justice of the peace two days after her divorce was final. We have been happy every since. You have done more for me that I could possibly ever repay you for.okaforspiritualtemple@gmail.com

  11. can a debt collector secure my truck without a court order, and cause me to lose my job?

    1. If you have a loan (car loan, title loan, etc) where you use your car as collateral, yes they can take it without a court order. Check your state law because they usually are required to send you notices to tell you to pay the bill off.

  12. Debt collectors even tried to collect money from me after my 26 year son died. I told them where he was buried and told them to go and collect there money. My son did not live at home and I had to pay my money to bury him, so for them to call me, and ask to pay his debt, I really wanted to meet them face to face and say what was really on my mind.

    1. It all depends on the state you live in and who the client is. In Maryland, to be rid of a debt of a relative, you only have to put an add in a public newspaper declaring that you are not responsible for another person’s debt. In other states, it makes no difference. Regardless of who the survivor(s) are, they are legally bound to the debt. You should try and explain the situation to the actual client, not the collection agency. The collection agencies go by whatever the client tells them. Just be forewarned that certain clients like the government could care less. If it’s the Department of Taxation, or Social Security they can pretty much do whatever they want. You should check the laws in your state before you decide to not pay.

  13. >5. We also have an astounding power to wipe out thousands of dollars of your debt.

    For any settlement less than the full amount, the difference is taxable and the IRS is much harder to negotiate with.

  14. Another one of their tricks is to
    sell your debt to another collection agency (once you prove that the debt does
    not belong to you). It took me 1 year to prove to the CA folks that I did not
    ever have a Sprint phone nor did I owe Sprint any money. After filing a lawsuit,
    the CA finally agreed with me and sent me a letter stating that I did not owe
    any money to Sprint and they were wrong and they would cease all collection
    activities against me. 3 months later I was contacted by a 2nd CA! I sent them
    all of the appropriate paperwork and they too stopped all collection
    activities. That CA then sold it to yet another CA; this charade / game has
    gone on for 7 years. 5 months ago I was contacted by the 7th collection agency
    since this debacle began. I printed off 10 copies of my paperwork (showing I
    was not the person that owed this money) and I keep them in a file labeled:
    “Sprint nightmare.” Now, when the 8th collection agency calls me, I
    will send them the paperwork – this way I do not have to reinvent the wheel
    each time.

    Oh, BTW, it is always best to
    have your response delivered to their physical address. That way, you can track
    & confirm that they have received your correspondence. Like the banks and
    loan modifications, most CA’s will deny receiving your information (challenging
    the debt). They are taught not to give out the physical address (I think they
    fear for their lives). So, what I do is pretend that I will settle for the full
    amount — “…but I need the physical address as Fed-ex will not deliver
    to a PO Box.” Once I have the physical address, I mail all of the material
    and demand that they cease and desist or I will sue them for violating FCRA.

    1. I worked in collections while I was in college and can tell you that everything in the list is correct. In response to your comment I must add that the client(s) are the ones that determine that a debt is to be collected, not a collection agency. This is a fact that most collection agents will not tell you for fear of repercussions from the client. They (Sprint) are the ones that will actually give the contract to other collection agencies (often at the same time) to try and get their money back. The initial collection agency that had your file will often have no clue that your file is with another agency, at least not until you notify them. The clients intentionally do this. It is a type of guerrilla approach. The idea is to embarrass or scare you into paying the bill regardless of whether you owe it or not. Instead of sending the information to all of the individual collection agencies, you should send a cease and desist order to Sprint. Be sure to send proof that the debt is not yours. If they continue to pursue you for some reason, contact an attorney. They must have certifiable proof that a debt is indeed yours before they come after you legally or criminally. Collection agencies can only cancel a claim if the client approves it to be cancelled or if it abides by the FDCA regulations. When calling or mailing something, be sure to always make copies of everything. Transcribe or record all notes and conversations and keep it in a safe place for at least 10 years. Regardless of who you correspond with or speak with, always get the full name, title, and full contact information for everyone related to the claim.

      1. Melanie, they don’t give 10k bonuses, otherwise I’d be rich. LOL!

          1. Hi Melanie! You said “..everything in the list is correct.” which was the list Reader’s Digest created above (re-read the slide show again). One of the items was that they give bonus/commissions of $10,000 a month. HA! I don’t get at all!

          2. Oh, sorry I had a blond moment there. Well it actually depends on who the client is and on what kind of a debt collector you are. At the company I worked for, their were tiers, and depending on what tier you were on, you averaged a certain amount of money. For example: if you worked on the 5th floor, you made the most money. Most of the clients on the 5th floor were the Department of Taxation, certain hospitals, and banks. Some of those people actually did make a couple thousand per month. My tier was one level down, so unfortunately I didn’t make as much money as they did. At the CA I worked for, they determined your tier based on how much money you brought into the company. I only worked in CA for 2 years. My last year I made them over $3 million. I didn’t just collect debts though, I also collected donations from utility companies, hospitals, and other similar groups. The donations were to help those that couldn’t pay their bills (heating/ac, water, sewage, etc.).

          3. That’s nice, and all, but let’s be realistic, there’s not going to be many CAs that’s going to give 10k a month as an incentive. I think a JDB maybe would, or if they’re collecting on stuff that all the fees are very high (50%++). The amount we can obtain is $100 to $700 per month, that’s if you even meet the qualifications. If you get into trouble, that could be reduced or removed completely. They don’t put it as extra time, but as a bonus, so it gets heavy taxed and you get like 50 to 60% of the amount.

    2. Hi! I would check with Sprint to see if it’s sold to a JDB. Also, if it’s not yours, why do they keep calling you and have your information?

      You can send CMRRR to PO Boxes, actually. It’s better that way because they don’t have an excuse of not getting the card. They place it 3 times into their box. They can’t play that game “but I never got it.”

  15. Best thing to do is fax them a CEASE AND DESIST CALLING NOTICE UNDER THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT, AND IF THEY FAIL TO STOP CALLING THERE IS A $1000 FINE + ATTY FEES PER INCIDENT, USE A FREE FAX AND WRITE IT UP.
    Done BYE BYE SCUMBAGS!

  16. Recently lost a land home package(ended up used doublewide) with Vanderbilt mortgage after they broke and entered not foreclosed went to chpt 13 and lost job,floreclosed before bancruptcy trustee paid.. Lot,taxes paid for,improvements paid for,home paid in full.Home decreases not same Hud or finance standards(promissory).Floor rotting,ceiling leaks,etc. They still wanted 90,000 more cash or 200,000 on note. Home gutted by them,land bulldozed over. Resale 30,000.Paid over 100,000. Violate telemarketing threats,TILA actually asking consumers to thank them for price gouging.Owned by Berkshire they own the insurance and continue to kite names. 38 billion congress cowards won’t look into this mega monster.Then they said they were landlords but made no repairs,evicting me in Jan. All under Citi Bank mega monster.

  17. Can someone explain one part of number 8 to me? “…or even acknowledge the debt.” What exactly does that mean? For instance, if a credit card company called me up and they discussed the debt with me, would I be acknowledging the debt, thus reseting my 4 year period on the Texas statute of limitations?

    1. I’m not sure about Texas’s state of limitations. It differs everywhere. Generally, the rule is when someone calls you about a debt that is less than a certain amount of money. For example $100.00 (The limit varies in every state. You should look it up first before you follow the following advice). All you do is say I don’t owe you anything and hang up the phone. Do not acknowledge that you’ve ever done business with the client or that you owe anything. If you do, it will recycle and they can go after you for it.

  18. There is a place for debt collectors as long as they are willing to look deeper within the debtor’s position of not owing the debt. Many of these cases should actually go to small claims court – this is where the truth usually comes out. The debt collectors of today are nothing more than “paid intimidators”, nothing less, that’s why they can’t get all the so called debt paid. I had 2 collection issues, I hired an attorney for both, it cost me absolutely nothing. The attorney’s were paid a minimum of $1,000 or more to get a non legitimate debt taken care of and the debt collectors had to pay for the service and all court costs.

  19. Not all f*cking debt is bought and sold people! Quit generalizing.

  20. That’s nice. Someone took a job from someone who would have appreciated it, just so they can write a book.

  21. So if my equity loan was sold to another bank, you’re saying I don’t have to pay it because I have no contract with the bank that purchased the loan?

  22. I had one debt collector call me one time and like a stupid I answered the phone. They threaten not only to put me in jail but said there attorneys and judge will take me to trial if I don’t pay up and hang me! yes I clearly heard him say they will hang me. I dropped the phone and she was still talking away. What a country.

  23. What they won’t tell you, and this is very important: If you pay up a portion of what you owe on your credit card debts, you then owe the government taxes on the unpaid portion. They count it as income, and you have to pay up. If you don’t, then you’re into the IRS for money, and that’s just not a place you want to be. They can go so much further than a debt collector, including garnishing your wages and adding thousands of dollars in fines.

  24. #16) Some states allow debt collectors to lie and offer a settlement amount in an attempt to get at least part of the debt and still continue to attempt to collect on the balance (New York is one). That’s why they refuse to send a letter stating the settlement will be considered payment in full prior to receiving payment and once the money is paid it is never sent as agreed.

    Not a debt collector, found this out the semi-hard way when the collector agreed to send the letter but I realized that I would not receive it before my payment was scheduled to go through so I called back and left a message asking that he call me because I needed to change the scheduled date to occur so that I had something in writing showing the agreement. Called back on Monday and spoke him and he basically said he heard the message but since he already had my bank info he didn’t bother. I explained that since I didn’t hear from him & called the bank & stopped payment on it. He checked his records and stated that it showed it cleared, I stated that it had but that was a bank error and they were already in the process of pulling the money out of the collection agency’s mechant account and putting it back in my bank account. He was kinda pissed even after I said that I was still willing to pay the amount agreed on as long as I had something in writing stating it was payment in full; that agency happened to be New York, never did get that letter so they never got the payment.

  25. I always tell them that I won’t talk to them. I tell them that who I owe the money to did not inform me that that had enpowered the collector to try to collect on the debt. I quite nicely tell them that while I don’t believe it is the case for all I know that this collection is a scam base on a bill somebody stole from my mailbox or trash can. I tell them once the business I owe informs me that they have enpowered them I can not to them. It at least buys a little time. I always then pay who I owe and not the collection agency.

  26. Once the debt has gone 7 years where they can no longer sue, it also leaves your cedit report clean so you can start over. Credit card debt is unsecured so technically you can rack up tons of debt and not pay every 7 years. However, some company that you screwed over will wait till your credit has recovered and offer you a great deal on a new credit card. When you accept it, they immediately tack on your old debt to the card’s balance.

  27. may all the collection agencys recieve a visit from an ar15 gunman….amen.

  28. PUT THE WORSE AGENCIES OUT OF BUSINESS. I HAD A COMPANY HARASSING ME FOR A STUDENT LOAN I HAD ALREADY PAID. I SENT THEM EVIDENCE OF THE SETTLEMENT WITH ANOTHER COMPANY. I SENT THE SETTLEMENT LETTER, THE CANCELLED CHECK AND THE LETTER ACKNOWLEDGING THE SETTLEMENT AND THAT THE ACCOUNT WAS PAID IN FULL. THEY CONTINUED TO CALL ME. HE TOLD ME HE WOULD CALL UNTIL I PAID HIM. SO I GOT FLIPPED THE SCRIPT, AND I BEGAN TO CALL HIM A MILLION TIMES A DAY. I CUSSED HIM OUT ALL DAY. I CALLED THIER 800 # DAY AND NIGHT. I KNEW THAT THEY WERE PAYING FOR THE CALLS. SO I WOULD CALL AT NIGHT WHILE I WATCHED MOVIES. HOURS AND HOURS ON THEIR 800#. I FILLED UP HIS VOICEMAIL WITH MOVIES AND COMMERCIALS. IT WAS HILARIOUS. FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE ABUSERS. NO LAWSUITS. NO COURTS. TURN THE TABLES ON THEM. POST THIS ON ANY WEBSITE THAT DEALS WITH COLLECTIONS PRACTICES.

  29. Go ahead And moderate / Deny my last post for the Sensitive peeps out there….. I just Vented thats all I needed to do :) And IF you do Delete this message or ban it …..there goes Freedom of speech. Technically I did not cuss but what ever.

  30. We know your Tricks and Dept collectores are a bunch of Lyers. My Gf works for a Dept Collector and They Insist on you being Ugly , Rude, Persistant, Belittle, Harrass Family members. … You can deny all you want

  31. Worthless Checks Division @ 913-210-4618 are harrassing me at work and I have told them not to . wanting me to verify my Social.. Piss off . I have already Paid ACE Cash advance their 500$ and those bastards wanted to still wanted to take out 500 Automaticly so I stopped pay ment with my Bank. Dirty bastards.

  32. if a company sells your debt…they no longer have the right to collect on it. if a collection agency buys your debt…you are not obligated to pay them because you have no contract with them. if a collection agency doesn’t buy the debt but refuses to provide details of the debt (date, time, originating company, amount owed and services rendered) denotes fraud. all of these are grounds to have the debt removed from your credit rating. remember…after so many years..the debt is dropped off your credit ratting anyway, if you make just one payment on a debt your suspicious of…the clock starts all over again. be pro active, stay on top of what you actually owe and don’t just fall for what the collection agency claims

  33. You are absolute SCUM. Calling in the middle of the night; threatening my children; screaming; shouting; and all the rest.
    The state AG does nothing about this, but then you cacksickers already KNOW that, don’t you?
    SCUM. Your job is NOT an honest one. You are thieves and should be ashamed of yourselves.

    1. Russel, up yours. As a collector, should I go ahead and lump you in with the rest of the deadbeats who simply don’t want to pay?

  34. “Can you imagine the impact on the economy — and on all the companies that were owed money — if that $8 billion hadn’t been collected?”

    In most cases, your debt collection company paid the original creditor only pennies on the dollar. Most of the $8 billion that was collected went into collection companies’ pockets.

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  36. Some of you guys are real scum. You pick the same name out of the phone book as the person you can’t find , call him and demand money from that person like he owes money. This happend to me on two different times. THe collectors kept after me for a couple of months until I took control. I contacted the hospital that i suppostedly owed money to. I told them that the collection agency working for them was harrassing me for money not owed. The phone calls stopped.

    Another time i told them i was going to personally come to the collectors office and pay them a visit, meaning showing proof of who i was. Bottom line. If these creeps  bug you and your not the one they really want, don’t take it or they will never leave you alone.

  37.  3. We’ve heard every tale of woe.

    We may listen and act sympathetic, but in our notes, all those excuses are summed up as HLS, for “hard-luck story.” You’re wasting our time, and time is money.

    So quit wasting time and hang up!

  38. Seriously, where do your alleged facts come from ? I have over 25 years in the industry and own a Commercial Agency. Point of fact, known by every Bill Collector out there… we are hated by everyone we call. Please note, we do not call for any act initiated by us. The debt was not made by us. We have a huge contribution to putting money back into the economy. In excess of 11 Billion a year. All double Taxed Money.Our clients are usually small businesses that cannot afford attornies to sue.
    Yes, there are lowlifes in our industry, as there are in any industry. May the critics ask if they wish to be painted with the same brush as thier industry bottomfeeders. Lawyers, Judges, Watchdogs etc.. Answer, oh heck no.. that is not representative of my company and our corporate philosophy. So back it up Folks.
    Do you want to hear the simple truth about Bill Collectors ? Speak the Truth. Say I will never pay this bill, it makes our job simple. Mr Client …. they refuse to pay. Drop or sue them. Simple. Do not make repeated promises with no INTENTION of following through, just say no.
    The most common complaint about collectors continously calling, is because debtors promise to pay just to placate the collector and then do not. Tell them NO. Easy enough… off my desk and onto the next step. There is NO lack of new business for the collector.
    And insofar as an allegation of an automatic settlement being “a given” why should the creditor lose 50% or more of their money when they have to pay 33.33 percent of recovered money just to get paid. Few industries operate on more than a 20 percent mark up, any recovered monies is simply a stop bleed solution.
    Do not judge the industry by the 10 percent of dirtbags in our industry and we shall try our best not to do the same.

  39. This is complete BS. I’ve been in collections for over 7 years and I listen to and consider every single hard luck story I hear. Also, I refuse to work on commission or for a department that pays bonuses. That sort of insentive can create hostle tention between employees and it interferes with the sense of a “team”.

  40. Baloney on that ‘one time offer’ to accept a lower amount as a payoff.  They will make that one time offer many times.  Almost all credit cards will give almost anyone credit–then up your interest the minute you use it.  The more you owe the higher the interest.  Also NEVER pay off just one card, if you do – DO NOT close that account–the interest rate will go up on the remaining cards.  When I was young any one charging 30% interest would have been put in prison–now it’s common. Interest in the 60’s and 70’s was 3%

    1. True indeed. Your credit worthiness is also made up of your debt to income ratio. Even if you have a $0 balance, keep old credit cards open. Closing them negatively impacts your debt to income ratio and thus drives down your credit score. All this said, it’s best to not get any/too many credit cards to begin with. I have one for emergencies only. So far, I’ve only used it a couple of times. :)

  41. When the State of Ca. raided my checking acct. the bank fees kicked in and in s short time I was in debt for $1000.00 in overdraft fees, with no way to pay (hard luck story)! I had added my daughter to my checking account for the purposes of depositing my spousal support payments, when they appeared. 

    My daughter applied for a bank loan to buy an auto and was denied because her name was on my checking, even though she did not use the account accept on my behalf. The debt collector talked her into paying for my debt in order to clear her credit rating which was affected by my debt. 

    I had asked her to let me handle the situation but being young and inexperienced, she put up her last money. 

    I did not intend to pay the fees as the balance of my account was taken with out my knowledge and my checks had been written and cashed before the withdrawal date of my entire account. I also wanted to explain to the state that I was not receiving my income for an indefinite time period.

    It seems to me that my daughters credit rating should not have been tied to mine given the circumstances. I have to wonder how she was dealt with by the collection agency. She did not want to talk about the experience and very understandably, was very upset with me.

    In former days when I worked in the new accounts departments of a bank, we would encourage our customers to add a family member to the account for reasons other than as a joint account, as in my situation where I needed someone to be able to deposit to my account or to pay a bill, when I was not able to do my own banking transactions. Present laws make it impossible for someone to make a deposit for you unless their name is on the account.

    I am wondering what kind of recourse we could have in this situation where I believe my daughter was probably strong-armed into paying the entire amount of my balance due!

    1. Actually it is very easy for anyone to make a deposit for you. You sign the check, give them a deposit slip, & they take it to the bank after hours and put it in the night deposit. It is processed when they empty it out at 7:00 am the next day.

    2. I am sorry that happened to your daughter. Unfortunately, that is incorrect. As long as you sign the check and give the account number to the person, all they have to do is go to the bank with the deposit slip and then they’re done. The only time they’d need you is if they’re cashing the check or withdrawing money from your account.

  42. As someone who manages a collection agency and who has been in this industry for over 10 years, please allow me to address the slides:
    #1) Completely false. What we do teach, however, is that in many cases people may not realize all of the options they have for getting the money together. If the account is not on their credit yet, perhaps borrowing money WOULD make good sense.
    #2) I agree. We are vitally important to the economy as a whole.
    #3) Unfortunately we have heard most stories. Just because we have heard them before does not mean we are not, and cannot, be both sympathetic and empathetic.
    #4) This is tantamount to saying that “company presidents routinely make $20+ million per year.” Sure, a very few amount of CEOs make that kind of cash. 99% make MUCH less. You give the impression here that we are all rolling in the dough. Typically, salaries + bonuses put collectors in the lower end of the middle class.
    #5) Yes, we are sometimes given settlement authority. Rarely is it the percentages you mention. Most of my clients will allow a 20% discount if the person is paying the full balance in 1 installment.
    #6) Most agencies DO NOT purchase debt at all. Debt buyers make a very small percentage of the total industry. I’ll refer you back to my CEO example in point #4.
    #7) I would fire anyone on the spot for impersonating a manager. Lying is not tolerated in any manner here. I doubt that lying is tolerated in any other office or business either.
    #8) While you may not be legally obligated to pay older debts, I would hope everyone would feel morally obligated to pay them.
    #9) Updating information is vital for all parties involved. You give the example of someone trying to settle an account. Suppose the credit card number was taken down incorrectly or the receipt you needed was returned by the US Postal Service? Wouldn’t you want us to be able to reach you?
    #10) The only reason my agency ever calls you at work is if we have been unable to reach you otherwise. If people would return our calls &messages or respond to our letters we would have no need to call them at work.
    #11) As a manager, why wouldn’t I help? That is part of my job. With that being said, some people think that “help” means to agree with them. That is not always the case. Also, people are sometimes confused and take the restaurant approach of “the customer is always right.” Debtors are not our customers. Our customers are those people whom the debtors owe.
    #12) We do not use fake names on answering machines. As in point #7, dishonesty is not tolerated.
    #13) Please report abusive practices! The more of the “bad guys” you can shut down, the more business is out there for us “good guys.” We strive hard each day to reflect our company, our clients, and our industry in a positive light. A few idiots shouldn’t cast us all in the same shame.

  43. I recently got a new cell number. Apparently the individual before me was a real deadbeat. I am constantly receiving calls from dead collectors. The debt collectors are rude and abusive. When I tell them that I am not the individual, they demand proof, or demand to know where the individual is. They call me names and are abusive. I told them I would call the police and they told me to”Go Ahead”.

    So I am an individual that pays his bills and is harassed by debt collectors. The people who do this job are just proof that finishing third grade is important. These people sound like uneducated human garbage.

    1. OMG….I had that problem on the new land line when I moved into a foreclosed home I purchased. It was AWFUL. The phone rang non-stop looking for the previous owner. Some guy even came to the house one day. Is he crazy? I have no idea who the previous homeowner is but even if I did, what business would I have passing his/her info along to some supposed debt collector? I was completely shocked to see him knock on several neighbors doors to look for the old owner. I can’t believe that sort of behavior is legal. It surely isn’t ethical, professional, or savory!

  44. Read Matt’s story in the Rolling Stone magazine about the true story of Romney and Bain Capital and tell us again how that small amount you mention in this story ad being collected relative to the looting those guys did helps america. Most folks who are in debt and can’t pay lost their jobs due to Romney’s looting and taking his capital overseas. Write a story about THAT if you dare.

  45. What Good Guy Bill Collector doesn’t say is, “I have no idea why you have not paid. Could it be becasue the medical profession is charging you for services it never performed? Did you get a lemon? False charges to your CC? If you take your complaints to them you get the uusal run around. Next you get a lawyer ($$$$) and you win that way….only now you are out $$$$ w/o anyway of getting it back. So you do the next best thing. You deny them payment. And becasue they know it cost them time and $$$ to come and get what is unlawfully theirs they hire the vulgers. Bill collectors are by far the lowest form of life on this planet. Just plain scum. “You know what you call 10 bill collectors at the bottom of a river? A good start”! By the way, go on the internet. There is is some very good legal advice that will make these perverts cringe and crawl back into cess pool. The laws and procedures are there and the pukes definatly don’t want you to know how get at it. They rely on your ignorance. It is very simple for anyone to represent themselves, even in court. All you need to know is how to read. The tooth fairy, Santa, Clause, Easter Bunny, Good Guy Bill Collector (oximoron) do not exist.

    1. Being rude doesn’t score points with me. I take a disinterest in people like that. On top of everything, you don’t know how to spell or good grammar. However, I will suggest some ideas for you.

      The medical profession is charging too much. — They allow you to request an itemization with definition of medical codes. Also, ask for their hospital advocate or billing which will help you with reducing or finding inaccurate charges in your bill if there are any.

      You bought a lemon car. — Check with your local state law. AG and BBB may be good resources to check into.

      Fake charges on your credit card. — It’s vital to check your bills every month for unauthorized charges. Dispute them promptly. Most companies will give you 30 to 60 days to do so.

      I am sure you’re familiar with FTC, CFPB, BBB, and AG organizations. If not, I would recommend you to these agencies as they will help you with all the problems you mention.

  46. Some of these items that would a Financial Planner cringe are actually much better options then having a bad debt posted on your credit record lower you credit score and jacking up your interest rates and your insurance rates.  No proper agency tells their employees all debtors are liars, just the ones that lie about a check in the mail or not having any money when they are still using a phone watching cable TV and getting their hair and nails done every week.  That does not mean everyone does that but if I had a dollar for everyone I see riding a bus crying about being broke with there painted nails with insert and 3 hour hair dos I would come to the office.

  47. There is no such thing as a good guy bill collector. At 50, I was laid off in the height of the recession. Our situation was horrible, and the collectors would lie, call neighbors, yell, …just awful. The stress of the calls one day was almost unbearable. We eventually had to file bankruptcy. One caller was trying to be empathetic, but then I caught him in a lie. Once I called him on it, he went postal on me. Trash! Every one of you. I don’t know how you sleep at night.

  48. in these hard times i’m surprised that any of these people would expose a few flaws in their armor. i have a cheap throw away phone i use for business transactions that i just do not answer. tah dah done deal. i’ve had 15 or 20 messages on it that i just ignore. never give out your primary number or call them from your main phone. screw them. you’ll pay if and when  you could but without the extra BS. also note they didn’t make you take on the debt you greedy/keeping up with the “Jones” mentality did. live within your means. tah dah.

  49.  “In 2010, more than 10,000 collection agencies collected over $8 billion.
    Can you imagine the impact on the economy — and on all the companies
    that were owed money — if that $8 billion hadn’t been collected?”

    Of course, the flip side to that is can you imagine the devastation that paying what amounts to the difference between having a roof over you and your family’s head and homelessness had on someone? And the relevance that miniscule debt was to, say, a multi billion dollar company such as citibank?

    1. Worry not these banks and debt collecting agencys shall fall, know now that those working for them are accountable also in mine eyes and shall take part in the woes greater in what comes this year. For behold I God walk the earth in secret and now speak for I have seen mans world and way and lived it so may judge and behold it is abomination and shall be crushed underfoot. Money is the mark of beast I spoke in revelation all whom love money are stained for destruction.

  50. I don’t think that companies should be allowed to sell people’s accounts to anybody. Why can’t these companies deal with the delinquent accounts themselves? You mean to tell me that a multi-million dollar corporation can’t set up it’s own in-house collection department with all the same abilities? Bull! They can and they should. When these companies sell people’s personal information they run the risk of selling the information to identity theives. Plus why should consumers get on a phone and talk to somebody they have never heard of and don’t know? Who with sense would do that? At least if these corporations had their own collection departments there would not be all this passing of people’s information. The person knows who they are talking to and why. Most people that I know would go for that. But all of this passing information through all these different hands is bad policy and putting millions of Americans at risk for identity theft.

    1. If you borrow money to buy a house, can you sell the house? Why shouldn’t you be required to stay in it until it is paid for? Because it is YOUR property and you can sell it to whoever you want. And by the same token a loan is the lender’s property and they can sell it to whoever THEY want to.

    2. Most collection agencies are not debt buyers. However, if the debt gets old or they don’t want to deal with sending it to collections–they can sell the debt to a debt buyer.

  51. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act was set up by the government to make certain that all citizens are protected under the fair debt act with regards to debt collections abuse. Collection agencies tend to be very abusive when they are trying to get money. There have been a few that even threaten and call up to a hundred times a day. The FDCPA was created in 1978, but the new millennium has required changes to the act. With the mortgage crisis the act was examined to determine what changes could make debt collection better. Now debt collectors are restricted to calling during working hours, calling the home number not the work number, and they may only call once a day to remind the debtor of their outstanding sum.

  52. Is 17 % a fair rate for a student loan.  Should all student loans be federal loans with no interaction with local or federal banks.  YES for once do it right.  Student loans should be covered by truth in lending.  All loans should be covered by truth and lending.  Sears used to increase loan rates even if you had a reciept showing you made the payment on time at Sears,  It took several days to process the payment and if that made the payment late your tough crap.  Years ago when my wife was in  intensive care for a couple weeks a payment was late I was called day and night by Mrs. Washington.  Well trust me she pissed me off telling my obligation to pay that loan had best come first.  Well if ever there was a chance for me to steer a customer away from this loan institution I did it.  My occupation at the time was new home sales so I did all I could to keep home loans out of their hands.  Yes I’m vindictive to the death or last  breath take your pick.

  53. Is 17 % a fair rate for a student loan.  Should all student loans be federal loans with no interaction with local or federal banks.  YES for once do it right.  Student loans should be covered by truth in lending.  All loans should be covered by truth and lending.  Sears used to increase loan rates even if you had a reciept showing you made the payment on time at Sears,  It took several days to process the payment and if that made the payment late your tough crap.  Years ago when my wife was in  intensive care for a couple weeks a payment was late I was called day and night by Mrs. Washington.  Well trust me she pissed me off telling my obligation to pay that loan had best come first.  Well if ever there was a chance for me to steer a customer away from this loan institution I did it.  My occupation at the time was new home sales so I did all I could to keep home loans out of their hands.  Yes I’m vindictive to the death or last  breath take your pick.

  54. Is 17 % a fair rate for a student loan.  Should all student loans be federal loans with no interaction with local or federal banks.  YES for once do it right.  Student loans should be covered by truth in lending.  All loans should be covered by truth and lending.  Sears used to increase loan rates even if you had a reciept showing you made the payment on time at Sears,  It took several days to process the payment and if that made the payment late your tough crap.  Years ago when my wife was in  intensive care for a couple weeks a payment was late I was called day and night by Mrs. Washington.  Well trust me she pissed me off telling my obligation to pay that loan had best come first.  Well if ever there was a chance for me to steer a customer away from this loan institution I did it.  My occupation at the time was new home sales so I did all I could to keep home loans out of their hands.  Yes I’m vindictive to the death or last  breath take your pick.

  55. I used to be proud of the police and went the extra mile to block our satanistic Governor in Ohio.  He wanted to cut police saleries and stop their ability to arbitrate for pay raises and health care.  Governor of Ohio is a brain double of Walker.  He loves payolla thats why the Koch brothers give him his deverved bribery check to cover prison labor force Koch brothers. Honest cops will they shoot hollow point bullets a/ into protsters.  Hmmm yep I believe they will.

  56. I’ll add to #11 – Don’t ask for a manager, because you won’t get an actual manager – what you’ll get is another collector (or customer service rep, ALL phone centers are famous for this tactic) pretending to be a “manager,” who hopes that hearing the same crap the first person told you from a “manager”  spoken in an authoritative tone will satisfy you.

  57. Some sports fitness clubs entice you to join.  Sign up and the member who referred you gets a free extra month!  My friend never got her free extra month so that voided the contract. But they kept calling anyway.  Lucky me I saved the video of the commercial as legal proof they did not keep their end of teh bargain and they tried to collect for over 5 years.  Pure evil shysters who are not honest should be fired asap!

  58. #14) We are people too. Our job is a honest one, just like any other. There are a few who give a bad name to the many, much like lawyers, cops, etc. The actions of those few get perpetuated by slanted media such as this, as well as “stories” passed on by the uneducated.

    #15) (What we can’t say, but would love to.) You are not entitled to any reduction in the amount you owe. You are not entitled to having your debt eliminated. You have personal responsibility for the actions you take to pay back: the money you borrowed, the doctor that treated you, car you financed, the credit you charged. Accept your personal responsibility & do what you can to make it right. Change your priorities.

    1. While I appreciate most of what you said, I must add that SOME doctors, have been paid a negotiated rate by the insurance company and have a sliding scale based on the type of insurance, or lack thereof, a person has.  Come on, the same procedure should cost the same no matter what sort of health insurance they have.  Don’t charge me sometimes twice as much because I have insurance and expect me to make up the difference for someone that doesn’t.  And while we are at it, hospitals routinely charge for procedures and products no provided.  Always ask for an itemized statement and go over it with a fine toothed comb.  I was charged for a prostate cancer screening during my stay…..for childbirth….hmmmmmmmm. 

      1. I might add that I have seen my own doctors and dentists over inflate invoices and bill me at a higher rate than the insurance companies so I am not too terribly sad if they have to write off some. I broke my back in 2005 and my house burned to the ground in Sept 2005. I was retired and my husband lost his job. Now you may call that HLS but there was no way I could make $1,000 payments and not have any principal reduction because the credit card company increased our interest rate from 0% to 29.6 %. Since I refused to pay that interest rate and at the informal suggestion of a bankruptcy, we decided to just let the balance go. Our insurance company told us to purchase what we needed on our credit cards and they would reimburse us. When the time came, one of the policies only covered 34% of the claim. We just pulled our credit reports last week because we are nearing the 7 year deadline and guess what, they sold them to each other and changed the origination date. Another 7 years? I think not. And I’ll be damned if I am going to get 3 calls a day for another 7 years either.

    2. While i admire what your trying to do, your industry is too tarnished and will be lucky if its not outlawed within the next 10 years.

      Should people pay their debts, yes no question.
      But in this new society that is emerging, people will not pay their debts and our financial markets will collapse, after 30 or so years of suffering maybe we will get back to fiscal responsibility

      1. If the debt collection is outlawed, the free market will cease to exist.

        1. You are just an IDIOT. The 2nd bullet indicated the total debt collected per year was some “$8 billion.”
          This is LESS than is spent on TOOTHPASTE in this country (no joke), and its absence would do NOTHING to the economy. NOTHING.
          The one method to dealing with this? Outlaw the BONUSES for the most abusive collectors – i.e. those who threaten arrest; abuse their authority; call and speak with CHILDREN to get them to disgorge information, and ever so much more.
          DIE SCUMBAGS!

          1. Debt collectors buy debt then try and collect. so no money would be lost. It’s paid upfront in most cases.

          2. Not all debt collectors purchase debt. The legitimate ones that do are the collectors you should be worried about because as the debt owner.. THEY CAN SUE YOU.

          3. How can you be sued if you don’t have a contract between you and the debt collection agency, for goods or services? This is a serious question, I’d like to know.
            Thanks.

          4. The debt collection agency purchased all rights, title, and interest to the debt that was owed. So normally if you do not pay what is owed, they have a copy of the contract validating the debt and showing where it fell delinquent, and proof of purchase, they have the right to file the lawsuit. Even if you agree to repay it, they still have a right to file and more so if you refuse to pay it.

          5. Yeah but they don’t want you to know that either, you see it’s not listed in the article.

        2. They also forgot to mention that the company that was owed, sold the debt getting paid in advance. So if they don’t collect the debt collector does not make money.

          1. They can recoup more than they paid by suing you.

          2. You are so very wrong Mike… check the laws… as for debtors causing such a collapse in the economy… tell that to the government… what a joke!!!!!! I had a debt collector tell me once I should do whatever it takes to pay, borrow from a family member or friend, that didn’t bother me as much as when she got the balls to tell me maybe I needed to find a street corner… needless to say, I never paid and dime and never intended too after that one.. Folks,, don’t even engage these people in conversation, don’t send a dime. They are not the original creditor, you are under NO obligation to them. They are grasping to collect the debt they purchased for a little of nothing. The original creditor has written it off, received tax credits to cover their loss… the contract is not with you and the collector… tell them to stop calling, stop sending mail, if they try to sue… file a request for production… they won’t be able to produce anything, because the original debt was not with them… as for how long it can be on your credit report, stay on top of that one too… a bad debt can only be on report as long as your state law allows, and the time clock begins when the FIRST payment was missed to the original debtor.. as long as you do not engage the collector, you do not send them a dime, do not discuss anything with them… they cannot restart that clock… learn YOUR RIGHTS!!!!!

          3. Your financial affairs must be in shambles. Yes a collection agency can sue you. If you read the fine print on most of the contracts when you agreed that you would make your monthly payments, before you defaulted of course, it will tell you that in times a delinquency they have the right to pursue legal action against you to recover monies owed AND they have a right to sell the delinquent account. Now when it is sold, guess what… All right, title, and interest to the debt is sold too, and normally the first company that buys it also receives the contract you signed. So yes, you can be sued by a third party after your debt is sold. You gave some terrible advice #Inkedchic.

          4. Debt collectors and creditors are such horrible people… I mean, to want to collect the money that financially irresponsible people owe them…. THE NERVE!!!

            How about YOU learn the rights of creditors? Guess what… if a creditor sells their rights to a debt collection agency and provide proof of said debt to them, it doesn’t matter that they aren’t the original creditors. They are legally able to collect just the same. Advising people not to pay is ignorant… they can and will sue you.

      2. It’s been in existence since the Medieval times. Search “debtor’s prison”. I highly doubt it’s going away anytime soon as long as we use credit as a way to obtain goods and services for our day to day needs.

        1. I sincerely believe credit will vanish in the next 30 years, we will be back to a bartering system of precious goods system.

          Many people live without credit these days because of the last 5 years of the economy, what happens when the majority of your consumers cannot obtain credit?

          Do you change the credit score rankings?
          Do you lose the business?
          Do you lower your prices to the bare minimum 1% over actual cost?

          What’s the answer when a society financially collapses?

          1. Rent-a-center, Aaron’s, Figi’s, etc type of companies where you fill out an application and pay in the future in installments or pay a weekly fee have existed awhile. With the CARD Act and people having bad finances, there is a lot less credit; however it didn’t go away. More people save up or go through companies that don’t do credit checks but accept monthly installments.

            However, I am not God and cannot tell you the future and what could happen collapse. You may want to review history of past countries/empires that collapsed and see how they did with credit (Roman Empire, Ottoman Empire, Nazi Germany, etc).

          2. I am God and can tell you the worlds system of Mammon shall fall this year, woe unto the debt collectors for mine angels shall cast them into the pit, for they love the mark of Mammon most by setting heart upon it. I saith mankind has no debt and I owe the universe not them and all is meant to be freely given.

      3. uh, we already had a financial collapse in 2008 during the Dubya administration, remember? since then, the economy has been back on track, or haven’t you been paying attention? The collection industry is corrupt and as long as there is a dollar to be made collecting debt from economically disadvantaged people who have no money and that’s why they didn’t pay to begin with, they will not only survive, but thrive. That’s what our country is all about now…the Republican party has been whittling away at our Constitutional rights for years now and democracy will vanish to be completely replaced by a plutocracy before it’s all said and done…and it will be the total fault of low-information republican voters who vote from a prejudice perspective rather than based economic issues. This country will collapse just like Rome did, but it won’t be because of those who can’t pay a $100 credit card debt, it will be because of the wealthy and greedy rich class…paleeeeaaaaze spare me

    3. Ok, fine. But everyone that called my friend, his daughters, his daughters’ husbands’ families, acted like he was a criminal for not paying dept a judge said was not his to pay(it was his x-wives)
       
      These were not the “few” who gave a bad name to people, this was everyone that called.  

      1. debt collectors believe it or not, do not obey divorce declarations, that happened to me, but, I won in the end.

        1.  To Sammie_Jo: Debt collection agencies are not required to obey divorce declarations. If you incurred a debt at a time you were married, then both parties in the marriage are responsible for the debt. If you have a divorce decree that states your ex-spouse is responsible for paying accounts placed in collections, that does not eliminate your responsibility, you are still responsible and owing of the debt. What the decree DOES do is provides you with legal backing to require that your ex-spouse named in the decree HAS to pay, RATHER than you. But to the collection agency, according to law, you are still responsible. The decree would give you the opportunity to enforce payment on your ex-spouse, but that is your responsibility, you are still owing of the amounts.

          1. Not when the card was in his name only.
            I didn’t pay it, haven’t paid it to this day, will never pay it, and the collection agency settled with me for a nice sum.
            Even if it was my card, that doesn’t give them the right to call me every hour on the hour for months on end, and that is according to the law.

          2. Even if the spouse’s name is on the card, and not your own, under Family Expense law in most states, any debt incurred during a marriage is the responsibility of both parties by default, unless specifically outlined by a signed contract with the creditor.

            But it is true that harassment should not happen, and most agencies have policies in place to prevent overbearing or overshadowing contact. Not all agencies are as professional or do as good a job of paying attention to the FDCPA, and those companies project a negative image for the rest of us who strive for good customer service and credit resolution.

          3. Even though Texas is a community property state, the one who’s name is on the debt is responsible, not the spouse, especially if the card was in their name BEFORE the marriage.
            No one can make me pay for a debt I didn’t incur, and obviously that’s true because here it is 9 years later and I still haven’t paid it.
            Texas has a 4 year rule, after that, you can’t be sued for the debt, so all you collectors can do is harrass someone or scare them into paying.
            Doesn’t work with me, I know, that you can’t attach wages in Texas, you can’t attach bank accounts or anything else, all you can do is blow hot air, especially after the 4 years.
            Most states have a 3 or 4 year rule, people need to look into that.
            I’m not advocating not paying a bill that a person legitimately owes, but, when they don’t, they should find out all the rules.
            I didn’t run up the bill, and I wasn’t paying it.
            In the end, NCO paid me.

          4. There is no such thing as “Family Expense Law” (in ANY state). There IS a Family Expense Act in the state of Illinois and even that does NOT state that ANY debt incurred in marriage is the responsibility of both parties. Under that act in Illinois both parties are liable only for “goods and services bought for family use or to improve the entire family’s life”.

          5. If the card is in one parties name you cannot pursue a divorced non secured party.

          6. You know that, and I know that, tell that to the collection agencies who, if you don’t know any better will try to intimidate you into paying.

          7. Well, Warren, you just misstated divorce & debt collection law in ALL FIFTY STATES of the Union.
            Good job.
            In fact, your collection agency is ABSOLUTELY required to “obey,” the dicta of a divorce decree (and go after the responsible party, under that decree) once you are made aware of it! Further, you are required to cease & desist against the non-responsible ex-spouse, and clear your records of (its) name.
            You are in effect functioning as officers of the court in attempting to collect a bad debt, especially if a judgement exists (as you are a party acting on behalf of another). What a liar you are!
            Shame on you for promulgating yet another “collection,” of lies ever-so-favored by your industry.

          8. Bart, you’re dumb. Get over it. This was my favorite….”You are in effect functioning as officers of the court in attempting to collect a bad debt, especially if a judgement exists (as you are a party acting on behalf of another). What a liar you are!…”

          9. You are wrong Bart. The agency I work at is under no obligation to honor divorce decrees.

          10. It would be “interesting” to say the least to watch a rep from your company tell ANY sitting judge that they are not required to abide by their ruling :)

          11. A collection agency does NOT have to obey a divorce decree in ANY state. A divorce decree is a CIVIL agreement between divorcing parties and does NOT override a signed contract. A judge cannot rule that you have to abide by a signed contract. If a judge was able to do so, EVERY creditor would have to be supplied divorce info and be given the opportunity to STOP a divorce much in the same way that creditors are granted certain rights in a bankruptcy. Sorry .. YOU ARE WRONG.

          12. Well Warren, don’t you think that’s kind of screwed up? If a judge has declared one party to be responsible then they are exactly to whom you should be speaking. Doing otherwise like you have stated sounds a lot like harassment.

          13. A judge DOESN’T declare anything with a divorce decree. A divorce decree is an AGREEMENT between the divorcing parties as to who is going to pay what. It is NOT a judgement, it is NOT a court ruling, it is an agreement that was approved by the court to allow a divorce to happen.

          14. @mike_dooley:disqus…A divorce decree is not an “agreement between parties” (ask ANYONE who’s been through a bitter one), unless you have what is called a “mediated” or “collaborative” type of divorce. But even then, once these are approved and signed by a judge they are legally binding just like any other type, these are not the norm but are starting to become more common. In a normal divorce (“at fault” or “no fault”) The judge will ultimately decide who will or will not pay alimony/child support/and provide medical insurance for any children, as well as where those children will live. That judge will also decide how any property will be divided between those “parties”. The judge also decides who will be responsible for any debts incurred during that marriage unless you live in a “community property state” (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin). A divorce is a civil court order that is and has always been legally binding in all 50 states and when people disobey, disregard or otherwise violate the stated terms of that order or decree of divorce they are normally fined, thrown in jail, or both.

          15. Please let us know what law that is, the judge decides who will be responsible for any debts incurred during that marriage unless you live in a “community property state” (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin). If not, those creditors must abide by the judges order. If the court said that “Person A” is responsible for a debt then “Person A” is responsible. Any attempts to circumvent, disregard, or otherwise violate that order could result in substantial fines, imprisonment, or both.

        2. Your creditors are not parties to your divorce. You did not divorce your creditors…though I’m sure you would try.

          1. That’s true but the judge decides who will be responsible for any debts incurred during that marriage unless you live in a “community property state” (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin). If not, those creditors must abide by the judges order. If the court said that “Person A” is responsible for a debt then “Person A” is responsible. Any attempts to circumvent, disregard, or otherwise violate that order could result in substantial fines, imprisonment, or both.

        3. A divorce decree is a civil agreement and does not override a signed contract in ANY state. If you signed the application/contract you are 100% responsible.

          1. That’s what she said in her post, her husband signed it. According to your own post she is not responsible for the debt.

          2. So a divorce doesn’t override the legal Marriage Contract then? ???????? Then.. that would mean there’s no divorce.

        4. Your situation was a tad different from a divorce decree. You said you were added after you married your ex in Texas. So, the question becomes were you an authorized user or a joint account holder?

          You won because they kept calling you when you told them to stop calling and you felt your ex was responsible. You didn’t win based on the divorce decree.

          1. I didn’t say I was added AFTER I married my ex, I just put that as a point.
            I know I didn’t win based on the divorce decree, I won because they harassed me and I sued them.

          2. This statement is what you said: “debt collectors believe it or not, do not obey divorce declarations, that happened to me, but, I won in the end.”

            Clearly that statement and the above statement you made contradict. However, it’s moot since you won and it’s over :D.

          3. No, it’s not contradictory at all, there are time limits on all debts, in texas, it’s 4 years, after 4 years they can no longer take you to court, they can try to collect by scare tactics and if you don’t know your rights, you’ll cave.
            NCO, harassed me with hourly phone calls, that is illegal. I documented all of them, got an atty who specializes in this sort of thing, and they paid off $30,000.00

          4. That’s great. Hourly calls? That’s a big no-no.

          5. Oh yeah, they really screwed up when they impersonated an officer of the court. LOL

          6. can you tell me how to find out what my state’s limits are? I had a credit card with maybe a $200 credit limit at Sears 10 yrs ago and forgot all about it. Since then i’ve had to get on SSDI so have fixed income…never heard from Sears in all those yrs and just yesterday got a letter from a collection agency claiming i owe them $535 but they will “settle” with me for 2 payments of $53 each???

          7. It’s not contradictory at all, I did win. The reason I won is immaterial.

      2. debt collectors believe it or not, do not obey divorce declarations, that happened to me, but, I won in the end.

      3. That is illegal. Collectors are NOT allowed to discuss your debt with anyone else or leave a message concerning your debt on aanswering machine others may hear. 

        1. This is not true. If it is a medical bill, the spouse is equally responsible no matter who got the service and I certainly can discuss the bill with either. Even if they get a divorce. If you get a divorce and there are still medical bills both are responsible for, neither the original creditor nor the collection agency are party to any divorce agreement, i.e. BOTH are still liable for the debt in both of our eyes. You are correct that we may not leave a message an an a/m discussing the debt.

          1. No you can’t discuss it with the spouse unless the spouse’s name is on the medical paper work as an authorized person in the patient’s stead.

        2. NOT TRUE. They are not to disclose the intimate info on the account. They CAN leave you a message, they CAN (are are required to in most states) state that they are a bill collector and CAN say the name of the company that they are calling from. It is called a FOTI mesasge because of a party that filed a lawsuit against a company names NCO.

          1. They are NOT allowed to state that they are bill collectors, they can only say it’s a personal matter, they are also not allowed to send you postcards or any mail that has a return address that indicates they are a bill collector.
            There is a consumer fair trade website that will spell out all the laws concerning what a debt collector can or can’t do.
            Find it and read it.

        3. You can discuss it with the consumer’s spouse (if allowed in their state), their attorney, power of attorney (usually they’ll ask you to fax it in before discussing in this case), parent (if consumer is a minor), the creditor and any credit reporting agency about the account.

          As for messages, there are case laws that go either way. People have won because of no messages and because someone else heard the message.

    4. You forget to say that you in effect are paid by commission on what you collect. So you don’t give a sh*t about the people you harrass. Your job could be an honest one, but none of you are honest in your dealings.

      1. Total BS. There is a little thing called the FDCPA that lays out guidelines for our dealings. IF you have been abused by a collector, it is only your ignorance of the law that allows it to continue. How honest is receiving goods or services and then not paying for them?

        1. Considering mankind owns nothing, how can you charge anyone for anything, I made all that is good and because of mankind loves of money and evil of sin behold I begin the end of it soon. Then saith thou owns anything when I God have decreed since beginning that all things of life shall be given freely. Thou collects unto your own condemnation for I hateth money and they whom love it are cursed by it. Behold I wipe the debt of world but woe unto Babylon for she is cursed.

      2. There is no commission that they pay me. If you feel that we’re not doing a good enough job, then by all means you come an work side by side with me. When you hear people screaming and cursing then you can tell me if I don’t care. SMH.

        1. You choose that field of work dear… screaming and cursing comes along with it… just like when I took on Retail management… it’s all a part of the job… if you can’t handle it, find another job.

          1. Hi! Thanks for your opinion. I never said I couldn’t handle it, and you don’t know how I worked where I am at now. I actually was in a different division of one of the companies, the big parent company owed–and it was strictly customer service (nothing to do with debts). Then they closed that department and sent me to the collection division. I’ve been doing it for 6 years, so I know what I’m doing. I was specially replying to Guest’s comment to say it’s not an honest job.

          2. You do what you do for whatever reason you do it. I have always paid my bills BEFORE they were due, yet… when my husband “shot himself in the head” (reference to smart a$$ comment below) I fell behind. It has been all I could do too hang on to what I have, not be foreclosed on before I can sell my home and get the equity I have in it back… I have never “dodged” anyone when I get a phone call, I am always the one who initiates the first call in the first place. I do have a problem with the ones who I have received calls from who are heartless jerks. I have been told maybe I need to work and pay my bills like I am supposed too.. this person don’t have a clue as to my situation by the way… Good people fall behind on bills, especially in this economy. For the most part I have encountered halfway decent people, I have also encountered more jerks than decent ones. I understand doing what you do can’t be fun, I can also understand the cursing… don’t think for one second when I am being lashed out at with horrible comments by a debt collector I am not going to lash back!! With both barrels blazing!! That was my point! Your nice, I am nice… you wanna talk to me like I am some kind of dead weight when you don’t even know my situation and what I am doing to try to rectify said situation… watch out!!

          3. I’m sorry that you had such a situation. I cannot respond to the rest as it didn’t apply to me.

    5. re: #15. I have no more idea about your integrity, ideals and honesty any more than you do of mine.  When I got called, I reminded the mercilessmercinaries of this.  If you truly believe that every single person you “Good Guy” abused was COMPLETELY in the WRONG and you know EVERYTHING about EVERYONE, you should first demand those banks give back EVERY PENNY of TAXPAYERS’ BAILOUT money, and then go shoot yourself in the head for thinking you’re GOD

      1. Really “shoot yourself in the head” is what you came up with??? WOW!!

    6. best news……..send a letter under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (certfied-Return Receipt requested) and they can’t contact you again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1.  To Rick9: but beware; the letter prevents the collection agency from being able, legally, to contact you, but such a refusal can be taken by the agency as a lack of cooperation to resolve debts and refusal to communicate, which can be grounds for entering legal action as a judgment against you.

        1. They already have the grounds to enter legal action, Warren, you farking TOOL, in the form of the bad debt.
          What a cacksicking LIAR you are! “Cooperation,” indeed!!!!!!
          The relationship between the two parties – supposed debtor (and many times, the CA’s records are just plain WRONG,) and the agency – is ADVERSARIAL.
          No “lack of cooperation,” is grounds for judgement in a law suit!
          What are you, a paralegal from Puerto Rico?

          1. There are numerous banks who have a policy of automatic lawsuit if a cease and desist letter is sent. If you want to risk being sued, send the letter. It is easier to be an adult and pay back the money YOU spent. Most debt holders do not want to sue but will if they are forced.

          2. ONCE AGAIN, A COLLECTION AGENCY HAS NO LEGAL RECOURSE, THE ORIGINAL CONTRACT WAS NOT WITH THEM… THEY PURCHASED A BAD DEBT WITH PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR. IN THE HOPES OF INTIMIDATING YOU INTO GIVING THEM MONEY. LET THEM SUE YOU, THEY WON’T WIN. THEY CANNOT PRODUCE ANY DOCUMENTATION SHOWING THE CONTRACT WAS ENTERED WITH THEM…. LIAR??? YOU NEED TO BECOME A BIT MORE EDUCATED HERE…

      2. Also the best way to ensure the collection agency takes you to court if they deem you worth the time. If we can’t at least discuss it with you, there really is no other option.

    7. Good guy, I may not be entitled to a reduction, however, I also did not expect my husband to die and leave me with two children, have a car accident and be unable to work the rest of my life.  To pay something to the creditor seems like it would be better than trying to file bankruptcy and not paying them anything.  It is a matter of priorites, however, don’t be so judgemental if you haven’t been in someone’s shoes.

      1. The creditor sold your account to the debt collector, you no longer owe the creditor, I wouldn’t pay a debt collector a dime if my life depended on it.
        Many people don’t know, that states have a statute of limitations law, Texas is 4 years, they can still try to collect the debt but they can’t take you to court for it.
        A lot of people also don’t know you can sue these debt collectors if they are abusive, there are many attys who specialize in this and take cases on contingency. I have used Dean Malone in Dallas  twice for debts that belonged to my ex husband, and were years out of date, not even appearing on my credit report. We were successful in both lawsuits, I got just under $40,000 combined.
        There is no debtors prison, find out your state laws, some states allow wage garnishment others don’t.
        Document every call from an abusive collector, have a tape recorder handy, they cannot threaten you in any way, nor can they impersonate an atty or an officer of the court, which is what one did to me.
        Just because a person owes money, does not mean they can be abused or threatened.
        Best advice is, don’t use credit cards, and don’t borrow more than you could afford to pay back if you lost your job.
        I haven’t used any credit cards in almost 10 years, I couldn’t be happier.

      2. The creditor sold your account to the debt collector, you no longer owe the creditor, I wouldn’t pay a debt collector a dime if my life depended on it.
        Many people don’t know, that states have a statute of limitations law, Texas is 4 years, they can still try to collect the debt but they can’t take you to court for it.
        A lot of people also don’t know you can sue these debt collectors if they are abusive, there are many attys who specialize in this and take cases on contingency. I have used Dean Malone in Dallas  twice for debts that belonged to my ex husband, and were years out of date, not even appearing on my credit report. We were successful in both lawsuits, I got just under $40,000 combined.
        There is no debtors prison, find out your state laws, some states allow wage garnishment others don’t.
        Document every call from an abusive collector, have a tape recorder handy, they cannot threaten you in any way, nor can they impersonate an atty or an officer of the court, which is what one did to me.
        Just because a person owes money, does not mean they can be abused or threatened.
        Best advice is, don’t use credit cards, and don’t borrow more than you could afford to pay back if you lost your job.
        I haven’t used any credit cards in almost 10 years, I couldn’t be happier.

    8. Tell that to the bill collector that called my mother a “bitch” while trying to collect a debt from me that was not even mine.  All bill collectors are criminals and should be shot.

      1. They’re not allowed to curse. Also, they cannot speak about a debt unless you give permission to them to talk to another person.

        Hopefully you sued the collection agency.

    9. #15- Keep blaming the VICTIMS, who is the consumer. COsts are out of control, the economy is unstable. So if I lose my job, cant pay for the surgery I needed, I need to ‘accept personal responsibility and change my priorities?” Piss off

    10. I love how blessed people with a family member who can help them with shortcomings with money tell the not so blessed to take personal responsibility.  Hopefully, you are never put in same the position as the people you are calling.

    11. No one is attacking the messenger. While debtors are not “entitled” to a reduction, they certainly can ask for one.

      You act like because you have a job everyone has a job. a lot of people are now unemployed and while they don’t skate on their bills, they can’t pay what you want because unemployment pays jack! So do part time jobs and with gas prices and grocery prices much more than they had been, it is tight for them too.

      So if you don’t want to be lumped with other collectors, don’t lump all debtors together. Otherwise you are just like them.

    12.  lol, no.

      I am responsible for the debt I owe, not the debt you decide to add to it. I owe them NOT you. I may owe my doctor a $100 bill, but I’m not paying you $700 because that’s what you decided to add to it. I also have every right to appeal whatever bill I’m given and I also have a right to to not be harassed by you until that is settled.

      I also do not have to put up with bullying tactics or you ignoring the law in the hopes that I don’t know better nor do I have to put up with your insinuations on who I am as a person based on a bill you have no knowledge of the situation of because it wasn’t even yours to begin with.

    13. Both Doctors and Hospitals reduce the amount if paid in full that is why we use the credit card to pay. I understand the government bailed out most banks and if they paid it back they got a reduced rate also. Taxpayer money (mine) was the money used to bail out the banks. The government is in trouble and can not pay their debt, that is why it keeps increasing. You want me to change my priorities when the government and banks haven’t changed theirs. I’m having trouble because of the government if you didn’t have this job what would you do? Please put the “shoe on the other foot” and think about the people behind the debt.  

    14.  What about those of us who were sent to collectors just because the “creditor” didn’t want to deal with us anymore.  My husband and I were charged nearly $1K after moving out of an apartment after I had already been told everything was ok and received my security deposit back.  3 months later, out of the blue, they turn around and try to pin a bunch of standard repairs on us.  Of course I’m going to fight that and not just cough up a grand.  It only took 2 weeks till they turned us over to collections too.  That should be illegal.  I agree that you should pay back any debts that you signed, agreed to, etc, but in this situation this “creditor” tried to take advantage of us knowing we were powerless unless we hired an attorney. 

    15.  You, ‘Sir’, are a liar. Prior to you vultures coming on the scene, the so-called Creditors have already charged off the debt, gotten tax breaks and been compensated due to insurance. Then they fraudulently and feloniously sell the debt that no longer exists, to vultures of your ilk, for pennies on the dollar. You parasites have zero right of subrogation, and if you wanted to pay pennies on the dollar for a debt that no longer exists, you did it as a volunteer and a volunteer ONLY. You cannot interlope or be a 3rd party trespasser onto ANY contract where you were not an original party. PERIOD. The only power you think you have, is perceived.

      1. hmm that’s funny, when we took the debtors who absolutely refused to pay to court to have their wages garnished, the judge always found in our favor. Funny he forgot to mention anything about the fraud or felonies we were committing in doing so. Of course, if it got to that point, the debtor already had many opportunities to, at the very least, make some sort of arrangement to pay the debt they owe.

      2. Check your contract – it will have a section about defaulting and what happens. You agreed to it. Your examples make no sense and once it’s charged off or goes to collections doesn’t mean it is a sold account. Not all collection agencies buy the accounts.

    16. As Carol pointed out, medical billing is INCREDIBLY arbitrary. In many cases, hospitals overcharge for procedures by 10x or more, simply to force a negotiation to what will still be an inflated fee. You can easily Google countless examples of this sort of thing happening.

    17. You may not be “entitled” to a debt reduction but we all know collectors and companies offer them all the time.

    18. Why does anyone have a “personal responsibility” to pay back on a debt period, much less a debt old enough to be with a collection agency? Our entire system is set up to keep the rich rich and the poor poor. Money itself is a complete illusion propagated by rich folks to keep folks like you “paying your bill” so they can continue to get richer. Look at Romney as an example. What do you think he does when a company is unable to continue paying debts? Does he feel any sort of personal responsibility towards employees or the people money was borrowed from? No he just files bankruptcy again and watch his stock go up another 10 points. Personal Responsibility smh. You really said that.

    19. You perpetuate the same problem that caused every civilization on this planet to fail. Money separates people and inhibits natural growth. On a finite planet capitalism is strictly Insanity. There are not enough resources to sustain this fallacy. You yourself may not be a bad person, but you are employed by and are empowering those who seek to gain from others misfortune (bad people)! How many great minds have been stunted by this narrow facsimile? If you had any semblance of objective thought, you would realize that what you believe to be truth is actually just indoctrination into what sustains you personally. Not us as a whole. We are in an age of science fact, thankfully we need not rely on human opinion anymore!

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