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  1. #1
    HenryHenry is offline Junior Member
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    Collector won't send info in mail

    What is the name of your state? Pa

    I had a Sears charge. It was written off after bed rest with my son put me out of work. All other bills were paid but Sears was the only company that wouldn't work with me.

    The collector that has the account now has been calling and refuses to send us who they are in writing. (They just want us to give a credit card or check over the phone).

    We didn't trust this and didn't pay because they wouldn't send anything by mail.

    They are now taking us to court. Can we do anything? We don't have anything to even take to court with us because they never made "paper" contact with us.
    I've never been to court before.
    Thanks for any help,
  2. #2
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    You HAVE had "paper" contact (your summons).
    Did you ever write a validation letter?
  3. #3
    cvdesign is offline Member
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    Zigner, I think the OP's point is that since the CA won't give them any info on the debt, s/he is unable to present any kind of a defense ...

    I can see that. If I'm being taken to court over a debt, I'd like to know how much I owe, how long ago the debt was, etc. And my memory definitely ain't what it used to be!

    (A few years back a CA called us demanding payment, threatening to sue us, for a $3K credit card debt that belonged to my hubby ... I durn nigh paid it, thinking hubby may have forgotten about it or it was a remnant of his "misspent youth." Later on that night, I asked hubby about it, and not only did he never have a credit card from the company the CA mentioned, but he was also out of the country when the CA said the credit card was issued!! )

    Additionally, I sure as shootin' wouldn't pay a debt if the debtor refused to furnish PROOF of the debt, much less WHO they are. I could have sworn that CAs were supposed to be up front with that sort of info.


    OP: If they refused to present proof of your debt, I'd make sure that the judge in your hearing knows that ... to me, that just smells fishy!

    Also, do you have any idea of WHEN you incurred the debt? Check your state's statute of limitations on debt collection and credit reporting ... if it's been a long time since your last activity on that account (and that includes admitting that it IS your debt), you could possibly claim your statute of limitations.

    (Of course, the honest thing to do is admit the debt and pay it ... but I wouldn't pay a faceless, nameless stranger!!)
    Last edited by cvdesign; 05-05-2008 at 12:10 PM.
  4. #4
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    And MY point is that the OP hasn't properly requested any information. In any case, he has now been sued - so the game is changed.

    ETA:
    He will need to use the various methods allowed through the court to get his information now.
  5. #5
    cvdesign is offline Member
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    I got your point, Zigner ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    And MY point is that the OP hasn't properly requested any information. In any case, he has now been sued - so the game is changed.
    Yes, I understood your point ... however, I don't think you understood mine.

    IIRC, the most official way to request info is in writing, right? Since via phone doesn't really leave a "paper trail" of course ... and since taping phone calls is a strict no-no in most states (or the rules convoluted enough to make it scary).

    Okay, so let's say you call me and say I owe you $$. I ask who you are, you refuse to reply, refuse to give me a phone number to call you at, and refuse to give me proof of the debt in question.

    Now how in the world am I supposed to contact you in writing to demand proof of the debt (or any other info)? For that matter, since you've refused to give me any indication of who you are, why in the world should I trust you???

    I'm pretty much completely at your mercy until you make your next move!

    Which, obviously, the creditor in this case did ... he's suing the OP. Regardless, I don't think the creditor gave the OP a reasonable means to make good on the situation prior to suing for the $$. I hope, because of the CAs refusal to disclose proof of the debt, and WHO they are (what have they got to hide???? That's a bit suspicious in my mind), that the OP wins.
  6. #6
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    The account has already HAD collection attempts, by the OC!
    Our OP has procedural remedies prior to his day in court...
  7. #7
    cvdesign is offline Member
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    Wait, let's get even trickier, but this time change the roles a bit:

    You: Hello?
    Me: You owe my client $2000! You can pay today with a credit card or check ... which will it be?
    You: Who's your client?
    Me: Sears. Check or credit card?
    You: Who is this? I don't think I owe $2000 ....
    Me: Check or credit card, Sir.
    You: I want to dispute this debt ... who do I write to?
    Me: Check or credit card, Sir.
    You: Look, I just want to know how to dispute this!
    Me: And I just want to know how you're going to pay for this, Sir.
    You: I'm not paying this until I see proof of the debt ... please give me your name and company address!
    Me: Well, we'll see you in court, then.
    *click*

    Now ... where in the world did you get ANY info on how or where to "respond to" me "properly?"

    I honestly don't doubt that the phone exchange between the OP and the CA could very well have gone that way.

    There's oodles of CAs out there who is kind, considerate, and honest ... but since the mere thought of a CA strikes even the most innocent consumer with dread, there had to have been MORE than a few that have been real jerks ... ca va? So therefore, I'm giving the OP the benefit of the doubt!
  8. #8
    cvdesign is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    The account has already HAD collection attempts, by the OC!
    Please see my previous reply ...

    While I don't argue that the OP incurred the debt nor has no knowledge of the debt, I DO argue that contacting the CURRENT owner of the debt and DISPUTING the amount of the debt is only possible if the CA provides the info necessary to accomplish that end.

    The CA, it seems, did NOT.

    My reasoning is this: I have had to use the services of a CA in the past ... since the debt in question was a "good one" I literally sold the debt to another company. Therefore, I resolved all of my rights to the debt when I sold it. I can NO longer claim that debt against my (ex) client. The CA I sold it to, added fees to the amount (of course) and interest (as was per the contract my client signed). These fees amounted to quite a bit.

    One fine day, my (ex) client calls me up, wanting to pay the debt (and figuring that I would "reage" it so he'd not have to pay the fees and interest) to ME (we'll call me "Sears" for now, okay?).

    Me: I can't do that. Acme Credit Corp owns the debt now. You have to pay them."
    My ex-client: Well, can you tell me how it was for, originally?
    Me: Nope. You'll have to talk to them now. Ask them for the paperwork I filed with them when I sold them your debt.
    My ex-client: *&%$#@ YOU!! (I'm sure)

    Now, what does that ex-client do when I (Sears) won't and CAN'T give him any information (due to the contract I signed when I sold the debt) on the debt? He has to ask the CURRENT creditor, right? But what if the CURRENT creditor decides not to be cooperative?
  9. #9
    HenryHenry is offline Junior Member
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    CV Thanks for the help and for kind. And you were correct in how the conversations went. I appriciate it.

    Zinger....no comment.
  10. #10
    cvdesign is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryHenry View Post
    CV Thanks for the help and for kind. And you were correct in how the conversations went. I appriciate it.

    Zinger....no comment.
    No problem, HH ... I actually had a conversation similar to that the other day when someone called my (new) phone number demanding that I pay a debt that wasn't even mine! You should have heard the guy screaming at me!! We'll just say that Ma Bell never intended her phone lines to be used in such a way!

    Turns out, either Joel XXXX owned the number before I did or he's giving out my number (at random) to his creditors ... I was barely even given the chance to declare that I, a woman, had never been this "Joel XXXX" .... and "Joel XXXX" isn't my hubby, either.

    In our case, though, the CA was more than happy to give all sorts of details (in an attempt to get me to "confess" I assume) about the debtor, debt, original creditor and amount owed ... until, of course, I reminded him that since I am NOT "Joel XXXX" he could get into a LOT of trouble for discussing Mr. XXXX's debt problems with me!!

    Most DCs are good people -- just doing their job. But there's been enough jerks that it's given the whole industry a bad name.
  11. #11
    HenryHenry is offline Junior Member
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    The creditor that had our account before this one called my next door neighbor and Dad and gave them our account number and other info. Then he called screaming at me. I told him I'd send him some money but I was writing the attorney general and letting them know they shared all our information. The check I sent them was never cashed or returned to me and the account was sold quickly.

    It's very hard to trust people to pay them when they do things like this. I still don't have alot of information. I wrote the address on the summons but haven't gotten an answer from them for more information.

    You'd think they'd figure out you get more flys with honey. I would have settled this debt a long time ago if they had worked with me like every other creditor did when we fell on hard times.
  12. #12
    Debt Guy is offline Senior Member
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    Whoa!

    CV -- you hypothetical dialog is interesting and may even be accurate. The problem is that it is not addressing the OP's problem

    Henry -- you have been sued. What did or did not happen before does not mean anything now. You must file an answer to this lawsuit or you automatically lose. You may have some defenses. So lets focus on those issues and leave the rest of it aside for the moment.

    1. You live in PA. The statute of limitation in PA is 4 years. Was your last payment on this account before or after May 2004?

    2. You say you never sent a request for validation. Think hard. Did you ever receive anything in writing from the collection agency (a letter)? Did you ask for the name and address of the collection agency? Did they give it to you?

    3. When is the due date for your answer to the lawsuit? It will be somewhere on the summons and complaint.

    4. How hard are you willing to work to fight back on this? Be honest. I can point you in the right direction but I cannot do it for you.
  13. #13
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryHenry View Post
    Zinger....no comment.
    Zigner, isn't it funny how the accurate, on-point, and often hard-to-hear adivce is all too often dismissed.
  14. #14
    Texas Pooh is offline Member
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    I wrote the address on the summons but haven't gotten an answer from them for more information.

    Henry,

    You won't get one, either, because they don't have to. Look carefully at Debtguy's post. You are now in litigation. You MUST file a formal answer to the complaint, and then serve discovery in order to get your questions answered and information supplied. That will not happen in response to your letter, and you should not think that it will.

    If you do not follow the litigation process correctly, a default will be entered.

    We will help, but you need to respond with the information requested by debtguy.
  15. #15
    HenryHenry is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debt Guy View Post
    Whoa!
    Thanks for helping Debt Guy. Here's the answers to your questions.

    1. You live in PA. The statute of limitation in PA is 4 years. Was your last payment on this account before or after May 2004?

    (I went on bed rest for my preganacy in July 2004. That's when I stopped paying because they wouldn't work with me on the loss of income. I'm not sure if I paid in May or not because even though I was employed I was still losing hours due to the pregancy. It's very very close to May 2004 or before.)

    2. You say you never sent a request for validation. Think hard. Did you ever receive anything in writing from the collection agency (a letter)? Did you ask for the name and address of the collection agency? Did they give it to you?

    (My husband talked to them. He said the man would only say he was a laywer and didn't have to send us information because he wasn't a bill collector. He just wanted a credit card number or check by phone)


    3. When is the due date for your answer to the lawsuit? It will be somewhere on the summons and complaint.

    (I can't find a date. It just says to call if you intend to enter a defense)

    4. How hard are you willing to work to fight back on this? Be honest. I can point you in the right direction but I cannot do it for you.
    (I'd like to fight it because I'm afraid they'll want it all at once and we don't have it. Our income is tight. Or if I could find a resonable way to pay it back. I'm also afraid if I pay it back now that it will lower my credit score.)

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