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Being ripped off by a Collection Agency.. HELP?

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myrrmaiden

Junior Member
What is the name of your state?I live in Oregon


Sorry this is wordy, but it is a bit complicated and I could really use some pointers on how to proceed:


I took out a payday loan back in April for $200 (with a finance charge of $44). We were in financial distress and hoped that the loan would pull us out of the hole, but it didn't do anything but propel us deeper in debt (duh!) and our bank closed our checking acct.


When I realized this, I went to the loan office right away and told them what was happening and made a payment that day to show good faith (of $20) and told them I would be back every payday to pay on the loan. This was before their bank had even called them to report the default. After that I made my payments faithfully twice a month ($30 dollars each payment for a total of $60 a month).


I wondered about their business practices right away when I started getting hand-written receipts on blank paper from the scattered clerk. They insisted I pay cash but I knew the loan wouldnt take too long to pay off so I put the unease aside.


During my payment in mid-July, I was informed that our acct had been sent to the company's credit department and that I should make my payments to their office from now on. So in August I made my first payment to them (oddly enough their credit office was housed inside another payday loan place with a different name..). This would be my last $30 payment as I only owed them $14 more dollars! I was so relieved the debt would be cleared.


A few weeks ago, out of the blue, my husband gets served at work with papers stating that we are being sued by this company for non-payment and that we owe them $744. He called them up right away to see what was going on and they told him they only had one payment on file but that they would be willing to negotiate.. if we would pay them $194 they would settle - we had two weeks to reply.


I tried reaching them and kept getting the secretary, who I left messages with but nobody got back to me. So I went back to our original payday loan office and asked them what kind of payment record they had on file for us. I found out that their former employee, the one who had always dealt with my payments, had been stealing from them so she was fired and is now being investigated. Imagine my dismay to hear this and to find out they only had a record of $80 worth of payments. She told me to find as many of those hand-written receipts as I can and present them to the credit office and they would surely get this all straightened out.


All the receipts were faxed over last week and just yesterday I finally reached the credit agent who had served my husband with papers. He told me he never got any messages that I called and told me that he was going to put the papers through to the court that day! He said if I would settle for the $194 he would drop the suit. I told him I didn't feel we owed that amount and that my records indicated that we owed only $14 more dollars on the debt. He stated that my husband agreed to the amount when he talked with him two weeks previous and that he had taken him at his word - my husband says that is completely untrue and that what he told him was that he thought we must be paid off on the loan by now. I again stated to him that we only owed $14 more dollars so how could he charge us all of this. To this he replies that interest has been accruing all along so we owe more than the original defaulted amount.


While I understand that, I have not been given a total of any kind that we owe.. Am I not entitled to this? I have not received any kind of bill from this company and he couldnt give me a listing of interest charges or anything else.. He hasn't explained to me how he arrived at the $194 amount but it doesnt make sense. He blurted out at the end of our conversation that he sent me a bill on June 13th, which I never received and suspect to be a lie because the paperwork wasn't even turned over to their office until mid-July.


I am highly frustrated and irritated that this situation has come to this over such a minor amount owing.. he does not accept my claim that we actually paid the money and keeps saying there is no record of it, even tho he knows damn well that his employee was stealing and has our receipts to prove our payment. I was able to present all but one receipt that got something spilled on it and had to be thrown away.. but enough of them are there to show we made regular payments throughout the duration of this situation.


Finally he said he would look over the papers he had (even tho he had tried to say earlier that I hadn't contacted him, he then admitted he had all my receipts in front of him!) and that he would call me on Thursday (tomorrow) to straighten this out. He has lied to me and has been trying to trick us into agreeing to pay much more than we owe.. What are my rights?


Any advice is appreciated..
 
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pojo2

Senior Member
At this point they are probably bluffing about the court action, but let them go to court and you take all the PROOF you have with you. Keep it clean cut when explaining and to the point.

Even though well written your post is to long so try and condense it for a court appearance explanation IF that should happen.

At this point the only thing I would say to them would be "let's let a Judge decide this issue".
 

pojo2

Senior Member
Do those receipts you received at least have a printed (not hand written) Company name on them? Please say yes!
 

myrrmaiden

Junior Member
re: payday loan hassles

thanks for the replies..

i agree with you about the wordiness of my post.. gonna have to work on that one LOL

and yes, actually, there is a rubber stamp with the company name on it at the top of the page on some of the receipts.. two receipts are without a stamp or a date tho..

what difference will that make? they are all written in the handwriting of the woman who got fired.. her signature on the receipts..
 

myrrmaiden

Junior Member
oh and..

do you think i should forego paying the remaining 14 dollars then? or .. well, i dont even know what i owe considering they have never told me of any remaining or accruing continued finance charges..

i feel like they waited til just before i was finished paying this off to purposely try and squeeze everything they could out of the situation..
 

Ladynred

Senior Member
First of all (pojo) this is NO BLUFF, they've BEEN SERVED with a summons !

Second, I'd agree, you're not going to get anywhere with the jerk at the so-called 'credit' dept., you need to take your proof of payments to court and let a judge see that you DID pay, but unbeknownst to you, you were paying an embezzler. That is NOT your fault and it is the payday loan's problem.

As far as the amount, you probably DO owe much more than what you paid. That's how these loansharks stay in business, but charging 300-400% interest !!!! I just wish all states would outlaw these places, they are a disease and need to be eradicated.
 

myrrmaiden

Junior Member
thanx for your reply ladyinred!

does anyone know whether my rights as a consumer have been violated on this issue? isnt it true that they were supposed to disclose to me the amount of interest they have been charging me since the loan defaulted? because the original agreement has been forfeited, right?

this is the part that really gets to me, because if they had sent me any kind of bill in the mail or notice or something, i would have/could have just paid the remaining amount off.. it was so low. but for them to just instantly decide to serve us with papers and take us to court.. i mean, i dropped off a payment on august 5th and by mid-august we were already being served with court papers.. :mad:
 

Ladynred

Senior Member
The rate of interest you're charged would be in the agreement you signed when you took the loan. It may be disguised as a 'daily rate' or something similar. The Truth in Lending Act REQUIRES that they disclose this information.
 

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