• Report: #218092

Complaint Review: Allied Interstate

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  • Submitted: Sat, October 28, 2006
  • Updated: Tue, February 06, 2007

  • Reported By:Lemay Missouri
Allied Interstate
435 Ford Road Minneapolis, Minnesota U.S.A.

Allied Interstate Collections, Allied Interstate Trying to ripoff in St. Louis Missouri Minneapolis Minnesota

*Author of original report: Finally a Letter from Attorney General

*Author of original report: Finally a Letter from Attorney General

*Author of original report: Finally a Letter from Attorney General

*Consumer Suggestion: DORK, how about turning off the caps

*Author of original report: What is your problem??

*Author of original report: What is your problem??

*Author of original report: What is your problem??

*Author of original report: What is your problem??

*Consumer Comment: TO THE OP

*Consumer Suggestion: Info for Angel the collector...WRONG!!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Being in debt

*Consumer Suggestion: Oh yeah, one more FACT for Amy-MN re: lawyers and REAL LIFE

*Consumer Comment: Yeah, my mistake

*Consumer Suggestion: Steve you confuse me with Amy from CO

*Consumer Suggestion: Steve you confuse me with Amy from CO

*Consumer Suggestion: Steve you confuse me with Amy from CO

*Consumer Suggestion: Steve you confuse me with Amy from CO

*Consumer Suggestion: debt buyers and SOL

*Author of original report: They are bullies!

*Consumer Suggestion: More bad advice from Amy, the paralegal.

*Consumer Comment: I started getting calls

*Consumer Suggestion: We had help getting out of debt

*Author of original report: Doing okay!

*Consumer Suggestion: Mary, How is it going?

*Consumer Comment: Attorney?

*Consumer Comment: Attorney?

*Author of original report: Allied Interstate debt collectors

*Consumer Suggestion: An answer for Erick and more info for Mary on collections fees.

*Consumer Suggestion: Best Advice Here is to NEVER Talk to a Debt Collector!

*Consumer Suggestion: Steve's Advice

*Consumer Suggestion: Steve's Advice

*Consumer Suggestion: Steve's Advice

*Consumer Suggestion: Steve's Advice

*Author of original report: Calls from Allied have stopped, so far

*Consumer Suggestion: Mary, Amy is misinformed on all but one statement.

*Consumer Suggestion: You can't negotiate with collection agencies.

*Author of original report: allied interstate

*Consumer Suggestion: Street Addresses for Allied Interstate's offices

*Author of original report: Allied Interstate

*Consumer Suggestion: There is another way to stop the calls

*Author of original report: Allied Interstate

*Consumer Comment: FDCPA

*Consumer Comment: FDCPA

*Consumer Suggestion: Your stated doesn't seem to license collection agencies

*Author of original report: Calling a lot now.

*Consumer Comment: The FTC is charged with enforcing the FDCPA

*Consumer Suggestion: Amy, the FDCPA does not PROTECT anyone.

*Consumer Suggestion: Amy, the FDCPA does not PROTECT anyone.

*Consumer Suggestion: Amy, the FDCPA does not PROTECT anyone.

*Consumer Suggestion: Amy, the FDCPA does not PROTECT anyone.

*Author of original report: Giving me a headache

*Consumer Suggestion: The FDCPA will protect you from their harrassment!

*Consumer Suggestion: The FDCPA will protect you from their harrassment!

*Consumer Suggestion: The FDCPA will protect you from their harrassment!

*Consumer Suggestion: The FDCPA will protect you from their harrassment!

*Consumer Suggestion: Mary, want to play with these idiots some? Here's how

*Consumer Suggestion: Mary, want to play with these idiots some? Here's how

*Consumer Suggestion: Mary, want to play with these idiots some? Here's how

*Author of original report: New wrinkle

*Author of original report: New wrinkle

*Author of original report: New wrinkle

*Author of original report: Better Advise

*Consumer Suggestion: Mary, NEVER even discuss making payments, it can validate the debt!

*Author of original report: Best advice given to me

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I'm not disputing that I did owe Verizon wireless a balance of approx. $850 because I canceled three cells phones and had to pay early termination fees. I was still sending them $50 per month and they still sent me to collections. This is how it has been going.

Day one: I was notified by phone that someone on behalf of Verizon wireless was collecting on a debt. At first the man talked nice to me. He asked me how I was going to take care of the balance I now owed. The total amount now was $1103. I told him I couldn't make a lump sum payment but could make monthly payments. When he asked how much the payment would be, I told him that $50 per month was all I could afford (on disability). He laughed at me and said that they wouldn't take less than $185. I told him I couldn't do it. He said that since I was refusing to pay, Verizon would add another 33% on to the amount and it would be put on my credit report and they would take further action. (I didn't know Verizon was no longer in the picture, but this was his threat).

Day two: Got another call from Allied. They told me they would be sending me a letter about the balance due and asked when I was going to pay them. I told them I would pay them, but not $185 per month, I could only afford 50$. I asked why such a high amount and why could't the monthly payment be adjusted. He told me that since I was in breech of contract to Verizon wireless they could do whatever they wanted and charge me whatever they wanted. He became argumentative and said that since I was refusing to pay and they would take further action. I told him again I wasn't refusing to pay and I hung up on him.

Day three: They called again and left a message with my daughter. When I called back I talked to some who was very nice (Kelly Grant-good cop/bad cop??) and explained to him what has been going on. He said that Armando (finally got a name) had no reason to be contacting me everyday since he said he was sending a letter. He said they didn't work on commission and that Armando wasn't making any notes our conversations. Kelly gave me a supervisors name to complain to and told me I could change who was handing my collections case. I called that number and got an answering machine (no surprise). I decided to Google the phone number I had to find out who these people were and get an address or some information. When RipOff report popped up, I got really worried. Oh no! I've filed a complaint before with Wells Fargo.

Day four: Got another call at 8:43 am (Sat morning). Again they wanted to know when I was going to pay amount I owe. When I asked for his name he wouldn't give it to me. I told him I still hadn't received any letter in the mail. He continued to push. I then asked him to cease calling me and that I was sending him a cease communication letter (copied off of a Rip Off dispute). His reply was that I was refusing to pay and that he was going to report this to the credit bureau. I told him that I wasn't going to deal with him and that I was going to call Verizon and only deal with them. He then told me that Verizon had signed off on this account and I had to deal with them. I ended the conversation by handing up on him. I called Verizon and they too said they couldn't help me and that I had to deal with Allied. Lovely.

Now I know Verizon no longer has my account and I'm not sure what else to do at this point? I copied a cease communication letter and am going to send it to them. I'm just wondering how far this will go legally. I know I have to repay the debit, but what problems is that going to cause and will they subtract any amount I send from the balance. I have read a lot of RipOff reports, just not sure what to do next.

Mary
Lemay, Missouri
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/28/2006 08:32 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Allied-Interstate/Minneapolis-Minnesota-55426/Allied-Interstate-Collections-Allied-Interstate-Trying-to-ripoff-in-St-Louis-Missouri-Mi-218092. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

Finally a Letter from Attorney General

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

It has been three months and all calls from Allied Interstate have stopped. I still haven't received any validation letters. Today, I received a copy of a letter that the Consumer Protection Division from the Missouri Attorney General's office sent to Allied about my dispute with them. This letter states that Allied is collecting a debt on behalf of their client "Verizon Wireless." I happen to know that Verizon Wireless signed off on this. The letter also states that I have disputed the amount due, which I have, but doesn't give any amount owed. It looks like a form letter to me. Anyway, I have six weeks to respond to the Attorney General as to the indebtedness being cancelled to my satisfaction, or if the matter has not been settled, I am to explain why. Just wanted to give an update.
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#2 Author of original report

Finally a Letter from Attorney General

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

It has been three months and all calls from Allied Interstate have stopped. I still haven't received any validation letters. Today, I received a copy of a letter that the Consumer Protection Division from the Missouri Attorney General's office sent to Allied about my dispute with them. This letter states that Allied is collecting a debt on behalf of their client "Verizon Wireless." I happen to know that Verizon Wireless signed off on this. The letter also states that I have disputed the amount due, which I have, but doesn't give any amount owed. It looks like a form letter to me. Anyway, I have six weeks to respond to the Attorney General as to the indebtedness being cancelled to my satisfaction, or if the matter has not been settled, I am to explain why. Just wanted to give an update.
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#3 Author of original report

Finally a Letter from Attorney General

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

It has been three months and all calls from Allied Interstate have stopped. I still haven't received any validation letters. Today, I received a copy of a letter that the Consumer Protection Division from the Missouri Attorney General's office sent to Allied about my dispute with them. This letter states that Allied is collecting a debt on behalf of their client "Verizon Wireless." I happen to know that Verizon Wireless signed off on this. The letter also states that I have disputed the amount due, which I have, but doesn't give any amount owed. It looks like a form letter to me. Anyway, I have six weeks to respond to the Attorney General as to the indebtedness being cancelled to my satisfaction, or if the matter has not been settled, I am to explain why. Just wanted to give an update.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

DORK, how about turning off the caps

AUTHOR: J - (U.S.A.)

If your going to send the pro-collection statements, do us all a favor and shut off the caps, and don't respond.
You think its all the little people out here that have debts and its all are own fault.
Well welcome to the real world, things happen in life that cause prople not to pay some of there bills. And companies do make mistakes on bills
Before you go jumping on people, computer tough guy get your facts correct.
The poster stated, the company added charges, that no one can answer.
Why sould she have to pay, if it incorrect.
Why should she pay what she can and then move on, you will only sell it to another one of your companies, that fall under the parent company.
You the collector have to prove the money is owed.
let face it if you could do it legally and could prove it, you would only send 1 notice and then file suit, why wait all these years????????
Why don't you be a man and step up and tell everyone what agency's you work for?
Sorry everyone for this post, but people like the dork, really piss me off, with there higher then thou attitude
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#5 Author of original report

What is your problem??

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Dirk,

Who the heck are you? A collector? If you have read my past postings, I am more than willing to pay my debt off. I KNOW I OWE IT. Allied is not willing to work with me to make monthly payments. Why do they have to be so mean and bullies?? I cancelled my Verizon wireless because they added on additional charges they couldn't even figure out what they were for. I was also paying them, but they couldn't wait for their money, so they signed it off to Allied. I know I owe the money, I don't dispute that. I DO PAY MY BILLS!! This one got out of hand. I'm taking care of it. So go bully someone else.
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#6 Author of original report

What is your problem??

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Dirk,

Who the heck are you? A collector? If you have read my past postings, I am more than willing to pay my debt off. I KNOW I OWE IT. Allied is not willing to work with me to make monthly payments. Why do they have to be so mean and bullies?? I cancelled my Verizon wireless because they added on additional charges they couldn't even figure out what they were for. I was also paying them, but they couldn't wait for their money, so they signed it off to Allied. I know I owe the money, I don't dispute that. I DO PAY MY BILLS!! This one got out of hand. I'm taking care of it. So go bully someone else.
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#7 Author of original report

What is your problem??

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Dirk,

Who the heck are you? A collector? If you have read my past postings, I am more than willing to pay my debt off. I KNOW I OWE IT. Allied is not willing to work with me to make monthly payments. Why do they have to be so mean and bullies?? I cancelled my Verizon wireless because they added on additional charges they couldn't even figure out what they were for. I was also paying them, but they couldn't wait for their money, so they signed it off to Allied. I know I owe the money, I don't dispute that. I DO PAY MY BILLS!! This one got out of hand. I'm taking care of it. So go bully someone else.
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#8 Author of original report

What is your problem??

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Dirk,

Who the heck are you? A collector? If you have read my past postings, I am more than willing to pay my debt off. I KNOW I OWE IT. Allied is not willing to work with me to make monthly payments. Why do they have to be so mean and bullies?? I cancelled my Verizon wireless because they added on additional charges they couldn't even figure out what they were for. I was also paying them, but they couldn't wait for their money, so they signed it off to Allied. I know I owe the money, I don't dispute that. I DO PAY MY BILLS!! This one got out of hand. I'm taking care of it. So go bully someone else.
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#9 Consumer Comment

TO THE OP

AUTHOR: Dirk - (U.S.A.)

YOU SHOULD READ THE ORIGINAL CONTRACT B4 YOU COME HERE TRYING TO ACT LIKE YOUR THE VICTIM HERE. THE CONTRACT STATES THAT YOU MUST PAY IN FULL EACH MONTH. SO I DONT REALLY KNOW WHY YOUR COMPLAINING. IF YOU CANT LIVE UP TO THE OBLIGATIONS THEN DONT AGREE TO IT.

MY ADVICE IS JUST TO PAY WHAT YOU CAN AND MOVE ON. THE ONLY HELPFULL ADVICE YOU ARE GOING TO GET ON THIS WEBSITE IS HOW TO DODGE YOUR BILLS AND HOW TO MAKE THE CALLS STOP. BY DOING THAT YOUR JUST VALIDATING THAT YOUR JUST LIKE THE REST OF THE PEOPLE THAT DONT PAY THEIR BILLS.
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

Info for Angel the collector...WRONG!!

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Angel,

It is absolutely ILLEGAL to add collection fees to a collection account. The ONLY amount you can legally attempt from the debtor is the actual amount in default and interest limited by law.

Any fees a collection agency earn, are paid soley by their customer, the creditor. Collection fees can NEVER be collected from the consumer/debtor.

It's nice to actually have your facts straight before giving advice.
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#11 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Being in debt

AUTHOR: Angel - (U.S.A.)

Being in debt is not a bowl of cherries. I use to work for a credit card company in their collections department. I use to work for Allied Interstate.

Lemme say that not everyone that works for a collection agency is nice and friendly. Let's be honest folks, the majority of people that make complaints on this site have a valid debt and are upset that they are in debt.

Most collection agency's have a certain lengeth of time that they have to collect on a account.
Example: Your balance is $500, and they have 6mths to collect the balance in full by the end of that 6mths. They contact you and you state all you can pay is $30 a month for the 6mths, by the end of the 6mths all you would have paid is $180. If the balance isn't paid off by then, it goes to another collection agency. They can, in certain circumstances, add on additional fee to the unpaid balance for collection fees.

Try to take care of the balance before your time is up.
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

Oh yeah, one more FACT for Amy-MN re: lawyers and REAL LIFE

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Amy-MN,

I have on several occasions beaten lawyers very badly in court, showed them how uneducated they were, and won. Sent them home with "egg on their faces". This is because THEY forgot the golden rule. NEVER underestimate your opponent.

As a matter of fact, I have beaten EVERY lawyer who has ever filed suit on me. And in every case I have represented myself.

Most lawyers I have dealt with are lazy and/or stupid and almost all are too arrogant for their own good. Any moron can read a book and pass a test. Big deal. It's how you apply what you have learned and then apply it to real life until you perfect it.

Only at this point will you get my respect, or anyone elses.

I have even gotten 2 of them reprimanded, and have gotten 1 disbarred.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Yeah, my mistake

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Amy,

I apologize for the mistake. Sorry for the confusion.

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#14 Consumer Suggestion

Steve you confuse me with Amy from CO

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

Steve,

I posted this response on another posting where you alleged that I asked you for advice. You confuse me with Amy from Boulder, Co. I am from MN. PAY ATTENTION!

I do have legal knowledge and training. I never asked you or anyone else for advice anywhere on this web site. You are really showing your blowhardness (that's not a word, I know) by your attempt at slamming me for having intelligence where you don't.

Mary,

I hope that everything works out for you. I will not post again for a while because I have finals and have to study. Plus I am starting a new job which will be full-time; so no time for correcting Steve's idiocy.

Good Luck!
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#15 Consumer Suggestion

Steve you confuse me with Amy from CO

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

Steve,

I posted this response on another posting where you alleged that I asked you for advice. You confuse me with Amy from Boulder, Co. I am from MN. PAY ATTENTION!

I do have legal knowledge and training. I never asked you or anyone else for advice anywhere on this web site. You are really showing your blowhardness (that's not a word, I know) by your attempt at slamming me for having intelligence where you don't.

Mary,

I hope that everything works out for you. I will not post again for a while because I have finals and have to study. Plus I am starting a new job which will be full-time; so no time for correcting Steve's idiocy.

Good Luck!
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#16 Consumer Suggestion

Steve you confuse me with Amy from CO

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

Steve,

I posted this response on another posting where you alleged that I asked you for advice. You confuse me with Amy from Boulder, Co. I am from MN. PAY ATTENTION!

I do have legal knowledge and training. I never asked you or anyone else for advice anywhere on this web site. You are really showing your blowhardness (that's not a word, I know) by your attempt at slamming me for having intelligence where you don't.

Mary,

I hope that everything works out for you. I will not post again for a while because I have finals and have to study. Plus I am starting a new job which will be full-time; so no time for correcting Steve's idiocy.

Good Luck!
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#17 Consumer Suggestion

Steve you confuse me with Amy from CO

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

Steve,

I posted this response on another posting where you alleged that I asked you for advice. You confuse me with Amy from Boulder, Co. I am from MN. PAY ATTENTION!

I do have legal knowledge and training. I never asked you or anyone else for advice anywhere on this web site. You are really showing your blowhardness (that's not a word, I know) by your attempt at slamming me for having intelligence where you don't.

Mary,

I hope that everything works out for you. I will not post again for a while because I have finals and have to study. Plus I am starting a new job which will be full-time; so no time for correcting Steve's idiocy.

Good Luck!
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#18 Consumer Suggestion

debt buyers and SOL

AUTHOR: Don - (U.S.A.)

Steve,

Your comment about how most 3rd party collectors are collecting on debts past the SOL is somewhat true. My experience (I used to work on a purchased debt contract), was that the majority of the business that we worked consistently was within the SOL. I worked for one of the large agencies (still do, but no on a pre charge off contract), and I think that they probably have newer accounts. Most of the business we worked, we were the first external collector, with charge off dates in 2005. Just an opinion, but I think the larger agencies have the extra money to pay 10 cents instead of 2 cents on the dollar. Yes we did have accounts that were out of SOL, but they are only worked if the other business has already been worked. Just how it is where I was.

As for whether the accounts can be verified, I don't know. That is not the collector's job to know that. A collector's job is to collect.
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#19 Author of original report

They are bullies!

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Chris,

Allied is in violation of the FDCPA. They are only allowed to call between certain hours. I would send the Cease Communication letter ASAP. Send it certified and return receipt requested. Keep the recepits with a copy of the Cease letter. Don't sign letter, just initial it and put the certified number on the letter also.

The statute of limitations might be in effect here, I'm not really sure, but they may not have a case. These people are crazy. You can't deal directly with them. Steve from Florida and Amy from Wisconsin have been guiding me with what steps to take. Read other complaints and use as a guideline. I don't want to tell you what to do, I'm not really sure myself, as I'm still working on it. They haven't contacted my phone or mail.

GOOD LUCK CHRIS!
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#20 Consumer Suggestion

More bad advice from Amy, the paralegal.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Amy,

You crack me up as you are extremely naive. I don't know where to start. Here goes.

First of all, third party debt colectors and/or debt buyers are not creditors, nor do they have any of the legal rights that creditors have. You said that the courts favor creditors. Original creditors do get favored, before charge off.

However, courts are usually intolerant of third party debt collectors and junk debt buyers as they usually file false documents and misrepresent everything. I know this first hand as I have actually been in court multiple times against third party debt collectors and/or junk debt buyers. And, I have won every time.

To answer your question [again] I am NOT a licensed practicing attorney in any state. My answer must not have made it past the moderators. My knowledge comes from actual experience in the courtroom as a defendant, not from a book, or radio show.

As far as the pranks and harassment I unleash on bottomfeeders. It is fun and gives a great sense od satisfaction, and is NOT illegal. Furthermore, my tricks DO work, and in every case stops the collection process and they move on to an easier target. It is unfortunate that I have to lower myself to the debt collectors level, but they are so ignorant it is the only thing they understand.

I never have told anyone to avoid or not pay a CREDITOR. I have told people to ignore third party debt collectors and junk debt buyers. Big difference here. I have also told everyone to never ignore a summons.

I specifically give the advice to never SPEAK to any third party debt collector as it will never do anything positive for you. This is an absolute truthful and accurate statement. Demand everything in writing.

Think about it, if the debt collector could actually do anything, they would have no need to speak with anyone right? They would just take legal action, right?

However, the fact of the matter is, that MOST third party debt collectors/junk debt buyers CANNOT properly document their accounts or validate them when the consumer requests validation. AND, most of these accounts are past SOL and are not legally collectable anyway. And they know it!

That is why they are calling! To trick the "debtor" into making a small payment or agreement to pay, which resets the SOL and now they can legally sue on and collect a debt that was once legally uncollectable. That is the game they play, and that is exactly why you NEVER speak to ANY debt collector on the phone!

And, once again, for someone who knows so much about the law, why are you on here asking for advice on how to handle these debt collectors and attorneys? You even stated that you do not know the legal procedures or laws and "thats what will trip me up".

Which is it? Please make up your mind.
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#21 Consumer Comment

I started getting calls

AUTHOR: Chris - (U.S.A.)

I got a letter in the mail from Allied a few weeks ago, about a $45 bill from BMG Music, the only problem is that I never recieved anything from BMG, I did try and become a member, but never sent money and never recieved any cd's, and this was like 3 years ago. Last night around 10:45 I get a call from a pissed off lady demanding the money. I yell back telling her she woke me up, which she did, and why was she calling so late. She then tells me it's not 10:45, and I look at the clock and sure enough it isn't, but 11pm. After telling her that I had no clue what she was talking about and to never call so late, she called me a deadbeat and I hung up. I looked up the number and found Allied, and from what I'm reading this is not going to be the last of it.
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#22 Consumer Suggestion

We had help getting out of debt

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

At least the calls have finally stopped; that's a good thing. You may even be able to find an attorney who will take your case on a contingency so you don't have to go through legal aid.

We started listening to Dave Ramsey (he has a web site) and he teaches you how to systematically get out of debt and start what the calls an "emergency fund". He also teaches you how to stay out of debt.

Check him out; he has a web site and a book (I think it's about $20). He even does seminars in your area (I don't think their too expensive). Maybe this will help you learn to get out of debt. It helped us. He's probably on the radio in your area so you can listen to him for free.
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#23 Author of original report

Doing okay!

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Amy,

Thanks for checking back. I haven't heard from Allied other than they received my letters and I have the rrr notices. I sent Cease Communication and validation letters to both the Minnesota and Arizona locations. The calls have stopped, but I wonder if most were from the election.

If I hire an attorney, it will have to be through legal aide, I can't afford one otherwise. I'm still checking on that. I'm not trying to run away from this, I know I'll have to pay it. It is my debt, I own up to that. At this point, making payments is my only option unless I try to get a loan.

I can only imagine how wonderful it must be to not have to worry about paying bills. I am trying really hard to get out of debt, but it seems like the more I try to get out, I just get buried deeper. That's another story I won't bore you with. Thanks for your concern, I'll keep you posted.
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#24 Consumer Suggestion

Mary, How is it going?

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

Mary,

I just was wondering how things are going for you? Have you hired an attorney yet? At this point, if you are not going to attempt to settle your debt on your own(because you aren't disputing that you owe it) you really need to seek legal counsel. And Steve is not legal counsel; he hasn't answered my question from above yet. However, I am not an expert in these matters either. I have personal experience dealing with this collection agency and a few others as well as with settling debt. I have also helped my mom settle debts with collection agencies as well as some friends. Although I am a paralegal, I am not a lawyer, yet (but I will be) so that means that any advice that I have given is not legal advice but personal advice from someone who has dealt with this company and others. I just happen to also have legal training and have researched the FDCPA as well as the Federal and MN case law associated with it for classes that I have taken. My best and only legal advice to you would be to go talk to an attorney as soon as possible instead of taking advice from people you don't know on a web site.

As I said before, I think Steve means well and must have vast personal experience dealing with collection agencies and avoiding paying debt but he is way off base on a lot of his advice and it will only make you look bad. Therefore, speaking with an attorney in your state who deals with the FDCPA would be your best bet. Most attorneys who do consumer law are very familiar with the FDCPA so look for those types of attorneys. There must be a lot of them in the St. Louis area.

Steve proposes childish solutions to a very adult situation. They never work and always come back to bit you in the butt. Never stoop to the collection agency's level because judges are already sympathetic to the creditor (you're the debtor) anyway and that will only make them even more sympathetic to the creditor.

If the debt has been sold to a 3rd party collection agency the original creditor will not take payment from you anymore because they have charged it off and have probably received compensation for that debt. You will have to pay the 3rd party collection agency if you want to pay the debt but, don't make payments. They will never credit it right and they will never be straight with you. If you are going to pay the debt, pay it IN FULL in one lump sum the way I said in a previous posting; or use your attorney to settle the debt(this might be your best option). What Steve is proposing is to totally ignore your obligation to pay but that's really not right either. One party's bad behavior doesn't validate the other party's bad behavior. Ultimately, the only way to get these guys to leave you alone is to hire an attorney and/or pay the debt. It's your choice.

And, I hope that you win your battle with debt. It's a really good feeling to do that. My husband and I did about a year ago and except for some student loans (because I am currently in school) we are debt free. No credit cards, no cell phone contracts, no medical debt, no car payments, no payments at all. You would be suprised at how good it feels to be able to say that.

Good luck!
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#25 Consumer Comment

Attorney?

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

Steve,

You said that you aren't licensed to practice law in FL---are you licensed to practice law anywhere? If so, where?

Just curious because I am paralegal and am studying to be a lawyer.

Amy
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#26 Consumer Comment

Attorney?

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

Steve,

You said that you aren't licensed to practice law in FL---are you licensed to practice law anywhere? If so, where?

Just curious because I am paralegal and am studying to be a lawyer.

Amy
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#27 Author of original report

Allied Interstate debt collectors

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Pam,
Thanks for the advice. I'm really niave when it comes to this sort of thing. I have never had to deal with a debt collector before. Several people have given me advice on what to do. This is frustrating and confusing to me. I have contacted the FTC and Mo state Attorney General. Now checking with the consumer protection agency in my state. Know that the mail is the best option. This way if it is in writing, I have something as proof.

Steve,
Hopefully, I have heard the last from them, but I doubt it. The phone calls have stopped. Since most of the calls were listed as "private" or "unknown", I'm wondering if these were calls for the election. I know you have told me before and I am not going to answer the phone. I want to be contacted by mail only!! When I told "Lester" that I read all about Allied on a web site for rip off companies and I know how they work, he hesitated. I still need to find an consumer law attorney in my state. Thanks so much for all of your help. Good luck with passing a bill on this issue. Consumers really need this kind of protection.

Erick,
Good luck to you!! I don't know your situation, but I hope everything works out. Steve and Pam know what they are talking about.
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#28 Consumer Suggestion

An answer for Erick and more info for Mary on collections fees.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Erick,

I'll help you as much as I can for free. No problem. I cannot take your money. This would be illegal as I am not a licensed attorney in Florida.

Mary,

FYI. It is illegal for any collector to attempt to collect any amount other than the principal amount owed.

When this delusional crackhead collector told you this, it was a flat out lie. The person who hires a collector pays the collections fees. The debtor does not pay them, and when the debt goes to another collector, more fees are not added [legally]. The only amount LEGALLY collectable is the principal amount owed that was the original collection amount as presented by the creditor.

The mentality of these collectors really scares me. I am attempting to introduce federal legislation that will require individuals doing collections be licensed and bonded. After all, mortgage brokers, insurance agents, realtors, etc. all have to be individually licensed and in some cases bonded. So why should some crackhead have access to all of your personal and financial info, without some measure of safety in place?

At this point, debt collectiong would be a PROFESSION, and most of the violations and abuses would stop.
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#29 Consumer Suggestion

Best Advice Here is to NEVER Talk to a Debt Collector!

AUTHOR: Pam - (Georgia)

Mary,
Like you, I have been dealing with debt collectors
for the majority of 2006, being unemployed off and on for over 20 weeks so far this year. I simply don't answer the phone, for all they want to do (besides harass you) is to reage the debt and coerce you into making payments which are unrealistic. I even wrote back to one of my original creditors who was threatening to turn me in to a collection agency unless I paid the total amount due by such-and-such a date (even though I had been making regular payments all along for months), to go RIGHT ahead. And now that their debt collectors are calling, I simply don't answer the phone.

I am still sending the original creditor AFFORDABLE payments which they haven't refused, so the hell with them. And, my brother-in-law, who was being harassed by phone and in writing by a debt collection attorney in California and Portfolio for two separate time-barred debts which they had purchased from the original creditors, fired off cease communication letters to both of these bottom feeders. That was two months ago, and he hasn't heard from either since.

The moral of the story here is: DEAL WITH THESE JOKERS IN WRITING ONLY!
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#30 Consumer Suggestion

Steve's Advice

AUTHOR: Erick - (U.S.A.)

Steve can I pay you to take care of my matter? :)
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#31 Consumer Suggestion

Steve's Advice

AUTHOR: Erick - (U.S.A.)

Steve can I pay you to take care of my matter? :)
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#32 Consumer Suggestion

Steve's Advice

AUTHOR: Erick - (U.S.A.)

Steve can I pay you to take care of my matter? :)
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#33 Consumer Suggestion

Steve's Advice

AUTHOR: Erick - (U.S.A.)

Steve can I pay you to take care of my matter? :)
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#34 Author of original report

Calls from Allied have stopped, so far

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Amy and Steve,

I did read the FDCPA posting from last time. I'm going to have to get some legal advice. Thanks.

Calls have stopped, for now anyway. Wonder if some were for the election??? Anyway, Allied did receive my "Cease Communication" letter. I have the return receipt card to show this. Signature is hard to read, but first name is "James". Awaiting the rrr for the validation letter.

When I spoke to "Lester" from Allied, I started out calmly but I get flustered really easy. They know how to push a button. He claims two letters were sent to me and acted like he didn't know what a validation letter was (he put me on hold for a few minutes).

I then told him that Verizon probably sold my debt to Allied for pennies on the dollar, so why should I have to pay an additional $220 for their collection fee. He was willing to drop the collection fee, but wanted the remainder ASAP or case would be turned over to another collection agency and I would then owe $1400. He said that this was going to ruin my credit. The monthly payment wasn't enough, so I told him I couldn't give him something I didn't have. I told him that Allied would have to sue me for it and I hung up. So far it was been quiet.

I received an answer from Attorney General and they suggested I contact the consumer protection agency (checking into that).
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#35 Consumer Suggestion

Mary, Amy is misinformed on all but one statement.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Mary,

Amy is correct that you cannot negotiate with a debt collector. Other than that the other statements were flawed.

NEVER speak to any collector on the phone.

NEVER make ANY payment to a third party debt collector, especially a partial payment as suggested. making a partial payment will validate the debt and make it legally collectable, where it may not have been before.

And, I hope that crackhead collector has a recording without my consent! Thats just more money for me when I sue! And possibly some jailtime for the crackhead collector!

As far as stooping to their level, that is the only way to get their attention, and it is fun. FYI..Most judges hate debt collectors and I have had more than one judge rolling when these crackheads try discrediting me with bringing these things up. They love it! It's not illegal, and it just shows that I was responding to illegal behavior. They incriminate themselves.

Have fun!
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#36 Consumer Suggestion

You can't negotiate with collection agencies.

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

I never said that you would be able to reason with these people verbally; I said that if you do things the right way good things will happen. Doing what Steve said to do will not make them stop. Only going through the proper channels and complaining or suing will make them stop.

If this is overwhelming to you right now then hire and attorney to sue them or pay the debt; either of these two things will make them stop. Legally they cannot contact you if you are represented by counsel or if you pay the debt they have no reason to contact you anymore.

If you send them money, don't tell them you are sending it, just send a cashier's check along with a letter explaining this is your one and only settlement offer and if they cash the enclosed check they are accepting it as PAYMENT IN FULL for account number ________. Make sure to right "payment in full account number ____" on the back of the check just above where they will have to endorse the check. If they cash it; it's all over. Be careful though, because depending on the law in your state, the settlement may have to be deemed "reasonable". You said that the original amount was $850 so make sure that the payment is enough that:
1. they will accept it;
2. a court wouldn't deem it
unreasonable; and
3. that they won't question your
intention to settle the debt.

Maybe try sending them $300 as a settlment offer and see what happens. Then if they cash the check with the language on the back, the debt is settled. I doubt a court would give them all of the penalties, fees, and collection's fees they tacked on in the first place.

You could always dare them to sue you then you could counter sue for violations of the FDCPA. They probably won't sue because they know they can't win in these cases and that their bad behavior would be exposed and they don't like or want that.

Did you read the FDCPA from my posting above? Because you really should; a lot of it pertains to your situation. You need to have patience to fight these guys and you also need to have the guts to stand up for what is right. Letting them win is not right and not paying your debt is also not right. Maybe settling the debt is the middle ground here but you can't negotiate over the phone any settlements; these people cannot be reasoned with. Just send the payment in the form of a cashier's check with a letter as I stated above. Send it RRR and get the bank to send you a copy of the canceled check when they cash it (and I bet they do cash it).

Also, it would be suprising however, if they really did sell the debt to another company and if they did I don't think they can tack on a collection fee (they probably weren't legally supposed to tack on the first one).

If you don't have the patience well then stoop to their level and blow out their ear drums, yell profanities at them, and/or do whatever else Steve suggested you do. But, if this ever ends up in court you can be assured that they will have recordings of your bad behavior to present to the judge who will be totally unsympathetic to your situation.

It's your choice. Do you want to sink to their level? Do you want to be made out as the bad one?

GOOD LUCK!
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#37 Author of original report

allied interstate

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Well I think I goofed big time. I tried to talk to Lester from Allied Interstate. He talked calmly, but I ended up handing up on him anyway. I told him I wanted a validation letter, claims I would have to get that from Verizon. He also claims that two letters have been sent to me about the debt. Told him I only received a "Payment Demand" notice.

I asked about the $220 collection fee (claims Verizon added that fee). Would deduct it, but I still owe $881. I told him Verizon charged it off and doesn't have anything to do with it. He said, "If you can't pay the balance within 90 days we send it to another collection agency who will tack on another 33%, which will be a total cost of approx. $1400. Why do you want this to go on your credit?" My response was "I don't, but I can't give you something I don't have."

I'm not very good at this sort of thing, I think Steve was right. I shouldn't have tried to talk to them. I'm not trying to get out of the debt. I just was to be reasonable about it, but its true you can't be with these people.
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#38 Consumer Suggestion

Street Addresses for Allied Interstate's offices

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

Mary,

Collection agencies need to be licensed in MN through the MN Dept. of Commerce. They also need to supply street addresses to the Dept. of Commerce instead of P.O. Boxes so here it goes:

The MN office:
435 Ford Rd. #800
St. Louis Park, MN 55426

The AZ office:
55 North Arizona PL. Suite 505
Chandler, AZ 85225

Also, I did notice that the MN Dept. of Commerce did take administrative action against the NY branch of this company and a lot of their branches have inactive licenses in MN. I don't know if they were yanked or just not renewed by MN but I think it says volumes.

Also, be careful, I just noticed that they have a branch in India (they have a license in MN); I don't know how you would handle that one.

If you can record their calls, that can only help. One way you could get them to stop would be to pay them. Would you be able to pay any of the debt to settle the debt? Because if you send them a check in settlement and write on the back (above where they have to indorse the check) payment in full and then the account number and they cash it, it is payment in full.

I helped my mom settle a debt this way; we made sure to use a cashier's check and when it cleared the bank we had the bank send us a copy of the canceled check as proof of the payment. Never send them money any other way or else it won't be considered payment in full and never give them your account information.

Good Luck!
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#39 Author of original report

Allied Interstate

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Steve,

I'm going to have to do the tap. I'm getting a lot of calls without a name and number. Says "Unknown" or "Private". So unless I answer, I don't know who it is. I just don't want to talk to these idiots. I sent letters certified mail on 10/30. So it may be a few more days before they get it. I'll keep you posted.
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#40 Consumer Suggestion

There is another way to stop the calls

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

You can call your phone company and ask them to tap your phone and forward the call log to the police. The police will then file harassment charges on them.

In some states, repeated calls can fall under stalking which is a felony.

Also, take the number and enter it in at whocalled.us and see other complaints and identification of the caller.

Once you have sent the certified letter by the means I described in the other post and have the proof, just file the lawsuit on the FDCPA violations.

It is up to you to get justice against these parasites. You might as well get paid while your doing it!
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#41 Author of original report

Allied Interstate

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Amy,

I have also been looking to see who licenses collection agencies in this state, but no luck finding that info on internet research. I filed another complaint with the FTC. I haven't received any notice yet of MN office receiving Cease Communiation or validation letters. I have a Cease Communication letter ready to go to the post office for the Arizona office. Thought I would send one anyway. Thanks for the advice. I'll keep you posted.
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#42 Consumer Comment

FDCPA

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

This only part of the FDCPA which may apply to your situation:

15 USCS

?1692e False or misleading representations states in part:
A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:

(4) The representation or implication that nonpayment of any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of any property or wages of any person unless such action is lawful and the debt collector or creditor intends to take such action.
(5) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken.
(10) The use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.
(11) The failure to disclose in the initial written communication with the consumer and, in addition, if the initial communication with the consumer is oral, in that initial oral communication, that the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose, and the failure to disclose in subsequent communications that the communication is from a debt collector, except that this paragraph shall not apply to a formal pleading made in connection with a legal action.
(13) The false representation or implication that documents are legal process.
(14) The use of any business, company, or organization name other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company, or organization.

?1692d Harassment or abuse states in part:
A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.
(2) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural consequence of which is to abuse the hearer or reader.
(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.
(6) Except as provided in section 804 [15 USCS ? 1692b], the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller's identity.

?1692f Unfair practices states in part:
A debt collector may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The collection of any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law.
(8) Using any language or symbol, other than the debt collector's address, on any envelope when communicating with a consumer by use of the mails or by telegram, except that a debt collector may use his business name if such name does not indicate that he is in the debt collection business.

?1692c states in part:
(a) Communication with the consumer generally. Without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt--
(1) at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer. In the absence of knowledge of circumstances to the contrary, a debt collector shall assume that the convenient time for communicating with a consumer is after 8 o'clock antimeridian and before 9 o'clock postmeridian, local time at the consumer's location;
(3) at the consumer's place of employment if the debt collector knows or has reason to know that the consumer's employer prohibits the consumer from receiving such communication.
(b) Communication with third parties. Except as provided in section 804 [15 USCS ? 1692b], without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector, or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, or as reasonably necessary to effectuate a postjudgment judicial remedy, a debt collector may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than the consumer, his attorney, a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector.
(c) Ceasing communication. If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt, except--
(1) to advise the consumer that the debt collector's further efforts are being terminated;
(2) to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such debt collector or creditor; or
(3) where applicable, to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy. If such notice from the consumer is made by mail, notification shall be complete upon receipt.
?1692b Acquisition of location information states in part:
Any debt collector communicating with any person other than the consumer for the purpose of acquiring location information about the consumer shall--
(1) identify himself, state that he is confirming or correcting location information concerning the consumer, and, only if expressly requested, identify his employer;
(2) not state that such consumer owes any debt;
(3) not communicate with any such person more than once unless requested to do so by such person or unless the debt collector reasonably believes that the earlier response of such person is erroneous or incomplete and that such person now has correct or complete location information;
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#43 Consumer Comment

FDCPA

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

This only part of the FDCPA which may apply to your situation:

15 USCS

?1692e False or misleading representations states in part:
A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:

(4) The representation or implication that nonpayment of any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of any property or wages of any person unless such action is lawful and the debt collector or creditor intends to take such action.
(5) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken.
(10) The use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.
(11) The failure to disclose in the initial written communication with the consumer and, in addition, if the initial communication with the consumer is oral, in that initial oral communication, that the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose, and the failure to disclose in subsequent communications that the communication is from a debt collector, except that this paragraph shall not apply to a formal pleading made in connection with a legal action.
(13) The false representation or implication that documents are legal process.
(14) The use of any business, company, or organization name other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company, or organization.

?1692d Harassment or abuse states in part:
A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.
(2) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural consequence of which is to abuse the hearer or reader.
(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.
(6) Except as provided in section 804 [15 USCS ? 1692b], the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller's identity.

?1692f Unfair practices states in part:
A debt collector may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The collection of any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law.
(8) Using any language or symbol, other than the debt collector's address, on any envelope when communicating with a consumer by use of the mails or by telegram, except that a debt collector may use his business name if such name does not indicate that he is in the debt collection business.

?1692c states in part:
(a) Communication with the consumer generally. Without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt--
(1) at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer. In the absence of knowledge of circumstances to the contrary, a debt collector shall assume that the convenient time for communicating with a consumer is after 8 o'clock antimeridian and before 9 o'clock postmeridian, local time at the consumer's location;
(3) at the consumer's place of employment if the debt collector knows or has reason to know that the consumer's employer prohibits the consumer from receiving such communication.
(b) Communication with third parties. Except as provided in section 804 [15 USCS ? 1692b], without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector, or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, or as reasonably necessary to effectuate a postjudgment judicial remedy, a debt collector may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than the consumer, his attorney, a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector.
(c) Ceasing communication. If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt, except--
(1) to advise the consumer that the debt collector's further efforts are being terminated;
(2) to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such debt collector or creditor; or
(3) where applicable, to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy. If such notice from the consumer is made by mail, notification shall be complete upon receipt.
?1692b Acquisition of location information states in part:
Any debt collector communicating with any person other than the consumer for the purpose of acquiring location information about the consumer shall--
(1) identify himself, state that he is confirming or correcting location information concerning the consumer, and, only if expressly requested, identify his employer;
(2) not state that such consumer owes any debt;
(3) not communicate with any such person more than once unless requested to do so by such person or unless the debt collector reasonably believes that the earlier response of such person is erroneous or incomplete and that such person now has correct or complete location information;
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#44 Consumer Suggestion

Your stated doesn't seem to license collection agencies

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

I looked on-line and can't find a governmental agency in your state that licenses collection agencies so you should stick with your attorney general's office and the Federal Trade Commission.

Did the MN office receive your cease and desist letter yet? Give it a couple of days, then tell the people from the AZ office that you know that their MN office has received those letters and they cannot call you anymore. Furthermore if they ask for it, send copies of the letters as well as the receipt from the post office that proves that they received it (it can't hurt); as always send it RRR.

They are already in violation because they are continuing to call after receipt of those letters. They will probably tell you that they don't have to stop but they do. Call the Attorney General's office and ask them if a collection agency needs to be licensed to collect a debt in your state and if so, which state agency licenses them. If they do, call that organization (if there is one) and find out how to file a complaint.

Maybe, in your case, you do need to call around to attorneys already; it can't hurt. Explain to them that you are in the process of complaining to the attorney general's office and the FTC and that you have served them with the cease and desist letters as well as a verification letter and they're only calling more.

As you will see, the FDCPA expressly forbids repeated calls per day and also forbids continued calls after receipt of those letters. Make sure that you answer the phone once in a while and tell them that you have already served their MN office with the cease and desist letter and that they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act every time they call you. Tell them that if they don't stop you will sue them (not that this will intimidate them but do it anyway). Also, always get the name, if possible, and extension number of the people you are talking to. Finally, if you have an answering machine that records conversations, record ALL conversations with these people and forward this evidence to the FTC and your attorney general's office (if they will take it).

Again the key is evidence and a lot of it. The behavior must be egregious for any action to be taken so the more evidence of their bad behavior the better off you will be in a lawsuit.

Good Luck!
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#45 Author of original report

Calling a lot now.

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Amy,

This really gets tiring. I can see why people give in. They are calling more now. Now I'm getting calls from their office in Arizona. What's strange is they are leaving a name or an extension number. I couldn't get this from anyone before. I get at least five calls a day now. I am keeping a log sheet (almost full). I did file a complaint with the Missouri Attny General's office (waiting for a response). Do I need to also send valitation and cease communication letters to the Arizona office? I have been sending everything to the Minnesota office. Again, I am keeping every envelope, receipt, etc. Everything is being sent rrr and certified mail.

Thanks for the input. I guess it is time to look for an attorney before I go mad!
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#46 Consumer Comment

The FTC is charged with enforcing the FDCPA

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

Steve,

I see your postings a lot on this web site, I do it too because I am sick of seeing the clear and blatant violations of people's rights and I want to help. I think that you mean well but in this case, you're at least partially wrong. The FDCPA, just like all other laws, doesn't protect you unless a person is willing to sue using it. There are plenty of attorney's who are willing take these cases and a lot of them will take them on a contingency because when an individual keeps good records of the violations and has complained to the proper authorities and the violations still continue, these cases are fairly easy to win and they can be quite substantial too (read the case law it's pretty interesting).

Individual states also have their own variations of the FDCPA. For instance, MN's law gives the MN Dept. of Commerce the power to license and regulate collection agencies (it also states that no collection agency may violate the FDCPA). The MN Dept. of Commerce has handed down several very large fines to collection agencies (Alliance One for example) that repeatedly violated the FDCPA. The Federal Trade Commission is charged with enforcing the FDCPA on a federal level. Also, the MN attorney general has been quite active in perusing violations of the FDCPA. But, these governmental organizations cannot help on an individual basis that would require more man power than they have. They need to build up enough complaints to warrant taking action; then they can and will act.

I know from personal experience when the MN Dept. of Commerce gets a complaint about a collection agency, they immediately send a letter to the collection agency asking them to stop such behavior and cease all contact until they can finish their investigation (which takes months). That's when the collection agency typically stops the behavior, at least for a while. Then in my case, they sent the collection agency a letter letting them know that they had substantiated my claim (because I had good documentation like recordings and journals of every call and what was said) and they enjoined them from ever contacting me by phone again and any other violations of the FDCPA; they threatened administrative action if it continued. The collection agency never bothered me again and on top of that they disappeared off of my credit report completely (it's been over 5 years). It took the better part of a year because of a lack of staff and the large number of complaints they get every day but they did administratively take care of it and I didn't have to sue. But I would have if it would have come to that.

That's why I always suggest that people read the FDCPA (also your state laws regarding collection agencies) and keep good documentation of all correspondence. That way if it comes down to it and they have to sue to get it to stop, they will be more than prepared to do so.

So, Steve you're right they may have to sue to get it to stop but if they follow the proper procedures, complain to the right agencies, and keep good records it won't be that hard to win a lawsuit. So, the FDCPA does protect us from these scum bags, not placing hundreds of faxes, writing profane letters, or blowing out someone's ear drums (that is stooping to their level).

Mary,

Do things the right way and you will see that their behavior will stop, eventually. If you can stand it, answer the phone once in a while and either record the conversation (you don't have to tell them you are doing it) or immediately write down what was said. It's just more ammunition for your complaints and any potential lawsuit you may have.

By the way you can tell them that you have read the FDCPA (which I'm sure none of them have done) but that won't stop them or even intimidate them so just keep doing what you started, keeping good records and complaining to the agencies. You'll see good results it just may take a long time but just incase it doesn't stop start searching for an attorney now. You can find attorneys by their area of practices and locations (in this case would be consumer rights law or consumer law) on Find Law (Google it and you will find it).

Good luck!
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#47 Consumer Suggestion

Amy, the FDCPA does not PROTECT anyone.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Amy,

There is no individual enforcement of the FDCPA. It does not "protect" anyone. You have to protect yourself, and the only way to see the benefit of the FDCPA is to sue. There is no government agency that will actually enforce your rights.

The FDCPA is a toothless tiger. And the collectors know it. This is why they violate so often. They know there is no enforcement.

You MUST sue to get justice under the FDCPA.
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#48 Consumer Suggestion

Amy, the FDCPA does not PROTECT anyone.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Amy,

There is no individual enforcement of the FDCPA. It does not "protect" anyone. You have to protect yourself, and the only way to see the benefit of the FDCPA is to sue. There is no government agency that will actually enforce your rights.

The FDCPA is a toothless tiger. And the collectors know it. This is why they violate so often. They know there is no enforcement.

You MUST sue to get justice under the FDCPA.
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#49 Consumer Suggestion

Amy, the FDCPA does not PROTECT anyone.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Amy,

There is no individual enforcement of the FDCPA. It does not "protect" anyone. You have to protect yourself, and the only way to see the benefit of the FDCPA is to sue. There is no government agency that will actually enforce your rights.

The FDCPA is a toothless tiger. And the collectors know it. This is why they violate so often. They know there is no enforcement.

You MUST sue to get justice under the FDCPA.
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#50 Consumer Suggestion

Amy, the FDCPA does not PROTECT anyone.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Amy,

There is no individual enforcement of the FDCPA. It does not "protect" anyone. You have to protect yourself, and the only way to see the benefit of the FDCPA is to sue. There is no government agency that will actually enforce your rights.

The FDCPA is a toothless tiger. And the collectors know it. This is why they violate so often. They know there is no enforcement.

You MUST sue to get justice under the FDCPA.
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#51 Author of original report

Giving me a headache

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Steve and Amy,

Thanks so much for responding. Sent letter with comment like suggested. I don't have a fax, too bad. This just gives me a headache. This originally started with Verizon. I thought they were a RipOff. My bills would be high and even they couldn't explain to me why, I never went over my minutes. That's why I cancelled my cell phone, but that's another story. Now I have this to deal with.

I did send a complaint to FTC about Allied and have already received a response. I have a folder where I am keeping every envelope, letter, paper, receipt, etc. that I get from this place. I'm also keeping a log of when they call, time, date but I now have Caller ID, so I don't answer. Trying to talk to them is just a waste of time. I started a journal of what was said, time, date, but now that I have caller ID, I don't answer an unfamiliar number. I have read the info from the FDCPA and need to memorize it. I'm going to check out collection licenses in my state. They may not even be a licensed here. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again!
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#52 Consumer Suggestion

The FDCPA will protect you from their harrassment!

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

This collection agency has a reputation for harassing people. I want you to find out which organization in your state licenses collection agencies (in MN it's the Dept. of Commerce) and complain to them in a detailed letter just like you have done here. Once you complain they will receive a letter from the state letting them know that you have made a complaint and I bet the calls will stop.

Then, Google the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and read it carefully (if they keep calling you let them know you have read this and you intend to sue them if they continue). I don't think they can add "collection fees" without leave of court (a court order) which they would have to sue you for. I think that if they were to sue you that wouldn't be a bad thing especially since you would have a good counter suit against them for of violations of the FDCPA.

In that case, make sure that you keep a detailed listing of all interactions with this company (even the calls to family and friends which is illegal) and keep a file with all of the letters that you have sent them as well as the letters you have received from them. That way when it comes time to sue them, you will have everything you need to prove harassment and multiple violations of the FDCPA. Believe me if you stand up to them they will stop.

One last comment, I plan to represent people like you when I graduate from law school because I am so sick of reading these types of complaints which demonstrate clear and blatant violations of the FDCPA. Also, these companies employ generally unintelligent minimum wage types of employees who get little to no training in the FDCPA but that doesn't matter because what they do know they ignore anyway. Oh, make sure you send all letters RRR and keep the receipts. Good luck and keep us informed.
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#53 Consumer Suggestion

The FDCPA will protect you from their harrassment!

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

This collection agency has a reputation for harassing people. I want you to find out which organization in your state licenses collection agencies (in MN it's the Dept. of Commerce) and complain to them in a detailed letter just like you have done here. Once you complain they will receive a letter from the state letting them know that you have made a complaint and I bet the calls will stop.

Then, Google the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and read it carefully (if they keep calling you let them know you have read this and you intend to sue them if they continue). I don't think they can add "collection fees" without leave of court (a court order) which they would have to sue you for. I think that if they were to sue you that wouldn't be a bad thing especially since you would have a good counter suit against them for of violations of the FDCPA.

In that case, make sure that you keep a detailed listing of all interactions with this company (even the calls to family and friends which is illegal) and keep a file with all of the letters that you have sent them as well as the letters you have received from them. That way when it comes time to sue them, you will have everything you need to prove harassment and multiple violations of the FDCPA. Believe me if you stand up to them they will stop.

One last comment, I plan to represent people like you when I graduate from law school because I am so sick of reading these types of complaints which demonstrate clear and blatant violations of the FDCPA. Also, these companies employ generally unintelligent minimum wage types of employees who get little to no training in the FDCPA but that doesn't matter because what they do know they ignore anyway. Oh, make sure you send all letters RRR and keep the receipts. Good luck and keep us informed.
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#54 Consumer Suggestion

The FDCPA will protect you from their harrassment!

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

This collection agency has a reputation for harassing people. I want you to find out which organization in your state licenses collection agencies (in MN it's the Dept. of Commerce) and complain to them in a detailed letter just like you have done here. Once you complain they will receive a letter from the state letting them know that you have made a complaint and I bet the calls will stop.

Then, Google the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and read it carefully (if they keep calling you let them know you have read this and you intend to sue them if they continue). I don't think they can add "collection fees" without leave of court (a court order) which they would have to sue you for. I think that if they were to sue you that wouldn't be a bad thing especially since you would have a good counter suit against them for of violations of the FDCPA.

In that case, make sure that you keep a detailed listing of all interactions with this company (even the calls to family and friends which is illegal) and keep a file with all of the letters that you have sent them as well as the letters you have received from them. That way when it comes time to sue them, you will have everything you need to prove harassment and multiple violations of the FDCPA. Believe me if you stand up to them they will stop.

One last comment, I plan to represent people like you when I graduate from law school because I am so sick of reading these types of complaints which demonstrate clear and blatant violations of the FDCPA. Also, these companies employ generally unintelligent minimum wage types of employees who get little to no training in the FDCPA but that doesn't matter because what they do know they ignore anyway. Oh, make sure you send all letters RRR and keep the receipts. Good luck and keep us informed.
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#55 Consumer Suggestion

The FDCPA will protect you from their harrassment!

AUTHOR: Amy - (U.S.A.)

This collection agency has a reputation for harassing people. I want you to find out which organization in your state licenses collection agencies (in MN it's the Dept. of Commerce) and complain to them in a detailed letter just like you have done here. Once you complain they will receive a letter from the state letting them know that you have made a complaint and I bet the calls will stop.

Then, Google the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and read it carefully (if they keep calling you let them know you have read this and you intend to sue them if they continue). I don't think they can add "collection fees" without leave of court (a court order) which they would have to sue you for. I think that if they were to sue you that wouldn't be a bad thing especially since you would have a good counter suit against them for of violations of the FDCPA.

In that case, make sure that you keep a detailed listing of all interactions with this company (even the calls to family and friends which is illegal) and keep a file with all of the letters that you have sent them as well as the letters you have received from them. That way when it comes time to sue them, you will have everything you need to prove harassment and multiple violations of the FDCPA. Believe me if you stand up to them they will stop.

One last comment, I plan to represent people like you when I graduate from law school because I am so sick of reading these types of complaints which demonstrate clear and blatant violations of the FDCPA. Also, these companies employ generally unintelligent minimum wage types of employees who get little to no training in the FDCPA but that doesn't matter because what they do know they ignore anyway. Oh, make sure you send all letters RRR and keep the receipts. Good luck and keep us informed.
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#56 Consumer Suggestion

Mary, want to play with these idiots some? Here's how

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Mary,

Take that last letter you received from them and write something as crude as you are comfortable with on it.

Now put it in a plain envelope that you address to the payment address on the letter. DO NOT put a stamp or a return address on it. Just write in the lower left hand corner "Attn: Payments". Now drop it in a big blue mailbox.

It will get delivered postage due, so the person going to the post office to get it will have to stand in line and then pay postage due on it. When they open it after all of this, suprise! No payment, but they will know how you feel!

Have fun with these morons. I do this trick all the time. They usually quit after you do this.

Imagine that.

Also, when they call, hit the answer button and immediately press and hold the #1 button. If it is a real person it blows their headset off! Talk about bleeding eardrums!

Then, if you are still bored, make about 100-150 copies of your cease comm letter and make your you have unlimited long distance. Then fax them about an hour after they close so you run every fax machine they have out of paper and toner and fill the memory too! Then they reload everything and get another 25-50 pages or so! The look on their face? Priceless!

I have more.
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#57 Consumer Suggestion

Mary, want to play with these idiots some? Here's how

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Mary,

Take that last letter you received from them and write something as crude as you are comfortable with on it.

Now put it in a plain envelope that you address to the payment address on the letter. DO NOT put a stamp or a return address on it. Just write in the lower left hand corner "Attn: Payments". Now drop it in a big blue mailbox.

It will get delivered postage due, so the person going to the post office to get it will have to stand in line and then pay postage due on it. When they open it after all of this, suprise! No payment, but they will know how you feel!

Have fun with these morons. I do this trick all the time. They usually quit after you do this.

Imagine that.

Also, when they call, hit the answer button and immediately press and hold the #1 button. If it is a real person it blows their headset off! Talk about bleeding eardrums!

Then, if you are still bored, make about 100-150 copies of your cease comm letter and make your you have unlimited long distance. Then fax them about an hour after they close so you run every fax machine they have out of paper and toner and fill the memory too! Then they reload everything and get another 25-50 pages or so! The look on their face? Priceless!

I have more.
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#58 Consumer Suggestion

Mary, want to play with these idiots some? Here's how

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Mary,

Take that last letter you received from them and write something as crude as you are comfortable with on it.

Now put it in a plain envelope that you address to the payment address on the letter. DO NOT put a stamp or a return address on it. Just write in the lower left hand corner "Attn: Payments". Now drop it in a big blue mailbox.

It will get delivered postage due, so the person going to the post office to get it will have to stand in line and then pay postage due on it. When they open it after all of this, suprise! No payment, but they will know how you feel!

Have fun with these morons. I do this trick all the time. They usually quit after you do this.

Imagine that.

Also, when they call, hit the answer button and immediately press and hold the #1 button. If it is a real person it blows their headset off! Talk about bleeding eardrums!

Then, if you are still bored, make about 100-150 copies of your cease comm letter and make your you have unlimited long distance. Then fax them about an hour after they close so you run every fax machine they have out of paper and toner and fill the memory too! Then they reload everything and get another 25-50 pages or so! The look on their face? Priceless!

I have more.
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#59 Author of original report

New wrinkle

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Just received a letter in the mail from Allied Interstate, "Special Notice and Payment Demand". They say that Verizon Wireless" placed this with their office (right!). I know Verizon sold off on it because I called them about it. They make it sound like they are collecting on behalf of Verizon. It states I have 30 days to dispute the validity. Delivery address is a PO Box (no surprise). Also states that I may have qualified for a settlement offer so it is in my best interest to contact them (HA!). They have also added a collection fee of $220.00. The amount on the letter is also a few dollars off what they told me was due. I'm still going to send a validation letter.

I'll keep you posted. By the way, so far today (10/30) they have called me 3 times. Caller ID works great. Letters of "Cease Communication" went out this morning (have all receipts, sent rrr, and copies with certified mail number). I'll keep you posted!
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#60 Author of original report

New wrinkle

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Just received a letter in the mail from Allied Interstate, "Special Notice and Payment Demand". They say that Verizon Wireless" placed this with their office (right!). I know Verizon sold off on it because I called them about it. They make it sound like they are collecting on behalf of Verizon. It states I have 30 days to dispute the validity. Delivery address is a PO Box (no surprise). Also states that I may have qualified for a settlement offer so it is in my best interest to contact them (HA!). They have also added a collection fee of $220.00. The amount on the letter is also a few dollars off what they told me was due. I'm still going to send a validation letter.

I'll keep you posted. By the way, so far today (10/30) they have called me 3 times. Caller ID works great. Letters of "Cease Communication" went out this morning (have all receipts, sent rrr, and copies with certified mail number). I'll keep you posted!
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#61 Author of original report

New wrinkle

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Just received a letter in the mail from Allied Interstate, "Special Notice and Payment Demand". They say that Verizon Wireless" placed this with their office (right!). I know Verizon sold off on it because I called them about it. They make it sound like they are collecting on behalf of Verizon. It states I have 30 days to dispute the validity. Delivery address is a PO Box (no surprise). Also states that I may have qualified for a settlement offer so it is in my best interest to contact them (HA!). They have also added a collection fee of $220.00. The amount on the letter is also a few dollars off what they told me was due. I'm still going to send a validation letter.

I'll keep you posted. By the way, so far today (10/30) they have called me 3 times. Caller ID works great. Letters of "Cease Communication" went out this morning (have all receipts, sent rrr, and copies with certified mail number). I'll keep you posted!
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#62 Author of original report

Better Advise

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Steve,

Thank God for your knowledge. I'm so glad you answered. Before I knew about RipOff report and became better educated, I had talked with Allied. I hope the damage hasn't already been done as far saying I would try to make payments, which they wouldn't accept anyway. That was on the first contact before I knew about RipOff reports (Wed, Oct 25). They have called me three other times. I told them I refuse to talk to them until I get a letter of validation, stop calling me, and that I was sending a CEASE COMMUNICATION letter (I just got back from the post office). Letters are on their way! They have also called my parent's house asking for me (recently moved). I told my parents to say nothing to them, don't answer the phone, if you pick up hang up on them.

Thanks again Steve. I'm definitely taking your advise. I just hope the damage hasn't already been done. I want them to go away.
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#63 Consumer Suggestion

Mary, NEVER even discuss making payments, it can validate the debt!

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Mary,

NEVER speak to any collector on the phone!! NEVER. It will never do anything positive for you and will in almost every case make things worse.

Having any conversation regarding payment arrangements, or making a payment resets the SOL and validates the debt. NEVER do this!!

Always upon first contact by ANY third party debt collector/debt buyer, send a CEASE COMMUNICATIONS request as per your rights under the FDCPA. Send this by certified mail, return reciept requested. be sure to put the certified# on the letter itself and keep a copy for your records. this is very important.

Allied Interstate are not only debt collectors, they are JUNK DEBT BUYERS. They buy these type of old debts for far less than a penny on the dollar, hoping to pressure the uneducated consumer into validating an otherwise uncollectable debt.

Once an account is assigned or sold to a collection agency, the original creditor cannot legally speak to you or accept a payment. There is no choice here.

Just don't deal with them. They go away. Send CEASE COMM, then sue them next time they contact you.
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#64 Author of original report

Best advice given to me

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

After reading other stories about Allied Interstate. I went adhead and filed a complaint with the FTC. My letters to stop them from calling me are ready to go to the post office. I'm getting caller ID and a new answering machine (one that records). We'll see what happens.
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