I got an automated phone call today telling me to call back this 800 number about a debt, well I just recently paid everything off that was on my credit report, so I was stumped as to what this would be about.
The man who answered the phone when I called told me that it was about my mastercard account that was past due. I told him that my mastercard account was not past due, and he replied that it was an account from the 90's. I told him I did not remember having the card and he told me that I owed $1500 and that he would work with me if I would make monthly payments. I told him I did not know if I woud be able to, and he said he would send me a letter about the debt and call me back next week. I also asked him if there was a statute of limitations on this debt and he said I will always owe this money, and that there is no statute of limitations, and that I am the one who used the card and I am responsible for paying the money back and it will never go away.
I immediately went online after getting off the phone with him and found out that this company has been the subject of recent FTC legal actions and penalties for illegal/abusive collection practices. That they are re-aging debts, and collecting on debts that are way past the statute of limitations. In my state it is 4 years, and it has been almost 10.
I also found a letter template to fill in with my information and send to them in order to get them to stop call me.
RE: [insert account number or name of account or name of debt]:
Dear [insert collector's name or company name],
This letter is in response to your [letter dated xx-xx-2005] (copy enclosed) or [phone call on xx-xx-2005], concerning the collection of the above referenced [account or date].
I do not believe I owe what you say I owe therefore I dispute this debt. I am well aware of my rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and my state laws so I hope to save both of us a great deal of time by letting you know that not only do I dispute the validity of this debt, I have also checked with my State Attorney General and verified that the Statute of Limitations for enforcing this type of debt through the courts in (insert your state or the state in which the contract was signed) has expired. Therefore, should you decide to pursue this matter in court I intend to inform the court of my dispute of this debt and that the "statute of limitations" has expired.
This letter is your formal notification that I consider this matter closed and demand that you, or anyone affiliated with your company, stop contacting me regarding this or any other matter except to advise me that your debt collection efforts are being terminated or that you or the creditor are taking specific actions allowed by the FDCPA or my state laws.
Be advised that I consider any contact not in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act a serious violation of the law and will immediately report any violations to my State Attorney General, to the Federal Trade Commission and, if necessary, take whatever legal action is necessary to protect myself. Be advised that I tape record all phone calls and violations of the FDCPA can result in you or your company being personally fined up to $1,000 per incident.
(Sign above name)
I filled this out and as soon as I get there letter in the mail I will be sending this letter in to them.
Do not let this company scam you, please! They are sneaky and slick, but companies like these need to be taken care of. Junk-Debt collectors are evil little creatures...and need to be exterminated!!