Have you been a victim of this scam-artist, "so-called" debt collection company? If so, take action like I did!
My experience started with harassing calls that began as early as 5:23am in the morning. Some thick-accented Indian man told me I owed a debt from an AT&T bill dating back to 4 years ago. (Mind you, I diputed the bill and won!) It ended up the 'apparent' bill was from a house I no longer owned, in a state I no longer lived in. I made the mistake of having AT&T "ATTEMPT" to come hook-up service for my business line. They came to my home and alleged they couldn't find a second line to hook-up the service. (Odd, considering the fact we had 2 lines in the past...) My husband came home later that night and couldn't help but notice there weren't even any footprints in the snow that led out to the main box where they'd need to check for lines running in/out of the house anyways. Yet low and behold, AT&T charged me for this supposed service call, and the bills kept coming. Even funnier, I started getting bills for monthly SERVICE. How was THAT possible, considering the fact the line was never hooked up? Somehow AT&T rationalized that it was my responsibility to get a rep back to my house to get the line installed properly. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I fought the charge for a good year, and finally thought it went away. More than 3 years later, it shows up on my credit report through some collection company. No notice - nothing. I own a finance company, so I got that one ripped off my report in no time. (God as my wittness, I have never had a late payment or a collection on my credit report in my entire life, so things like this really tick me off.) They didn't verify the debt, so all the agencies removed it in less than 30 days. I assumed it was over.
Now enter in Bay Area Credit Services. Here we go again. These people apparently want to be more aggressive. Bad move. They have no idea who they're dealing with. So take heed on how to deal with animals like this:
1. First of all, section 804/805 of the Fair Collection Act states that a creditor cannot harass you or contact you outside of "REASONABLE" hours, specifically the said hours of 8am and 9pm. So DOCUMENT the times these people call you, and the NUMBER of times a day these people call you. They cannot threaten you, alleging bodily harm, criminal action/prosecution, etc. Furthermore, make sure you tell them to STOP calling you!
2. By law, a creditor has to VERIFY the debt they allege. Tell them to send you PROOF of the original debt. Most of these guys can't do it. Once they can't, they have no right to contact you anymore. They're buying 'debts' 3 and 4 times over, banking on the fact you'll pay them if they harass you long enough. If they don't send you proof of the debt, you have them.
In my case, these guys have called me multiple times at 5am in the morning, and I have recorded proof that I've asked them to stop. Now I'm filing in Small Claims Court, for up to $1,000 per occurance, the max allowed by law. How to do it? Simple. I can't wait to provide the information step-by-step:
1. Most counties have forms you can fill on-line and mail in now. The cost to appear in Small Claims Court is typically minimal. I'm in CA. It was $35. I'm suing for $4,000.
2. You have to serve them eventually. Here's all the information you need:
Legal Department Contact Info for Bay Area Credit:
1901 W. 10th Street
Antioch, CA 94509
I was also advised they use the following:
Alliant Law Group
(Use the same address)
So yes, for a mere $35, I get to take these jokers to Small Claims Court, and possibly make 4K for their ignorance. I can assure you, the courts are cracking down on abusing the Fair Collection Act, and harassing consumers.
Considering the fact you literally don't have to leave your house anymore to file in Small Claims, I encourage you to take action against those who tarnish your credit, defame your good name, or feel the need to threaten you in your own home!
Getting even is as easy as following the steps above!
Good luck, and good riddance! I hope you help me in my crusade to take these animals DOWN!!!
White Lake, Michigan