• Report: #147421

Complaint Review: Buckles And Buckles

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  • Submitted: Fri, June 24, 2005
  • Updated: Tue, June 28, 2005

  • Reported By:Ypsilanti Michigan
Buckles And Buckles
P.O Box 1150 Birmingham, Michigan U.S.A.

Buckles And Buckles Garnishing the Bank Account of a Struggling College Student ripoff Birmingham Michigan

*Consumer Comment: Still no ripoff by Buckles and Buckles... investigate further.

*Consumer Comment: Actually, NO, Robin, I didn't drop the ball

*Consumer Comment: Stephanie, are you confused and attempting to confuse others? This complaint is bogus and there is no rip-off by Buckles and Buckles

*Consumer Suggestion: Clarify your situation-one simple aspect that is unclear

*Consumer Comment: doing a little research of my own and taking your suggestions

*Consumer Comment: Garnishing your bank account for one missed payment two months ago? Whoa!

*Consumer Suggestion: Every check you use has your account information on it. Funny print at the bottom? MICR codes.

*Consumer Comment: Questions for Paul

*Consumer Suggestion: Why are you still paying on this 3 years later? Blow them idiots off once and for all.

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You know, these credit card companies and some of their collection methods ought to be examined.

Three years ago, I made the mistake of opening a Discover Card. It was the worst credit card I ever had and I immediately got rid of it. I started paying it off and had been paying half of my paycheck (which for me is a lot, I don't make a lot and I've been in and out of the hospital).

Last month for circumstances beyond my control, my payment did not reach them, as I thought it had. Instead of sending me written notification, they went ahead and accepted my June payment but tried to garnish my bank account. My bank froze it so no one could take it, not even me.

There was no communication to me that I had missed a payment. There was no communication that they were going to go into my bank account. I don't see how this is legal.

By the way, it was the attorneys at Buckles And Buckles who did this, not Discover. They just have a terrible credit card and inept customer service workers. I would not advise anyone get a Discover card.

For anyone who knows anything about this, what can I do? How is it they can just take the little piece of money I have to live off and not even tell me first?

They also told me that even when they receive my payment on time for next month, they are still going to do the paper work necessary to get the money in my bank account which my bank froze.

Stephanie
Ypsilanti, Michigan
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/24/2005 03:49 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Buckles-And-Buckles/Birmingham-Michigan/Buckles-And-Buckles-Garnishing-the-Bank-Account-of-a-Struggling-College-Student-ripoff-Bir-147421. 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 Consumer Comment

Still no ripoff by Buckles and Buckles... investigate further.

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

I thought you were paying the CC company and that Discover turned you over to B & B over the one missed payment. That is what I asked above: "Discover accepted your June 2005 payment and then sicced this law firm, Buckles and Buckles, on you? For one missed payment?"

If you were already paying a collection lawyer, the process was far advanced. Usually once in this situation one missed payment can trigger this procedure. But it is a procedure with rules, and one of those rules is communication throughout the process.

Go to or call your courthouse and ask to see what is in their files concerning this case. The case number should be on the writ of garnishment.

B & B would not be sending the communications to you. The court itself should have been sending them to you. If the court was not sending notices, then the court clerks dropped the ball. See if your correct address is in the court clerk's office. Obtain copies of any correspondence to you.

If you received a summons for a hearing or other time sensitive material during the time that you were hospitalized, by all means ask for an appeal.

Show the judge your hospital statement to prove that you were truly unable to attend the hearing. Show the judge your documentation of what you have been paying to B & B. You can also tell the judge about your thieving relative, but without proof, that may not help.

It is unfortunate that your relative stole from you and caused you all this trouble.

Still, there is no ripoff by Buckles and Buckles. This is what they do. They are collection lawyers and their duties lie in satisfying the debt.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Actually, NO, Robin, I didn't drop the ball

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

Step One: Naive Stephanie begins paying Buckles and Buckles in December or January, I forget which month.

Step Two: Stephanie goes into the hospital and asks a relative to get the money from her account to send in her May payment.

Step Three: Relative instead steals money, never pays.

Step Four: Stephanie is not home to receive phone calls, and Buckles NEVER sends notification to my home, nor leaves a message.

Step Five: Mind you, this is the first time Stephanie has missed/been late on a payment.

Step Six: When Stephanie goes back to work and finally tries to use her debit card to buy something to eat, Stephanie discovers her bank account has been frozen. Stephanie is unaware that that is perfectly legal.

Step Seven: Two days later Stephanie receives a writ of garnishment.

Step Eight: During a phone conversation with Buckles, Stephanie is told that they did receive her June payment but are still going to garnish whatever money she has in her bank account as of that date.

So you know what, Robin? I obviously was unaware of how this garnishment crap works. I didn't know people had the right to go into your bank account and steal your money, even if you are struggling to pay them back in the first place.

If me going into the hospital and not being able to keep up with them was "dropping the ball", so be it. Not all circumstances are under my control.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Stephanie, are you confused and attempting to confuse others? This complaint is bogus and there is no rip-off by Buckles and Buckles

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

In the original post you said:

"There was no communication to me that I had missed a payment. There was no communication that they were going to go into my bank account. I don't see how this is legal."

Then in a subsequent post you say you have a writ of garnishment in your possession. A writ of garnishment gives a creditor the legal right to garnish your bank account.

So, which is it?

If this case has progressed to the point of garnishment, I would bet a bushel basket full of doughnuts that you have been dodging the mail, ignoring the summons and hoping that it would all go away. You would have done better to go to the hearing and explained your circumstances to the judge, who might well have ordered something less drastic than garnishment since you are "trying so hard" and all.

I am more skeptical than ever that your post is legitimate. This did not all take place over one payment missed in May 2005 and you are not telling the whole story.

You can gripe until kingdom-come, but Buckles and Buckles did not rip you off. Sounds as though all the proper legal steps were followed.

They will take your money and you will not be able to stop it unless you attempt an appeal. Since it seems you do not understand your own paperwork and the facts of your own case clearly, you are probably going to lose that appeal.

YOU dropped the ball, not Buckles and Buckles!
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Clarify your situation-one simple aspect that is unclear

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

1/You got a Discover card from a campus recruiter. Understood.

By the way, you may have listed your bank account on the application. Do you remember anything like that? People use the same bank account for years. When you applied for the Discover, I'm sure the form asked about bank account information. You must have told them the name and account number back then.

2/Quote: I decided I didn't want it, and wanted to pay it off. Then I heard nothing from anyone until I tried to get an apartment.

First, I assume that you must have used the card and owed money on it, right? Otherwise there wouldn't be anything to pay off.

You say wanted. Does that mean you did pay it off and close the account? Or not? There is a big difference between wanting and doing.

It looks like you didn't pay it off. I'm assuming that you ignored the account. You owed money on it. When you failed to make payments as required, the creditor sent the account to collections.

Next, the charge-off was placed on your credit history file.

Next, the apartment manager informs you that you have bad credit.

So, now, you decide to contact the creditor and start making payments. In January of this year.

Since then, you have been paying 40% of your income, or approximately $400 I'm guessing, on this outstanding debt.

You miss one payment, because of a thief that you assumed you could trust.

Now, the creditor has gone in and seized your bank account. The account that contains the money you need to live on.

That brings it up to today.

You left out many of these details, but it sounds like I filled in what actually happened.

OK, now for the assessment of your situation.

Once you miss a payment on any financial obligation (in other words, bill) you become what's know as delinquent. The creditor starts counting the days.

30 days delinquent. 60 days. 90 days. And so on.

During that period of delinquency, they will contact you by at least two methods. Mail and phone.

Typically, a charge card will add late fees to your bill. Most people simply get all caught up at this point. Let's say that you owed $500 before this all started.

At 30 days delinquent, they add a late fee. I think they add $40 for that now.

Also, because of a process known as universal default, the credit card's interest rate goes from the normal number to 30%. Now, you're fucked.

At some point, they will notify the credit reporting agencies (CRAs) of this delinquency. In other words, the problem gets listed on your file. Equifax, Experian & TransUnion store and sell these records.

By 90 days, the original $500 can turn into $900.

If you still don't pay, they will turn the debt over to a collection agency. That information is then added to your credit file.

More big fees get added. Now, you're over $1200.

And, you're starting to get calls from collection agencies. No more minimum payment. Forget that. And, you got no more revolving credit. Forget that too.

Now, it's pay it all now. One payment, two, three.

That's why half your money goes to these fools.

Here's the thing. By this time, your credit's shot. Who's going to loan you money? You didn't pay your discover card.

And, why bother even paying now? All it does is give away half your money?

Your credit will still be shot. No apartment. No car. No house.

Even if you send the losers all the money they ask for, it will show paid through collections on your record.

So, why pay at all? You don't gain anything? You don't get good credit back.

So, blow em off.

Here's the secret. The only reason people pay their bills on time is because they want to keep good credit. They want to keep borrowing more money from everyone. Good credit allows them to do that.

If you don't pay, you lose your good credit.

There it is! This is what keeps people paying and paying.

They need to keep doing more borrowing.

But, then a person like me comes in and screws the whole thing up. I don't give a damn about credit. In fact, I WANT bad credit. Each time I get bad credit, it means I borrowed money and didn't pay it back.

See, the bad credit doesn't bother me at all. I got the bank's $5000 in my pocket. So, what the hell do I need credit for?

Go out and get all kinds of credit. Convert all the things into cash. Instant fifty grand.

Then, add my own money to that. For a long time, I had little businesses of my own. Pretty soon, you buy a house and pay cash. Buy two if the market is going up. Two for $150 each if you can afford them.

Eight months later, sell em off for almost double that. At this point, you're looking at better than half a million bucks, in your pocket. That's after you paid the tax on the capital gains.

After that, who needs credit?

Here's another secret nobody understands. Credit means pay twice for things. Little shit that you pay off in a year doesn't double. A $900 computer turns into maybe $1300. But, you still pay $400 extra.

Go to a credit site and work the numbers. Figure the total payback for a $30,000 car at 12% for 6 or 7 years. It's like almost double. You pay $50. An extra $20,000.

Don't even look at mortgages. Start with a $150,000 home. Seven percent. Six, maybe. Thirty years, fixed interest rate. See how much extra you pay for interest. It's like $175,000. That means $325 total.

A hundred and fifty house turn into over three hundred thousand dollars.

That's credit for you. Pay double on everything.

And, remember, you only get half of your paycheck. The government takes the other half for taxes. Federal tax. State tax. Local tax. Sales tax. Gas tax. Tax on everything but food. Special tax. Extra tax on this. Extra tax on that.

Job claims it pays $30,000 a year. You get to keep $15,000.

And out of that, now you want to go out and borrow everything so that you pay back double?

Are you out of your freakin' mind? I'm down to half my paycheck, and you want me to pay double for everything?

See why people are broke? Taxes. Credit. If one doesn't get you, the other one will.

Stephanie, your credits is already bad. And, it's gonna stay bad. The only thing you're doing is giving away good money you could use for yourself.

Go to google. Search the following.

Credit repair
Overdue debt
Unpaid bill
Delinquent account
Interest rate
Universal default
Collection procedure
Court judgment
Charge off
Credit reporting agency
Credit repair
Bad credit
Secured credit card

That should get you started. Here's a site. Creditinfocenter dot com.

Find out what you're up against. Decide if you really want or need credit in your life. Then, pay accordingly.
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#5 Consumer Comment

doing a little research of my own and taking your suggestions

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

Okay... But the thing is, I've been paying them with money orders. I've never sent them a check or anything with my bank account number.

I've been doing a little research of my own and taking your suggestions (Paul) into consideration (very helpful, might I add). So this is the complete issue... This was a credit card I had when I was young and dumb (during my first years of college, you know how they set up tables on campus and bilk the dumb students into getting one). When I figured out how much trouble it was causing me, I said to hell with it, I decided I didn't want it, and wanted to pay it off. Then I heard nothing from anyone until I tried to get an apartment and was told I needed to check my credit report.

Lo and behold there is a charge from 2002 on there for Discover Card. I called to get the information needed and set up this payment plan (this was only in December, mind you, or January). Ever since then I've been sending them almost half my paychecks each month, with the exception being May, when the money I was to send them was stolen by someone I trusted (who, while I was hospitalized, I asked to get the money order and send to them).

Even after I explained that the money was stolen, and even after Buckles and Buckles (the name on my writ of garnishment was Geraldine Buckles, by the way) they still replied that they had received my June payment but were still going to take the money I had in my bank account as of last week. Leaving me with basically NOTHING. Meaning I will have to find another way to pay for my insurance and other bills that I am paying for BY MYSELF. This after I have been paying this s.o.b's basically more than I can afford.

That's the only reason I am paying. When I got turned down for that apartment not because of my finances but because of that stupid credit card, I said, maybe I can work something out with these losers. They have been slimy as hell from day one. I've contacted our attorney general to see what he has to say.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Garnishing your bank account for one missed payment two months ago? Whoa!

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

Stephanie,

See if I have this straight...two months ago you missed a Discover Card payment (May 2005). Discover accepted your June 2005 payment and then sicced this law firm, Buckles and Buckles, on you? For one missed payment?

The laws in MI must be very lax to allow this. Garnishing a bank account is generally (in my experience, anyway) allowed only after a court judgment has been obtained. This would involve a summons to court either by personal service or certified mail, a hearing, something.

Have you been away or otherwise unavailable to receive any mail or legal notices?

If you paid these payments by check, I suppose that Discover gave your banking information to B & B.

I just find this incredible. Mr. Buckles is on the MI Creditors Bar Association Board of Directors:

Governmental Affairs Chairman
Michael H. R. Buckles
Bar Number P24157
Buckles & Buckles, P.L.C.
P. O. Box 1150
Birmingham, MI 48012
Phone #248-647-5050
Fax #248-647-7372
Direct Line #248-593-7110
mike@bucklesmg.com

This does not sound like someone who would break the law to garnish your bank account.

If you truly feel that you are being ripped-off, a call to the MI Bar Association might be in order.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Every check you use has your account information on it. Funny print at the bottom? MICR codes.

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

Magnetic Ink Character Recognition

Question: How do you find the bank account for somebody who owes you money?

Easiest way I know is to call them up and scare the hell out of them. Stephanie, if we don't receive your check in our office by Wednesday of this week, we'll have a warrant issued and the local police department will pick you up on Thursday morning. I'm sorry, but that's just how it's going to be. You'll be booked and fingerprinted. I assume you'll be cavity searched too, so you might want to wear sensible underwear that day. The male guards have been known to get more than a laugh out of the bimbos who show up with g-strings. The choice is all yours, young lady.

Tell a woman that. You can pretty much count on the check showing up on Monday, as soon as she's done work.

The amount is immaterial. It could be the full amount you owe. Or, just $15.

What they want is the account number, at the bottom. Now, they can use that number when they go to court and ask for an order to seize the account.

Giving someone a check is the same as handing them the keys to your account. Anyone with electronic transfer privileges can simply go in and take whatever. Happens all the time. Read more here.

Anyway, getting back to your plight, the reason they said 28 days is to give you time to contest the action. Otherwise, they'd take the money right now.

The bank has no choice here. They simply follow the directions that the court gave them. The court says give us Stephanie's money. They say yes, sir.

Read the letter. File an appeal. You will lose. But, it makes it harder for them. Remember the whale story? You always want the whale swimming hard and getting tired out.

Rule #1: Whenever you owe a creditor money, you don't just leave a bank account sitting there wide open like that. What do you think they're going to do? They take you to court and seize the account.

Any other assets just waiting to be taken? Cars? Real estate? Valuable item?

Own nothing visible. They can't start sifting through all the records for every bank in town, searching for an account with your name on it.

In 99% of the cases, the debtor will come right out and tell you where they work and where they bank. Or, they'll send you a check. Same difference.

You know, this didn't happen overnight. It all started years ago. You had to have received the notices in the mail. Court summons? Asset seizure? Does any of that ring a bell?

What do you do when you wake up and smell smoke? You don't go back to sleep. You get up and evacuate the building.

You didn't evacuate the building. You shoulda cleaned that account out months ago. It's a lot harder to snipe somebody when they're a moving target. You stood still and made it easy.

Don't feel too bad. You didn't know.

By the way, when a law office calls up and tells you the strip search threat, the correct answer is to laugh and tell them that's one of your fantasies, so bring it on. Show them no fear.

It's bullshit. As is most of what collectors tell you. It's the only way they can get you to bring in the money. Pretty please kinda went out of style years ago. Today, it's pay up or go to jail.

People fall for that. Stupid. Did you ever hear of anyone who told you they were in jail because they didn't pay the electric bill? I never did.

Understand the rules of the game and know your adversary, in whatever arena you chose to compete in. That's how you win.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Questions for Paul

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

I appreciate your quick response! The thing is, I never gave them my bank account number! And now my bank has frozen my money and I just got a paper today saying that within 28 days they will have to send the money over to the attorneys. I'm angry and I'm not letting them have it without a fight.
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

Why are you still paying on this 3 years later? Blow them idiots off once and for all.

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

Here's a secret most people never realize. You don't have to pay anything back at all if you don't want to.

Credit cards, store loans, gas cards. Student loans with a private bank. Car loans. Furniture. Computers. Food. Cash advances. Bank lines of credit.

In fact, let's make this real simple. Here's the list of the things you do have to pay.

Federal taxes. State taxes. Court fines. Motor vehicle violations. Child support. Maybe one or two other things I can't think of right now.

Everything else is optional. If you hit the lottery and have extra money, pay them. If not, don't.

Here's what happens. Basically, nothing.

They send the bill to collections. I like collectors. I talk to them for hours sometimes. Of course, I never actually send them any money. I mean, I'm friendly and all, but not stupid.

But, it is fun to chat about stuff. Eventually, they get tired of talking to me. They have to get back to making money. After 20 calls, that's the last I hear of them. Ten hours on the phone. Not a dime to show for it.

Next, they post the debt on your credit file. It costs them money to do that. The credit services don't give their computer space away. If you want to put a debt on there, you need to pay to do it.

Plus, the collectors need the software. And, computers.

And, how do they get one dime in return? They don't. Complete waste of their time.

They can't garnish a bank account. They are taking your money out because you let them. You got scared and gave them the number of the account.

Close that damn thing and get as much of your money back as possible.

A creditor CAN garnish your wages. As in paycheck. First, they have to go to court and sue you. They get what's called a judgment.

After that, they have to go back to court and apply for an order of garnishment.

Oh, I forgot to mention. All this court action costs them time and money.

So, far they got a judgment and an order for garnishment. But no money from you yet.

And, it's gonna stay that way. Know why?

Because the minute that your employer notifies you that your wages are being garnished, you quit and collect whatever they owe you.

The creditor has to start all over in court again for your next job. But, first they have to find that next job. Months. Or years.

Trust me, there's not a debt out there that I can't show you a way out of!

Question! How do you catch a whale from a rowboat?

Easy. You hook the stupid thing up and give it plenty of line to swim around like crazy. After a while, I don't care how big the thing is, it will get tired out. So tired out that it just gives up.

At that point, you simply reel it in as easy as pie.

Same with creditors. You hook them up. They yell. They scream. They make threats. They send letters. They threaten to go to court.

In the end, months later, if not years, they are so tired of the fight that they just give up.

They have spent money. Sent letters. Made their best threats. All for nothing.

Not one dime in return. They have wasted their time and their money.

On my last contact, I call, collect of course, from a pay phone. And, I explain this to them.

Not only did you waste your time and money with me, but it kept you from contacting a legitimate debtor that might well have sent you something.

Did you learn anything from this, mr collector? Stupid is as stupid does. I can tell in 30 second if the person's a deadbeat or not. Those idiots take 30 months.

Bottom line, Stephanie, and whoever else is in similar circumstances. Stop paying. Not another cent. Start laughing. And, start getting your life back on track again.

Remember the old saying: a fool and their money are soon parted? Discover was foolish to hand away their money to you. Explain that to them next time.

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