Yesterday, I received first communication ever about a debt I knew nothing about via voice mail from Greg Williams of Capital Accounts (a collection agency). His message stated verbatim "I thought we had this matter resolved a long time ago - you need to call me at 1-800-983-4730" and nothing more. Did not provide me any information as what on earth he was talking about.
I returned his call promptly today to find out what it was about. Once I identified myself, stated he was calling on behalf of [the claimant] and I owe [amount] right now and I need to be responsible - this is rediculous - that I had been contacted once a month by mail for the past 8 months about this an he's not gonna put up it with anymore. Then he said, before I could reply anything at all, "do you want to use your debit card or check by phone right now?!" I tried to ask some basic information about the debt. Each time I tried to ask anything, he cut me off repeating over and over again "debit card or check by phone? I'm not going to anymore with you. This is your debt and you know it! So don't play dumb with me. I know you received every single letter over the past 8 months. Your debt and you need to pay it right now!"
First of all, I had never received any communication whatsoever about this and really knew nothing about it. I contacted the manager at the complex to resolve the issue. My dispute, as I thought, had been resolved with the complex. This debt was regarding a utility that came in after I had moved out. I was never notified of the bill. The apartment manager even acknowledged that I had no way of knowing about it and she had sent me NOTHING whatsoever because she didn't have my correct address.
When I called back, I asked for a manager and was told I don't need a manager, I need to pay my bill and that in fact if I didn't pay it immediately, it will be reported to the credit bureaus. Greg Williams refused to allow me any questions or comments of any kind about this debt to figure out WHAT I was supposedly due to pay for. He refused to to tell me his title. He refused to allow me to speak to a supervisor.
He violated several laws under the Fair Debt Collections Act including but not limited to telling me the basic information about the debt, knowingly delivering false information about the debt and my record regarding the debt, and did not identify himself as a debt collector and my rights of information regarding my debt during any of these 4 calls.
I am a good person. I pay my debts. I returned his call, not having a clue who he was or what this was about, within 24 hours of his message. In fact, I made 4 calls trying to decifer what this was about and was hung up on twice.
I contacted to the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint learning that this was not the first one for this company or this individual. I was advised that they were already aware of this group and they are confident that my rights were violated as I claimed.
I also contacted the local office for the District Attorney as the FTC directed me to do.
Understanding that there are debts people owe, every person still has rights and there are laws in which these collectors must abide my no matter what. They think they can get away with anything because they have not had a class action suit filed against them yet. The FTC explained that they need each person who gets treated wrong or violated of their rights in any way by any collector to contact them and file a complaint. This is the way they ensue class actions against these perpetrators. (It doesn't hurt to record your calls with these people to back up your claim.)
As for my case, I learned of it today at 2:30pm. I paid the complex manager personally at 5:15pm. I did not show irresponsibility - like I said, once I validate the debt claim, I pay my debt wasting no time.
Stand up for yourself! You have rights and deserve respect - even if you do have an unpaid collection.