Like so many of the reports I have read, I have also fallen victim to Cavalry Portfolio Services and AT&T Cingular..
I earn my living in the Finance and Collection Industry so I know how to keep my credit perfect or screw it up. I also know the laws of collection and who to contact when it all goes wrong. However, I choose to pay my bills and my debts to avoid scab companies like Cavalry Portfolio. So for those of you who want to defend the collection company, I am not proud to say I have worked with the lowest of you scum. I know how you operate and manipulate and try to intimidate. It won't work here.
For 5 years my credit report was spotless, until January 06 when I pulled a credit report for review purposes (done every 6 months) and there it is a debt is from 1999 for 800.00. Contrary to what the collection companies and there defenders here may say, not everyone owes the debt.
Again, I am well versed in the Collection Laws. I walked every step by the law. I requested proof of the account. I have been a Sprint Customer for 13 years. I never had an At&T or Cingular Account. So where did this come from. I requested validation in writing, certifies mail. Calvary s only has response to my request and has been to change the dates of the delinquency to June of 2006. Which happens to be the month they received my 3rd letter requesting validation. They see this as debt acknowledgment and new account activity and feel it is legal to change the dates.
Unfortunately, to fight Calvary and other scab collection companies, you are going to have to put a lot more time and effort. Your credit effects your home utilities, auto insurance rates, chances for buying a home or auto, and of course interest rates for any credit accounts. It is worth the effort. These companies bank on consumers who are unknowledgeable or don't want the hassle of fighting the collection companies.
Here is what I know and will give the information freely.
I contacted the Texas state Attorney Generals office for help. All states have government agencies to help you with this you just have to ask. The Texas AGA pulled Cavalry in there complaint data base and stated that there are 32 consumer complaints for the same reason as mine for the month of September 06 alone.
They said that the when enough complaints come in about Cavalry and the other scab collection agencies that they will start an investigation and could start legal actions against them. The problem is the consumers (you) are not SPEAKING UP.
So take this a step further. If you have the time to file a report here, then file one with your State Attorney General and the State Attorney General where the companies do business.
Other Agencies and Companies are equipt to help you clear your credit but again you have to make the effort. You have already paid for the services if you pay taxes. Even if the agencies are understaffed or not eager to help, leave a paper trail, file complaints! Make sure you document all contact with scabs in writing. Letters should always be certified mail with a receipt! The bigger and longer the paper trail is against them the easier each of us can prove our genuine innocence.
Here are the companies you should contact to file complaints or get advice and information on how to fight the debts and scab collectors.
In Texas (other states have the same or similar agencies and resources just search it on the internet. You will find it!)
Texas Attorney General - http://www.oag.state.tx.us/
Texas Secretary of State: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/
(Collection companies have to a bond to collect/do business in the state where you reside.Secretary of State can tell you if this has been done)
Public Utility Commission: http://www.puc.state.tx.us/
Texas State Law Library: http://www.sll.state.tx.us/
Texas State Bar: http://www.texasbar.com/
(Will help you contact legal advisors to fight the scab collection companies)
States that Cavalry does there dirty business: (go to the Consumer to file complaints):
State of New York - http://www.oag.state.ny.us/
State of Arizona -. http://www.azag.gov/
State of Oklahoma - http://www.oag.state.ok.us/
State of Minnesota - http://www.ag.state.mn.us/
Additional sites to file a complaint. Keep at it, they will help you eventually or send you to someone who will.
Federal trade Commission - http://www.ftc.gov/
American Collectors Association - http://www.acainternational.org/
Better Business Bureau (National) - http://www.bbb.org/
You should file a complaint with the National BBB, Your Local BBB, and the BBB where the companies is doing business.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling - http://www.nfcc.org/
(Your not admitting to the debt you are looking for advice to fight and clear the debt.)
Dispute the collections with all 3 the credit bureaus in writing certified mail.
Experian - http://www.experian.com/
Equifax - http://www.equifax.com/
Trans Union - http://www.transunion.com/
Don't blow this off! The longer time lapses and the less effort you make, the harder it is to prove it isn't you debt and that you want it to be corrected. Why? Simple, because if it isn't your debt why would you let it ride on your credit and run your chances for or loans and pay higher prices, interest and possibly jobs because of an invalid debt on your credit report.
File complaints with every agency for your home state and the state where they do business and any federal government agencies that are over the states. The louder we yell the sooner someone will hear us and help.
Right now every politician in every state is looking into issues that effect the public. Write letters, send emails and make phone calls about this issue or any other issue that laws and government Agencies need to regulate. Contact your State Governor, State Representative and any of there opponents running for election. Once election time is over the politicians are less likely to be helpful to resolves issues for the general public!
If any of the agencies above or in your state choose to take legal action against these companies you will be included in any help or payout that they find because you took action and have a paper trail.
B.J. - Take action!