This company tries to violate your rights as given by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by threatening things like "you have till 5pm to respond" or "we have your SSN" and "we will contact our lawyer". These i believe fall under the Sec 806(1) and (2) of this Code. Stating that you have "received goods that the merchant was not paid for" falls under Sec 807(7) as it can cause you to believe they are calling you a criminal. Normally, honest debt collectors will attempt communication via a mailed letter, some through phone calls. If the initial contact is via phone, they still have to notify you that you have 30 days of which to rebut such a debt in writing: Sec 809a(3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector; 809(5)c states that: The failure of a consumer to dispute the validity of a debt under this section may not be construed by any court as an admission of liability by the consumer.
So, my complaint:
I bounced a check through half my fault, half my banks fault on the 20th of May. It was returned after trying to post once, after my bank said it was post a 2nd time and then clear. It was returned unpaid and un-resubmitted on May 21st. On the 29th of May, Checkredi started calling my parents house in an attempt to contact me. Im not sure WHY they did this, but then they called my house on June 5th after my sister gave out my private unlisted number. Since i was at work, they spoke to my wife (who works 2nd shift and was sleeping at 8:22am) and said that it was urgent that they speak to me. She replied that i was at work, and what was the call about. They said "he bounced a check and we are attempting to collect the money plus fees". So she asked what the check was for and they replied "$14.79 + $30.00 for the fee". She said well they would have to speak to me about this and when they said "he has until 5pm and we have his SSN", and then hung up. So my wife who was pretty livid by now called back and asked for a manager, and proceeded to ask them what that statement really meant. The manager replied that "we will submit this to our lawyer, but dont worry about the amount, we have done so for as little as $1", and then hung up. So, i got their number and attempted contact. The first lady asked me for my number, and i said "its unlisted.." and she inerrupted "sir, dont be stupid, if weve called you, we have your number. Get a clue, when you want to pay this debt call us back". And hung up. So, now IM livid. So i call back and a supposed manager answers and i said a couple words about the jerk on the previous call, and she said "well they arent supposed to act that way, ill look into it". So we talk about this and that, and i tell her "that i cant do anything until the 15th when i get paid next, cause when everything that is outstanding, ill have less than $40 left over". To which she replies "well cant your wife loan you $4 till payday?", i reply "you want me to be without ANY money for a week and a half? What i need gas to get to work? Cant you notate the account that ill pay then?" She answers "i can notate it, but it wont stop the collection process", i said "whats this 'process' you refer to?". She answered "the automated phone calls, calls from people, possible reissuing of the debt plus fees to your bank account, or to our lawyer." So im like "if you submit it without my authority, thats the same as me bouncing the check, its theft" she replied "we are trying to collect a debt". (which ironically, doesnt make any sense, they still need your permission to access your account). So on Friday June 6th, less than 24 hours after '1st Contact', they submit the charges to my bank account causing an outstanding check to an actual 'creditor' to bounce and leaving me to spend MORE money to put a stop payment on the charges, and contacting my creditor to explain to them what happened. Luckily they will work with me and not charge me on their end for the snafu. So now, im out $32 x 2 for NSF fees from the bank, $32 for stop payment, and still have to pay my other bill. All for a $14.79 pizza. After all this is said and done, id like them see if they can repossess their 'merchandise' since i 'stole it from them'!
I am seeking legal advice at this time, the first contact doesnt practice in my state, but referred me to someone else. They will pay for this abuse, if i have to sue civily, nobody threatens me with abuse of my SSN and gets away with it.
Besides that, i have Section 813(a)(2) on my side:
Except as otherwise provided by this section, any debt collector who fails to comply with any provision of this title with respect to any person is liable to such person in an amount equal to the sum of
(1) any actual damage sustained by such person as a result of such failure;
(2) (A) in the case of any action by an individual, such additional damages as the court may allow, but not exceeding $1,000;
Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky