As the legal successor to Hollywood Video, First Lien Lenders Trust attempted to collect a debt that I do not owe, and never owed to Hollywood Video using the collection agency, West Bay Aquisitions. At this point they have agreed to discontinue collection efforts, but maintain that it is a valid debt, which it is not.
My involvement with First Lien began on 5.11.12 when I received a collection letter (dated 5.7.12) from West Bay Acquisition demanding payment of $38.32 for video rentals from April and September of 2009. (attachment 1) I immediately called them to dispute the claim, and while speaking with the representative, I discovered
that the date of birth for the person on my name is different from my own. They then stated that they would drop the matter on the basis of that discrepancy. [continued below]....
..... I informed them that I wanted a written statement of exoneration, and they informed me that I would have to make the request in writing which I did
In that same conversation, West Bay also informed me that Hollywood Video is out of business and gave me the information for the legal successor, First Lien Lenders Trust, who I copied on the aforementioned letter. Subsequently, I never heard from West Bay again, but did receive an unsigned form letter from a Steve Moore at Fist Lien Lenders It is in this letter that I was informed that Mr. Moores investigation determined that the debt is valid. At that point I
responded to Mr. Moore stating that I am not accepting his response and maintain that it is not my debt. As of this writing, I have not heard further from Mr. Moore but did get an unsigned e-mail stating that the case is closed and that no further information can be provided.
The problems with this organization are well documented Im sure that your agency is aware of the fact that there were widespread allegations of bogus debt claims and unfair debt collection practices by Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery. To excerpt and summarize from the articles available..Hollywood Video had video rental stores in all 50 states filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Its accounts receivable were assigned to National Credit Solutions, or NCS, a debt collection agency. After NCS took over, consumers started reporting numerous problems, including that NCS reported negative credit information to credit bureaus without providing consumers advance notice or the opportunity to challenge the debt. Of course you know that as a result, all of the nation's state attorneys generals entered a settlement with Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery. (Chapter 11 ) MOVIE GALLERY, INC., et al., ) Case No. 10-30696 (DOT) with the US
Bankruptcy Court. The Order was signed off on behalf of First Lien Lenders on by none other than the above mentioned Steve Moore.
Details can be found at:
While NCS is out of the picture, three other collection agencies including West Bay have been employed.
My concern now is, that given their proclivity for flouting the law, both before and after the consent order was issued, they cannot be trusted to end their recalcitrant practices. In fact, my case demonstrates thatthey have already reverted to the practice of assigning unwarranted debt. If they are capable of picking someone like me at random ( most others it appears had some dealings with Hollywood Video while I did not) and trying to collect a bogus dept-and refusing to acknowledge the mistake- it is only a short step away from reverting to their preconsent order practice of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and reporting bad debts inappropriately to credit bureaus . It appears that they may have, in fact, sunk to a new low in their long history of abysmal behavior.