I wanted to take the time to relay an experience which has occured between myself and Merchants' Credit Guide Co. After the final phone call I contacted the leading America Consumer Credit Expert, (you probably know him but I am witholding his name for this report), and he provided me with some great information at the bottom of this page. It will tell you more about Merchants Credit Guide Co. , there effort to lie and extort money from them, those that work for him and their family members. Thought some of you could use this story and remedy :
I'd like to request a return email and thank-you in advance for any help you could give me in regards to this information. I need help as this experience has gotten out of hand and I am now wondering if I need to contact our families attorney.
I have fallen victim to another one of Merchants' Credit Guides scams. They are claiming that I had an account with a credit card which I established back in 1990. They claimed that I stopped paying on the card in 1999.
Unfortunately I did not send them a Cease Communication letter immediately upon receiving their information approximately a year ago. Attached to the letter was the usual settle for this amount or monthly installments etc.. I did not send them a dime nor give them any information. I have however had the following three phone conversations with them, the last one really makes me ill.
Phone call 1 summary : They indicated to me that I owed the debt which I disputed. I told them to send me information in regards to this case. They claimed that they had sent me everything they needed to and now it was my responsibility to pay. He became increasingly more agitated. He was literally yelling at me over the phone telling me I needed to take care of my responsibility. I told him that I would have to think about it. He told me I didn't need to think about anything I just needed to pay the amount immediately. I hung up the phone.
After this I did some research into the Statue of Limitations.
After realizing my rights and this case fell outside of the statue of limitations, I tried to ignore their repeated phone calls on my answering machine. The automated messages became worse with frequency until it came to 3 a day, everyday, including Sunday as late as 9:00 pm at night. It was at this point I decided to call them back.
Phone call 2 summary : I indicated to them that I disputed the claim as it was past the statue of limitations. I then asked them if they needed a Cease Communications letter. The person told me they would note it in my file with the Statue of Limitations Clause. I also indicated to them that if they tried to Re-Age my account I would contact my attorney immediately and take re-course on their actions.
The phone calls stopped for a while until yesterday (Wednesday June 6th) when I unfortunately picked up the phone. Before listing the details of the final phone call, let me first say that our family has an attorney who handles it's business needs. I have never personally had to use him as I have not had any problems. But my parents have indicated that they have an attorney in case of family problems or their passing and that is who I contact at that point. Unfortunately I didn't have his name ready during the conversation.
Phone call 3 summary : The person indicated to me that they were calling not to talk to me about collecting a debt but as to whether my intent was to go to court before they issued the summons. I asked him what this was all about and he told me that it was in regards to the credit card I mentioned above and that I had falsely put down my estimated income for the year in order to acquire the account. I can't remember these details as it was back in 1990. They said they were taking me to court for this violation. He then told me that he was in good enough stature with the company to be able and halt the court proceedings if I paid the original amount plus $1100.00 in legal fees and court costs.
I told him that I would need to pass this situation on to my attorney. He demanded to know my attorney's name and phone number. I told him I didn't need to give him that information. He then said, sarcastically, that I didn't have an attorney and was now breaking the law by saying that I did. He started yelling at me telling me that I don't know what I'm doing and said that I am nothing, only trying to be someone I'm not. He told me that I was breaking the law and unless I came up with the finances and called him back I would find myself with stiff fines and jail time.
His final comments at the top of his voice were that I had better come up with the money and call him. He then slammed the phone down in my ear. The number he told me to call was 888-543-xxxx Extension xxx (witholding until case has ended). He also gave me a supposed case number to reference.
I'm pretty sure that this is just another scare tactic but with the threat of fines and jail time he does have me somewhat concerned. I need to know what to do next and if I do indeed need to contact my families attorney. I didn't get his name yet as my parents are older and really don't need to be concerned with this as they have enough to worry about without me introducing new concerns to them. Also it would be very hard for me to afford our families attorney as he isn't cheap but very good at what he does according to my parents' past dealings with him.
Any information you could give me as well as a course of action would be greatly appreciated. I need to bring this situation to some type of resolve even if includes contacting the FTC and Bill McCollum our attorney general for Florida. This is now way out of control. This guy is very intimidating and the yelling by him over the phone has gotten the best of me. I am afraid to answer the phone and my stomach is in an uproar over this phone call.
Thank-you in advance for any information that you can help me with,
Jxxx (Withholding until the case is ended).
Follow - Up from America's Leading Consumer Expert :
You are being lied to by debt collectors who are desperate to make a paycheck, don't fall for this obvious scam. The debt is far past the statutes, there is nothing they can do to you so turn the tables.
Use this when they call again...it works:
"YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THIS CALL IS BEING RECORDED TO INSURE COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL LAW. IF YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR CONVERSATION RECORDED HANG UP NOW.
IF YOU CONTINUE TO TALK, YOU SIGNIFY YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF MY TAPING YOUR CALL."
Tell them you will start calling the owner and his family:
Merchants Credit Guide Co.aka/CFB Financial III, LLC
Michael G. Fromknecht - President
223 W Jackson Blvd Ste 900,
Chicago, IL ZIP: 60606-6912
Daniel F. Burtis Age 46
Tami V. Burtis, wife - age 47
Carolyn J. Burtis - Mother age 74
Edwin S. Burtis Father - age 76
4317 Woodland Ave
Western Springs, Il 60558
440 Wabash Ave
Chicago, Il 60611
(312) 644-1457 OR (312) 644-5021
Get back to me if you need additional assistance.