My experience with merchants credit guide after review of the laws, indicate they may be violating laws on a routine basis. As you will see the two individuals I spoke may have been in violation of : 8 80715 USC 1692e 807. 1-7. Here is the run down
A) I am a person who wants to pay my debts.. and even though my debts were quite old [prompted by a horrible situation and over the statute of limitations ie over 10 yrs] I have over time settled w/ almost all my accounts with extra money through hard savings. I have maintained good credit with my current accounts for many years.
B)Most or all the other debt collection agencies were civil and work with people who really want to do the right thing. And, they were a pleasure for me to work with.. that is my experience.
C) This is NOT merchants credit guide, or the woman in charge. Instead of working with me, when I offered them a good bit of money (thousands) :they refused and stated that they were going to get access to my current credit cards (and place the debt on the cards. They claimed that since I have open lines of credit, that this is equal to money and that I have the ability to pay more? )
D)I responded in that I would only pay from my savings. I would not put any debt on the credit card, unless I could afford the monthly payment of THAT debt which I COULD NOT. I told them my financial situation income/debt AND reponded the only way I will pay is through my hard earned savings, just like I did to settle all my OTHER accounts. They said they interpret that to be my refusal to pay, my lack of cooperation and therefore since they claim that "I said NO" they will be seeking action against me. ????
E)The gentlemen said that they will now be going after my assets, and my only assets are available credit lines on credit cards??? Instead of negotiating with me from the money I saved to pay the debt, which THEY WOULD HAVE PROFITED FROM.
F) A woman with a loud voice came on the phone as the supervisor stating that if I did not pay, that they are collecting the full amount plus interest, and that I will be under investigation. The woman told me they will be charging interest and the debt will continue to grow and then belittled me that I would not place this on my credit cards. What astounded me, is that I was ready to hand over all of my savings, merchants guide would have made a substantial profit to settle this account. She was saying that since I refused to max out my credit cards to pay the time barred debt to merchants guide in addition to my savings, that I had the means to repay but did not??? She ignored my income to debt ratio as if it had no role in the process. SHE WOULD NOT COMMUNICATE with me...and she would not negotiate.
G)My question: If these companies buy bad or old debt for 2 to 3 pennies on the dollar, why on earth would they not settle a debt for an offer of 15-40% on a time barred debt, like other debt collectors. So when the offer is made, usually it is accepted. They would STILL MAKE A PROFIT?? Settling means they get something, still make a profit , rather than getting nothing and being greedy. Here are some stats
Asset Acceptance Purchased $4.2 billion of debt for $102.3 million, that is 2.4 cents to the dollar
Encore Capital Group purchased $5.9 billion of debt for $195.6 million that is 3.3 cents to the dollar
Portfolio Recovery Associates purchased $5.3 billion of debt for $149.6 million that is 2.8 cents to the dollar
None the less KNOW YOUR RIGHTS Here are the laws...
1. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.
Congressional findings (a) There is abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectorscontributing to personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy.
2. VIOLATIONS BY DEBT COLLECTORS
1.A debt collector may not communicate with any person other than a consumer, his attorney, a consumer reporting agency 2. 806. A debt collector may not engage in any conduct which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt.
4.The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.
The use of obscene or profane language.
Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.
VIOLATIONS : LEGAL THREATS 8 80715 USC 1692e 807.
(1)The false representation or implication that the debt collector is vouched for, bonded by, oraffiliated with the United States or any State, including the use of any badge, uniform, or facsimile thereof.
(2)The false representation of (A)the character, amount, or legal status of any debt; or (B)any services rendered or compensation which may be lawfully received by any debt collector for the collection of a debt.
(3)The false representation or implication that any individual is an attorney or that any communication is from an attorney.
(4)The representation or implication that nonpayment of any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of any property or wages of any person unless such action is lawful and the debt collector or creditor intends to take such action.
(5)The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken.
(6)The false representation or implication that a sale, referral, or other transfer of any interest in a debt shall cause the consumer to (A) lose any claim or defense to payment of the debt; or (B) become subject to any practice prohibited by this title.
(7)The false representation or implication that the consumer committed any crime or other conduct in order to disgrace the consumer. 15 USC 1692e
10 80815 USC 1692f 808. (6) Taking or threatening to take any nonjudicial action to effect dispossession or disablement of property if (A)there is no present right to possession of the property claimed as collateral through an enforceable security interest; (B)there is no present intention to take possession of the property; or(C)the property is exempt by law from such dispossession or disablement.
VIOLATIONS COULD RESULT IN YOUR RIGHT TO SUE DEBT COLLECTORS
14 81315 USC 1692k(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; or (B)in the case of a class action, (i) such amount for each named plaintiff as could be recovered under subparagraph (A), and(ii) such amount as the court may allow for all other class members, without regard to a mini-mum individual recovery, not to exceed the lesser of $500,000 or 1 per centum of the net worth of the debt collector
STATE LAWS CHECK YOUR STATES STATUTE OF LIMITATION FOR LEGAL RECOURSE ON CREDIT CARD DEBT.
You do not have to "legally" pay debt that is considered too old by your state, even though we should try and make good. Every state has laws governing the time in which a person or entity can file suit to collect a debt.
18 81615 USC 1692n 816. Relation to State laws This title does not annul, alter, or affect, or exempt any person subject to the provisions of this title from complying with the laws of any State with respect to debt collection practices, except to the extent that those laws are inconsistent with any provision of this title, and then only to the extent of the inconsistency.
It depends on your state of residence. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) refers to old debts that are beyond the point at which a creditor or debt collector can sue you to collect as Time-barred debts. The window during which a collector cannot sue you is also referred to as the statute of limitation period and is usually between 3 to 10 years after the day of the debt or the last activity date on the account. To determine the last activity date look at your credit report.
Below is a chart of the statute of limitations by state. Contact your State Attorney's General Office for more specific information at http://www.naag.org.
State Oral Contracts Written Contracts Promissory Notes Open-ended Accounts
AL 6 6 6 3
AR 5 5 5 3
AK 6 6 3 3
AZ 3 6 6 3
CA 2 4 4 4
CO 6 6 6 3
CT 3 6 6 6
DE 3 3 3 4
DC 3 3 3 3
FL 4 5 5 4
GA 4 6 6 4
HI 6 6 6 6
IA 5 10 5 5
ID 4 5 5 4
IL 5 10 10 5
IN 6 10 10 6
KS 3 5 5 3
KY 5 15 15 5
LA 10 10 10 3
ME 6 6 6 6
MD 3 3 6 3
MA 6 6 6 6
MI 6 6 6 6
MN 6 6 6 6
MS 3 3 3 3
MO 5 10 10 5
MT 3 8 8 5
NC 3 3 5 4
ND 6 6 6 6
NE 4 5 5 4
NH 3 3 6 3
NJ 6 6 6 6
NM 4 6 6 4
NV 4 6 3 4
NY 6 6 6 6
OH 6 15 15 6
OK 3 5 5 3
OR 6 6 6 6
PA 4 6 4 6
RI 10 10 6 4
SC 3 3 3 3
SD 6 6 6 6
TN 6 4 6 6
TX 4 4 4 4
UT 4 6 6 4
VA 3 6 6 3
VT 6 6 5 4
WA 3 6 6 3
WI 6 6 10 6
WV 5 15 6 4
WY 8 10 10 8