• Report: #115924

Complaint Review: Merchants' Credit Guide

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  • Submitted: Wed, November 03, 2004
  • Updated: Wed, November 03, 2004

  • Reported By:Paola Kansas
Merchants' Credit Guide
223 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.

Merchants' Credit Guide ripoff ~ Pinnacle Credit Services for Sears account credit card debt was incured about 20 years ago and had been settled over 15 years ago Chicago Same company working with the Alyon scam on this site!Illinois

*Consumer Comment: This is SOP for a growing industry

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I received a letter from Merchants Credit Guide informing me they were attempting to collect a past due balance on a Sears Account. The letter detailed three offers to resolve the debt, pay 50% now, pay 70% in three equal consecutive payments or pay a mutually agreed monthly amount and pay it in full.

My issues with this are that this credit card debt was incured about 20 years ago and had been settled over 15 years ago (ie: charged off). On top of that the state I lived in then (MA) and now (KS) have statues of limitations regarding debt collection and both have long since passed (MA = 6 years, KS = 3 or 5 years).

I see this as an attempt to defraud and after reading the Federal Trade Commissions website (www.ftc.gov) have decided to write an email to the Better Business Bureau informing them of the practice this company is engaging in.

I just recently applied for a mortgage and there was no notation of this debt on my credit report. It's my guess they are buying lists of charged off debts in an attempt to make some money by defrauding and bullying, sometimes even harrassing consumers (the man I spoke to on the phone kept yelling at me to "pay your bill, you know what you owe, pay your bill" until I pissed him off by repeating my question over and over and he got his supervisor). I was accused of wasting his time, as if my time is somehow less valuable than his.

Helpful websites

Credit Info Center
http://www.creditinfocenter.com/rebuild/statuteLimitations.shtml#2

Federal Trade Commission http://www.ftc.gov

BBB http://www.bbb.org

Kathy
Paola, Kansas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/03/2004 10:29 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Merchants-Credit-Guide/Chicago-Illinois-60606/Merchants-Credit-Guide-ripoff-Pinnacle-Credit-Services-for-Sears-account-credit-card-de-115924. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

This is SOP for a growing industry

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

There is a growing industry out there that buys old debts - charged off, deceased, bankrupt - makes no difference for a couple of pennies on the dollar and then adds on all those years of interest at the contract rate - often tripling the debt amount - and then trying to collect it all.

You are aware the debt is Out of Statute of Limitations, and that is valuable knowledge. I am sure the collector knows this also. The reason the collector was so belligerent is simple - if he can scare a payment out of you - any payment - you have in most states acknowledged the debt and have brought the debt back into Statute and then they can sue you.

There are two laws you should know about - both Federal - Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

FCRA states that once a debt has gone 7 years after default (that's the FIRST payment you missed that led to the charge off) it can no longer be reported on your credit file. That is why this debt is not in your credit file - BUT I suggest you monitor your credit file. Some of these Junk Debt Buyers (JDB's) have been known to change the Status Date ofa debt to make the default look more recent in order to get the debt onto your credit file. This is known as re-aging and is a FCRA violation. I sued two JDB's for re-aging and collected from both of them.

FDCPA states that debt collectors cannot do a long list of unfair and deceptive acts - one of which is bringing suit for an Out-of-Statute debt. If the collector sues you, file a counterclaim for the FDCPA violation as well as asserting the defense of SOL.

I am sure that if you do a Google Search by the company's name you will find several message boards where consumers share information on how to handle exactly the situation you are in.
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