To whom it may concern:
Because NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE a/k/a CONTINENTAL CREDIT placed an improper entry on my credit bureau report with Experian, and further because this firm refused to verify an alleged debt while still attempting to collect it, I sued them. I won a $2,036.00 Judgment in the Circuit Court of Clay County, Missouri (Civil Case #CV106-0024SC, styled: 'James W, Plaintiff -vs.- National Acceptance, Defendant, and Terry Winters, Defendant.'
On November 29, 2005; December 5, 2005; and December 15, 2005, a firm by the name of NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE (1725 ASHLEY CR., BOWLING GREEN, KY 42104) wrote me a letter attempting to collect a debt of $1471.22 allegedly owed to CASTLE CREDIT CORPORATION (formerly: ADVANCE STUDIES, INC. of Chicago, IL).
In 1991, while I was on active duty in the Army, two salesmen operating a firm known as MARTIN & ASSOCIATES approached my then-wife and I with a door-to-door salespitch. We got suckered and stuck with a bill; however, because the products were not as good as they claimed, we disputed the debt in 1992, and in June 1992 sent Advance Studies, Inc. (now Castle Credit) a $12.04 check in accord and satisfaction (settlement) of the debt.
That was the last time we paid Advance Studies a dime. Because the contract was signed with a citizen of Missouri (me), and I was in the military at that time, the contract was governed under the laws of Missouri. The statute of limitations in Missouri on the so-called debt is ten (10) years, so it's clear that this debt is beyond collectible. Nonetheless, be aware that Kentucky has a fifteen (15) year statute of limitations, and that's why this firm bought these accounts - on the offhand chance they sue you, unless you tell the judge you reside in a different state, he or she will assume the contract was signed in Kentucky and is governed under their laws. DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE SUED IN KENTUCKY UNLESS YOU LIVE THERE! The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires you to be sued in the state of your residence!
Through Experian, I learned that this firm also goes by the names CONTINENTAL CREDIT of Colorado Springs, Colorado (they DO NOT have an office there, just a postal machine that stamps their letters as coming from there), AMERICAN CREDIT, and AMERICAN ACCEPTANCE. This firm also uses PO Box addresses in Bowling Green, Kentucky. According to the Warren County, KY Clerk, there is no assumed name registration on record for any of these firms, nor will you find this firm registered with the Secretary of State of Kentucky - so, for starters, this firm is operating illegally.
The letters this firm uses says the Collection Manager is TERRY WINTERS. Because there really is a Theresa Winters in Bowling Green, KY, I want to emphatically state that this is NOT the same person. The TERRY WINTERS name used by National Acceptance is an unregistered assumed name used to avoid litigation. I feel absolutely terrible that NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE would use an unlawful assumed name that closely resembles the name of a person actually living in their city, poor corporate citizenship!
I wrote NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE back on December 7, 2005, and explained that because of the accord and satisfaction check and the statute of limitations, I did not owe them a cent. I demanded verification of the debt, and they refused - but, they still tried to collect the debt in a December 15, 2005 letter. That's a no-no! On December 28, 2005, I mailed a Petition for Damages to my local courthouse seeking damages against NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE and TERRY WINTERS in the amount of $2000 plus costs.
On January 17, 2006, through its agent STEPHANIE SILVANO, I served NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE and TERRY WINTERS. Once served, if NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE thought I owed money, they had ten days to file a compulsory counterclaim against me. If a compulsory counterclaim isn't filed, it is waived. On January 28, 2006, any compulsory counterclaim by NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE for the supposed debt owed to Castle Credit (Advance Studies) had to be submitted to the Court for disposition, but they did not file their compulsory counterclaim, so that issue is now resolved: they waived it.
On February 3, 2006, the Court heard my evidence and gave me a Judgment against NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE and TERRY WINTERS for $1000 on their violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, another $1000 for their violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and $36 for court costs to sue and serve them. Because an equitable lien of judgment exists, I filed a UCC-1 with the Secretary of State of Kentucky, perfecting a judgment lien against ALL the business and personal property of NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE (by whatever name it is going by) and TERRY WINTERS (or those employees and agents of National Acceptance, et al., who use that moniker).
WORDS OF CAUTION! IF YOU AREN'T FORMALLY TRAINED IN LAW, HAVE A LICENSED ATTORNEY HELP YOU WITH STEPS  AND  BELOW.
 Just because a collection agency claims you owe a debt, doesn't make it so. Require written verification of a debt EVERY TIME! You do this by ALWAYS disputing the validity of a debt (they often are wrong about interest owed) in writing within 30 days after their first dunning letter.
 A debt collector cannot collect a debt that is outside the statutes of limitations unless you acknowledge the debt (saying you owe it, or paying them something on it.) As long as you don't acknowledge a debt in writing or pay something on it, they really can't touch you (even though they are VERY ANNOYING). Some states' statutes of limitations are as short as three (3) years. DO NOT ASSUME YOU OWE A DEBT! Check your statute of limitations! If the debt is from a credit card company, the statute of limitations is often shorter than a debt based on a contract, like the alleged debt I mentioned above. If your last payment was longer ago than the statute of limitations, you probably DO NOT owe the debt.
 Make the debt collector verify the debt. If they don't, and EVEN IF YOU DO OWE the debt, that's a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and gives you a sweet $1000 statutory damages counterclaim if they should later sue you. Alternatively, you can sue them for the statutory damages and force them to file a counterclaim against you for the alleged debt they think you owe. If they don't file the counterclaim (because it arises out of the same transaction, it is considered a compulsory counterclaim), they waive the claim against you.
FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT THESE CON-ARTISTS.
 National Acceptance, Continental Credit, American Acceptance, and American Credit are NOT properly registered with the County Clerk or Secretary of State. That makes the owner(s) of this firm criminals in the eyes of the law for Kentucky! Despite this, I've tried to contact the authorities in Kentucky and Warren County, and they don't seem too interested: just something to think about!
 National Acceptance was sued in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and lost to the tune of $3250. American Acceptance was sued in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri and lost to the tune of $6674.50. With my $2036.00 judgment, that means the Judgment Creditors could file a Chapter 7 Involuntary Bankruptcy against this firm and its owners/agents.
 The person who signed for the Summons of the Circuit Court of Clay County, Missouri, is Ms. Stephanie Silvano. I don't know if she's the owner or not (probably not), but she will be seeing a Judge in Kentucky for passing a bad check to the local pizza establishment on March 6, 2006. So far as I can tell, there's nothing good going on with National Acceptance (by whatever name it chooses to call itself).
 Pay these folks NOTHING! Do NOT agree to pay these folks! Make them prove EVERYTHING in WRITING!!
 Even if you owe money, NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE is not legally organized, and may not have standing to sue in ANY jurisdiction. Seek legal assistance if you think you DO owe the debt, because NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE must first be a legal business entity to sue you in most states. Right now, they are NOT.
 Based on the Bankruptcy Case filings by NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE's employees, NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE is NOT withholding social security, FICA, Medicare, and/or State or Federal Income Taxes for its personnel. The IRS and State of Kentucky may have a prior claim against NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE even if you sue and win.
FOR ALL THESE REASONS AND SO MUCH MORE: the firm NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE, by whatever name it uses this week, is a RIPOFF!
One last thing: According to Experian, NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE is owned by Matt & Karen Bodie (although the last name is Brodie according to the process server in the Western District of Missouri case). The Experian file number is H20573193.
Best wishes, CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
Kansas City, Missouri