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  • Report: #67729

Complaint Review: SBC And American Agencies

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  • Submitted: Sat, September 27, 2003
  • Updated: Mon, April 05, 2004

  • Reported By:San Francisco California
SBC And American Agencies
2158 W 190TH ST Torrance, California U.S.A.

SBC And American Agencies I'm being ripped off for $2000!! Torrance California

*Consumer Comment: American Agencies Practices Are Pure Fraud & Abuse

*Consumer Suggestion: Thx, Steve! I submitted my complaint with the FTC

*Consumer Suggestion: Thx, Steve! I submitted my complaint with the FTC

*Consumer Suggestion: Thx, Steve! I submitted my complaint with the FTC

*Consumer Suggestion: Thx, Steve! I submitted my complaint with the FTC

*Consumer Comment: another victim of American Agencies

*Consumer Suggestion: There is a current lawsuit filed by ftc

*Consumer Suggestion: American Agencies corporate suspension, you should demand validation from American Agencies

*Consumer Suggestion: Call FTC Now

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Seems to be the text book case. I ran my credit report - working on some old bad credit. I came across this American Agencies collection account for an old Pac Bell telephone. I disputed it in April on CreditExpert, and it was apparently "verified". I have no idea what that's supposed to mean, because I never saw any verification personally. So, I called American Agencies and the guy tells me that I not only owe them $2000 for this account from 1998, I owe them another $2000 for an account from 1993!!!

What the heck is going on?! The 1993 account doesn't show up on my credit report. I told the guy at American that it's not on my credit report, and I asked him how I could have possibly gotten a telephone in 1998, if I owed $2000 from 1993. He said he didn't know, but offered to have "everything removed from my credit report if I paid in full."

So, I called SBC today. This guy tells me that he sees an old phone number from 1998, but doesn't have access to the final bill, and that I'd have to clear it up with American Agencies. But, before he ended the call, he said I could leave a deposit in the same amount of my final bill if I needed telephone service. He said the deposit amount would be $660. Hmmmmmm. I thought he didn't have access to my final billing information?

These two companies have been involved in some very shady collection scams for some time. I've done some internet searches, and found tons of information. Now, I just don't know what to do with it all or what to do about this crazy charge. I've read that neither company cooperates and that they just continue to charge interest and late fees. I don't think SBC is being very honest or ethical, and this relationship they've got with a bottom-feeder like American Credit Agencies is highly questionable. They seem to be getting away with literally stealing money.

Chris
San Francisco, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/27/2003 05:31 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/SBC-And-American-Agencies/Torrance-California/SBC-And-American-Agencies-Im-being-ripped-off-for-2000-Torrance-California-67729. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

American Agencies Practices Are Pure Fraud & Abuse

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

Dear Consumers:

As you have read, American Agencies of Torrance, CA, is a debt collector that engages in fraud, unfair, deception, abusive, and unlawful business practices.

Agents at the company are of the ignorant, undereducated variety. The mission of the corporation is greed and money-mongering at your expense.

DO NOT PAY THIS COMPANY ANYTHING!!!

The best thing you can do is file written complaints about the fraud and abuse with any of the following:

U.S. Senator from California Diane Feinstein
County of Los Angeles--
Department of Consumer Affairs
State of California--Office of the Attorney General
Federal Trade Commission
Better Business Bureau of the Southland

File your complaints. Then, followup. You have to fight to protect your rights as consumers. Notify your government representatives and demand regulatory enforcement.

The people who work at American Agencies are pure street scum. Dumb. Arrogant. Abusive. Most of all, they will lie to you. When that's done . . . they will lie to you again.

Remember, everything they tell you is questionable. Their true motives are greed and unjust enrichment at your expense.

Document everything. File your complaints.

If you are really committed, perhaps a small claims action is appropriate. You can sue for an amount of up to $5,000 for willful noncompliance with provisions of the FCRA & FDCPA.

For more information on FCRA & FDCPA, be sure to read consumer information from the Federal Trade Commission website.

I am the Executive Director of a Credit Company and a Credit Consultant. I am a consumer advocate. I work on consumer issues and disputes of the like. Post your questions and comments below.

Stand strong, stand tall, and strive to acquire as much consumer knowledge as possible. Each person plays a role in curtailing consumer abuse.
Take back your rights one transaction at a time.

Thank you for your consideration.

Warm Regards,
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Thx, Steve! I submitted my complaint with the FTC

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

I called Craig Kauffman with the FTC and submitted my complaint.

Mr. Kauffman emphasized that so many people call American Agencies to request verification/validation of the debt - but the LAW requires WRITTEN DISPUTES!

That's of course what I've been telling readers for years and the instructions for proper disputes are at http://forum.creditcourt.com/discus/messages/3318/3318.html

BEFORE you file your complaint with Mr. Kauffman, have your documentation ready - your WRITTEN dispute, and he needs the dates and a brief description of your dispute. I gave him the URL with the part of my law suit relevant to American Agencies: http://forum.creditcourt.com/discus/messages/803/3125.html

I'm sure glad that the FTC is actively investigating and that Steve posted the contact info.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Thx, Steve! I submitted my complaint with the FTC

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

I called Craig Kauffman with the FTC and submitted my complaint.

Mr. Kauffman emphasized that so many people call American Agencies to request verification/validation of the debt - but the LAW requires WRITTEN DISPUTES!

That's of course what I've been telling readers for years and the instructions for proper disputes are at http://forum.creditcourt.com/discus/messages/3318/3318.html

BEFORE you file your complaint with Mr. Kauffman, have your documentation ready - your WRITTEN dispute, and he needs the dates and a brief description of your dispute. I gave him the URL with the part of my law suit relevant to American Agencies: http://forum.creditcourt.com/discus/messages/803/3125.html

I'm sure glad that the FTC is actively investigating and that Steve posted the contact info.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Thx, Steve! I submitted my complaint with the FTC

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

I called Craig Kauffman with the FTC and submitted my complaint.

Mr. Kauffman emphasized that so many people call American Agencies to request verification/validation of the debt - but the LAW requires WRITTEN DISPUTES!

That's of course what I've been telling readers for years and the instructions for proper disputes are at http://forum.creditcourt.com/discus/messages/3318/3318.html

BEFORE you file your complaint with Mr. Kauffman, have your documentation ready - your WRITTEN dispute, and he needs the dates and a brief description of your dispute. I gave him the URL with the part of my law suit relevant to American Agencies: http://forum.creditcourt.com/discus/messages/803/3125.html

I'm sure glad that the FTC is actively investigating and that Steve posted the contact info.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Thx, Steve! I submitted my complaint with the FTC

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

I called Craig Kauffman with the FTC and submitted my complaint.

Mr. Kauffman emphasized that so many people call American Agencies to request verification/validation of the debt - but the LAW requires WRITTEN DISPUTES!

That's of course what I've been telling readers for years and the instructions for proper disputes are at http://forum.creditcourt.com/discus/messages/3318/3318.html

BEFORE you file your complaint with Mr. Kauffman, have your documentation ready - your WRITTEN dispute, and he needs the dates and a brief description of your dispute. I gave him the URL with the part of my law suit relevant to American Agencies: http://forum.creditcourt.com/discus/messages/803/3125.html

I'm sure glad that the FTC is actively investigating and that Steve posted the contact info.
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#6 Consumer Comment

another victim of American Agencies

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

Recently on my credit report (True Credit aka Trans Union) this agency appeared as collecting a debt for Pacific Bell for an old phone bill that apparently I did not pay.

On January 30, 2004, I contacted American Agencies regarding this claim and spoke with a Ms. Mason. She said I had an outstanding bill for $216.00 and the collection agency was assessing late fees of $194.00. I told them unfortunately I had no knowledge of this bill since I had moved from California to NY back in 1999 and put in a mail forwarding but never received anything from the phone company.

As far as I knew all bills had been paid in full. She said I should know what bills I have or have not paid. I again explained to her I did not know about this bill but if it was due I would gladly pay the $216.00. She refused to accept my payment stating either I paid the actual bill and late fees or she would not take my payment at all. I then contacted True Credit and disputed the bill. The collection was deleted from my credit report.

The following day January 31, 2004, I called Pacific Bell, they advised me there was an old outstanding bill of $197.27 and I could make payment to them. The customer service rep I spoke with also told me that American Agencies would be made aware of this payment. Two months later March 24, 2004, I again ran my credit report. This time American Agencies appeared on Experian. My payment of $197.27 did not appear on my report.

I proceeded to call American Agencies again and spoke with Mr. Owen (supervisor) who told me they had no record of the payment and to pay the bill now because I knew I owed it. I told him I refused to pay a bill I had already paid. The next day I called again and spoke with a woman named Paris. She asked me if I had proof of my payment ,which I did have and could I fax her the proof, which I did and if it was validated that the payment had been made she would rectify this matter and delete these interest charges (as she referred to them) of $194.00. I faxed her the requested information and contacted her later on to make sure this had been resolved. She advised me that Pacific Bell claimed there was no record of this payment in their system and I should call Pacific Bell to verify they in fact had my payment.

I called Pacific Bell and they told me not only was there a record of my payment but that they had notified American Agencies of this back in January and would notify them again. I called Paris back again and she told me they would again contact Pacific Bell to verify this. That evening I again called Paris and she now said even if my payment was verified I owed the balance and she never said any charges would be waived. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was placed on the phone with Jasmine Mendez who told me I knew I owed the bill and to pay it and they weren't charging me interest fees but late fees as stated on the back of a Pacific Bell phone bill and to read that. I explained to her that not only did I not have a bill to refer to but I had not lived in California since 1999 and I could not read the back of the bill then. She said too bad then and to just pay the bill I know I owe it.

I told her that after doing research on the internet I found information that states that I am to be sent information on this debt if I so requested. I told her I have requested this before and I am doing so again. She said a letter had been sent to me back in May of 2000 to a California address and was returned back to the agency as undeliverable.

I again explained to her that I did not live in California for over 5 years and I was now requesting this information that I am entitled to. She again repeated herself that I should read the back of a bill and I don't know the laws and to send her information of this law. The following day I faxed a letter to Jasmine requesting information as per Section 809 of Validating Debts of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I called her to verify she received my fax and she stated she had but that I was not entitled to the information I requested, I should review the back of a bill and to just pay the amount they were requesting and be done with all of this.

I told her I would not just pay a bill based on the word of a collection agent. She told me to not call her again regarding this matter and to have an attorney call her in the future.

Unfortunately like every other person that has been dealing with American Agencies (while doing research on the internet for American Agencies I have found numerous people) I do not know what to do anymore. I have called Experian to dispute this credit report inaccuracy and have called the FTC and even filed a complaint on line with the California Attorney General's office and the Better Business Bureau but so far all I am told is they will take a complaint but there is not much they can do. So basically I will keep writing letter and keep disputing my credit report
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

There is a current lawsuit filed by ftc

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

Chris,

I too live in SF and had some issues with American Agencies. I filed a complaint against AA with the FTC in March 2003. The FTC had contacted me 2 wks ago and requested I fill out info and mail it back to them. They mailed me the forms and asked for copies of the credit reports showing AA on it and everything else blacked out. Contact the FTC - Western Region: 901 Market Street, suite 570 San Francisco Ca 94103. The Investigator who works under the lawyer regarding the lawsuit against American Agencies is Craig Kauffman. You can call him directly at 415 848 5111. I hope this helps.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

American Agencies corporate suspension, you should demand validation from American Agencies

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

The American Agencies corporation has been SUSPENDED by the state of California (probably for Franchise Taxboard problems) and they can not legally do business.

On 11/3/03, I notified all credit bureaus of the suspension and I requested that they immediately terminate American Agencies' access to credit reports and that they delete all credit entries.

http://www.creditsuit.org/blog/archives/000215.html

I also included this request as Exhibit V in my federal suit against Pacific Bell (SBC), American Agencies, the bureaus, ....

I recommend that all consumers with American Agencies collections print my exhibit and mail it to the bureaus for deletion (with delivery confirmation).

The Experian "verified" only means that American Agencies notified them that the collection is reported accurately.

UNLESS you include documentation, Experian will ignore a second dispute as frivolous. You MUST include documentation such as my exhibit with your dispute. If they STILL verify (they might) you may have to sue Experian.

Also, you should demand validation from American Agencies at the same time - in WRITING!

Word on the web is also that the FTC in San Francisco is investigating American Agencies, but this is unconfirmed.
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

Call FTC Now

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

I talked to the FTC about my problems with American Agencies. They told me that unless more people complain to them, they do nothing but look for patterns of broken laws. I urge anyone having problems with American Agencies to call the FTC to get these people shut down and a pattern formed to RED FLAG this company with the FTC. American Agencies just lied and put my bill back on my credit report under another companies name. I called that company and they said they have no record of me. The credit reporting agency told me that American Agencies called them last month to tell them that they sold my account to a place called Account Services. This was a lie told just to get it back on my credit report after it was removed due to my persistance that the bill was not mine and they show no proof of debt and I am also going to the Police about this tomorrow. American Agencies WILL retaliate at any costs.
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