My wife and I received a phone call the other day regarding an alleged outstanding debt of $1,059.66 for a credit card opened in 1988. CAMCO claimed that regular payments were made until 1993, at which time I believe the debt was paid off.
Since I did indeed have credit problems back in the late 1980's, I make a habit of pulling my credit report annually to check for any type of situation like this. In 1995 when I was discharged from the military with a disability, I requested a credit report so I could use my disability severance pay to pay all debt outstanding. I have yet to date to see any negative information on my credit report regarding this account.
During my conversation with CAMCO, the lady I spoke with (who changed her name twice during the conversation) kept quoting dates, phone numbers and addresses in which I had resided over the past 16 years while I served in the armed forces. She said that they had tried to contact me but I kept avoiding them and I ignored their calls. I informed here that I did remember having such an account and that I believed that it had been paid off in 1993. She would not listen to me and kept stating that she would be willing to work with me to correct this problem since it appears that I wanted to do the right thing. I informed her that I believed that I had the right to dispute this information and that I wanted verification of the actual debt owed. She asked me if I wanted to correct the problem again and when I said I wanted to resolve any debt that I actually owed she connected me with her strong arm Mr. Ball.
Mr. Ball got on his speakerphone and started out with do you have a thousand dollars readily available to you. When I asked him how much the debt was for he stated his same question again. I asked what was the actual amount owed and he said that he did not have this information and that my account was in some ort of status which required an immediate payment of they would have to proceed with legal action. When I explained that I had no idea of this debt and that I had pulled my credit report every year since 1990 he claimed that creditors sometimes don't report to the credit bureau so that they can show that you have good credit and when they take you to court they can show you have an ability to pay and will sue you and take your house I again asked him for verification or proof of this debt and he said he did not have it and if I wanted to stop this from going to court I had to resolve it now. He then proceeded to tell me that I should have paid my debt in the past and quit hiding from people and to be a man. At that point he informed me that not only would they start reporting for the previous 11 years of negative information to the credit bureau that they were going to proceed with suing me if I did not resolve the issue now. I again asked for verification of the debt and said I would need to retain an attorney. He then said that he had the authority to show the account paid in full with no negative reporting or further legal action if I would authorize an electronic check in the amount of $726.00.
Reluctantly I agreed since we are in the process of buying a new house and for fear that our plans for the future would be ruined. Now, after the fact, I have researched and found out that even if I did owe any outstanding debt from 11 years ago, that it would be next to impossible for them to either collect or report this activity.
I firmly believe that I requested verification of the debt, was denied and further strong-armed, out of fear for my family home, into submission of this scam.
Goose Creek, South Carolina