Approximately one month ago, I received a telephone call from Kay Branier at CAMCO. She used my maiden name when she called, which immediately made me suspicious. She indicated that CAMCO had purchased a debt of mine from 1988 originally opened with Marine Midland Bank and that I owed over $3,500 and wanted to know how I intended to take care of the debt. I told her I had no idea what she was talking about, in 1988 I was still in high school. She continued by giving me my SSN and stating that since the numbers matched up the debt must be mine. I asked her even if the debt was mine, which I wasn't sure it was, what did she hope to accomplish by her call.
She admitted that the debt was way past the statute of limitations cut off for legal action, but that if I was a good, decent person that I should want to pay the debt. When I continued to deny that the debt was mine, she put her supervisor (Sarah) on the phone. When Sarah realized she too wasn't going to get me to admit the debt was mine and that I defintely wasn't going to pay them any money, she started yelling at me and told me that not only did I owe the debt, but that it was currently accruing interest at the rate of 8.5% a month. I started laughing at her and told her to have a nice day and hung up.
After this phone call, I called an attorney friend of mine who confirmed what I believed and said these people were scumbags and were fraudulently attempting to collect on an invalid debt and to hang up on them if they called again. Shortly thereafter, I received a letter from CAMCO, which I ignored. I continued to receive phone calls from Kay who only left her number (I didn't remember her name from the first conversation), so I didn't call her back. Then I got another letter stating that they were generously offering me a settlement of $1,500 and asking me what option I wanted to choose to settle the debt. Unfortnately, there was no box labeled "Go away and leave me alone, you lying, thieving bastards," so I again ignored the letter.
On my way home from work a couple of days ago, I was on the phone with my husband (we were both on cell phones), and he answered a call at home and it just happened to be Kay. During the course of the conversation with Kay, she started screaming at my husband so loudly that I could hear her. When he told her not to contact us again, she stated that if we would pay our debts, she wouldn't have to call. Whatever! If you weren't a degenerate scum, you might be able to get a job with a reputable company instead of having to make a living scamming people. I called Kay back and she started screaming at me and talking over me. She told me that I had acknowledged that the debt was mine in a previous conversation with her and that I owed the debt, I should pay it, blah blah blah. I told her she was a liar, I never said that and she said, "Yes, you did. Let me get my notes, I have it all written down." Yea, because if she wrote it down, it must be true! Anyway, she eventually hung up on me. I called back and her "supervisor", John got on the phone. Again, he yelled at me, talked over me, and did not give me the opportunity to advise them that under the FDCP I was notifying them not to contact me ever again either by phone, mail, carrier pigeon, whatever. Every time I tried to tell him that or bring up the law in general, he yelled and talked over me to the point that finally -- are you ready for this? -- he blew a whistle in my ear. Right before I hung up on him I said don't call me again and he said, "We'll call you tomorrow." I haven't heard from them since, but I'm betting it's not over. I did send a cease and desist letter via certified mail, return-receipt requested, so we'll see if they back off after they receive it.
FYI -- I did mention to them when Kay told me she was going to get her notes, that I had the original conversation recorded, which actually was an accident because the answering machine picked up when she called and didn't shut off during the conversation. That may be the reason they haven't called back.
Don't pay them. They can't do anything to you (legally anyway). I can't imagine living my life by making a living scamming people, and spending all day screaming and lying to people on the phone. What a miserable bunch of human beings this group must be. They should examine their own lives, if it is in shambles, maybe they should make some changes. What goes around comes around and one day they will have to answer for what they've done. How did they make a difference? How did they contribute in some way? How sad for them, that the only answer they will have is that they lied, cheated, and stole because when it's all over they don't get another chance to make it right and live the best life they could have lived. Maybe I'm giving them too much credit? Maybe they really don't care. What a shame.
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