I received a phone call from 718-684-9404, "Oxford Management". At first it was an automated voice telling me to press 1 to speak with a representative. (obviously a mass dialer program) The woman who answered verified my name and the last 4 digits of my SS#.
She said her name too quickly for me to understand and proceeded to tell me I owe a debt to U.S. Bank for an overdrawn checking acct which I closed in 2003. I told the woman that I recall paying a different agency for this back in 2004 but unfortunately I do not remember the name of the agency nor did I request any proof that the debt was paid in full.
I told her I am disputing this debt in its entirety and that she is required to status the account as such per my verbal notification. (pursuant to recently amended FDCPA law) She then told me that if I refused to pay this that she would have the "Finalization Officer" report this negatively to my credit report and that it would have adverse affects on my credit rating. I asked her what a "Finalization officer" was and she could not answer my question, became frustrated and put me on hold.
Then a man came on the phone and identified himself as Louis Orama and said he was the "Finalization Officer". Immediately I asked him if he is an officer of the company, which he refused to answer and he went on to take an abusive tone with me. He refused to answer any of my questions and demanded payment in a belligerent manner. He said (and I quote verbatim) "You think you're smarter than everyone else" and "I know how to deal with people like you".(because of my ethnicity?)
I then advised him as I did the first woman on the phone that I am disputing this debt in its entirety.(which he did not acknowledge) To which he replied "The bottom line is you owe this bill." I then asked for his collector license number as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce, which he refused.
As I was asking to speak to his supervisor he then hung up on me without advising that he was going to do so. Neither he nor the woman on the phone disclosed, at any time during the communication, the mini-miranda. This is a gross violation of FDCPA section 807 (11) Not to mention the harassing and belittling tone of this person.
My background: I spent 10 years as a debt collector for a very reputable collection agency in the Minneapolis area. I held a management position with them for 3 of those years and was subjected to annual compliance tests regarding the FDCPA. While employed there I took pride in knowing the law and being respectful of consumer's rights while collecting debts. I currently work for a debt broker (a little higher up in the food chain) and am appalled at the behavior and the blatant violation of my rights by this "Louis Orama" (if that is his real name).
My credit is considered "excellent" by the 3 major reporting agencies and my median score is about 760. I'll be damned if I'm going to let some $8 an hour collector verbally abuse me on the phone for a debt I've already paid.
My hopes, in writing this, is that if someone in the future is subjected to the same abusive, harassing conduct that they may somehow find this reply and it will help them deal with people like this. The actions of this "Louis Orama" and his company give my industry a bad reputation and make it more difficult for people like me to do my job. This man is a skidmark on the underwear of the collections industry and you can rest assured I will file suit.
Eden Prairie, Minnesota