Another question, United Collection Bureau

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by vivalamama, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. vivalamama

    vivalamama Active Member

    So in attempt to clean things up, I'm contacting collection companies about old debt. One of which, is United Collection Bureau, also, UCB, located in Toledo Ohio. With some searching online I've found a lot of bad information about this company and its bad practices, including MANY lawsuits against them for bad practice. The other day I also found on the BBB that they're currently under suspension due to too many complaints. Despite this, I called to request a statement on my account. I have 4 different accounts through them on my credit report, all of which are legit (medical bills from pregnancy), so I want to get them off my report.

    I did not agree to make any payment at any time however. But the representative immediately started asking for my social security number, husbands name, places of work and so forth. I refused to give out any of this information to her. She also said that they do not send out statements on accounts, only accept payment in full or monthly payments made by check over the phone, or monthly electronic checking deductions. Now, my concern here is that since this seems to be a VERY shady company, it seems to me a bad idea to give them any type of access to my accounts! I asked her if I could just send cashiers checks or money orders should I be able to pay the debts and she said they do not allow that. Is that legal? I guess what I'm looking for here is advice on how to deal with a known shady company. And since off the bat she started asking for social security numbers and phone numbers (which I think MIGHT be a violation of law), dealing with them makes me even more nervous. I want this debt paid off and off my credit report, but how do I go about it in a safe way? Any advice is appreciated!
  2. Hedwig

    Hedwig Well-Known Member

    You shouldn't pay anyone anything until they have proven that the debt belongs to you, the amount is correct, and they have a right to collect.
  3. vivalamama

    vivalamama Active Member

    Well I know for certain the accounts are legit, and I do want to pay them off because that's why I called about them. But I'm very nervous because I had already checked online and found that they are a shady company at best. Also when I requested a statement on my account, as I have not received one, she simply said "We don't send statements. We just accept payment in full". Now how is it legal to not send a statement or letter of some kind? Is that not my legal right to verify that its a legit debt (even though I know it is) by way of a statement of some kind? Seems to me in the searching I've done that they have to send me a letter so I can verify that its a valid debt, upon which then I would pay.

    Also, she stated that they do not accept any form of payment other then check over the phone or electronic deductions. Well, call me crazy, but I don't think its the best idea to give a company full access to my account without them even giving me the proper letter to validate the debt! I just don't know how to safely pay off this debt when they wont send me a letter or statement about the account and wont accept any type of payment that does not involve full access to my checking account. It's not that I don't want to pay the debt, its just that I'm only now in the financial position to. What do you guys recommend? How can I get this debt taken care of while covering my butt legally? Thanks in advance again!
  4. Gmz

    Gmz New Member

    vivalamama, I would pay them. Their legit. I had an account with them a while ago. I paid them in full and it posted to my credit report soon after. The only problem is that it takes 7 years to completely be removed from your credit history. Whether you pay it or not the account will still effect you negatively for 7 years after the pay day.
  5. Hedwig

    Hedwig Well-Known Member

    Just because you owe money to someone doesn't mean that it's these people.

    Did they contact you, or did you just find it on your reports? How old are the debts? What is the SOL in your state.

    You need to have UCB prove that this is the debt that you think you owe, that the amount is correct, and that they have the right to collect it. It would be bad if you paid them only to find out that they don't have the right to collect and you still owe the money to someone else.

    So, as I said, don't pay a dime to anyone until they prove it's your debt, show how they calculated the amount (so you can make sure any interest and charges are legal) and that they are the ones that are legally entitled to collect it.

    You may not owe this (it could be past SOL) or they may not have the documentation to prove it's yours. In that case, they must cease collections and take it off your report.
  6. BillsFan

    BillsFan Well-Known Member

    Hedwig is making some very good points. I have learned that these collection agencies prey on people who think impulsively and they hate people that are methodical. I can only share with you what I have learned from my experiences, research and guidance from people. I donâ??t discourage you from paying anything you owe; you just should make sure that you are not opening your self up to litigation, and that you are dealing with credible people and actually settling the correct accounts. Look it sounds simple but if I called and said you owed me money from college and I demand payment right away over the phone would you pay me? So why a bill collector, if you owe them money and it is legitimate they should have no problem sending you a statement and a letter. The way every one else does, unless there is something to hide.

    When you say you are settling a lot of old accounts are you paying/settling them in full or starting a bunch of payment plans ? I would pay or settle in full verses settling for a payment plan, when you pay in most states you restart the sol, so while they may not have an incentive to sue you, recharging the sol is like dangling meat at a wolf. Itâ??s also not unusual for agencies to come to terms with people on payment plans and then pursue litigations after the debtor unwittingly restarts the sol. God forbid you fall back behind on your payment or stop again because now they have the amo to take you to court and you lose any sol defense you had if you had it.

    Make sure you get in writing they will remove it from your credit report after payment, it sounds like you want to do the right thing you might as well make sure they are as well. I have found most legitimate collection agencies that report have no problem doing this. Hedwig is right if you donâ??t take the time to make sure you have everything in writing you may have regrets down the road. Also the fax machine or e-mail are no substitutes for good ol us mail in my opinion. Make no mistake, you are about to get into the water with some piranhas.

    These accounts turn over left and right, these companies come in and out of business. So if you pay the wrong person, it is on you to do the due diligence. I had a friend that had to pay for one account two times in college. Paid the collection agency and the collection agency went out of business and sold the account. He had no documentation and it cost him a lot of money in the end.

    Take your time, write these companies letters requesting they verify the debt is yours, tell them you want to know how they came up with the sum they came up with etc. If they canâ??t prove the debt is yours, then you move to on to getting them to cease and desist and if Iâ??m not mistaken it stops them from selling your account.
  7. peeper

    peeper Well-Known Member

    Why would you want to pay someone back money they never lent you ?How about first paying me back the 2,000 i never lent you with interest and penalties!If you don't i will sue you and ruin your credit!
  8. vivalamama

    vivalamama Active Member

    Thanks so much for all the great advice everyone, its really appreciated. Money is tight for us, but we're trying to do the right thing. Start with the small bills and work our way up you know. So I'm trying to do as much research as possible to make sure I handle all of this so that in the end, the debt really is gone with only having to pay it once!

    I found it very odd that the woman refused to send out a statement to me of any kind, just demanded payment in full. I mean she was very polite in how she said it all, but still, why wont they send out a statement? So, this is what I was planning to do so far, am I on the right path? I was going to send them a validation letter via, what is it, certified registered mail? That way I will have some form of proof that they in deed did receive it. I got a template for one online last night. If they send me the validation information I'll dispute the bill if I find its inaccurate. But if it is accurate, I should send in another letter via registered mail requesting written confirmation that upon payment in full that it will be stricken from my credit report right? If they comply with that, then I would think that the best method of payment would be to either send a cashiers check or money order. Because giving them access to my account is a horribly bad idea from what I've read. But, if they refuse to do that what's my next step? Could I open a bank account (not in anyway tied to my regular one, at a whole other bank) and ONLY put it in what they want to withdrawal. After which close it immediately? That makes me nervous, just kicking around ideas about how to pay if they cooperate till that point. But for the sack of argument, say they accept a cashiers check, then I would again get it in writing that it has been removed from my credit report. Am I doing ok so far?

    But what if they don't send a validation letter at all, what's my next legal step? Thanks again all, you've been great and I'm so happy I found this board!
  9. Hedwig

    Hedwig Well-Known Member

    Send the validation letter certified mail, return receipt requested (CMRR). You said you found a template on the web. It may not be what you want.

    You just need to send a simple letter asking them to send proof that the debt is yours (from the original creditor) and an accounting of how they arrived at the balance. Also ask them if they own the debt or are just collecting for the original creditor.

    I suspect that they don't have this information. When you get a reply, post back here what they sent and we'll tell you what to do.

    Don't worry about paying yet. IF their validation is proper (which I doubt) you can send a money order. Don't ask what they'll accept--when you're ready you'll just send it. But you may have another round or two of letters before that point.
  10. Hedwig

    Hedwig Well-Known Member

    If they don't send back validation, you ignore them and dispute the account with the CRAs. They will likely sell the account to someone else, because they won't have documentation for it. (Don't worry, the next one won't have it, either.)
  11. vivalamama

    vivalamama Active Member

    The template I found is pretty simple, just asks basically how they got their information, how the account was obtained, basically to send me copies of the entire paper trail of the account up until now. It also has in there a cease and desist communication until validation has been obtained. Should I leave that part in there?

    Thanks so much for the advice, its really been a great help for me. I'm not really one for going into anything without knowing my resources or the proper plan to handle things, so this has just been great for me. I will definitely post what, if anything, I hear from them about the validation. Thanks again to all!
  12. Hedwig

    Hedwig Well-Known Member

    The problem with cease and desist is that it may leave them no choice except to sue you.

    You should just say that it is inconvenient for you to accept calls at any time, and to please communicate only in writing via US mail.
  13. Oracle

    Oracle Banned

    I have long contended that it is best to use the term cease and desist only when you have the power to make it stick and to make it hurt if they don't.

    The word inconvenient is in the FDCPA as it regards communications. Good to use that term since the term cease and desist can easily be misinterpreted to the detriment to the one who invokes it when one means something else entirely.

    My only addition would be to add that it is inconvenient to accept calls at any number, too. Makes doubly sure that they are on notice.

    It has been my experience that UCB is pretty much a paper tiger if you are persistent in your challenges of their offerings. Be polite, but be persistent in asserting your rights.
  14. Oracle

    Oracle Banned

    One further point. UCB may validate with copies of invoices so crisp, clean and new as to be totally suspect, and so "the same" for OC after OC after OC. They likely buy reams of blank invoice forms and print them as needed to pass them off as "obtained from the original creditor". Be wary of their offerings.
  15. greg1045

    greg1045 Well-Known Member

    First of all congratulations for refusing to give them any information regarding your husband, and not giving them your banking information for automatc withdrawals. They were BSing you big time when they said that they don't accept cashiers' checks or money orders.
  16. lopinslow0

    lopinslow0 New Member

    The rep was asking all of that information ( numbers) to establish information on you in order to collect the debt. It is legal to ask any question that will help collect the debt- it is called local information. It is also legal to call neighbors and relatives as long as it is only done one time and the rep does not disclose that it is a debt- they can ask the neighbor to post a note on your door with the rep's phone numbers and extension...once again, this can only be done one time. Even if they are asking for your social they are probably just doing it for verification purposes- your ss number would already be on the file- your husbands name would more than likely appear on the credit report as well as any previous/current places of employment- collectors at all collection agencies can easily access quite a bit of information without you ever knowing it...such as neighbors phones and addresses and well as etc... It is also true that they do not send out statements, by law only one statement has to be sent out and that is usually done as soon as your account has been sent to UCB. You can easily find out where your account has been sent by calling the original creditor. If I were you I would call and speak with a rep that was nice and see what kind of deal you can work out- the more info you are willing to give, usually the better deal the collector will give you. Some collectors are much more willing to give you a 'break' when you are honest and nice about the situation- not all are out to just collect your money- you should look into settlement offers that may be possible on your account.
  17. Hedwig

    Hedwig Well-Known Member

    Information about your spouse is not germane to the issue, unless the spouse is a joint owner of the debt.

    And why bump a year-old thread to post this? Are you a collector?
  18. jjgross

    jjgross Well-Known Member

    I smell a phony in Iowa.Fe-Fi-Fo you finish it.
  19. cap1sucks

    cap1sucks Well-Known Member

    Spit that letter out! Its nasty. Don't ever use the words cease and desist unless you really know what you are doing and why you are doing it. That phrase has no place in a validation letter. The rest of the stuff you say that letter demands also has no place in a validation letter.
  20. bazooca2

    bazooca2 New Member

    i worked In UCB

    I worked in UCB

    Look when they ask you for the SSN (social security number) the just do it to verify, 'cause they alredy have it, and same thing with all your personal info.

    You can pay with money orders if you want, but if you do it, you have to call them to give them the tracker Number. with out that Number they cant verify that you paid.

    also you can take money from your 41k, only to pay medical bills.

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