I need help please!!!

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by worried, Jul 26, 2000.

  1. worried

    worried Guest

    I just got a deliquent notice in the mail for a credit card debit that is over 9 years old! It said that I had 30 days to dispute this debt or if I did not respond then it would be assumed the debt is valid! I have not heard anything about this debt for 9 years.

    Aren't I passed the Statue of Limitations? The debt was in Texas. It says I owe over $7500 and they will settle for $4500. I cannot pay this debt. The reason I couldnt pay the debt in the first place was because I became disabled then homeless.

    What should I do? I am afraid that if I respond then it will open up my case again and begin the new statue of limitations. Yet, if I don't respond, what will happen?

    Please help. I am on pins and needles about this. Thank you!!!!
  2. bkonner

    bkonner Well-Known Member

    DONT PAY IT! I am definately not an expert, and everything I know I got from this very helpful page. The Credit Reporting Agencies will report this debt for seven years. The collection agency may try to re-age this debt, that is, show the debt as new. This is illegal.

    Go to this web page, it will show you Texas's statute of limitation (VERY GOOD NEWS FOR YOU) which is four years.


    The collection agency can not collect this debt. They can not take you to court. They can not contact your neighbors. They can not contact you at work. They can not threaten to sue you unless they intend to do so (Which in your case, they can't).

    Send them a certified letter telling them not to contact you at home or work, on the telpephone or in writing. Check your credit report (with the three credit regporting agencies) and make sure they did not re-age (that is, change the date) (of) your debt. This is illegal.

    Again, there is nothing they can do to you.

    Good Luck!
  3. James

    James Guest

    To Worried;

    bkonner is absolutely right!
  4. worried

    worried Guest

    Hi bkonner,
    Thank you for the excellent advice!!!! It is such good news to me. I really appreciate it very much. Maybe I will be able to get a good nights sleep tonight since I don't have to worry about the debt collection.
    Thanks again!!
  5. BOB

    BOB Guest

    worried, rest easy tonight this is a common
    practice by some illegal credit bureau's, they buy the debt from whoever for pennies on the dollar and try to scare the consumer into paying for the old debt. After the SOL
    is over there is nothing they can do. (NOTHING) If this debt was still enforcable
    they wouldn't offer to settle for 1/2 price.
    Just do as bkonner said and you probably won't hear anymore from them, but if they
    re-age it dispute it with the CRA's on the
    reason that it's over 7 years old. Then send the credit bureau a certified letter stating that they have committed a crime and you will have them punished to the extent of the law if this item is not removed in 30 days.
    Mark it with a cc: YOUR STATE ATTY GENERAL
    and you will find they will cooperate,(unless
    their just really stupid) in which case you have them by their gonads. Good Luck and don't worry about this minor thing. It's all a scare tactic to see if you take the bait.
  6. worried

    worried Guest

    Thanks Bob for the advice and the comforting words!

    I am just wondering if I should ignore their letter to me or if I should write back and tell them not to contact me without saying I am disputing the debt. They said that if they don't hear from me in 30 days it will automatically mean the debt is valid. What does that mean?
  7. Renae

    Renae Guest

    Worried, first of all, stop worrying. All of the advice you have been given is correct. I'd like to add something though and it also answers your last question. Definitely write them the letter asking them to cease and desist contact. Be sure you send this letter certified. Keep a copy of the letter for your records. Yes, cc the Attorney General of your state but actually send it to them. Also find out what institution regulates banks, credit unions and collection
    agencies in your state. Once you've sent the letter and you received notification that they've received it, keep careful record of any additional contact via phone that they may be stupid enough to do. This may seem like a lot of work but it's definitely worth it if they continue harassing you. Yes, it's illegal what they're doing but don't just make threats that you aren't going to back up if they keep pushing you. I had a very similar situation earlier this year and had a very nice victory. The collection agency thought I was just bluffing--I wasn't. And they had to pay big!
  8. worried

    worried Guest

    Hi Renae,
    Thanks for the advice! I appreciate it.
    Did you take the collection agency to court and get a settlement?
  9. pat mcgarr

    pat mcgarr Guest

    I concur with Renea, and with the previous advice. I offer more advice, however.

    It is a good idea to cc the Attorney General in your state. It is also important to cc the US Federal Trade Commission. They have jurisdiction over collection agencies, and enforce the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), which has already been violated by trying to collect this non collectible debt.

    Writing the US Comptroller of the Currency or the Federal Reserve (depending on which bank) about the bank which referred the account to collections will cause the bank about one day's work for one employee trying to explain/ apologize.


    Try to find out if recording convrsations is legal in your state. If it is, this can be a hell of a tool in court.

    Note that you can legally cuss at a debt collector. If they cuss back, and you have a tape, it costs them $1000 per phone call during which they cuss.

    I expect Renea got a judgement on a per harassing phone call basis in court.
  10. pat mcgarr

    pat mcgarr Guest

    Send a complaint about violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to:

    Federal Trade Commission
    Washington, DC 20580
  11. bkonner

    bkonner Well-Known Member

    Hey, tell us what about your victory as it will help others do the same thing!

  12. worried

    worried Guest

    Thanks Pat for the information, address, and advice! I really appreciate it!
  13. Renae

    Renae Guest

    RE: I need help please!!!--to

    We never even went to court. I got a lawyer who only charged me $100 even though she deserved much more! By the time I had contacted her, I'd already kept records of everything--contacts,etc. and knew they were breaking the law. I really did send a letter to the state Attorney General's office and to the Dept of Financial Institutions (they regulate banks, credit unions, collection agencies in my state). Both of these offices sent them a letter demanding they answer the charges. When they received those letters from them and from my attorney they offered to settle if I would withdraw the charges with the attorney general and the dept of financial institutions. I agreed, got a nice settlement and the real beauty of it is that when we wrote and called to have them drop the charges, neither institution would "drop" them. Once the charges have been made in this state and they are found to be valid, that's it. So while I wasn't pursuing it any longer, the state did! So, so sweet!
  14. Renae

    Renae Guest

    I totally agree! I forgot about the FTC! They were great and very helpful and was the 3rd agency that I filed a complaint with. However, as I indicated in my above post, we never had to go to court because they settled. They had actually violated about 7-10 laws--federal and state. I live in WI which has very strict consumer protection laws. We have a great AG who doesn't put up with any @!#$!
  15. Renae

    Renae Guest

    I've posted it before and did a real short synopsis of it about 2 posts before this one. It's a really lengthy story but the bottom line is to fight back if you KNOW you're being screwed. Check with your state to find out the consumer protection laws. Call the FTC--they truly are very helpful. Sometimes the advice they give you requires a lot of work on your part--but if you're truly serious about it, do everything they say--it pays off in the end. And don't let those collection agencies intimidate you!
  16. j.y.

    j.y. Guest

    i do have good credit, but i will like to undertand the difference on how a secured credit card and an unsecure cerdit card will affect my credit....
    please explain the difference.
    thank you j.y.
  17. worried

    worried Guest

    To Renae

    Hi Renae,
    Thanks for sharing your story with the board. I appreciate hearing your success story.
    I am just curious. What speciality did the lawyer have? By that I mean, if I were going to look in the phone book for a lawyer, what type would I want to seek out?
  18. pat mcgarr

    pat mcgarr Guest

    RE: To Renae

    A lawyer who does civil litigation, even mostly personal injury, can help. Frankly, the mediocre lawyers are the only lawyers who have time to represent consumers in credit matters.

    I had a collection agency send me a bill for a paid Sprint bill. I sent them a copy of the cancelled check, and they still threatened to hurt my credit report, etc.

    The agency was located in Gastoia, NC. I found a lawyer by Yahoo "Yellow Pages" in Gastonia, NC. He said he could resolve the matter for $100. I sent him a cashier's check for $250. He wrote a letter, and the issue was resolved. The dummies at the collection agency aren't trained to solve problems, but they ARE trained to give any letter from a lawyer to the boss.

    The collection agency even agreed to pay my $100 legal cost if I wouldn't sue.

    I suggest a referral from a lawyer referral service, or a prepaid legal plan.

    e mail me


    with your location, and I'll find a good legal referral service in your area.
  19. renae

    renae Guest

    RE: To Worried

    Good question! This was probably one of biggest challenges I had during this process. If you go to the yellow pages, look for attorneys that specialize in consumer credit issues. You could also call the Bar Association for a list of names. The problem that I ran into was that the majority of attorneys that deal with consumer issues only dealt with Class Action suits--not individual. I did find the one--and she was the only one! I live in a city full of attorneys! She was very good and in fact, we never even laid eyes on each other! Everything was done via mail and fax!

    I would suggest checking the yellow pages as I explained above and if you have the time, write out or type out your situation in detail and fax it over to the attorneys that you find. Ask them to respond to you as to whether or not they would be interested in talking to you more about your case and ask them to call you either way. That's what I did--and I was totally about to give up. Eveyone turned me down. The attorney I finally got was the only one I hadn't heard from and I had also left her a couple of phone messages. She finally called back, she had been away on business and said she'd take my case! The rest is history. But in addition, please be sure to contact the FTC because they too are extremely helpful and give good advice!
  20. renae

    renae Guest

    To Renae

    I disagree. Please see my above post. Maybe it depends on where you live but if you live in a city as I do where there is hot legal activity in every specialty, you will find it difficult to find one to take you case unless they feel they are going to make a lot of money from it. My attorney WAS BY NO MEANS MEDIOCRE!!!! Consumer credit is all she does so she knows it very well and is excellent.

    I always try to remind people that things could very well be very different depending on where you live. I think we all need to keep remembering that! Please refrain from making negative generalities and assuming that things are the same everywhere! It really can depend on where you live for a variety of reasons.

    If I had listened to those other attorneys, I never would have kept pursuing my case. They told me that I didn't have a prayer, that I was in the wrong and nothing would ever come of it. I knew that was wrong and while it was a little discouraging, I kept at it and in the end, I WON AND THEY LOST OUT--BIG TIME!!!!!

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