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sharizap last won the day on April 26 2007

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About sharizap

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  1. I've been getting phone calls from them since the end of March. They've purchased an old HSBC account that is almost out of SOL- according to the info they've given me, should be August of this year, but I'm not sure, since they've never sent me anything that proves that I even owe the debt. I've talked to them on the phone a few times to try to figure out what's going on. (Yeah, yeah, I know, NEVER talk on the phone- I didn't let them intimidate me and I didn't give them any information- I asked them to send me something in writing.) Actually the phone conversation was helpful- they claim to have a payment from me last august (never happened) that was drawn on a bank that I've never held an account with. They've threatened lawsuits using their "legal counsel" John P. Nicolia. I've requested, in writing, some validation and only received another settlement letter. The last guy I spoke with told me very confidently that the only way he could supply that information (the validation) was in court. I think they got nuthin. I got another settlement letter a few days ago and they just called again (I didn't answer or even listen to the voice mail). They call at the end of every month and say that if I don't send them the payment by the last day of the month, they might sue. I did a google search and found a lawsuit against them in Arizona but couldn't get any details- just wondering if anyone here knows anything about them?? Also, do I need to respond in writing (CMRR) every time they send me another settlement letter? They've NEVER provided any validation what so ever. Thanks!!! PS- the account is NOT on my CRs- anywhere. It was one of the first ones I challenged last year and it was deleted- haven't seen anything from it since till now. Also, I do have a current HSBC account with a zero balance that is a positive TL.
  2. I need to buy a car. My trusty PT Cruiser, after 6 years and 168k miles, requires repairs that will cost more than the car is worth. (and the car is dangerous without the repairs.) I'm supposed to be getting a company car at some point between now and... oh, maybe sometime next year. No idea when, and my job depends on reliable transportation, so I have to buy a car. I just qualified for a mortgage and closed last week. I don't even have the paperwork yet, and it's not showing on my CR yet. My scores range in the high-500s to low 600s. I plan to pull my scores tonight to be certain. I found a car, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to finance it. The dealership offered to try to find financing for me. My DH's car was financed through a dealership with a "special financing" department that focused on low scores. His interest rate is 17%. (We plan to re-fi shortly- it's been just about a year on that loan.) I belong to a CU but they require a minimum score of 600 through Ex. Mine is hovering at 599. I know that there are other lenders out there that would be better than financing through the dealership. What I don't want is a gazillion inquiries on my CR, either through the dealership or anywhere else, that would tank my score that I've worked so hard to build. Can anyone suggest a source for "special needs" financing? I know my interest rate will be a little higher, but I'm hoping to get a better deal than I would from the dealership. FTR, I feel like I'm getting a fair price on the car, and probably more than fair on the trade for my decrepit old 'Cruiser. I just don't want to get burned on the financing on my way out the door. I also don't want them shotgunning my CR out to a million different lenders trying to get me financed. I'd rather take my chances with a personal recommendation. Any ideas? PS: There are no repos, BKs or foreclosures on my CR- nothing like that. Just some medical bills and a few CC charge-offs/lates, etc. I've been slowly building positive TLs over the past year, and there are no current negs at all.
  3. Haven't posted in a while- Hi folks! I've been using the information here and in the book, and have steadily increased our scores over the past year. The good news is that we closed on our house last week!! Woot! It was still a sub-prime program, but we got a decent fixed rate mortgage, and I'm thrilled! Thanks to all the great information here! So here's the latest problem. Last week I received a call from a person who identified herself as from the "finalization" department of an attorney's office. She left a (very smug, I might add) message saying that she had all the necessary documentation, including veification from "all qualifying employers" and that they were prepared to move forward with legal recourse. I called back to find out what they were trying to collect. It was an old HSBC/Orchard account. It was one of the first DVs I sent out, and it's been gone from my CR for months. Before it was deleted it reported as "sold or transferred" (I forget which now). I've received NO communication from this attorney's office prior to this phone call. The woman I spoke to got very defensive when I asked her questions, and said I was attacking her.(!!) I asked what her statement about "qualifying employers" was about, and which employers she had verified. (she didn't answer) She told me the DOFD was November '04, but said that a settlement payment I had authorized had bounced last August. I said I never authorized a payment and she argued with me, saying she was looking right at it- and said it was from Northwest Savings Bank. I've never had an account there, and I never authorized a payment last summer. She was supposed to have her supervisor call me back, which never happened. The other day I got another call from a different woman from the same company. She didn't mention a payment, and I was in the middle of somethihg & couldn't talk, so I asked her to mail all the details to me, which she said she would. She did say that as an attorney's office (vs CA) they were not required to prove that I owed the debt- is that right?? She also said that the reason the other woman failed to get back to me is that she had a heart attack. The SOL in PA is 4 years, so I'm guessing they are going to try to sue before it runs out. Don't attorneys have to play by the same rules as CAs? They did mention a settlement option in passing, but I want to wait till I get the info in the mail before deciding what to do. My concern is that they will neglect to send it, and just proceed with any legal actions. Don't they HAVE to contact me first, and give me 30 days to dispute? The account still isn't showing on my CRs, and I know if I make a payment it will re-age and can be reported again. That was my concern with their false claim of a "bounced" payment- but it's still not showing up. Any advice or suggestions before I get the letter from them?
  4. I need 25 points on my EX score to get a mortgage through my CU. I've paid down all my CCs, and challenged everything I could find that I felt I had a shot to have removed. One of those is an old, PAID collection that is still showing as unpaid. I haven't heard back on that dispute yet. But on my report, it's still showing my CC balances the same as they were last month, even though everything is zero! When will it show the current balances and any possible change in my score?
  5. awesome advice! Thanks!! I also discovered, on closer inspection of my experian report, that there are at least 3 things that I can challenge. Two are reported incorrectly and one is from 1993. *preparing for battle*
  6. Hi everyone! I haven't posted here in a long time. We are finally to the point where we really need to find a mortgage for this house. (we're living in the house now, which we're buying from a friend. He has a variable rate mortgage that we've been making payments on, and they've increased almost $300 in the past 3 months!) I've been working hard to raise my scores, using the information I learned here, and in the book. I really have made some great progress, raising my scores nearly 75-100 points (average) in about 6 months. BUT- still not quite high enough. I belong to a credit union that will give us a mortgage, but I *have* to be at 600 with Experian. That's the only one they use. I'm currently at 575. (FWIW, I started out in the 400-525 range, so this is a big improvement.) Naturally, my highest score (trans union at 627) isn't the one they use. I spoke to the CU this morning and have a meeting set up for the first week of January. It was during this conversation that I was told they only used Experian, and I didn't know just then exactly what the score currently was. So... I need 25 points for them to qualify me. I know that this probably won't happen before Jan. 3. I can put the meeting off for a while, but we really need to get something happening soon- this variable rate business is killing us!! Any ideas how I can kick this up a notch?
  7. Well, it IS true that he told me that. I didn't just make this up. His information came from within his company, so maybe he's misinformed, but the signature on the green card that I got back is not stamped, it's a signature, and the name is then spelled out. The person who signed it is not an employee or agent of Merrick Bank, it is apparently a postal employee. Now maybe there is some arrangement at the post office where the Merrick person signs for them after they are accepted- I don't know. But this is an accurate accounting of what happened to me and what I was told. Would there be regional differences in handling from state to state? (you wouldn't think so but who knows?)
  8. I've been working with Merrick Bank to resolve an issue on my dh's CR. Everything I have sent to them has been CMRRR to the address on all of their correspondance to me, which is a PO box. I mailed a certified check to them at the same address, and received the green card back a week or so ago. They say they never received the check. After doing some legwork, the account manager told me that when a certified letter is sent to a PO box, the person who signs for it is a POSTAL employee- NOT an agent of the addressee. He said this was news to him also. He did say that they have another address- the street address for their office, to which all certified mail is to be sent- unfortunately that address is nowhere to be found on any communication I have received from them. They DID find the letter & check, fortunately, but this could have become a Very Bad Thing. Just thought I'd pass that info along- if sending a CMRRR letter, make sure you're sending to the street address and not a PO box!! PS: if this is already common knowledge, please forgive the repeat. OTOH, I guess if it was THAT common, I'd have seen it, so maybe this will help someone out there.
  9. Well, then what is the DV process for? I'm not being sarcastic- I'm seriously confused and asking a sincere question. So what should I do next? I've sent 2 CMRRR letters asking for information and haven't received it. I'm really NOT trying to "get out of" paying this, but I don't want to pay for equipment that we've already returned if that's what they're claiming is owed.
  10. The thing is, I didn't ask for all of that. All I asked for was some kind of clear accounting of what the amount they say we owe is for. It doesn't say if it's for unreturned equipment or for service or what. We have receipts for the equipment, so if they had some kind of itemization, we could either prove that we DON'T owe the amount, or perhaps there IS a past due service bill that we weren't aware of till we got a copy of my husband's CR. But don't they have *some* responsibility to show what the amount they claim we owe is for? Nothing that they sent me as "documentation" had the amount on it that they claim we owe. And when I called Comcast (the account is with CMI now) they said they had no detailed records other than the amount owed- not even to show if it was for past due service or for equipment. Do I have any recourse here at all?
  11. I sent a DV letter to CMI (CMRRR) and got an illegible copy of a bill in return. (the original thread is here) It's not clear what the amount they are claiming is for or how the charges are computed. I sent another letter in response: Dear Mr. CA, Thank you for your prompt attention to my request for more information on the above referenced account. I received a copy of what appears to be a final billing notice. Unfortunately the information you provided is somewhat confusing. The amount you are claiming is $228.48, but this figure does not appear anywhere on the documents you sent. There is nothing that details any payments or adjustments to this bill, there is no information detailing the amount you claim I owe; or anything that shows the amount you are requesting. I believe this account is incorrect, and do not believe I owe this debt. Please send me an itemized detail of the account or some kind of documentation that shows the correct amount, and how that amount was determined. Thank you for your assistance in resolving this matter. Sincerely, Mr.Sharizap Today we received this reply from them: Dear Mr. Sharizap Per your request, Credit Management, LP notified COMCAST of your claim regarding your past-due account. This letter serves as notification that COMCAST has researched their records and verified that your account is overdue and that you continue to owe the amount of $228.48. To avoid further collection action we advise you to settle your obligation in its entirety immediately by using the tear-off coupon below and the enclosed envelope to mail your payment. If you desire to settle your account by phone, contact our office immediately on our toll-free number (bla bla bla) Also of note is the fact that I called Comcast when I received the first DV response. The rep told me that the account was sold and there was no information available other than the service address and dates, and the amount owed- $228.48. She could not verify how that amount was determined, whether it was for unreturned equipment or not, and said those records were not available. So what it appears to me is, they sent me a copy of a fax that has NO amounts that match what they're asking me for, and NO proof of what we actually owe. When I challenged it, they SAY they verified with Comcast, who has no records other than the amount, and what they sent to verify it is DIFFERENT than what the CA is asking for, so the CA is saying "y'know what, screw you, they said you owe it, so you better pay up." Seems like it's time to use a little stronger wording, but I'm not 100% sure what exactly I need to say- a little help, please??
  12. sharizap

    What now?

    I had a question about how to handle a CO with Merrick Bank a little while ago. (one of the original threads is here) The end result, after much debate and discussion, both here and with my dh and the LO of the mortgage company we're working with, was that we'd accept Merrick's 50% settlement offer. They will not do a PFD, but considering the fact that we are trying for a mortgage later this year, we decided that was the best way to go for now. I spoke to Merrick, and they were supposed to be sending a settlement offer in writing. That was almost 2 weeks ago and I have received nothing as yet. Now, otoh, I'm not entirely opposed to letting this one go if they don't follow through. The 7 years is up next year, although according to a post on the thread noted above that still doesn't mean it won't be visible to the mortgage company after that time. The LO DID say, however, that they didn't necessarily NEED to see every single thing paid off, just an improvement, and a rise in scores. I'm thinking maybe someone at Merrick dropped the ball on this, and maybe we should just leave this one alone for now, and work on the ones that will actually improve his score. I guess that if they DO follow up and send the offer, we'll have to go through with it since we said we would, but maybe it's fallen through the cracks by now. I thought I'd have something in the mail from them by this time. So what do you all think? Should I be proactive and find out where the paperwork is or let it go? Remember too, they said if it wasn't resolved it would be sent to a CA within a month or so. I really don't want that to happen either. *sigh* It's never a simple, black-and-white answer, is it?
  13. Well, how do I get that if I ask and they just say "NO" ?? No discussion, no negotiation, just "nope, we're not gonna do that. Sorry."
  14. You're gonna love this one... On Friday, I spoke to the LO we've been working with to get her input on whether we should pay the out of SOL Merrick CO or let it fall off on its own. Her response was rather interesting. She informed me, quite confidently, that nothing ever "falls off" your credit report. EVER. She insists that everything stays on your report for ever. I questioned her, and said that I had done quite a bit of research, and that what she was telling me was in direct contrast with everything I had read and understood about fair debt reporting. I pointed out that if this were the case, nobody would EVER be able to recover from credit blemishes. She insisted that she's been "doing this for 10 years" ('this' being credit repair and trying to help people with low scores get mortgages) and that she can pull a CR and find things on it that are 10-15, sometimes 20 years old. She said if we DON'T pay it, it WON'T go away- EVER. She said she'd still be able to find it on there even after the 7 years. I asked how it was possible that she had access to information that was supposedly unavailable to other lenders, and if we (the consumers) are being given false information. She said she didn't know but she was positive that it would stay on the CR forever. She ALSO said that if we pay it, it will improve our score, not reduce it. She absolutely, positively insisted that it would NOT hurt us, that it would make our scores increase. Now, at this point, my faith and confidence in this LO has been pretty severely shaken. I will say that she's been really very helpful and encouraging, and I don't think she has any bad motives or agendas. I think she honestly believes she is helping and giving me good, solid advice, based on "ten years of doing this." I do think she's misinformed, especially on credit reporting and how the scoring system works. How is it that in 2 months or so of study and research, I know things about this stuff that she doesn't?? I even went so far as to call TransUnion and ask the person I spoke to what the reporting time is- he said 7 years on negative accounts, and 10 years on positive. I called the LO back and told her this, she still insists she's gotten things that were more than 10 years old. I suggested that maybe these were things that should have been challenged and removed. She goes "well, I guess they could do that, if they wanted to go to all the effort and trouble of writing all those letters..." really puzzled here, and thinking that I need to find a new LO. Anyway, because we do need a mortgage sometime this year, before the end of the 7 year reporting period on this account, we decided to take the 50% offer, and we're waiting for the paperwork from Merrick. She did say that even if it dropped our score (which she STILL insists it will NOT) that they'd rather see the paid collection on there. I called Merrick and the rep I talked to was visibly surprised- beside herself, really- that we were taking the offer. She repeated several times "so, you're going to accept the offer of 50% settlement, correct?" Sounded like somebody who just sold their first car. I asked for some written assurance that the balance would not be sold or transferred and she insisted that (a) it wouldn't be necessary since they were "forgiving" the balance and that would be in writing, so it couldn't be sold, and ( that they would not, under any circumstances, change the wording of their standard form letter to accomodate my request for specific wording. She did offer the helpful and interesting information that once the account was settled that they purge their records and no further information would be available. This was supposed to reassure me that the balance wouldn't be sold but it DID give me some hope that we can possibly dispute this down the road and have it removed. So, in summary: 1. we haven't paid anything yet but we gave a verbal agreement and are awaiting paperwork on it, which keeps it out of a CA 2. I have a sneaking suspicion that I need to start looking for new finance options and loan officers. so that's where it stands for now.