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I'm scared of CA's


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Hi guys,

I'm new at this being harrassed by collectors thing and received a very nasty call at work yesterday. I made an appt with an atty because I just feel so powerless.

THe background...I had a household acct for $2300 that went 33 days past due and they sent it to a CA. The first time the guy called me at work I was so frazzled that I gave him my checking information to make payments. Well, shortly after I closed my acct so he wouldnt clear it out and sent him a $200 payment via fed ex along with a letter that says not to contact me at work, to contact me in writing, and that he could expect a payment from me in November and a payment from me in December.

Well....he slid one payment through with my checking acct info so received 2 payments in October, one on the 15th and one on the 31st. When I realized this I didn't send him a November payment because he had received it on the 31st.

He called me at work yesterday and totally harrassed me, told me that if he didn't receive a November payment that he would send me to his legal department. I told him that he couldn't contact me at work and he what he was doing was against the law..he told me he was attempting to collect a debt and that the only person breaking the law was me because I wasn't paying my bills, he was screaming at me, I couldn't get a word in edgewise...he kept threatening me with the fact that if I didn't make a November payment that I wouldn't be able to make payments anymore, that he would just sent the whole thing to court.

I can't afford to make a payment by November....in fact I've made so many payments to this guy in October that my other bills got behind. I called a lawyer...I thought I could get out of this without filing for BK but I can't take this kind of stress especially on the job...

I came home and cried for hours....my husband thinks I'm ready for the loony bin.

Sorry so long..you guys are great!

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This idiot has already racked up several violations of the FDCPA. If you haven't already, send a limited cease and desist letter telling them to contact you in writing only, and that you are not allowed to accept calls at work. Send the letter CMRRR. If you do retain an attorney, they are not allowed to contact you at that point. Inform them of that also. Even though you have made a payment, if you need some time, send a DV letter. They have to stop all collection activity while they validate.

You did not break any laws, and it was a violation for him to say that. It is also a violation to threaten legal action, if they don't intend to sue. Does your employer record incoming calls? If so, you could turn this over to the lawyer. Also, did they give you a mini miranda or validation notice in the initial communication? Did they send any written communication at all with these items?

Don't talk to them on the phone. There is no law that says you have to speak to them. If he calls at work again, tell them you are not allowed to take personal calls and to send the info by mail, then hang up. If you have a lawyer by that time, give the name and number of the attorney and hang up.

Start keeping a log of all communications with the CA, and turn this and any other items you have to the attorney. Before it is over, they may be paying you!

What state are you in? We may be able to come up with more info if we know what state this is.

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I am in Florida.

I have already sent him a letter that outlined what he told me in our original phone call and stated that if they cashed the payment that accompanied the letter then he agreed with the terms of the letter.....I have no idea if that works but it sounded good.

Anyhow, he stated that he never received the letter...I sent it overnight mail with tracking but they did cash the payment that went along with it. He told me yesterday that he had never cashed the check that he cashed and I told him I could prove it, although he did validate the dollar amount that I had paid in October. He told me that he had never received a letter stating not to call me at work, only to send written communication...he asked me what I thought he was some sort of Pen Pal. I told him he was breaking the law calling me at work and that I was going to call an attorney and he said...that's fine, let me give my real name it's not Mr. Black it's Giovanne something something and I live at (spouted off some home address)....

He told me that he was through with me, I told him that I didn't understand that I had sent him the exacty amount of money we had agreed to. He stated that when I'm in collections I have no repayment rights and the fact that I sent the payment on October 31 not November 1st made it a November payment so forget it. I asked him if I could just schedule a payment for December so that I could afford to have Thanksgiving dinner and he said forget it....if he doesn't receive it by November 30th than I am being forwarded to a lawyer.

Here is what I am scared of....

my employer finding out (I have a professional job in HR)

garnishment of wages

stress- I just can't take this especially at work.

I gave him my home phone number because I crumbled.....

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Another thing to check is if this CA is licensed in FLorida. IF you have a receipt of the mailing and he cashed the enclosed check, then you would easily be able to prove he was notified not to call you at work. Florida law states that both parties must know when call is being taped. You may be able to bluff him by stating that you are taping the call to turn over to your lawyer. He will probably hang up at that point. Like I said before, you don't have to talk to him at all. You have notified him to correspond only by mail, and not to call you at work, and he has your home address and number. Any call to your workplace at this point is another violation.

They cannot garnish your wages until they get a judgment. If they do file and you feel that your only choice is bankruptcy, they would have to stop all legal proceedings once you file. I would suggest leaving bankruptcy as last resort. You may be able to get them to stop with a letter from an attorney outlining their violations to date.

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xshotx CA's count on people being scared of them and the tonality of your voice or the lack of being assertive with them when speaking with them allows them to intimidate you and see how much more nasty and threatening they can be. :)% You did the right thing by contacting an attorney if you cannot handle this a@# h%@$ yourself; if the atty takes your case and he keeps calling, be sure to include all of this as well as all of the prior violations the CA has done and tell him to xSteaminx "Rack em Up". You can win this, and he deserves everything he gets for being such a jerka@#. Many people do not pay, and the fact that you are trying so hard, is the very reason he gives bill collectors a bad name and people will not pay. :evil::twisted:

Good Luck,


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You will also want to sit down and recall each and every part of the conversation you can remember, including, date, time, name, etc. of the past call(s) while keeping the current ones going. Reason being, if it does go to court and the CA denies, ask them to produce the tape as you know the conversation was taped. Usually this will cause them to stutter as they don't expect a consumer to pop up with this. It will raise an eyebrow with a Judge. Most of these companies have a recording that the conversation may be monitored or taped for better service or other BS. If this is so, then you were taped. If you are not sure, call from a payphone or somewhere else and listen to what is said when the call is answered. Once you hear the recording, hang up, don't talk to anybody. If someone does answer, say wrong number.

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You are getting excellent caring advice here.

The more of the suggested steps you follow the better.

Try to redirect your image of the collector you are presently dealing with as an individual attempting to gain some control that he truly doesn't have.

Once you read the previous posts you have to know that.

What this collector has is a meaningless, disposable job that tends toward bottom feeder applicants.

You can't be mistreated just because he is a looser.


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You have some interesting issues going on here.

1) Your account at 33 days past due should not have been assigned out for collection. If it was send a Cease Comm letter certified mail to stop all further communications.

2) When you Cease Comm the agency, the matter will probably be referred back to the OC who will continue calling you, or will be assigned out again, to another agency. The OC does not legally have to abide by a Cease Comm letter in most, if not all states. So, be aware of that issue.

3) You may have to endure unwanted communications until charge-off after 180 days if your account does become an I-9 write off book entry.

4) No one should ever talk to collectors; a debtor doesn't have any legal or moral obligation to do so. Under no circumstances furnish debit information to a CA unless you have no objection to your funds being drained! Closing your account was a prudent idea.

5) Lastly, as an HR professional it's obvious you have the ability to pay the debt and creditors zero-in on people with good jobs and that's why they often start by hounding people at work. The aim of the collection agency is to embarass and berate people to the extent possible to compel them into paying. The strategy often works when they become pests on employer phones. Be forewarned that many CA's do break laws by calling neighbors under the guise of trying to locate you, calling your cell phone, ignoring Cease Comm letters and so forth and so on. Don't be surprised if they recite your SSI over the phone or in subtle ways let others know you are a deadbeat! <g>

What I would do:

1) Send a Cease Comm letter immediately to kill the collector.

2) Notify the OC I would be dealing with them and no one else. Also, that passage can be included in the Cease Comm or validation letter. (Remember, it appears the account hasn't charged-off as yet.)

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Before i started sending payments to the CA I called household to see if I could deal with them directly. They told me I had to deal with the CA. I'm just afraid they are going to sue me, that is what the guy says he's going to do. I can probably pay the amt in full in a couple of mos with a small windfall I am expecting....maybe I'll just try to ignore them until them. I will send another C&D letter.

As far as my job, yes, I have a good one, I make what I would consider to be middle class. I have no idea how we have gotten in this mess and even worse I have no idea how we're going to get out. I have so many bills I can't pay them. We don't live extravagantly I'd say we just kept up the Jone's a little too much. I am sunk in car payments for cars that aren't worth nearly what we owe and have so many cc payments that I can't make them all. I could pay them if everyone would just leave me alone to do it but with late charges and collectors etc....I just can't handle it anymore. My credit is in the toilet....470. I'm at the end of my rope....I really feel like I'm going to have some sort of breakdown or something...

I meet with an attorney on Monday....I have no idea what he is going to stay. Not sure if we are dire enough for BK or not, but I need someone to tell me what to do.

thanks for listening, everyone here is very caring.

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Hey doll.. dont fret.

If you have to, go to radio shack and get a microphone thing ((They cost like 5 bucks) and they suction cup to the receiver of the phone. Record this guy with a small tape recorder.. rack up some good violations and get a little cash to catch up all the payments you are behind on. LOL

I have saved my rear end and have basically gotten myself in a position with a tape recorded call to sue the PANTS off some people.

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hmmm.... Mr. Black... that sounds familiar. That's a generic name that certain CA's sign their threatening letters with. When you call up, everyone is Mr or Mrs Black.....

Who is the CA doing this?

If your attorney is worth their weight in salt, you won't have to file for bankruptcy as you can pay this debt off by suing the pants off of them for multiple violations. Invest in a tape recorder and let them cut their own throat with continuing calls.

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