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Who handles the disputes


mslady
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Do the Customer Service reps that handle the phones handle the disputes or is it handled by a different department? I hope it is handled by someone else. I spoke with a rep today that had no idea what I was calling about even though I have had the acct reinvestigated a number of times due to discrepancies in the payment history on a paid auto loan. Are there no notes in their systems?

I think I am starting to already get a bit on the weary side and I am just getting started!!

5/04 FAKO/FICO

EQ 584

EX 628/633

TU 573

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It depends on the CA. At our agency, the disputes are handled by yours truly. When I log in a dispute, I put the file on hold, send it to the client for investigation and response. If they dont respond in 30 days, I close the account. If they do respond, and it is not a retarded response - in which case I close the account, I send a response to the consumer and reactivate the account if it is a valid and verified debt.

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It depends on the CA. At our agency, the disputes are handled by yours truly. When I log in a dispute, I put the file on hold, send it to the client for investigation and response. If they dont respond in 30 days, I close the account. If they do respond, and it is not a retarded response - in which case I close the account, I send a response to the consumer and reactivate the account if it is a valid and verified debt.

How do you respond to validation requests? Considering this day of scams and ID theft, do you blame consumers for demanding things like your contract with the OC (or an equivalent authorization document) to act on the OC's behalf? For all we know the CA is just someone who picked a bill out of the garbage.

I'm not trying to be combative, I just am looking to see if the other side sees the logic in the documentation consumers request as proof a CA's claim is legitimate.

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We don't provide the consumer our contract with the OC, simply because its not like we can pull the consumer's name and account information out of a hat for crying out loud. What usually happens is if an account placed but not collected with a certain period of time, the OC pulls the account and places it with a new agency. This is why consumers get confused when they have multiple CAs on a single account.

On a request for validation, the account is placed in dispute status. I send a letter to the consumer advising that we are halting collection until the OC provides a response and that if the OC does not respond we will close the account. The OC is contacted to provide validation and verification of the amount placed in collection. We advise them we are giving them 30 days to respond. If they do not, we close the account. If they do, we review the response and if it meets the criteria of validation and verification, we forward it to the consumer and continue collection efforts. If it does not, we close the account and return it to the OC.

If they dispute it as fraud, I suggest, as I have done here numerous times that they get a police report, file an affidavit of identity theft and put an alert on their CBR. I ask that they send a copy of the report or affidavit to me, so I can send it to our client so that they don't just pull the account from us and place it with another agency and the consumer is in the same boat again and has to start over.

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For argument's sake, how do you show a consumer that the OC authorized you to act on their behalf? From a consumer's point of view they wouldn't know the CA from Adam...would never have heard of the CA before. I personally have helped several where multiple CAs are simultaneously trying to collect on the same debt. How does the consumer know who is legit?

It doesn't have to be the contract with the OC, (although for debt buying, this may be required to show the purchase price) but an authorization form signed by the OC's representative giving the CA the authority to negotiate and act in the OC's interests would be equally sufficient.

Even the FTC is saying that fraud and scam operations are running rampant in our economy. Would you not agree that a consumer has a right to know that paying the CA is going to really close out the obligation and not just be money lost?

Please, I mean no offense by my questions. Seeing as you work in compliance it makes sense to pose the point/question to you.

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You can ask the OC "who is the collection agency assigned to the debt?" They should be happy to tell you that, especially if you tell them you have multiple agencies contacting you.

Unfortunately, there are a number of companies out there that collect and do not report the collection to the OC - who then sends the debt to the new agency. Happily, I do not work for one of those, however, I have to deal with the mess they make on an almost daily basis.

Look at International Recovery Specialists... they went banko a couple of years ago and stiffed their clients for millions.

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Unfortunately, that is simply not possible and a CA should never suggest that the consumer contact the creditor because it violates section 1692g. Blair v. Collectech Systems, Inc. 97 C 8630, 1998 WL 214705 (ND Ill. 1998); Macaraz v. Transworld Systems 26 F.Supp. 2d 368 (D.Conn 1998)

Contacting the creditor does not preserve the consumer's rights under the FDCPA.

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