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NCO- MERCHANTS CREDIT GUIDE


aints68
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I received a letter from Merchants Credit guide saying that they represent NCO. They say that NCO purchased a defaulted debt from Citicorp that belonged to me. I had no idea what this was about, so I called them from my cellphone (of course, they saved the number, so I'm getting voicemails from them every few days). They claim I owe this debt from way back (over 10 years ago!). I disputed this debt with the collector on the phone, and even he admitted it was too old for them to have any recourse against but that it could hinder me in the future from any really important jobs (with the govt, etc - like, big woop!!). I want to dv them to get them to stop calling me, but as of yet they have not reported anything to the CRAs. I'm afraid if I do dv, that they may report out of spite or hope that I'm getting ready to buy something and that their reporting will force me to pay. I'm thinking that if they should report that it would be illegal since the debt is past the 7 year mark. If I just leave them alone, though, they continue to use up my cell phone minutes with their messages and they may try to report anyway. If they do, I wouldn't realize it until I do go to buy something and there it will be. I thought that if I did dv, that I would add an extra paragraph in there about it being illegal to even report this and threaten to sue if they do so, but am I right on this fact. If anyone could give me some help on this it would be much appreciated. THANKS!!

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I'd suggest sending them a DV letter with a limited C&D, and, point out that they have probably violated:

section 808 Unfair Practices

5) Causing charges to be made to any person for communications by concealment of the true propose of the communication. Such charges include, but are not limited to, collect telephone calls and telegram fees

by continuing to call your cell phone.

I'd include words to the effect that unless they immediately respond with proper validation of this debt and their right to collect it, you'll be forced to investigate you legal options...

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He also violated teh FDCPA by suggesting that a 10 year old debt, both time-barred and unreportable on a credit report, would impact your ability to get a job with the government.

Send them a letter stating the debt is way past SoL and to cease calling you. Once they get the letter, they must stop calling. Also let them know that misrepresenting the character and legal status of the debt, as that shmo did, is illegal...and that you may now claim a statutory liability against them for $1000.

It's unlikely they will pay, but it might get rid of them for good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I answered the phone when they called last time. When I told the lady on the phone that I needed proof of debt, she didn't argue with me, but said that I needed to request it in writing. This has made me suspicious that she said to do this. What are they after? I know I shouldn't sign it or use any info such as any addresses or phone numbers that I don't want them to have, but are they trying to use me contacting them as some backdoor way to redate my file. I know they can't legally do this, but if they try and then put this in my credit file, it's going to be a journey to have it removed. Anyone have any input on this?

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Just send a Cease and Desist letter. Do sign it (not admissable as evidence in court unless you do), but if you are concerned about them "lifting" your signature, use a red, glitter gel pen. That will make it next to impossible to scan or photocopy. Include a paragraph in the letter stating that all future phone calls from them will be recorded. Regardless if you do record or not, this statement covers your liability for recording and will probably scare them away.

I wouldn't worry about them having your postal address. the debt is time-barred so they can't sue you...unless they want to be sanctioned. They already have your phone number. If they harass you illegally by mail or phone there are federal laws you can use to slam the door on them.

The FDCPA (obviously)

The Federal Telecommunications Act (phone harassment is a felony)

Mail Fraud Act (using postal service to commit fraud).

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I haven't finished the DV/ cease and desist yet, but now guess what. The lady that I talked to has sent me another form letter which actually states on the bottom about right to ask for validation. Now I am extremely cautious. As of yet, absolutely nothing is showing up on my cr, not even an inquiry. I'm thinking that they don't have the paperwork so they know that they are not even entitled to pull one. I'm afraid if I respond in any way that they may do that and say they had the right because I asked for validation(they could claim that they pulled it to make sure it was me asking and that they have the correct address or some BS along those lines.). I know from reading all of these posts that none of these guys are to be trusted, so I know they have an ulterior motive here, I'm just not sure what it is.

1. Am I correct in assuming that if they don't have any documentation that they have no right to pull one?

2. If I send a DV does that give them the right to pull one since I am asking for validation?

3. Is there any way I can state in my letter that I am not giving them permission to pull any type of credit inquiry, so that if they do I can have grounds to have it removed?

Any help appreciated. Thanks!

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IMHO, go ahead and send the DV.

In connection with their collection activity, they do have the right to pull your credit report regardless of the DV. If they're just thinking about taking on the collection (meaning they haven't actually been assigned or bought the debt yet) you may be able to get them on aviolation "permissable pull" but that would just be one somewhat minor violation. If you ever get around to suing them, add that to the list, but by itself its really not that big a deal.

As to whether the DV will cause them to pull your CR, that's hard to tell. Usually, a prudent CA will check the CR of anyone debtor they're thinking about hassling just to see if there's any hint of money there. That usually happens regardless of the DV...

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Thanks, and on followup, they did do a soft pull already. I just found it but its only showing up on Experian. I'm going forth with the DV, but do you think that I should reiterate to them that they cannot put this in my file for something this old and cite laws (in case they try to reage it by the date they purchased). I know that if they do this that I will eventually be able to get it out and probably sue them for it, but I'm hoping that if THEY KNOW that I KNOW that they won't even try that crap. What do you think?

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aints68,

Where are you with this? My DW is receiving constant phone calls from these people concerning an account that she never had. The are even discussing the account with me. Without her consent. I have had it! I wanted to see how far you are with them so that maybe we can work together or at least learn from one another. I have already informed the CA of the impending violations and am going forward with a small claims suit.

Can we share information on this?

thanks

Homer

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No problem, only I haven't gotten very far yet. This thing is sooo old.

When speaking with the 1st rep they admitted it was too old to do anything with. I need to go ahead and DV them but I'm afraid of doing more harm than good. Right now, nothing is showing up in my file. I was worried about them doing an inquiry then found out they already did. It was a soft pull though so it won't hurt.

What I'm afraid of now is that they want me to send this letter so they can update my file as date of last activity and then pop it into my report. I know this would be illegal and I will eventually be able to get it removed but that will be another battle in itself.

I'm working on my DV letter now and I'm trying to cite ALL laws such as too old to report, DV letter cannot be used to update DOLA, date of their purchase cannot be used to reage, etc. I'm going to let them know that I have a copy of my report and will check again to see if any changes occur. I'm also going to state that any attempts to do any of these things will be flagrant violations especially since now they know by the legal points that I've cited that these things are illegal and that I will sue their pants off. I know this may be giving away the farm but I'm trying to head off any dirty little tricks that they try. (I figure if they do try it, they can't claim ignorance in court since I made them aware of all applicable laws in advance.

I let you know how it goes!

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aints68,

Sounds great! I too am at my limit with these people. I pulled my DW's report and see that they have "inquired". The funny thing is that Citi Corp (who they are "collecting" for) dos not appear anywhere... This account was opened in 1990 and closed in 1995. My DW has no clue as to where this came from and has never had an account with Citi Corp MC. The CA is just plain rude. I am ready to take this as far as I can just on principle alone!

Let me know how things go for you. I will do the same!

homer

thanks again

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