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Nice collection call :-)


bomtrader
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Hi,

I received a call from a CA this morning about an Amex bill that just went into collections on the 1st of this month. When he called, he was demanding payment of course and said if I don't resolve this matter (pay the debt) today that they will sue. He then was agressively trying to get me to use my other credit cards to pay off this debt, saying that I have $1000 avaiable on a visa card and more available on a Discover card. I told him that I don't have any credit available on those cards and he said "yes you do, I see it on yoru credit report". After that I requesed a mailing address and he got real adverserial asking why do I need that information, and if we don't get this matter settled we will sue. I had to ask a couple times before he finally gave it to me. He also stated that he sent a letter to me on the 1st but I never received it. That was the extent of the conversation.

Is he in any violations?

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Not enough info to say if they are in violation or not. AMEX claims that they do not use outside debt collectors, but their own internal collectors. Unless you are under the impression that a 3rd party collector is involved, AMEX's internal people are immune to the FDCPA.

Now this next part I cannot say strongly enough. DO NOT GET ENGAGED IN ANY TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITH A DEBT COLLECTOR. They are trained to trick you into saying things that give up your rights. Just tell them to send their request to you in writing like the law says they must and hang up the phone. Don't banter or argue with them.

If this was a 3rd party collector, yes they have numerous violations in the conversation you describe, but unless you recorded it, you've got nothing right now that you can use against them.

Pull your credit reports now and write up a description of the phone call with date, time, and names (if you have it). Check your report for the inquiry, since he claims to have been looking at your report. Wait for the required dunning letter. If you don't get one, or it is post-marked more than 5 days after the call, that will be your first documentable violation.

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Thanks.

Yes, it's Nationwide Credit that now ownes the debt for Amex. I figured it would be my word against them as they werent recording the convo (conveniently enough). I'd like to settle for 50%. I would've paid the full amount but after that call they can forget about it. Any ideas?

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Check your credit reports, like I advised. There is another thing to look for: The AMEX tradeline. If it does not say Sold/Transferred, then Nationwide probably did not buy it and is only acting as a 3rd party.

I've been through this with AMEX myself, when a former employer gave AMEX my SSN for a corporate card without my knowledge or permission. After 5 years, AMEX had not sold the account to anyone else. I did have some CA dogs come after me, both their own internals and some outside ones (that AMEX denied hiring).

You'll need to understand one thing here. AMEX are bastards. And they are in good with the CRAs. Even my lawyer at the time was unable to get the CRAs to cooperate regarding the AMEX tradelines on my report...which totally befuddled the man. So don't be suprised if your path at getting that one fixed is a hard one. It has taken 6 years to get my own AMEX debacle dealt with.

This is not to say you should not try. Do so. It is in your best interests to get this resolved.

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You should DV that CA ASAP! It's going to be impossible to prove violations based on one call, so going in that direction would be a waste of time. DV them now CMRRR before they do file suit which they may not do anyway. Most of these collectors just blow smoke. For the record, I have found AMEX the most gracious and professional of all OC's out there. Perhaps you have lots of money, live in a mansion, drive a Bentley or otherwise smell like money! Or, perhaps your debt was sold and a JDB is looking to collect. Also, there is no need to speak with a CA unless you are calling them for an address to send them your check!

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Thanks.

Yes, it's Nationwide Credit that now ownes the debt for Amex. I figured it would be my word against them as they werent recording the convo (conveniently enough). I'd like to settle for 50%. I would've paid the full amount but after that call they can forget about it. Any ideas?

If you settle, be sure to get it in writing that this settles the debt in full. Otherwise they could sell the unpaid balance to another collection company and come after you again. And they will also report the settlement to the IRS and the IRS will want you to pay taxes on the upaid protion as income.

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This happened to me before I found this board- actually what caused me to take an active role in my finances. I paid Nationwide it did not appear in my report Amex charged off and when I phoned them they said they had assigned it to Nationwide and refused to speak with me as I recall.

I wish I had known then what I know now. Nationwide are very nasty over the phone and then I asked for the supervisor and stupidly fell for the "good cop bad cop routine".

I wish you the best of luck in nailing these SOB's to the wall. :twisted:

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Another quick question. I just recieved the collection letter yesterday. The letter states I have 30 days to validate. If that's the case, why was the CA telling me that I "have to pay today or they will sue me" over the phone? The letter also states that if I request validation of the debt, that they will give me the name and address of the OC (lol).

Thanks!

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1 last question (I think)...sorry.

I am in the position to be able to either pay in full or pay a settlement and have them notify the CRA's. I can either do that, or go the DV route and wait and see if they make any violations and then with some money in court and/or not have to pay the collection debt at all.

Does anyone know if Nationwide is good at validating accounts? If they are, then I'll just try to get a decent settlement with them.

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http://www.ftc.gov/opa/predawn/F93/creditcla8.htm

(this was nationwide credit before name change)

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1998/10/nationwide.htm

(oopsy we did not learn our lesson)

I helped someone deal with this company. They fled with their tails between their legs. Of course, you never know what these imbeciles do day to day and could possibly validate. If you had that conversaton on tape they woulda paid you. At the least I would file complaints with your AG, their states AG, and the FTC. Especially the FTC who whacked em twice in the past.

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Hmm, thanks for the info. I sent out the DV letter today express mail return receipt so they will be receiving it tomorrow. I look forward to them violating though I know there's a slight chance that they will validate. I'll get back to you if I need further assistance in dealing with NCI.

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It's too bad you already sent the DV as there was something you could have added to help support your claim regarding the phone call. What you do is note in the body of your letter that when "ADUB" called you on this date and said this, it was found that this was a violation, etc. or words to that effect. what you are doing is letting someone else in their office see what has transpired. One of two things could happen. The one who called got fired, or the CA could care less and ignore it. To me, not a problem if they did ignore. I say this as if it ended up in court, you could tell the Judge what happened, and since, they failed to even repsond in kind to your complaint, you can only assume this is their normal way of operating. It can raise some eyebrows. Either way, you have made them aware of your rights being violated. This can help when and if an offer of settlement is necessary, such as, total deletion of TL, and for an amount like $.25 on the dollar.

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