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SureTech Recovery Problem


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Hi im new, I found your website a few months ago, but I never thought i would have a weird problem like this. The situation started when i purchased a vehicle using Triad Financial back in 1999. it was for 36mos. after 24 months, i became unemployed and was having problems making my 315/mo payment. all the while the car needed work done, it wasnt even working at the time. so I called Triad and set up a time for them to come pick the car up. So that was around fall of 2001. After that about once a year they would try to collect money and had put a repo on my credit report. Since then I have had their repo deleted off of my Equifax and have been able to purchase 3 cars since then.

But anyway they sent my account to SureTech Recovery, I never paid them any attention, until I decided to get my credit and finances together, my score is risen to 664 which is the highest it has ever been, so Ive been trying to keep my job and finances going so that one day I can purchase my house. Sure tech calls me on 7/25 telling me that they have all of my info, this lady (Michelle Tapia), says she was about to go in front of the judge and that I neede to pay them at least $1000.00. I owed $2000.00 but they would settle for half. So at first Im like "so what"and for me to ignore them, but Im trying to get my finances right. So I said okay. I chose two check numbers 164 and 165. The settlement arrangements were 164 on July 31st for $500 and 165 on Aug 31st for $500.

Then she calls me on July 28th saying they needed to verify my money on July 29th or the arrangement was off. I said I dont get paid til the 31st. So on the 29th I got a loan for $1000.00. So we agreed to just pay the $1000.00 on July 31st check 164 and be done with it. Guess what happened. She calls it "accounting error".

They send chk 164 for $1000, check 164 for $500 and check 164 (again) for $500. Causing my bank account to NSF for over $600.00. plus my carnote will be coming through this coming Tuesday 8/9/06. I called her she said to fax the front and back of each check, so I did, they owe me over $1100.00 including overdraft fees. And this still doesnt include my upcoming car payment. My bank paid it because Ive never had a NSF in the 2+ yrs of me being a customer. Now my bank saying there is nothing they can do and Suretech is saying it may take 30 days, plus I havent been able to reach Ms. Tapia. Im thinking on Monday if I dont talk to her, Im calling my attorney.

Please Advise

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I have a few questions.

1. What state do you live in? If this was a repo in 2001, the debt may be timebarred. Check your state's SOL at top of page to be sure. Then let us know for any further questions on this matter.

2. Was this done by an electronic debit or check? Find out for sure at your bank, then, ask them if you can pay the $10 or $20 charge to have it reversed as "not authorized". If so, do this Monday morning before anything else. It can take up to three days to have the money back, but, it is better than 30.

3. What was the timeframe on those checks, such as how far ahead was the checks dated? It is illegal to go beyond 5 days on post dated checks.

You need to understand that all they can collect is the difference of what you owed minus the amount they sold the car for, nothing more, except allowed fees and interest. If this debt is still within the SOL, you will want to demand an actual accounting of how they arrived at the amount they claim.

When this ADUB made the comment about going before the judge, this is illegal in how she said it. They can't go before a judge until you are served and given a date to appear. In short, they can't walk into a judge's chambers and get a judgment.

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This is yet another reason why I tell everyone to NEVER, NEVER pay a CA. So what if they threaten to sue? In this case they took more from you than if you had let them sue you. especially since they probably did not properly credit you with the REPO, there is a good chance you didn't owe them anything.

Unfortuantely, if you did not get the agreement in writing, there will not be much you can do- it will be your word against theirs. It will be an uphill fight. Even if it is beyond SOL (GA is 6 years, so you are within SOL) that does not matter once you have paid.

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I live in Georgia. The payment was done over the phone, electronic debit. The bank said because of me giving them an actual check number or whatever they cannot do anything until the company repays me, then they will take the NSF charges off. But I will definitely ask. I gave them the check numbers on July 25th dated for the 31st. “They can't go before a judge until you are served and given a date to appear. In short, they can't walk into a judge's chambers and get a judgment.”—I really wish I knew this because that is exactly what she said and I haven’t been served with anything. She was talking as if she was in communications with the judge right then like “in a few minutes im going back in front of the judge, so I need to know what to tell him”

To divemedic: I know, I hate that I did, I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t on this clean up my finances mindframe. In other words, I feel as if I should have ignored them like I had the for the past 5 years. I have a letter from them saying they are only taking out $1,000 on the 31st of July and the copies from the checks, but it still doesn’t replace my money. I had to borrow money to open up an account at another bank, just in case this account goes awry.

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If it was electronic debit, you can use the "not authorized" as a reason. Here's why. In your post you show the same "check" numbers being used from each transaction. Anyone knows they are in sequence, not the same number. This clearly shows the overpayment. The bank should automatically notice this and do this, even if it is for only the overpayed amounts.

As to the SOL for you, my next move would be to file a complaint on them for this action alone. And that includes an ITS letter that if they don't go away, they will be sued for their "rip off", as well as the illegal threats made by their rep. Make sure you quote the maximum allowed by your state's laws if they have any, or, the maximum allowed under the federal statute. Also make sure they fully understand that the AG, FTC, BBB, and any other governing agency has received a complaint for their actions, including the OC, if they can be held liable for their actions. This will only work if your state allows it and the debt was assigned, not sold.

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There are quite a few lessons to be learned here.

1. Don’t ever let a car be repossessed if you can possibly stop it…it is ALWAYS better to sell the car yourself and then deal with any amount still owed. When you let a car be reposed you loose control of the process.

2. If you’ve got repossession in your past don’t ignore it…getting it removed from a bureau report does not make the debt go away!

3. Agee to NOTHING that isn’t put to paper - don’t ever pay anyone anything if the agreement isn’t in writing…if it isn’t in writing it didn’t happen.

4. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give a CA (or any creditor when you in an adversarial situation) access to your personal banking information. I don’t care what they threaten or how much they huff and puff and yell…NEVER DO IT!

As to getting the bank to reverse this I seriously doubt it will work…it won’t hurt to try but I wouldn’t expect much from this tactic.

As to suing the CA, again a doubtful outcome in my opinion. Let's be realistic here; she essentially agreed that the debt is her's and it could at least be construed that she agreed that she owed $2K…although the CA was pretty scummy in how they handled this (is anyone surprised); most of the mistakes are the OP’s mistakes.

So imagine she sues them and is sitting in front of a judge...what do you think a judge is going to do???

Judge to CA: How much did she owe? Answer: $2K

Judge to OP: Did you owe them? What’s she going to say…I owed them but I didn’t want to pay the whole thing at one time???

Judge to OP/CA: How much did they take from the bank account? Answer: $2K.

Judge: Well, Ok then…you owed $2K and you paid $2K, case closed.

Yes, the CA may or may not have violated but knowing and proving are two different things and besides, it’s my experience that local judges often don’t care about FDCPA violations.

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I know, its all so stupid. I should have ignored them or asked for validation. its been 5yrs, seems like if they were going to do anything they would have by now.

Could I do something legally since I have a letter from them saying that they will take $1000.00 on 7/31/06 and the copies of the checks where they took a total of $2,000??

I spoke to Suretech yesterday and the lady said for me to expect a check on the 25th or the 28th as the latest. But if I can do something legally I want to do it now. Sure I may or may not have owed them $2000, I never got that validated as far as Im concerned they could have came up with that on their own. But the agreement was $1,000 on a specific day and the other $1,000 wasnt agreed upon.

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