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  • Bill collectors! ugh!

    Audio/Video of Calls: Here

    Article: Here

    Stanley McLeod was a man family members say always tried to pay his bills on time.

    But, after a massive heart attack, the Sears employee had to quit work and fell behind on his mortgage payment, prompting calls from a debt collector.

    "There were about ten to twelve calls a day," says Stanley's wife, Dianne McLeod.

    But the calls were far from ordinary. In fact, a first of its kind lawsuit filed by Tampa based law firm Morgan and Morgan alleges the company's calls were so frequent and harassing, McLeod's blood pressure and stress levels shot through the roof, enough to ultimately contribute to his death.

    "He'd get very red in the face and short of breath," recalls Mrs. McLeod of the calls her husband would often take while she was at work. "I believe it contributed to his death, I really do."

    The McLeod's saved tapes with some of the messages left on their home answering machine. A male debt collector can be heard commenting on the expensive helicopter ride that saved Stanley's life:

    "Get your act together and make the payments on your mortgage. Why don't you have that helicopter pick you up and bring that payment to the office."

    That recording eventually made its way to Tampa attorney Billy Howard, who heads the consumer protection unit of Florida mega firm Morgan and Morgan.

    "They don't care, they just want to make money," said Howard, who says his office has started receiving hundreds of complaints about overly aggressive debt collectors. "No one has held them accountable."

    Morgan and Morgan is among a growing list of law firms focusing their attention on debt collection abuse. The company has even produced a commercial urging potential clients to save answering machine recordings if an aggressive debt collector calls.

    "It's time to fight back against the banks and debt collectors and make them responsible for their conduct," Howard says. "The way to stop them is in the pocketbook."

    The McLeod case is not an isolated one. Howard provided us with a CD full of similar calls, many containing profane language and even racial slurs.

    In one of the calls, the debt collector can be heard calling a man the "n-word" after threatening to dig deep into his background.

    Howard says while debt collection companies have every right to go after money owed to banks and other companies, a Florida law protects consumers from calls considered harassing.

    "You have to do it in a nice manner, period," says Howard, who adds most Floridians don't know their rights in these type cases.

    He also adds, in some cases, people don't even owe money, and are either victims of identity theft or mistakes on the part of the collection agency.

    "These people are innocent, and they can't get the calls to stop," Howard says.

    On one of Howard's cases from July, he says, a debt collector called the best friend of a woman suggesting the friend had died. Ericka Cartagena of Winter Springs says her friend frantically called her brother, throwing her entire family into a panic when they couldn't reach her by phone.

    "Everyone thought I was dead!" said an angry Cartagena who, to this day, has no idea why the debt collection company called. She is making payments on a used car, but says she previously made all her payments on time.

    She and her attorney believe the statement suggesting her death may have been a mistake, but is often a deliberate attempt by collection companies to prompt an immediate call back from unsuspecting family members.

    "To use something like that against somebody is the most egregious collection abuse that is imaginable," Howard says.

    A spokesperson for the debt collection industry says he believes cases involving harassment are isolated.

    "I think it's the rare exception. Every customer has the right to be treated with dignity and respect," says spokesman Adam Peterman, director of government affairs for the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA).

    But Dianne McLeod says her husband, while still alive, was treated with anything but dignity and respect.

    "They humiliated him, they harassed him, and they didn't care," says McLeod. "You know that if things had been handled differently by this company, he may still be here."

    Now, she wants to collect, from the company she blames for harassing her husband to death.
    I know this is sort of an odd thing to post on the site, which is why I put it in this section, but this stuff just erks the crap out of me. Listen to the video of these dbags calling... is it just me, or do you want to jump through the phone and punch them square in the face?

    I've only had one encounter with a bill collector - when I changed my phone service, my previous contract went to collection. I had no idea I owed any money, since I received no mail or calls about it until it got to that point. The guy who called was an absolute asshat who was belligerent and condescending. And that was one bill, for $120.00. I can only imagine what folks go through who fall on troubled times.

    Anybody here have any experience with them? I know it's airing dirty laundry, but hey, we're all friends here.

  • #2
    I've never had an encounter with one but I would hang up the phone long before I got a heart attack.

    There's caller ID too.

    Comment


    • #3
      I lost my job two weeks before the birth of my daughter. Times got tough to say the very least. I had to let several credit cards go due to a choice of electric bill or them, which led to my experiences with collectors. When they first started calling, I bought into their technique of seeming like they were on my side. They quickly changed when they realized I really didn't have anything to give them. Once they started getting nasty I started having fun with them. I would speak with a different accent every time they called (same person would call three times in a row), ask them to hold and just put the phone down, tell them the check was already sent and showed as cashed by their company, etc. Once the internal collection agents gave up they sold them to third parties which is when my real fun began.

      For those who may not know, an original debtor is not required to abide by the FDCPA, or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but third party collectors are. The first one to call me stated that they were already filing suit and would garnish my wages and bank account. I informed him that he was being recorded and that I could count three violations in his first sentence and he hung up and didn't call back. Another called and immediately demanded my SSN. I told him to pound sand and blocked his number. Needless to say when you must deal with these people, read the law and know your rights.

      FYI- I had 11 debts go into default August of last year, and all but three are paid in full. The remaining 3 are in payment plans. I am kinda proud of that.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by marcusindc View Post
        Audio/Video of Calls: Here

        Article: Here



        I know this is sort of an odd thing to post on the site, which is why I put it in this section, but this stuff just erks the crap out of me. Listen to the video of these dbags calling... is it just me, or do you want to jump through the phone and punch them square in the face?

        I've only had one encounter with a bill collector - when I changed my phone service, my previous contract went to collection. I had no idea I owed any money, since I received no mail or calls about it until it got to that point. The guy who called was an absolute asshat who was belligerent and condescending. And that was one bill, for $120.00. I can only imagine what folks go through who fall on troubled times.

        Anybody here have any experience with them? I know it's airing dirty laundry, but hey, we're all friends here.
        I think I got one call, once. I told the person that I disputed the charge, did not owe the money, would not pay it absent a court judgment, and that if he or the putative creditor did anything to affect my credit rating, I would sue them and seek punitive damages. I never heard another word, and nothing showed up on my credit report.
        Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
        Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

        Comment


        • #5
          Yea, I tell them I am recording the call and am sending it in to the news! hehe!
          "Abandon your animosities and make your sons Americans." - Robert E. Lee, 1865

          Comment


          • #6
            Never pay the collector who calls, always pay the company directly by sending payment to them. The collectors only job is to get you to pay something through them so they can get their commision.
            Due to the Juvenile bickering and annoying trolling committed by members of this forum I have started an igore list. If your name is listed below I can't see you.

            CityCopDC, Fire Moose, Carbonfiberfoot, Damiansolomon

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by leesrt View Post
              Never pay the collector who calls, always pay the company directly by sending payment to them. The collectors only job is to get you to pay something through them so they can get their commision.
              An original creditor can not accept payment for an item they have either assigned or sold to a third party collector. It is a violation of federal law for two entities to be collecting for the same debt. If you are being contacted by an in-house collector of course, this does not apply.

              From experience, get EVERYTHING in writing! I agreed to a settlement with a company, sent them the check, and then received a bill for the rest of the interest charges and began receiving collection calls. The agency was of ill repute and I knew they would try something, so I had all communication with them documented or recorded (I had to deal with them as they now owned the debt). I had my lawyer call theirs and played the tape for them; received a letter that the debt was taken care of and no further payment would be necessary within a week.

              Comment


              • #8
                My wife got a call recently from one of these guys:

                "Do you know your neighbor, Bob Jones?"
                - "yes"

                "Can you go over and check if he is home? We need to talk to him."
                - [click]


                Couldn't believe they did that. Told the neighbor so he could do with it what he wanted to.
                If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

                ---Jack Handey

                Comment


                • #9
                  in texas (at least as far as I k now) put iin writing that you do not want to be contacted by phone, only by mail. after 30 days they have to stop or its harrasment.
                  ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
                  Oscar Wilde

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TX_Loudmouth View Post
                    An original creditor can not accept payment for an item they have either assigned or sold to a third party collector. It is a violation of federal law for two entities to be collecting for the same debt. If you are being contacted by an in-house collector of course, this does not apply.
                    They can accept payment for an item they've assigned, but not one sold.
                    "First of all, then we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama." - Al Sharpton, March 21, 2010

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by equinox137 View Post
                      They can accept payment for an item they've assigned, but not one sold.
                      Nope. Federal law dictates that two entities can not collect on the same debt at the same time. I refuse to deal with collector's as much as possible and try to deal solely with the original debtors but I was told by more than one company that they could not accept payment for the debt and that I would be required to send it to the collectors.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Have told many a debt collector to go f*** themselves, hung up on them, caller ID keeps me from talking to a lot of them in the first place.

                        Unless they want to repossess the item you purchased, or take the matter to a court of law, there's really not a damned thing they can do, other than report it to the credit bureau. Once they do that to me, they can kiss my sweet petunia!!!

                        It really is a damned shame this country has gotten so damned greedy in the last 30 years or so.
                        Never make a drummer mad- we beat things for a living!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's unfortunate (IMO) that too many people fail to live within their means. Not to justify what these scumbags do but a lot of folks can't seem to realize how NOT to purchase things they don't need or can't afford.

                          You want to dance, gotta pay the band.
                          sigpic
                          Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun.
                          And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KapsFB View Post
                            It's unfortunate (IMO) that too many people fail to live within their means. Not to justify what these scumbags do but a lot of folks can't seem to realize how NOT to purchase things they don't need or can't afford.

                            You want to dance, gotta pay the band.
                            I agree. I was a debt collector for almost 3 yrs before switching to LE. I can't say that I ever treated anyone unprofessionally, harrassed them or was just plain rude. Although I've seen/heard several examples of bad calls which would have gotten me fired, had I ever done it. I did occassionally come across the honest person who genuinely fell on hard times, but the VAST majority of debtors I had the pleasure to "help" were dregs of society. They usually just didn't want to pay the bills. I'd catch them in lies about how much they made, show them they had plenty to not only make pmts on the 3y/o debt, but they could pay it in full immediately and they'd refuse. No doubt there are good, honest hardworking ppl who have life issues that prohibit them from fulfilling their financial obligations, but there are 100x as many low-life losers that just want something for nothing and can "rationalize" all day long why they shouldn't have to pay what they owe.
                            LOST:
                            Individual Responsibility
                            If found, please return to society.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rblake View Post
                              I agree. I was a debt collector for almost 3 yrs before switching to LE. I can't say that I ever treated anyone unprofessionally, harrassed them or was just plain rude. Although I've seen/heard several examples of bad calls which would have gotten me fired, had I ever done it. I did occassionally come across the honest person who genuinely fell on hard times, but the VAST majority of debtors I had the pleasure to "help" were dregs of society. They usually just didn't want to pay the bills. I'd catch them in lies about how much they made, show them they had plenty to not only make pmts on the 3y/o debt, but they could pay it in full immediately and they'd refuse. No doubt there are good, honest hardworking ppl who have life issues that prohibit them from fulfilling their financial obligations, but there are 100x as many low-life losers that just want something for nothing and can "rationalize" all day long why they shouldn't have to pay what they owe.

                              +1,000,000,000

                              I deal with many of these scumbags on a daily basis. They want everything for free, and if they happen to take student loans to go to school they usually won't pay them back.

                              I have dealt with many collectors (see previous post) and all of the companies that treated me like a human being now have their money. The three remaining decided that the best tactic would be threatening to which I replied "see ya in court".

                              Comment

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