So earlier this week I received a voicemail from a lady stating she had received my file in her office to serve me a certified letter of intent. She only gave me her name. The number she gave me was to the CA below. When I called we had a pleasant back and forth and then the guy put me on hold to contact check n go to see if we could reach a settlement. When he got back on the line he said check n go would agree to take $300 dollars and consider the account paid in full and that it had to be paid before today (Friday), he also said he would only take a credit or debit card number for payment. I told him that I don't recognize the debt as mine and that I needed to do a little research before I paid anything. He then informed me that I needed to act quickly because I was facing charges of check fraud and intentionally defrauding a lending institution. So I have to pay 300 before Friday.
So that night I tried finding info on this CA and found nothing. The only ACS I found in Buffalo was not the same who contacted me. Next, lets go to the source. I called check n go collections and talk to the nicest CA CSR ever. She did confirm the debt was for 600 and change and that it appeared to be mine. The debt was from '08 but they did sell it so she couldn't take a payment from me. She gave me the # for the CA they sold it to. With her still on the phone I explained the whole phone convo earlier and she said that it sounded suspicious and that I shouldn't pay them a cent. Also she informed me that they never received a call from any CA in regards to me or this account like the gent said he did. She then said she wasn't sure what this letter of intent is all about because I cannot be taken to court over this debt. So I called the CA she told me to and all they had on file was another number for me to call. Again, a very nice CA CSR, when I breezed the details to this one about my earlier phone call with ACS she said it also sounded fraudulent and that I shouldn't pay them.
Next CA, not as nice, this debt has been sold call this number! *click* So I call, this number has been disconnected.... I call back the, not so nice, CA, get the same guy, told him the number is not valid. Response, "then they went belly up"........... *click* UUUGGGHHHHH
So I call back ACS and get someone different, I put on my most polite and charming demeanor and ask her a few questions. I told her I talked to check n go about this, and number one, they said they never received a phone call from the guy I talked to earlier, but he said he called. Please hold..........ok, we have a different number we call that you wouldn't have access to, it's for settlement balances. Ok, can you send me some form of validation, that this debt is mine and you own the rights. Please hold.........ok, can I get your e-mail? Sure. I then question the 300 settlement and tell her I can't really pay it so I guess that's a problem. She says well you don't have to pay the whole 300, even a 100 down payment would be fine, no less though, I thank her for her time and we hang up. She e-mails me something titled conditional release letter. It shows the balance owed and the settlement amount plus client and account numbers, like below. Now I notice the e-mail says @americancollectionservice.com?? When I Google it, the closest that comes up is American collection services out of Oklahoma city.
I call back to check n go collections and speak to someone different, I go over the whole thing again and she has the same response as the previous person. All I inquire about is this number for reaching settlements. The first CSR said no one contacted them but when I just called ACS back they said it was a private line. This CSR has the same response, no one called them today about this and she has never heard of a phone number for settlements with their company. She then said if you do pay them get a visa gift card and put the money on that to pay them, if they were legit they would except more then credit/debit just be careful....wow if they all were like these two ladies from check n go huh? Done for the night.
Day 2: I call back and request the same gent I talked to the previous day. I tell him that I can't pay him this debt because I have concerns about the validity of the debt, that they own the debt, and that they are a legitimate CA. He is completely stumped, I explain all my actions the previous day and that I will be waiting for the courier service to deliver this letter on Friday, also my manager at work, who happens to work as a County Sheriff as well (this is true ) will be there also to take notes on the entire interaction including taking photographs of her and her vehicle/plates. Well E** I've never had this go this far and I guess I need to do some research and talk to my boss thank you and we'll be in contact soon. Before we hang up I ask why they don't have a website and his stuttered reply is they are a new company. I then question the e-mail address being from a CA in OK and he can't answer, he says their parent company is out of Georgia. I also tell him the gal from the night before would except 100 as a down payment and he just says, for sure, anything to help you out..
Later I receive a phone call from "the boss". You have my staff entirely confused at this point, so from this point forward I will be handling your case directly. She said her staff doesn't understand debt validation and they don't have access to this info anyway. So I explain all of my concerns with her, but she feels more inclined to tell me about why she does this job and all of the CC debt she used to have. She consistently gives me her word that they are an accredited investment firm with lawyers and that they are my last chance before this goes to the next level. She says that I will receive reciepts after they recieve payment and if anyone else tries to collect on this I would have proof that it has been paid. She also gave me her direct line if there were to be any problems in the future. I tell her that I want something from them that proves the debt is valid and that they own it, something with my sig or SSN, any original docs for proof. She says she already e-mailed the verification (below) and is sending a hard copy as well. I asked if the hard copy said the same as the e-mail and she says they both say the same thing. She said she wont send anything with my SSN because anyone can open an envelope and that wouldn't be right. Finally the convo ends with her saying 300 is a great deal and I should take it, but I can take until next Friday to come to a decision. She told the courier service to C&D all communication with me. She says she doesn't want to sound brass but I can pay the 300 or do nothing and end up paying the full 900 and some plus hundreds more for court fee and thousands in lawyer fees but its up to me.
and breath... So what do the experts think of this situation? Is the e-mail below true validation of this debt? It was titled verification letter. Should I pay them? Also, this payday loan isn't on my CRs and I really don't remember going to a payday place, but again this is '08 so I very well could of. All of the CA I spoke to had my SSN on file. I never gave it out but confirmed the last four except with ACS, they never asked they just said they had it sitting in front of them.
American Check Services
PO BOX 587
Buffalo, New York 14231
February 21, 2013
4**** S***** LANE APT #***
*********, WI 5****
CREDITOR .................: CHECK N GO
ACCOUNT# ................: 13***
CLIENT ACCOUNT# .: 11***
BALANCE ..................: $939.59
Dear E***** P****,
This is a request for payment of the original debt incurred by you
as identified above. This office has been assigned
the above referenced debt and all of your rights and obligations regarding
this contract have been transferred to this office.
This office considers this to be a serious matter.
Your past due contract is currently being reviewed by this office.
If you choose to resolve this matter voluntarily,
you may take one of the following actions:
1. You may pay the balance in full in the amount of $939.59with
2. You may contact this office to make an acceptable payment arrangement.
Unless you notify this office within 30 days after receiving this
notice that you dispute the validity
of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt to be
valid. If you notify this office in writing
within 30 days of receiving this notice, this office will obtain
verification of the debt. If you request this office in writing
within 30 days after receiving this notice, this office will provide you
with the name and address of original creditor,
if different from the current creditor.
If you have questions relative to the above referenced settlement,
please do not hesitate to contact our office
toll free at 1-877-310-4456, Monday - Friday 9:30 am - 8:00 pm EST. Please
refer to the account # above.
Federal law requires we notify you this is an attempt to collect a
debt by a collection office and any information
obtained will be used for that purpose only.
Sr. Risk Manager
I got the same type of thing aNd googled. And found this. http://www.ripoffreport.com/cash-services/acs-collections-and/acs-collections-and-legal-dept-dfabd.h... I got this Wednesday and haven't had a chance to research more,but I think it's a scam.
IMO, start over. Based on the FDCPA, you needed to request verification via writing. Mail them a DV. Had they responded with what you requested following the DV, then I'd say they did right per the FDCPA.
ETA....dang I'm slow tonight.
Again, that is not a reponse to a DV, it is a dunning notice. If you don't want it on your CR you need to send a DV by mail. It starts the cease collections activity until they validate.
First off, sounds like a scam- or at least definitely fishy - I'd send a written DV by CMRR just as others suggested.
That said, I used to use cash advance/ payday loan places... If I remember correctly, I had to write them checks before they would loan me the money so that if I defaulted, they could cash the check and be covered. That means that if you HAD in fact taken out a payday loan, the payday loan place would have cashed your check if you defaulted on the loan - in which case, if the check then bounced, you would have gotten notification of that and your bank should have record of it. Have you had the same bank this whole time? Any way you might be able to check with them on your history?