Good evening. A few weeks ago, I'd recieved letter from this company, "Cawley and Bergmann", regarding a couple of debts, which are legit debts. My first question is. Is this an actual law firm? Or a debt collector, posing as a law firm? My other issue is, I was in the midst of making an agreement to settle a debt much lower than what is owed. I got an email with an agreement to pay the debt, which surprised me, because I wasn't informed of an email confirmation via phone conversation. In the email pdf file, it shows the original debt and the new lower debt that I'd agreed to. Today I got an actual letter from them, confirming my initial payment, but the debt is not what was agreed. It's the original debt. So out of curiosity, I decided to go to their website and see if the original or the agreed debt would show. It shows the original debt that is owed if I make a monthly payment online. This company is very decieving. So I'd listened to my gut and recorded each conversation from our first to recent. The guy denied that he told me a initial price and stated that it's documented. I'd asked him if I could listen to that conversation. He attempted to change conversations, to he was doing me a favor. But I have the conversations recorded showing the opposite. Any suggestions as well as other have had experiences with this misleading company? Thanks in advance.
They appear to be a non-attorney debt collector.
It’s advisable to deal with debt collectors in writing as opposed to over the phone. With terms in writing, you have a clear record of the terms. I’d caution relying on recorded phone conversations that you’ve made (especially if you aren’t clear on the laws governing them). Recording conversations, depending upon your state laws, can be a slippery slope if proper consent isn’t obtained.
Dealing with collectors, especially when the debt is within the SOL and can be verified, should be handled carefully. At the very least, it seems you are trying to obtain a settlement for less and that requires them to want to play ball.
Thanks for the reply. Thanks for confirming that they're not a law firm. What made me ask was after seeing the difference between what was agreed to over the phone, which was the same as in the email that was sent to me. That agreement via email, is the agreed lower settled to pay. But like I'd pointed out, the letter that arrived yesterday and what is on their website, is not the same as the email and phone conversation. It's the original debt. Meaning. They initiated the offer for the lower debt. Red flag. I'm going to call the company that the debt was sold to, to find out what was the agreement. And from reading other people that have dealt with them. This is a common issue with them, among other troubling things. Regarding the phone recording conversations. I will check my State of California's laws and rights to find out what I can and can't do.
@legacys7- California is a two-party consent state. So, California makes it a crime to record or eavesdrop on any confidential communication, including a private conversation or telephone call, without the consent of all parties to the conversation. IIRC, this is addressed in their Penal Code.
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I saw that shortly after reading the first person that replied. I'd Googled searched it. It's a pretty screwed up thing that documented phone call is put in the same category as eavesdropping. Especially when it comes to debt collectors regarding what they say on the phone that is often illegal motives. So it's a thing where, if you don't have any documented recordings, outside of keeping a documented log written down, it's hard to prove this. Anways. I'll just keep the calls for my personal records of remembering what I need to do on my part. I've read up on this company from past people. While it's a legit company, they try to pass themselves off as a law firm as well as do shady things, including using care tactics, that have put them in court. The law firm thing is what threw me off, until I'd done some research on them, only to find out that they're a 3rd party debt collection. Now regarding my initial question, outside of the documented phone calls. I'd called the actual owner of the debt, the first collection. For some very odd reason, the lady tells me that they don't know or have any records to what I had agreed to with this 3rd party. I find this very suspect, due to the fact that they use this company a lot for outsourcing, based on what I've read on here. Anyways. I got two different letters. The first one, which was the initial agreement that I'd agreed to pay, was sent via email. The guy never told me that it was sent via email, until I'd asked for the confirmation. And I don't think that he had any intentions on telling me either. So a few days ago, I get another letter, but this one was sent to me via snail mail, that showed me paying the initial debt. I'd went online out of curiosity to their website and saw that the debt on their website is the initial debt. That lead me to calling the debt collector that actually owns it. They'd suggested that I'd call the Bergmann company back and speak to a supervisor regarding the inconsistent letters. I'd ended up speaking to the person who got all of this going. To make this already long story short. He'd told me that the letter that shows the original debt, including what's online, is only there, showing what the debt is. Once I satisfy what we agreed to, the lower debt. All is fine. This doesn't sound right. He told me that he can have the lady at the office, the same person who sent out both the email and snail mail, send me the initial letter that we agreed on. The settled debt. Anyone have any suggestions? I think I'll call my cousin back east. She is an attorney in this field.