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I love when debt collectors use illegal practices

Contributor

I love when debt collectors use illegal practices

I had a debt collector send me a letter for settlement in January for 40% settlement, 60% settlement based on two different payment dates. I wasnt in a position to settle at the time so I didnt accept. In March I called them and offered $2000 and they said they couldnt take that offer but countered with $3100. I told them I could do $2000 now and $200 each month for 5 months. They again rejected the offer. Okay. 

I called today to offer them $1500. They countered with $2675 plus credit deletion. I informed them I couldnt do that. He asked about paying $1500 now and $200 over 6 months. No, sorry I can't do that either. I am going to be unemployed for four months over summer. He mentioned by offer from March. I reminded him that was in March and this is May, circumstances have changed and I couldnt guarentee that I could pay $200 a month well into the fall months. He put me on hold and this mean, nasty lady came on. She stated that if i didnt take their offer I would need to pay the full balance plus no credit deletion. I said that was fine. She asks "so you dont want to do this now and get a credit deletion?" I said I wasnt worried about the deletion and she said I wouldnt be able to rent or buy or get a loan so long as that is on my report. (Ummmm....yes i can, already talk to a lender but thanks for that.) When I wouldnt bite she then said she would notate the account that I was refusing to pay and procede with further legal action against my husbands gainful employment. (Ummmm...did you just threaten me?) I told her it was illegal to threaten to garnish wages or a lawsuit to get me to pay. She says, no i could mean i will call you constantly. (Umm...okay thats better how? I'm pretty sure "further legal action" doesnt mean calling me but okay.) I ended the call with a polite, thank you for your time but I cant accept your offer. Bye now. 

 

I really really hate dealing with this company. 

For Me Starting FICO 8 Score 4/1/18 EX 599 TU 602 EQ 609
Current FICO 8 Score 6/1/18: EX 620 TU 617 EQ 623
Beginning Mortgage Score 4/1/18: EX 537 TU 592 EQ 578
Current Mortgage Scores 6/1/18 EX 607 TU 601 EQ 613
Hubby Starting FICO 8 Score 4/1/18: EX 505 TU 543 EQ 484
Current FICO 8 Score 6/1/18: EX 581 TU 581 EQ 569
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Current Mortgage Scores 6/1/18 EX 577 TU 598 EQ 582
Goal Score 7/1/18: 640 Across the Board


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Message 1 of 8
7 REPLIES
Regular Contributor

Re: I love when debt collectors use illegal practices

It is not illegal for a debt collector to "threaten" you with a lawsuit in order to pursade you to pay a debt.  As far as garnishing your husband's wages, that would only be permissable if he is liable on the debt, named in the lawsuit and judgment entered againstt him also.

Message 2 of 8
Contributor

Re: I love when debt collectors use illegal practices

According to the FDCPA section 807 4 and 5 it states the following

(4) The representation or implication that nonpayment of any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of any property or wages of any person unless such action is lawful and the debt collector or creditor intends to take such action.

(5) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken.

 

She first tried to use my credit as a means to get me to pay by stating that my credit would be damaged by it not being deleted in such a way that i would not be able to rent, obtain a mortgage or any other loan. When that failed she said she was going to notate the account as we refused to pay and proceed with further legal action against my husbands gainful employment. They can not threaten to do something they do not intend to do. I have not heard hide nor hair from them since they got it in June of 2016 aside from one settlement offer in January of 2017. This is my second offer to settle, the first of which I offered to settle at the $3100 they wanted but they wouldnt take because of needing to make payments on the last $1000 and they said they werent able to take payments. NOW they say they want payments for the last $1000 or will take action against us AFTER trying the credit report route. When I called her out on it she started stammering and then said she wasnt making threats to sue but instead that she could just call us repeatedly. You dont take "further legal action against a spouses income" in order to call someone repeatedly. Obviously there is no intent to take further legal action, it was a threat to get me to pay. Also, the account doesnt meet the usual requirement that the legal department wants before they will even take it to court. 

For Me Starting FICO 8 Score 4/1/18 EX 599 TU 602 EQ 609
Current FICO 8 Score 6/1/18: EX 620 TU 617 EQ 623
Beginning Mortgage Score 4/1/18: EX 537 TU 592 EQ 578
Current Mortgage Scores 6/1/18 EX 607 TU 601 EQ 613
Hubby Starting FICO 8 Score 4/1/18: EX 505 TU 543 EQ 484
Current FICO 8 Score 6/1/18: EX 581 TU 581 EQ 569
Beginning Mortgage Score 4/1/18: EX 494 TU 512 EQ 548
Current Mortgage Scores 6/1/18 EX 577 TU 598 EQ 582
Goal Score 7/1/18: 640 Across the Board


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Message 3 of 8
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: I love when debt collectors use illegal practices

It is very hard to prove in court whether or not a party had intent.

Showing a violation based on threat to sue requires showing of lack of intent to actually bring an civil action, and is rarely proven.

Message 4 of 8
Contributor

Re: I love when debt collectors use illegal practices

That may be true, however as far as I understand it since this is a third party collection agency they do not own the account so they have to have authorization from the original creditor to sue in order to threaten legal action. They would need to prove they had that authorization before I called to settle the debt. I spoke with the original creditor prior to contacting the collection agency and they had no intent to sue. 

 

Per the State of WIsconsin Depart of Financial Institutions

Third-party debt collectors: Note that only the creditor has the authority to decide whether legal action should be taken. A collection agency cannot initiate legal action on its own but can recommend legal action to the creditor. If the original creditor has given authorization to commence legal action, the third-party debt collector may then mention that intended legal action.

For Me Starting FICO 8 Score 4/1/18 EX 599 TU 602 EQ 609
Current FICO 8 Score 6/1/18: EX 620 TU 617 EQ 623
Beginning Mortgage Score 4/1/18: EX 537 TU 592 EQ 578
Current Mortgage Scores 6/1/18 EX 607 TU 601 EQ 613
Hubby Starting FICO 8 Score 4/1/18: EX 505 TU 543 EQ 484
Current FICO 8 Score 6/1/18: EX 581 TU 581 EQ 569
Beginning Mortgage Score 4/1/18: EX 494 TU 512 EQ 548
Current Mortgage Scores 6/1/18 EX 577 TU 598 EQ 582
Goal Score 7/1/18: 640 Across the Board


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Message 5 of 8
Highlighted
Frequent Contributor

Re: I love when debt collectors use illegal practices

"Legal" may simply mean permitted by law, in which case I see nothing wrong here. And you do owe the debt apparently, so why not accept a PFD deal? Fwiw, as a jdb I would have accepted your March offer, certainly.

 

I am not familiar with your particular state law; however, a distinction should be researched. There is a difference between debt collectors working contracts and debt buyers who own the debt and act autonomously. I wouldn't necessarily assume the former.


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Message 6 of 8
Contributor

Re: I love when debt collectors use illegal practices

 wrote:

"Legal" may simply mean permitted by law, in which case I see nothing wrong here. And you do owe the debt apparently, so why not accept a PFD deal? Fwiw, as a jdb I would have accepted your March offer, certainly.

 

I am not familiar with your particular state law; however, a distinction should be researched. There is a difference between debt collectors working contracts and debt buyers who own the debt and act autonomously. I wouldn't necessarily assume the former.

True, "legal" could mean a few different things. "Legal action against employment" is a more narrow scope of things, by definition "legal action" means to have a court of law settle an arguement. Now, if they said they will take "necessary legal measures" (which means duty in accordance with the law) to collect the debt, that would be more accurate and could include letters, referral to creditor for suit, calling, etc. Splitting hairs? Maybe. But when dealing with shadey collection agencies. Necessary. Knowledge is power and she certainly didnt expect me to know her limitations. 

 

The creditor informed me when I asked if the collector owned the account that the collector does not own the account and is collecting it on their behalf which would put them in the former. The collector themselves said they are a third party collector and that they dont own the account and it is still governed by the creditor. This would put them in my previously mentioned quote from the wisconsin state site for financial institutions. Trust me, I have done a healthy amount of research on this. In the state of Wisconsin they cant threaten to take legal action against employment without first getting the OK from the creidtor, they can only state they will refer that the account have legal action taken on it. She didnt use the correct verbage to make it a "legal" statement. 

 

I know the debt is accurate, hense why 1) i never disputed it and 2) I made attempts to settle it. Instead I will pay off two other accounts instead, since those two have agreed to my payment and will delete. I will just have to continue to deal with this agency via mail and refrain from bothering with phone calls. They don't perform very respectable practices. That evidence is all over the internet. 

For Me Starting FICO 8 Score 4/1/18 EX 599 TU 602 EQ 609
Current FICO 8 Score 6/1/18: EX 620 TU 617 EQ 623
Beginning Mortgage Score 4/1/18: EX 537 TU 592 EQ 578
Current Mortgage Scores 6/1/18 EX 607 TU 601 EQ 613
Hubby Starting FICO 8 Score 4/1/18: EX 505 TU 543 EQ 484
Current FICO 8 Score 6/1/18: EX 581 TU 581 EQ 569
Beginning Mortgage Score 4/1/18: EX 494 TU 512 EQ 548
Current Mortgage Scores 6/1/18 EX 577 TU 598 EQ 582
Goal Score 7/1/18: 640 Across the Board


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Message 7 of 8
Regular Contributor

Re: I love when debt collectors use illegal practices

I think a court would side with the consumer based on the least sophisticated consumer rule. In this case the LSC would feel creditor suit was real 

Message 8 of 8