For those of you who read my blog consistently, you know of my battle with the vultures known as debt collectors. I wouldn't be surprised if at least 1/2 of you have had harassing letters, threatening phone calls, or people pounding at your door at one time or another.
So many people give in, pay the debt -- whether or not they actually owe it. BE WARNED: DO NOT GIVE IN IF YOU DO NOT OWE. CHALLENGE IT ALL. SOMETIMES, YOU WIN!
Case in point: Back in August of 2009, a company known as TRANSWORLD SYSTEMS tried to collect a "Debt" of about 184 from my wife. We challenged. We asked for validation of the debt. They gave us 30 days to challenge, we gave them 30 to validate. 45 days passed. Then 60. 90. But no validation, and no withdrawal. Said "Fine," and shoved it in the filing cabinet with the other crap.
In March, she received a notice from NCO (Which I found out was the PARENT COMPANY of Transworld) And again, we challenged. 30 days passed. 45. No response. Filed a complaint with the FTC, and the MN DEPT OF COMMERCE (which licenses collectors in MN).
Today, My wife received a letter from NCO. They were unable to validate the debt. We didn't ask much: Copy of agreement allowing them to collect, signed contract proving obligation to pay bill, Name of creditor, when the collection agency was assigned the bill.
To my surprise, they were able to provide some of the stuff. But they missed ORIGINAL CREDITOR (The other agency was listed, not correct!) There was no signed agreement copy, and no copy of anything bearing a signature which would prove the debt. Result: The "debt" claim was withdrawn.
Sometimes it pays to fight back. But this our first documented victory without help from a lawyer. One agency tried to collect an 11K debt from her Ex, by sending the bill to her...But her Ex is dead. So they tried to collect from her. We kept sending back. Finally we tried to determine what it was all about. And with help from an attorney (Florida based), the claim was withdrawn (And it was 17 years past the statute of limitations!)
Yes, sometimes it pays to fight back. I cannot guarantee it will always work. But if you are having problems, I CAN guarantee that if you don't try you will not succeed. A win will MORE than pay for the certified mail, paper, and envelope. Sure, you could still lose -- but if you don't TRY, you won't win.
Yes, Sometimes it DOES pay to fight back. And it could save you a small fortune. If the bill is small, you may want to pay it anyway...but the larger they get, the more you should fight. Do not get ripped off. It's your choice, your money ... AS I SEE It!