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Help or advice about a collection agency - amahurst

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Hello. I am having a problem with a collection agency. I believe they are Amahurst or something to that effect. I returned their call at the first of the month. I do not doubt they debt they say I owe, so I set up payment arrangements. When the manager got on the phone to verfy everything with me, he advised me that it would show up on my credit report as a collection unless it was paid in full by the end of the month. I told them that I would see if someone could help me pay the amount in full and that I would call them back.

A family member said they would help me so I called the collection agency back to say that I would be making the full payment in a few days or so. Whenever I got the money from the family member. I distinctly remember that at the end of the call, I made sure the lady said that they would not be doing the payment arrangement.

I found out today, they took out $170 from my bank account causing it to go negative. I called them and they told me that I can't listen to the recorded call unless I had a lawyer requesting it. I, of course, grew angry and ending up hanging up. A manager called me back and stated I never mentioned anything about not taking out the payments, but he was listening to my original call. Not the second time I called stating a family member would help me. He called me back after listening to that call and stating that the rep said she would be taking out the payments unless I paid it in full which is NOT what she said.

I told them that I would be going to my bank tomorrow and putting all holds on my account with them and requesting my money back. They said I could do that but of course, they would listen to the call and it would show up in their favor.

Is there anything I can do or are they just pulling my leg? I am in PA by the way.

Thank you.




aerogirl....

I am confused here---did you pay the money you got from your family member AND they took the money out of your account as well?

Sub: #1 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 08:12

Lorri Lorri
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(Posts: 1721 | Credits: 224.67)

Part of the problem here is that you are not sure who you set up payments with. That is not a good sign because you appear to indicate that you handed your financial information over to parties somewhat unknown to you. Rule of thumb: never talk to debt collectors on the phone and never hand them your financial accounts information.

Now to a possible plan of action for you...I suggest that you immediately file a complaint with your banking institution and dispute the charges to your account -- some banks call this an 'Affidavit of Dispute'. Close your present bank account so that it cannot be further levied upon (you will have to bring the balance into the positive in most cases).

Send the debt collector, once you have identified the proper debt collector, a debt validation letter (DV letter) through USPS Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested (CMRRR). In your DV letter, include a notice that you revoke any permissions to the debt collector to assess your financial accounts, also inform the debt collector that "it is inconvenient for them to contact you at any time" and that all future communications should take place through the mails. Why? Because as you have learned, debt collectors are not above lying over the phone.

I also suggest that you file complaints with the Attorney Generals of the states involved -- that is, your state and the state that the debt collector is operating out of. Also consider filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau AND the Federal Trade Commission.

Do not let this debt collector off of the hook. You might want to obtain a copy of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (fdcpa) and read it, notating the violations that the debt collector has broken so far.

However, if you feel overburdened, I suggest and urge you to consider hiring a lawyer to go after the debt collector or at least a lawyer who can inform you of your rights under the law in this matter.

Good luck.

Sub: #2 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 10:36

Codie Codie

(Posts: 26 | Credits: 2.87)

Good advice...particularly about closing the current bank account. And if it is overdrawn and the bank won't close it, at least quit using it and ask the bank to put a freeze on it if possible. Then open up another account at another bank and don't give the collectors in question THAT info.

Sub: #3 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 12:27

Lorri Lorri
Moderators
(Posts: 1721 | Credits: 224.67)

If you dispute the transaction with your bank they should reverse the fees as well which will make it not overdrawn and therefore allow you to close the account. The bank will investigate and if they decide the charges were valid then they will reapply them but hopefully the dispute will stand.

Never give your banking information to any collector EVER. Never send them one of your checks EVER. In the future tell them the only way you will make payment is with a certified check through USPS. If they say they can't take a certifed check via mail tell them to bad then because that is the only way you are paying per your lawyers direction.

Sub: #4 posted on Fri, 07/18/2008 - 20:59

DOLLARSandSINCE DOLLARSandSINCE
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(Posts: 1078 | Credits: 137.97)

Whoops I forgot about asking to reverse the fees. Most banks will do that as long as there is a dispute going on.

Sub: #5 posted on Sun, 07/20/2008 - 04:44

Lorri Lorri
Moderators
(Posts: 1721 | Credits: 224.67)

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