Dealing With Collection Sharks

This was so popular and a lot of folks missed it. So we are going over this article again. (it really can help many of you). This is an actual copy of the Federal Trade Commission in action. Perhaps many of you have been faced with this same problem. You have an old account that is due to be automatically removed by virtue of the Statute of Limitations. Yes, the seven-year clock is getting ready to expire.But lo and behold, up jumps this company that has just purchased this old account and are circumventing the law. How? Simple, they just put a new date on your credit report relating to their purchase of the account. This now gives them another seven years to either force you, harass you or do whatever they can to force you to pay. Lets just say that you were put into a credit prison for (7) years. You accepted your fate. But about the six year and six month time you really are aware of when your sentence ends. BUT, here in the middle of the night, without your even knowing who or how, someone adds more years to your sentence. Are you mad? You bet. What can you do? Up until you read this article you might not have even been aware such things can happen. YES, they most certainly do.It is illegal as hell! Here is proof of this company being caught by the Federal Trade Commission. Remember the law works for you. If you have this situation, you can always download and reprint this letter to send to them. Don’t be afraid. This is public information. Anyone can subscribe to the Federal Trade Commission website and get these rulings. So go ahead and use the power given you under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This letter appeared in August 2000. The following letter is reprinted from the FTC website.California Debt Collection Agency Settles FTC Charges Of Fair Credit Reporting Act Violations
The Federal Trade Commission today announced a proposed settlement with a California-based debt collection agency, Performance Capital Management, Inc. (PCM), under which the company would be fined $2 million and enjoined from what the FTC called “serious violations” of Section 623 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). According to the terms of the proposed settlement, payment of the fine would be waived due to the company’s poor financial condition.The FCRA regulates the collection and dissemination of sensitive information about consumers by credit bureaus and other types of consumer reporting agencies. Section 623 was added by Congress in the 1996 amendments to increase the accuracy of consumer reports by imposing specific duties upon any entity that furnishes information to a consumer reporting agency. The settlement announced today is the Commission’s first enforcement action under Section 623.PCM is a California corporation with headquarters in Irvine, California. It specializes in buying and collecting consumer debt that has been charged-off by the original creditor as un-collectable. PCM is currently in bankruptcy, and the Commission has waived the $2 million civil penalty based upon the financial condition of the company. In its complaint against PCM, the Commission alleges that PCM violated a number of requirements imposed by Section 623. First, the complaint alleges that PCM provided credit bureaus with inaccurate “delinquency dates” for its accounts. Section 623 defines the delinquency date for an account as the month and year that an account first became delinquent.This date is important because it is used by credit bureaus to measure the seven-year period that negative credit information maybe reported under the FCRA. According to the Commission, PCM systematically reports accounts with delinquency dates that were more recent than the actual date of delinquency, resulting in negative information remaining on consumers’ credit reports long beyond the seven-year period mandated by the FCRA.The Commission’s complaint also alleges that PCM violated Section 623 by ignoring or failing to investigate consumer disputes referred by credit bureaus, and by failing to notify credit bureaus when consumers disputed collection accounts with PCM.The proposed settlement would require PCM to provide correct delinquency dates when reporting collection accounts to credit bureaus. The agreement also mandates the proper investigation of disputes. Where PCM learns during an investigation that account records no longer exist for a disputed debt, the company must delete the information from credit bureau files within five days. Finally, the agreement would require PCM to report as “disputed” all accounts where consumers have disputed the information with PCM.The Commission vote to file the complaint and the proposed settlement was 5-0. The proposed settlement will be presented to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, which is overseeing PCM’ s bankruptcy. If approved, the agreement will be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.Regis Sauger has contributed the opening portion of this article and makes you aware of how the law can help you with information that is public knowledge. Regis Sauger takes no credit for the materials in the reprint, but has provided all readers with information that otherwise they might not learn about.Respectfully, Regis Sauger

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