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Steven and the Credit Collection Agency Grinch

from: Wayne Patterson

Why you should beware the credit collection agency bearing gifts.

Many years ago I graduated from college with Steven. We werenít really close but have managed to keep in touch. Steven did extremely well through the hi-flying eighties. However the nineties brought a divorce, no job, and creditors knocking at the door. He managed to avoid bankruptcy and eventually paid most of his debts. However, there were several credit cards still with balances. The companies hounded him for several months but eventually wrote off the accounts without filing suit.

Fast forward to 2003. Seven years have passed and Stevenís credit report is now clear. He has remarried and applies for a home loan. Within days he receives a letter from a collection agency requesting payment of these old debts. The letter warns Steven that these old debts could prevent him from obtaining the mortgage. They want to "help" him and promise not to sue if he agrees to a payment plan. They even offer to "forgive" all interest and late charges.

Steven, fearful of a court case that could ruin his new life, accepts their offer and starts making payments. The credit collection scumbags have won again. They won because Steven did not know his rights. If you think scumbags is too strong a word then consider the facts that they conveniently forgot to mention.

They neglected to mention that they did not represent the original creditors. The collection agency buys these old accounts for pennies on the dollar. They didnít tell Steven that they could not take him to court and that these old accounts would have no effect on the home mortgage. They didnít mention that the statue of limitations had expired and that Steven did not legally owe anything. With one exception! If, if they could persuade Steven to make a small payment or otherwise acknowledge the debt then the SOL would not apply.

While not strictly illegal, this scheme is a form of misrepresentation. Using harassment as a form of psychological intimidation, these scumbags make their living by terrorizing consumers into paying debts that they do not owe. In many case there is a legitimate dispute but the consumer will pay just to get rid of the insistent phone calls at home and work. Phone calls that are often in violation of Federal Law.

There is a saying that if you do not know your rights then you do not have any. If you receive a letter of telephone call from a collection agency, your first step should be to find out your rights. The American Bar Association says: "The best way for the majority of Americans to be able to assure themselves of legal assistance when they need it... is through a prepaid legal plan." To find out more about your rights visit


If you need to contact the credit reporting agencies to order your credit report or if you need to learn about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act then visit


Donít be intimidated. Stand up and demand your rights. There is help.

About the Author

Wayne Patterson is the author of "Solidgoldmonthly" home business newsletter. Home business news and views that you can use. No scams allowed! Subscribe now to receive FREE book of eBay Marketing Secrets, sold on other sites for $27.00.


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