Old Debt Dressed In New Clothes

Zombie Debt

Debt Collectors are constantly coming up with new ways to make money. Here is one you might not know about. Rather than collect a debt for someone else, Debt Collectors are buying old debt and “re-aging” it. Imagine that a man dies and someone dresses him in a new suit and then tries to convince you he is alive. The industry has actually started calling it Zombie Debt. This works something like this.

A Debt Collector finds a creditor that has a group of people that owe them. It is too late for the creditor to file a lawsuit over the debt. Usually the creditor has written the debt off and taken the write off on their taxes. Then the creditor sells the debt to a Debt Collector for pennies on the dollar. Using various services-for-hire, the Debt Collector updates the phone and address information and sends out letters or starts making calls to collect the debt.

Why should you care? Several reasons. First, since the debt is so old the information about it is often compromised. Names get confused, payment transactions get misapplied and payoffs get lost. As a result, you get calls and letters about debts that do not even belong to you.

Second,  collection letters, which do not disclose the debt as old may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) even though they do not threaten litigation and merely seek to settle the debt.

Third, these bogus debts may get reported to credit reporting agencies.

The bottom line is:  if you get contacted about a debt make the debt collector tell you WHO the original creditor was and WHEN the creditor was started.  If it more than a three years old, make sure it is still collectible.

If you would like to work with a Life Crafter coach to resolve a problem with old debt (or new debt for that matter), join our email list.

Source:
McMahon v. LVNV Funding, LLC and Delgado v. Capital Management Services, L.P., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 4592 (7th Cir. March 11, 2014).

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act

Source of Unexplained Identity Theft

Stealing Identity

If you are a US citizen, Experian, one of three US credit reporting agencies, most likely has a file on you.  So, it may alarm you that Experian has been sued for selling private consumer information to a Vietnamese man that in-turn sold the information to identity thieves.

It is the first action taken against the data broker and Experian bureau since Vietnamese national Hieu Minh Ngo, pleaded guilty in New Hampshire federal court to running an underground website that offered clients access to personal data of Americans. Ngo had access to database of records on some 200 million Americans, according to court filings.

Federal officials say Ngo obtained Social Security numbers through a U.S. firm known as Court Ventures, which provides customers with access to court records. It also offered them access to a database of Social Security numbers through a data-share arrangement with another firm, known as U.S. Info Search.

Officials with both Experian and U.S. Info Search say they have not been able to ascertain which records were accessed by Ngo’s customers and are therefore unable to notify victims.

If you or someone you know is a victim of identity theft, we welcome the opportunity for you to use Life Crafter’s ID Theft Checklist for free.   Or, if you prefer, a Life Crafter coach can work with you directly.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

Credit Protection Plus Refund

BOA Logo

 

 

 

 

 

Bank of America is under investigation for selling “Credit Protection Plus” and “Credit Protection Deluxe” its credit card customers.

The core of the investigation is that Bank of America used assertive or deceptive methods to sign its customers up without clearly providing the costs associated with such products, claiming that they would protect the cardholders from identity theft or cancel debt in the event of a job loss.

In fact, the products offer little financial benefit.

If you subscribed to either of these products, you are eligible to make an immediate demand for a return of fees you were charged and any related expenses.  To make a complaint go to:  http://www.helpwithmybank.gov.  Or, if you prefer, a Life Crafter coach can work with you directly.  Simply fill out the form below.

Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act

 

A Third Of Collection Debts Fake

Fake

A third or more of debts in collection are not owed, according to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.  Why should you care?

Collection calls are being made, collection letters are being sent, adverse reports are being made to credit reports  —  all for fake debts.  If it wasn’t your debt in the first place, how will you now STOP the calls or letters?  How will you get it off your credit report?

Even if it was originally your debt,  the lack of data integrity indicated by this fake debt collection results in payments not being applied correctly, charges being made wrongfully and payoffs not being rightly updated.

The other top complaints were: Improper communication tactics, Taking or threatening illegal actions, Disclosure and verification of debt, False statements or representations and Improper contact or sharing of information.

Source: Consumer Finance Protection Bureau 2014