Dunning the Debt Collectors

New Orleans    The Federal Trade Commission stepped up to the play in behalf of citizens/consumers yesterday and finally put a boot on the butt of scumbag, lying debt collection operations with a $2.5 million fine levied on Asset Acceptance of Warren, Michigan.

The Times reported the following:

The company’s collectors also failed to inform consumers that paying even a small portion of the amount owed would revive the debt — in other words, making a payment would extend the amount of time the collector could legally sue.

Among other things, the complaint also contended that the company reported inaccurate information about the consumers to the credit reporting agencies.  It also said that Asset Acceptance failed to conduct a reasonable investigation when it was notified by one of the credit agencies that a debt was being disputed. Moreover, the complaint says that the company used illegal collection practices and that it continued to try to collect debts that consumers disputed even though the company failed to verify that the debt was valid.

The proposed settlement with Asset Acceptance requires the company to tell consumers whose debt may be too old to be collected that it will not sue.  It also requires the company to investigate disputed debts and to ensure it has a reasonable basis for its claims before going after the consumer.  It is also barred from placing debt on credit reports without notifying the consumer.

We’ve discussed this before.  These are citizen wealth issues.

Debt expires and becomes uncollectable in some states as early as 2 years and in others after 15 years.  If you live in a state which has a long timeline for debt (like I do – Louisiana can run 10 years!), then it’s worth thinking about moving!  According to the CreditInfoCenter.com:

State

Oral

Written

Promissory

Open-ended Accounts

State Statute: Open Accounts

AL

6

6

6

3

§6-2-37

AR

3

5

3

3

§16-56-105

AK

6

6

3

3

§09.10.053

AZ

3

6

6

3

§12-543

CA

2

4

4

4

§337

CO

6

6

6

6

§13-80-101

CT

3

6

6

3

§52-581

DE

3

3

3

4

§2-725

DC

3

3

3

3

§12-301

FL

4

5

5

4

§95.11

GA

4

6

6**

4

§9-3-25

HI

6

6

6

6

HRS 657-1(4)

IA

5

10

5

5

§614.5

ID

4

5

5

4

§5-222

IL

5

10

10

5

735 ILCS 5/13-205

IN

6

10

10

6

§34-11-2

KS

3

6

5

3

§84-3-118

KY

5

15

15

5

§413.120

LA

10

10

10

3

§3-118

ME

6

6

6

6

§14-205-752

MD

3

3

6

3

§5-101

MA

6

6

6

6

c.260, §2

MI

6

6

6

6

§600.5807

MN

6

6

6

6

§541.05

MO

5

10

10

5

§516.120

MS

3

3

3

3

§15-1-29

MT

5

8

8

5

27-2-202

NC

3

3

5

3

§1-52(1)

ND

6

6

6

6

28-01-16

NE

4

5

5

4

§25-206

NH

3

3

6

3

382-A:3-118

NJ

6

6

6

6

2A:14-1

NM

4

6

6

4

§37-1-4

NV

4

6

3

4

NRS 11.190

NY

6

6

6

6

§2-213

OH

6

15

15

6

§2305.07

OK

3

5

5

3

§12-95

OR

6

6

6

6

§12.080

PA

4

4

4

4

§5525

RI

15

15

10

10

§6A-2-725

SC

10

10

3

3

SEC 15-3-530

SD

3

6

6

6

§15-2-13

TN

6

6

6

6

28-3-109

TX

4

4

4

4

§16.004

UT

4

6

6

4

78B-2-307

VA

3

5

6

3

8.01-246

VT

6

6

5

3

§3-118

WA

3

6

6

3

RCW 4.16.080

WI

6

6

10

6

893.43

WV

5

10

6

5

§55-2-6

WY

8

10

10

8

§1-3-105

The Midwest is some rough country but there’s definitely not much love for someone with more mouth than money in Kentucky, South Carolina, or Louisiana!

The point is when the needle goes past the limitations, collection companies cannot come after you or threaten to sue.  Hear, hear!  I mean it!

Now did you realize that if you even cough up a partial payment, you then extend the time for them to come after you?   Talk about no good deed going unpunished!  Seems the only sure fired protection if you are in a jam is:  HANG UP!

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