Mercantile Adjustment Bureau, Williamsville, New York Complaints & Reviews - misrepresentation
|Mercantile Adjustment Bureau Contacts & Informations|
Mercantile Adjustment Bureau
Mercantile Adjustment Bureau
6390 Main St Suite # 160
Williamsville, New York
Mercantile Adjustment Bureau left a voice-mail on my cell phone at 8:30am this morning June 3rd 2009. A man by the name of Brad said to call him back immediately in regards to an important matter. He left his phone number and extension as 1866-716-1544 ex:3091. He also left a case number to reference.
I called back the number on my lunch break and was able to reach his assistant named Kate. Kate asked for my case number and explained I owed a $14, 000 dollar debt to American General Finance. I explained to Kate that this debt was over 5-7 years old and under a chapter 13 bankruptcy years that I had filed in 2001 or 2002 and was for a personal loan.
She said that Mercantile Adjustment Bureau represented American General Finance and this debt was still owed. She said that American General Finance would be willing to settle for $7, 000. I told her that I currently live pay check to pay check and did not have that kind of money. She then offered me a settlement of $5734.35 and said I could pay it in two monthly payments.
I was confused as to why I still owed this debt, but I was frightened too because she said that if I did not make payment plans then it would go to an attorney I would go to court and the judgment against me would require the whole 14, 000 to be paid back as well as all court and attorney fees. I was so scared, but a little relieved to hear that she could settle all this for $5, 734.35. I was almost grateful to her for reducing this amount significantly for me from $14000 to $5, 734.35. I told her I would try to borrow the money from friends and family to settle this.
She said she would need my checking account number today to lock in the deal and to call back if I need it cancelled. I gave my checking account number and routing number . She did not need a check number.
I felt good about locking the deal and felt that it would at least buy me time to do my research on this matter. I did my research and I found out that others have been threatened and scammed by this company all over the US.
I called Kate back immediately to tell her to cancel my checking withdraw that was scheduled for June 23rd, 2009 and to also cancel the 2nd checking withdraw scheduled for July 23rd 2009. She said she cancelled it and nothing would be withdrawn from my checking account on those dates. I asked for a receipt of confirmation however she stated that there was no way to do that.
I was still concerned that Mercantile Adjustment Bureau might do the electronic withdraw from my checking account on those dates or alter the pay plan however they wished to debit on different dates or different amounts since I gave them my routing and checking account number. I then called my bank and asked what I could do to block or stop these people from withdrawing funds in case they did not keep there word. My bank said that because Mercantile Adjustment Bureau only asked for my checking account number and routing number and not a check number with it, they could go in at anytime and withdraw. She advised me to open a new account and slowly switch everything over while I closely monitor the current account. Then she recommended closing out the current account. I'm in the process of doing this right now. What a nightmare. I thank the people who take the time to write these warnings and complaints all over the internet.
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More Mercantile Adjustment Bureau complaints
Thank you for writing this post. I just received a message from my brother (who I have not spoke to in over 5 years) tonight on Facebook stating someone named Jack Peters from Mercantile Adjustment Bureau left a message for me at his home. I do not even have my brother's telephone number!!! How are these psycho people getting this information?? And why would they bother to call, and I'm assuming threaten had he answered. family??|
Thank you again for posting your situation and making others aware of the fraud this company is. I hope they leave you alone. I know I will be looking into a lawyer and possibly a restraining order tomorow.
Please take the time if you are harrassed by this company to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. I placed a call to this company today, after receiving a call from my father stating that "Some company called to tell me that you would have to go to court if you don't call them back and resolve a matter in 48 hours". That right there is against the law itself, they are only allowed to call family to ask for contact information. When I called them back, I was transferred between two different people, then spoke with a lady by the name of "Marie". She immediately began verbally abusing me, calling me a liar, a thief, telling me that my family was saying bad things about me, saying I needed to get a lawyer, said I must like stealing things and committing fraud, I bounce from house to house, and just kept going on and on. I had asked her a few times what this was in regards to, what debt this was, but she wouldn't answer me and just kept going on with the verbal abuse. I never even found out how much the bill was for. I asked her to stop harassing me, at which point she said that the debt was beyond help (if it IS the bill I think it is, it's only a $700.00 debt - which I would have been glad to make payments on before I was harassed). She also didn't give me the "Mini Miranda" (they have to tell you at the beginning of the phone call that it's an attempt to collect a debt) until the END of the phone call before she hung up on me. I used to be a debt collector, both active collections and in the legal department (filing suits, judgments, etc.)...so unfortunately for her and the company I know the laws they must abide by, and they broke about 4 or 5 of them in one phone call to me. So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you have an issue with this company, don't be afraid to report them!
If a company calls like this one, I call back and ask them what they want. I dont give them my name or anything and totally piss them off. I ask " Who is this?" "You called me " ... I dont give my name or any further info. Then they look up the number and violate the law by giving me the bogus info. Then I drag them along as long as I can and then hang up in conversation... Then then try to call back asap and I answer but dont say anything. It really pisses them off. I dont give any family names or numbers on any applications. ...I put my number. Never give out a work number.
I had a call from these disgusting people and as I always do I checked them out on the internet...I am so grateful for these comments!! This helped me avoid a messy and annoying situation, I can't believe these people are not in jail!!!
I was called by these jokers about a debt that they so called bought from the origional debtor, they said on the voice mail it was a case filed against me, so I called them back, they said they were a bunch of lawyers who opened this business and bought debts from creditors, and said they bought mine because I either had a high credit score or owned property...and if I did not pay, they would take my property, I informed him I dont own any property, my bank does... the jerk still is calling, now that I have reseached these so called lawyers, I can call them back and ask if they are starving just like me!
These people are bugging me over a medical bill. If you guys didn't pay Mercantile then did you ever pay your bill off and to who?
THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT
As amended by Pub. L. 109-351, §§ 801-02, 120 Stat. 1966 (2006)
As a public service, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has prepared the following complete text of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p.
Please note that the format of the text differs in minor ways from the U.S. Code and West’s U.S. Code Annotated. For example, this version uses FDCPA section numbers in the headings. In addition, the relevant U.S. Code citation is included with each section heading. Although the staff has made every effort to transcribe the statutory material accurately, this compendium is intended as a convenience for the public and not a substitute for the text in the U.S. Code.
Table of Contents
§ 801 Short title
§ 802 Congressional findings and declaration of purpose
§ 803 Definitions
§ 804 Acquisition of location information
§ 805 Communication in connection with debt collection
§ 806 Harassment or abuse
§ 807 False or misleading representations
§ 808 Unfair practices
§ 809 Validation of debts
§ 810 Multiple debts
§ 811 Legal actions by debt collectors
§ 812 Furnishing certain deceptive forms
§ 813 Civil liability
§ 814 Administrative enforcement
§ 815 Reports to Congress by the Commission
§ 816 Relation to State laws
§ 817 Exemption for State regulation
§ 818 Exception for certain bad check enforcement programs operated by private entities
§ 819 Effective date
§ 801 15 USC 1601 note
§ 801. Short Title
This title may be cited as the “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.”
§ 802. Congressional findings and declaration of purpose
(a) There is abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors. Abusive debt collection practices contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy.
(b) Existing laws and procedures for redressing these injuries are inadequate to protect consumers.
(c) Means other than misrepresentation or other abusive debt collection practices are available for the effective collection of debts.
(d) Abusive debt collection practices are carried on to a substantial extent in interstate commerce and through means and instrumentalities of such commerce. Even where abusive debt collection practices are purely intrastate in character, they nevertheless directly affect interstate commerce.
(e) It is the purpose of this title to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors, to insure that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged, and to promote consistent State action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses.
§ 803. Definitions
As used in this title—
(1) The term “Commission” means the Federal Trade Commission.
(2) The term “communication” means the conveying of information regarding a debt directly or indirectly to any person through any medium.
(3) The term “consumer” means any natural person obligated or allegedly obligated to pay any debt.
15 USC 1601 note
15 USC 1692
15 USC 1692a
§ 803 15 USC 1692a
(4) The term “creditor” means any person who offers or extends credit creating a debt or to whom a debt is owed, but such term does not include any person to the extent that he receives an assignment or transfer of a debt in default solely for the purpose of facilitating collection of such debt for another.
(5) The term “debt” means any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance or services which are the subject of the transaction are primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, whether or not such obligation has been reduced to judgment.
(6) The term “debt collector” means any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another. Notwithstanding the exclusion provided by clause (F) of the last sentence of this paragraph, the term includes any creditor who, in the process of collecting his own debts, uses any name other than his own which would indicate that a third person is collecting or attempting to collect such debts. For the purpose of section 808(6), such term also includes any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the enforcement of security interests. The term does not include—
(A) any officer or employee of a creditor while, in the name of the creditor, collecting debts for such creditor;
(B) any person while acting as a debt collector for another person, both of whom are related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control, if the person acting as a debt collector does so only
§ 803 15 USC 1692a
for persons to whom it is so related or affiliated and if the principal business of such person is not the collection of debts;
(C) any officer or employee of the United States or any State to the extent that collecting or attempting to collect any debt is in the performance of his official duties;
(D) any person while serving or attempting to serve legal process on any other person in connection with the judicial enforcement of any debt;
(E) any nonprofit organization which, at the request of consumers, performs bona fide consumer credit counseling and assists consumers in the liquidation of their debts by receiving payments from such consumers and distributing such amounts to creditors; and
(F) any person collecting or attempting to collect any debt owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another to the extent such activity
(i) is incidental to a bona fide fiduciary obligation or a bona fide escrow arrangement;
(ii) concerns a debt which was originated by such person;
(iii) concerns a debt which was not in default at the time it was obtained by such person; or
(iv) concerns a debt obtained by such person as a secured party in a commercial credit transaction involving the creditor.
(7) The term “location information” means a consumer’s place of abode and his telephone number at such place, or his place of employment.
(8) The term “State” means any State, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any political subdivision of any of the foregoing.
§ 804 15 USC 1692b
§ 804. Acquisition of location information
Any debt collector communicating with any person other than the consumer for the purpose of acquiring location information about the consumer shall—
(1) identify himself, state that he is confirming or correcting location information concerning the consumer, and, only if expressly requested, identify his employer;
(2) not state that such consumer owes any debt;
(3) not communicate with any such person more than once unless requested to do so by such person or unless the debt collector reasonably believes that the earlier response of such person is erroneous or incomplete and that such person now has correct or complete location information;
(4) not communicate by post card;
(5) not use any language or symbol on any envelope or in the contents of any communication effected by the mails or telegram that indicates that the debt collector is in the debt collection business or that the communication relates to the collection of a debt; and
(6) after the debt collector knows the consumer is represented by an attorney with regard to the subject debt and has knowledge of, or can readily ascertain, such attorney’s name and address, not communicate with any person other than that attorney, unless the attorney fails to respond within a reasonable period of time to the communication from the debt collector.
§ 805. Communication in connection with debt collection
(a) COMMUNICATION WITH THE CONSUMER GENERALLY. Without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt—
(1) at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the
15 USC 1692b
15 USC 1692c
§ 805 15 USC 1692c
consumer. In the absence of knowledge of circumstances to the contrary, a debt collector shall assume that the convenient time for communicating with a consumer is after 8 o’clock antimeridian and before 9 o’clock postmeridian, local time at the consumer’s location;
(2) if the debt collector knows the consumer is represented by an attorney with respect to such debt and has knowledge of, or can readily ascertain, such attorney’s name and address, unless the attorney fails to respond within a reasonable period of time to a communication from the debt collector or unless the attorney consents to direct communication with the consumer; or
(3) at the consumer’s place of employment if the debt collector knows or has reason to know that the consumer’s employer prohibits the consumer from receiving such communication.
(b) COMMUNICATION WITH THIRD PARTIES. Except as provided in section 804, without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector, or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, or as reasonably necessary to effectuate a postjudgment judicial remedy, a debt collector may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than a consumer, his attorney, a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector.
(c) CEASING COMMUNICATION. If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt, except—
(1) to advise the consumer that the debt collector’s further efforts are being terminated;
(2) to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such debt collector or creditor; or
§ 805 15 USC 1692c
(3) where applicable, to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy.
If such notice from the consumer is made by mail, notification shall be complete upon receipt.
(d) For the purpose of this section, the term “consumer” includes the consumer’s spouse, parent (if the consumer is a minor), guardian, executor, or administrator.
§ 806. Harassment or abuse
A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.
(2) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural consequence of which is to abuse the hearer or reader.
(3) The publication of a list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except to a consumer reporting agency or to persons meeting the requirements of section 603(f) or 604(3)1 of this Act.
(4) The advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce payment of the debt.
(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.
(6) Except as provided in section 804, the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller’s identity.
1. Section 604(3) has been renumbered as Section 604(a)(3).
15 USC 1692d
§ 807 15 USC 1692e
§ 807. False or misleading representations
A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The false representation or implication that the debt collector is vouched for, bonded by, or affiliated with the United States or any State, including the use of any badge, uniform, or facsimile thereof.
(2) The false representation of—
(A) the character, amount, or legal status of any debt; or
(B) any services rendered or compensation which may be lawfully received by any debt collector for the collection of a debt.
(3) The false representation or implication that any individual is an attorney or that any communication is from an attorney.
(4) The representation or implication that nonpayment of any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of any property or wages of any person unless such action is lawful and the debt collector or creditor intends to take such action.
(5) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken.
(6) The false representation or implication that a sale, referral, or other transfer of any interest in a debt shall cause the consumer to—
(A) lose any claim or defense to payment of the debt; or
(B) become subject to any practice prohibited by this title.
(7) The false representation or implication that the consumer committed any crime or other conduct in order to disgrace the consumer.
15 USC 1692e
§ 807 15 USC 1692e
(8) Communicating or threatening to communicate to any person credit information which is known or which should be known to be false, including the failure to communicate that a disputed debt is disputed.
(9) The use or distribution of any written communication which simulates or is falsely represented to be a document authorized, issued, or approved by any court, official, or agency of the United States or any State, or which creates a false impression as to its source, authorization, or approval.
(10) The use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.
(11) The failure to disclose in the initial written communication with the consumer and, in addition, if the initial communication with the consumer is oral, in that initial oral communication, that the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose, and the failure to disclose in subsequent communications that the communication is from a debt collector, except that this paragraph shall not apply to a formal pleading made in connection with a legal action.
(12) The false representation or implication that accounts have been turned over to innocent purchasers for value.
(13) The false representation or implication that documents are legal process.
(14) The use of any business, company, or organization name other than the true name of the debt collector’s business, company, or organization.
(15) The false representation or implication that documents are not legal process forms or do not require action by the consumer.
(16) The false representation or implication that a debt collector operates or is employed by a consumer reporting agency as defined by section 603(f) of this Act.
§ 808 15 USC 1692f
§ 808. Unfair practices
A debt collector may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The collection of any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law.
(2) The acceptance by a debt collector from any person of a check or other payment instrument postdated by more than five days unless such person is notified in writing of the debt collector’s intent to deposit such check or instrument not more than ten nor less than three business days prior to such deposit.
(3) The solicitation by a debt collector of any postdated check or other postdated payment instrument for the purpose of threatening or instituting criminal prosecution.
(4) Depositing or threatening to deposit any postdated check or other postdated payment instrument prior to the date on such check or instrument.
(5) Causing charges to be made to any person for communications by concealment of the true propose of the communication. Such charges include, but are not limited to, collect telephone calls and telegram fees.
(6) Taking or threatening to take any nonjudicial action to effect dispossession or disablement of property if—
(A) there is no present right to possession of the property claimed as collateral through an enforceable security interest;
(B) there is no present intention to take possession of the property; or
(C) the property is exempt by law from such dispossession or disablement.
15 USC 1692f
§ 808 15 USC 1692f
(7) Communicating with a consumer regarding a debt by post card.
(8) Using any language or symbol, other than the debt collector’s address, on any envelope when communicating with a consumer by use of the mails or by telegram, except that a debt collector may use his business name if such name does not indicate that he is in the debt collection business.
§ 809. Validation of debts
(a) Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing—
(1) the amount of the debt;
(2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;
(3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;
(4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and
(5) a statement that, upon the consumer’s written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.
(b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original credi15
§ 809 15 USC 1692g
tor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector. Collection activities and communications that do not otherwise violate this title may continue during the 30-day period referred to in subsection (a) unless the consumer has notified the debt collector in writing that the debt, or any portion of the debt, is disputed or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor. Any collection activities and communication during the 30-day period may not overshadow or be inconsistent with the disclosure of the consumer’s right to dispute the debt or request the name and address of the original creditor.
(c) The failure of a consumer to dispute the validity of a debt under this section may not be construed by any court as an admission of liability by the consumer.
(d) A communication in the form of a formal pleading in a civil action shall not be treated as an initial communication for purposes of subsection (a).
(e) The sending or delivery of any form or notice which does not relate to the collection of a debt and is expressly required by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, title V of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, or any provision of Federal or State law relating to notice of data security breach or privacy, or any regulation prescribed under any such provision of law, shall not be treated as an initial communication in connection with debt collection for purposes of this section.
§ 810. Multiple debts
If any consumer owes multiple debts and makes any single payment to any debt collector with respect to such debts, such debt collector may not apply such payment to any debt which is disputed by the consumer and, where applicable, shall apply such payment in accordance with the consumer’s directions.
15 USC 1692h
§ 811 15 USC 1692i
§ 811. Legal actions by debt collectors
(a) Any debt collector who brings any legal action on a debt against any consumer shall—
(1) in the case of an action to enforce an interest in real property securing the consumer’s obligation, bring such action only in a judicial district or similar legal entity in which such real property is located; or
(2) in the case of an action not described in paragraph (1), bring such action only in the judicial district or similar legal entity—
(A) in which such consumer signed the contract sued upon; or
(B) in which such consumer resides at the commencement of the action.
(b) Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize the bringing of legal actions by debt collectors.
§ 812. Furnishing certain deceptive forms
(a) It is unlawful to design, compile, and furnish any form knowing that such form would be used to create the false belief in a consumer that a person other than the creditor of such consumer is participating in the collection of or in an attempt to collect a debt such consumer allegedly owes such creditor, when in fact such person is not so participating.
(b) Any person who violates this section shall be liable to the same extent and in the same manner as a debt collector is liable under section 813 for failure to comply with a provision of this title.
§ 813. Civil liability
(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, any debt collector who fails to comply with any provision of this title with respect to any person is liable to such person in an amount equal to the sum of—
15 USC 1692i
15 USC 1692k
15 USC 1692j
§ 813 15 USC 1692k
(1) any actual damage sustained by such person as a result of such failure;
(2) (A) in the case of any action by an individual, such additional damages as the court may allow, but not exceeding $1, 000; or
(B) in the case of a class action,
(i) such amount for each named plaintiff as could be recovered under subparagraph (A), and
(ii) such amount as the court may allow for all other class members, without regard to a minimum individual recovery, not to exceed the lesser of $500, 000 or 1 per centum of the net worth of the debt collector; and
(3) in the case of any successful action to enforce the foregoing liability, the costs of the action, together with a reasonable attorney’s fee as determined by the court. On a finding by the court that an action under this section was brought in bad faith and for the purpose of harassment, the court may award to the defendant attorney’s fees reasonable in relation to the work expended and costs.
(b) In determining the amount of liability in any action under subsection (a), the court shall consider, among other relevant factors—
(1) in any individual action under subsection (a)(2)(A), the frequency and persistence of noncompliance by the debt collector, the nature of such noncompliance, and the extent to which such noncompliance was intentional; or
(2) in any class action under subsection (a)(2)(B), the frequency and persistence of noncompliance by the debt collector, the nature of such noncompliance, the resources of the debt collector, the number of persons adversely affected, and the extent to which the debt collector’s noncompliance was intentional.
§ 813 15 USC 1692k
(c) A debt collector may not be held liable in any action brought under this title if the debt collector shows by a preponderance of evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such error.
(d) An action to enforce any liability created by this title may be brought in any appropriate United States district court without regard to the amount in controversy, or in any other court of competent jurisdiction, within one year from the date on which the violation occurs.
(e) No provision of this section imposing any liability shall apply to any act done or omitted in good faith in conformity with any advisory opinion of the Commission, notwithstanding that after such act or omission has occurred, such opinion is amended, rescinded, or determined by judicial or other authority to be invalid for any reason.
§ 814. Administrative enforcement
(a) Compliance with this title shall be enforced by the Commission, except to the extent that enforcement of the requirements imposed under this title is specifically committed to another agency under subsection (b). For purpose of the exercise by the Commission of its functions and powers under the Federal Trade Commission Act, a violation of this title shall be deemed an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of that Act. All of the functions and powers of the Commission under the Federal Trade Commission Act are available to the Commission to enforce compliance by any person with this title, irrespective of whether that person is engaged in commerce or meets any other jurisdictional tests in the Federal Trade Commission Act, including the power to enforce the provisions of this title in the same manner as if the violation had been a violation of a Federal Trade Commission trade regulation rule.
(b) Compliance with any requirements imposed under this title shall be enforced under—
15 USC 1692l
(1) section 8 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, in the case of—
(A) national banks, and Federal branches and Federal agencies of foreign banks, by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency;
(B) member banks of the Federal Reserve System (other than national banks), branches and agencies of foreign banks (other than Federal branches, Federal agencies, and insured State branches of foreign banks), commercial lending companies owned or controlled by foreign banks, and organizations operating under section 25 or 25(a) of the Federal Reserve Act, by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; and
(C) banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (other than members of the Federal Reserve System) and insured State branches of foreign banks, by the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;
(2) section 8 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, by the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, in the case of a savings association the deposits of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;
(3) the Federal Credit Union Act, by the Administrator of the National Credit Union Administration with respect to any Federal credit union;
(4) the Acts to regulate commerce, by the Secretary of Transportation, with respect to all carriers subject to the jurisdiction of the Surface Transportation Board;
(5) the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, by the Secretary of Transportation with respect to any air carrier or any foreign air carrier subject to that Act; and
(6) the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921 (except as provided in section 406 of that Act), by the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to any activities subject to that Act.
§ 814 15 USC 1692l
The terms used in paragraph (1) that are not defined in this title or otherwise defined in section 3(s) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(s)) shall have the meaning given to them in section 1(b) of the International Banking Act of 1978 (12 U.S.C. 3101).
(c) For the purpose of the exercise by any agency referred to in subsection (b) of its powers under any Act referred to in that subsection, a violation of any requirement imposed under this title shall be deemed to be a violation of a requirement imposed under that Act. In addition to its powers under any provision of law specifically referred to in subsection (b), each of the agencies referred to in that subsection may exercise, for the purpose of enforcing compliance with any requirement imposed under this title any other authority conferred on it by law, except as provided in subsection (d).
(d) Neither the Commission nor any other agency referred to in subsection (b) may promulgate trade regulation rules or other regulations with respect to the collection of debts by debt collectors as defined in this title.
§ 815. Reports to Congress by the Commission
(a) Not later than one year after the effective date of this title and at one-year intervals thereafter, the Commission shall make reports to the Congress concerning the administration of its functions under this title, including such recommendations as the Commission deems necessary or appropriate. In addition, each report of the Commission shall include its assessment of the extent to which compliance with this title is being achieved and a summary of the enforcement actions taken by the Commission under section 814 of this title.
(b) In the exercise of its functions under this title, the Commission may obtain upon request the views of any other Federal agency which exercises enforcement functions under section 814 of this title.
15 USC 1692m
§ 814 15 USC 1692l
§ 816 15 USC 1692n
§ 816. Relation to State laws
This title does not annul, alter, or affect, or exempt any person subject to the provisions of this title from complying with the laws of any State with respect to debt collection practices, except to the extent that those laws are inconsistent with any provision of this title, and then only to the extent of the inconsistency. For purposes of this section, a State law is not inconsistent with this title if the protection such law affords any consumer is greater than the protection provided by this title.
§ 817. Exemption for State regulation
The Commission shall by regulation exempt from the requirements of this title any class of debt collection practices within any State if the Commission determines that under the law of that State that class of debt collection practices is subject to requirements substantially similar to those imposed by this title, and that there is adequate provision for enforcement.
§ 818. Exception for certain bad check enforcement programs operated by private entities
(a) In General.—
(1) TREATMENT OF CERTAIN PRIVATE ENTITIES.—Subject to paragraph (2), a private entity shall be excluded from the definition of a debt collector, pursuant to the exception provided in section 803(6), with respect to the operation by the entity of a program described in paragraph (2)(A) under a contract described in paragraph (2)(B).
(2) CONDITIONS OF APPLICABILITY.—Paragraph (1) shall apply if—
(A) a State or district attorney establishes, within the jurisdiction of such State or district attorney and with respect to alleged bad check violations that do not involve a check described in subsection (b), a pretrial diversion program for alleged bad check
offenders who agree to participate voluntarily in such program to avoid criminal prosecution;
15 USC 1692p
15 USC 1692o
15 USC 1692n
§ 818 15 USC 1692p
(B) a private entity, that is subject to an administrative support services contract with a State or district attorney and operates under the direction, supervision, and control of such State or district attorney, operates the pretrial diversion program described in subparagraph (A); and
(C) in the course of performing duties delegated to it by a State or district attorney under the contract, the private entity referred to in subparagraph (B)—
(i) complies with the penal laws of the State;
(ii) conforms with the terms of the contract and directives of the State or district attorney;
(iii) does not exercise independent prosecutorial discretion;
(iv) contacts any alleged offender referred to in subparagraph (A) for purposes of participating in a program referred to in such paragraph—
(I) only as a result of any determination by the State or district attorney that probable cause of a bad check violation under State penal law exists, and that contact with the alleged offender for purposes of participation in the program is appropriate; and
(II) the alleged offender has failed to pay the bad check after demand for payment, pursuant to State law, is made for payment of the check amount;
(v) includes as part of an initial written communication with an alleged offender a clear and conspicuous statement that—
(I) the alleged offender may dispute the validity of any alleged bad check violation;
(II) where the alleged offender knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, that the alleged bad check violation is the result of theft or forgery of the check, identity theft,
§ 818 15 USC 1692p
or other fraud that is not the result of the conduct of the alleged offender, the alleged offender may file a crime report with the appropriate law enforcement agency; and
(III) if the alleged offender notifies the private entity or the district attorney in writing, not later than 30 days after being contacted for the first time pursuant to clause (iv), that there is a dispute pursuant to this subsection, before further restitution efforts are pursued, the district attorney or an employee of the district attorney authorized to make such a determination makes a determination that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed; and
(vi) charges only fees in connection with services under the contract that have been authorized by the contract with the State or district attorney.
(b) Certain Checks Excluded.—A check is described in this subsection if the check involves, or is subsequently found to involve—
(1) a postdated check presented in connection with a payday loan, or other similar transaction, where the payee of the check knew that the issuer had insufficient funds at the time the check was made, drawn, or delivered;
(2) a stop payment order where the issuer acted in good faith and with reasonable cause in stopping payment on the check;
(3) a check dishonored because of an adjustment to the issuer’s account by the financial institution holding such account without providing notice to the person at the time the check was made, drawn, or delivered;
(4) a check for partial payment of a debt where the payee had previously accepted partial payment for such debt;
§ 818 15 USC 1692p
(5) a check issued by a person who was not competent, or was not of legal age, to enter into a legal contractual obligation at the time the check was made, drawn, or delivered; or
(6) a check issued to pay an obligation arising from a transaction that was illegal in the jurisdiction of the State or district attorney at the time the check was made, drawn, or delivered.
(c) Definitions.—For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) STATE OR DISTRICT ATTORNEY.—The term “State or district attorney” means the chief elected or appointed prosecuting attorney in a district, county (as defined in section 2 of title 1, United States Code), municipality, or comparable jurisdiction, including State attorneys general who act as chief elected or appointed prosecuting attorneys in a district, county (as so defined), municipality or comparable jurisdiction, who may be referred to by a variety of titles such as district attorneys, prosecuting attorneys, commonwealth’s attorneys, solicitors, county attorneys, and state’s attorneys, and who are responsible for the prosecution of State crimes and violations of jurisdiction-specific local ordinances.
(2) CHECK.—The term “check” has the same meaning as in section 3(6) of the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act.
(3) BAD CHECK VIOLATION.—The term “bad check violation” means a violation of the applicable State criminal law relating to the writing of dishonored checks.
§ 819. Effective date
This title takes effect upon the expiration of six months after the date of its enactment, but section 809 shall apply only with respect to debts for which the initial attempt to collect occurs after such effective date.
15 USC 1692 note
House Report: No. 95-131 (Comm. on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs)
Senate Report: No. 95-382 (Comm. on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs)
Congressional Record, Vol. 123 (1977)
April 4, House considered and passed H.R. 5294.
Aug. 5, Senate considered and passed amended version of H.R. 5294.
Sept. 8, House considered and passed Senate version.
Enactment: Public Law 95-109 (Sept. 20, 1977)
Amendments: Public Law Nos.
99-361 (July 9, 1986)
101-73 (Aug. 9, 1989)
102-242 (Dec. 19, 1991)
102-550 (Oct. 28, 1992)
104-88 (Dec. 29, 1995)
104-208 (Sept. 30, 1996)
109-351 (Oct. 13, 2006)
Revised January 2009
FOR THE CONSUMER1-877-FTC-HELPftc.govFEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
sample letters |
CEASE and DESIST COLLECTION EFFORTS
123 Fagetaboutit Ave
17 April 2000
RE: Account 5145454156
Dear Sir or Madam:
I request that you CEASE and DESIST in your efforts to collect on the above referenced account (SEE letter attached). It is my personal policy not to deal with collection agencies and I will only deal with the original creditor of this account.
You are hereby instructed to cease collection efforts immediately or face legal sanctions under applicable Federal and State law.
GIVE THIS LETTER THE IMMEDIATE ATTENTION IT DESERVES.
If you would like to download a copy of this file for cutting and pasting into some other text editor for your information
To Whom it May Concern:
Address: 1 E. Any Street, Anytown, USA
(Current address for last 5 years)
I've just reviewed my credit report and have noticed there are several inaccurate items on my report:
Chase VISA Acct: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxx:
This account is listed as being 30 days late. I have never been late on this account.
Sears Acct: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxx:
This account is listed as being 30 days late. I have never been late on this account.
Universal Acct: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxx:
This account is listed as being 30 days late. I have never been late on this account.
In addition, there are a number of credit accounts which have been inactive for more than 7 years. As you know, the FCRA states that all credit older than 7 years should be removed from my report. The following accounts should be removed:
Diner's Club Acct: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxx:
GE Consumer Card Acct: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxx:
Macy's Acct: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxx:
I have enclosed a copy of my driver's licence as proof of identity.
Dear Collection Manager,
Re: Account Number__________
This letter is a request that you shouldn't contact me in order to collect payments on the account stated above. I am actually interested to work out a plan with the original creditor.
I hereby request you to stop collection efforts immediately or face legal actions under the state or federal laws.
My experince with them was not a good one. However, I was handled my own and gave them an ear full. |
I was called did not know the number I let my voice mail take the call. They said that the call was in reference to a legal matter. (I was thinking what freaken legal matter) So, I called I did *67 before calling cause I know they will have caller ID to take your number down. (I am ex collection department person) so anyway, they transferred me to a guy by the name Foster. He goes on to tell me that he wanted to know how was I going to pay this debt.
I asked him what debt is he talking about, well one that visa card that I had 8 years ago. That has been discharged from my credit report. So, he goes on to tell me that owe this money. I said, sorry but this was discharged from my credit. you are a collection agency that purchased this account for Pennies on the dollar. He was like how are you going to pay, where do you live, what number are you calling from.
I said, don't you have this information?
I am not giving you any of my information, what is the law office that you "represent"? He did not want to give me the name. I said... forgive my french.. F/U I am not giving you a F/dime. he told me then you must not be married, what man would want to marry you.. he said god with an ugly mouth like that You must be one ugly person.
You really much not have a husband. ( wow.. I told him I know for a fact you are nothing but a collection agent.) LOL, I told him over and over again, i am not going to fall for your tactic, I am not going to fall for you tactic, haha.. I beat him down with that.. he said is there someone else I can speak to, cause you are stupid. LOL ... you want to speak to someone about me.. NOPE F/U.. he said you must be unemployed cause you should be at work now.. lol..
he tried really hard to use reverse psychology on me.. but I did not answer his question. I call the police department, some to a nice lady who was able to get more inform from them then I did... I thanked her so very much... she told them not to call me cause in the state of Florida is called harassment.. he said she owes this money, she told him she has warned you, and I am informing you that she will move forward if you continue. lol
They said they sent me a letter, I never received one that I know of. I be dam if I am going to give money to another company that purchased and old account for penny's to the dollar.
I love my police department... Pasco County.. LOVE YOU...
they called me from 716-929-8524 there number is not public.
Learn your laws for your state check this website out.
I found there website. http://www.mercantilellc.com/
They called me on Dec. 1st 2009 stating that Santa Rosa County had placed a complaint against me and that I needed to call them back or have my attorney call them back and they will give me my options... I was shocked... how would the COUNTY have a complaint against me??!!?? I mean I pay my bills and so on. I live paycheck to paycheck and so I was a little freaked out that the WHOLE county lodged a complaint. Well I called the number back and found out who THEY were and then looked them up and found this lovely website. I am glad I did now. WOW, this is crazy how they can get away with this... and I have never seen a letter from them either. But I sure will keep this website handy...I live in Florida too and I have talked to collections before. THEY never talked to me this way... they were trying to get the money but they NEVER flat out said something crazy like the County is lodging complaints. THAT IS PSYCHO !!
I have several records from Mercantile on my credit report - from several years ago, but they have not posted anything recently. Unsure why, I sent them a debt validation letter requesting the appropriate proof etc. They replied - but it doesn't look like they have any supporting documentation because they did not provide any proof of debt. The next step is to draft a letter requesting all records be removed from my credit report or legal action will be taken. It's really a win-win-win for me. If they delete the records from my report - good. If they don't...my estimate is that I could sue for at least $3000 for a series of violations on their part. And even if we go to court and I don't win any money, at a minimum, the records will be deleted in the end. Check out http://www.creditinfocenter.com if you are trying to clean up your credit report. It has worked wonders for me.
This Company did the same to me: by telling me that they have a complain for the county of San Bernardino and I need to call them right way!! So I did and fell for it a gave them my checking account information and now they have overdrawn my accont two times and I already put a stop paymnet on them too. I just can not belive they would do such things like this. The Worst part that I was worry that they would do something to jeopardize my job, because they even call my job...|
But I will put a stop this...!!!
Some useful information:|
If a third party collection agency calls you and you happen to answer the phone by accident...
remember this...they have bought an account for someone from the original creditor or someone after the original creditor... and the original creditor who has completely charged off the account and sells a slew of charged off accounts together ( like a fleet of used cars to a used car dealer ) for pennies if not a penny on the $$...then they are resold to other 3rd party creditors over the years and may be inaccurate ( more than likely) and may have interest charges doubly and triply charged illegally from the origination of the accounts..the people calling are common folk unknowing of any of the legal mumbo jumbo only trained to get people to talk ...whether by legal or scare tactics and outright lies... they are only working on a commision and will tell you anything to get you to divulge information. Once divulged it cannot be retracted and if you are gullible enough to give any kind of checking avccounts make sure they areimmediately changed bc this info may go to the outside...
Now-- you have no idea whether this company legally owns this debt or not or 2 or more companies are trying to collect on the same debt ( this does happen) and even if they do-- and it is loosely defined..you as a consumer have no idea if any info you give to any person calling is not used for criminal purposes afterwards bc many of the ppl working for debt collctors may be criminals ( as are also many of the collection agencies who force their employees to lie) and jumping from job to job bc they are awful and/or just to gather this type of info... The only reply you should give to any of these reps are : "Please send the party to whom you are trying to contact in writing a certified copy of the debt, as I will not disclose any private information on anyone who may or may not reside here and please only contact them via united states postal service from now on and do not call this number again" ...then quickly end the call. If they call again-- let them know immediately you are recording the conversation and you have already notified them from a previous phone call not to call in the past.
I just got a call from this company looking for my ex husband and we've divorced since 1999. I asked how they associated him and I together when our debt together is over 15 years old and paid and she said some program they use associated us together currently and that she would remove my number from the file they have on him. We'll see.
I THINK THAT THE FACT U PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO USE EVERY WAY POSSIABLE TO GET OUT OF PAYING BACK MONEY U OWE IS DIGUSTING ...U CAN SAY THE ECONOMY IS BAD AND THATS WHY BUT THE TRUTH IS WHY WOULD U KEEP CHARGING LARGE AMOUNTS ON A CARD IF U KNOW U CANT PAY THIS BACK...TO ME THIS IS FRAUD AND U BELONG JAIL JUST AS IF U WERE TO ROB A BANK CAUSE IN ALL REALITY THATS WHAY U HAVE DONE!|
ALOT OF TIME PEOPLE THINK U ARE THREATENING THEM BY ASKING THEM TO PAY THERE BILL THAT THEY CHARGED OR JUST LETTING THEM KNOW BY LAW U CAN HAVE A JUDGEMENT AGAINST U OR HAVE UR WAGES GARNISHD THATS A FACT NOT A THREAT U MAY THINK U ARE BEING THREATENED BUT ITS THE TRUTH!! BOTTOM LINE PAY UR BILLS OR STOP USING CREDIT CARDS OR LOANS TO LIVE BEYOND UR MEANS !!! IF U CANT PAYFOR IT IN CASH THAN U OBVIOUSLY CANT PAY FOR IT AT ALL!!! AND TO EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO SAY I LOST MY JOB THATS WHY ICANT PAY MCDONALDS AND WALMART IS ALWAYS HIRING NO EXCUSES !!!/////AND TO THE PERSON TALKING ABOUT 3RD PARTY DEBTS!!! THEY ARE STILL DEBTS THAT U INQUIRED REGUARDLESS OF WHO BOUGHT THEM THESE CREDITORS HAVE TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOSE THE HAVE RECIEVED FROM PEOPLE NOT PAYING THERE BILLS SOMEHOW!!! WHEN A MORTGAGE COMPANY MERGES WITH ANOTHER OR SELLS TO ANOTHER CO THIS DOESNT MEAN THAT U CAN STOP PAYING UR MORTGAGE DOES IT SO WHY WOULD A CREDITOR FOR A CARD OR ANY OTHER LOAN BE DIFFERENT? IGNORANCE IS BLISS... PAY UR BILLS PEOPLE AND STOP TRYING TO GET OUT WHAT U CREATED ..REMEBER DONT ME MAD AT THE CREDITORS BE MAD AT URSELF U ARE THE ONES WHO PUT URSELF IN THIS MESS IF U DONT HAVE CASH U PROBABLY CANT AFFORD IT SO DONT BUY IT!!! PROBLEM SOLVED!
HAHAHA, this is no doubt a debt collector, they do this all the time. And you are proving the point above on how truly uneducated you are. In most cases, it has nothing to do with the actual debt or being asked to repay it, it is in the method, the harassment, lack of oversight and regulations, and the dirty ways in which this money is collected. If you don't get that, then you are probably perfect for this career.|
"""""""I THINK THAT THE FACT U PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO USE EVERY WAY POSSIABLE TO GET OUT OF PAYING BACK MONEY U OWE IS DIGUSTING ...U CAN SAY THE ECONOMY IS BAD AND THATS WHY BUT THE TRUTH IS WHY WOULD U KEEP CHARGING LARGE AMOUNTS ON A CARD IF U KNOW U CANT PAY THIS BACK...TO ME THIS IS FRAUD AND U BELONG JAIL JUST AS IF U WERE TO ROB A BANK CAUSE IN ALL REALITY THATS WHAY U HAVE DONE!
ALOT OF TIME PEOPLE THINK U ARE THREATENING THEM BY ASKING THEM TO PAY THERE BILL THAT THEY CHARGED OR JUST LETTING THEM KNOW BY LAW U CAN HAVE A JUDGEMENT AGAINST U OR HAVE UR WAGES GARNISHD THATS A FACT NOT A THREAT U MAY THINK U ARE BEING THREATENED BUT ITS THE TRUTH!! BOTTOM LINE PAY UR BILLS OR STOP USING CREDIT CARDS OR LOANS TO LIVE BEYOND UR MEANS !!! IF U CANT PAYFOR IT IN CASH THAN U OBVIOUSLY CANT PAY FOR IT AT ALL!!! AND TO EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO SAY I LOST MY JOB THATS WHY ICANT PAY MCDONALDS AND WALMART IS ALWAYS HIRING NO EXCUSES !!!/////AND TO THE PERSON TALKING ABOUT 3RD PARTY DEBTS!!! THEY ARE STILL DEBTS THAT U INQUIRED REGUARDLESS OF WHO BOUGHT THEM THESE CREDITORS HAVE TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOSE THE HAVE RECIEVED FROM PEOPLE NOT PAYING THERE BILLS SOMEHOW!!! WHEN A MORTGAGE COMPANY MERGES WITH ANOTHER OR SELLS TO ANOTHER CO THIS DOESNT MEAN THAT U CAN STOP PAYING UR MORTGAGE DOES IT SO WHY WOULD A CREDITOR FOR A CARD OR ANY OTHER LOAN BE DIFFERENT? IGNORANCE IS BLISS... PAY UR BILLS PEOPLE AND STOP TRYING TO GET OUT WHAT U CREATED ..REMEBER DONT ME MAD AT THE CREDITORS BE MAD AT URSELF U ARE THE ONES WHO PUT URSELF IN THIS MESS IF U DONT HAVE CASH U PROBABLY CANT AFFORD IT SO DONT BUY IT!!! PROBLEM SOLVED!""""""""
My husband and I went to court several years ago about a debt his x wife racked up by forging his name. We won the case. We are getting letters from Mercantile adjustment bureau now. I believe the original collection agency who we went to court with sold the dept to this company. I'll be damned if I'm going to court with another collector and paying more money for a lawyer!!!
Just recieved a voice mail from a Ms. Moore stating that she was calling regarding a complaint filed against me in the county in which I live. She wants either me or my attorney to call her back to discuss the options. After some research found the phone number belonged to Mercantile Adjustment Burea. I don't have a clue what she is talking about but don't plan to call back. I believe if a complaint was filed against me a county deputy would have served me with a court document.
Called Ms. Moore back last night and left voice mail: denying the debt, send validation & do not call. She called again this morning and left message to call her regarding a "complaint". I called her back and she said she got a "disturbing" voice message from me from last night. I told her I had requested her to not call. She proceded to tell me the law says she has to make contact. I told her the law also says she has to provide validation. She then proceded to yell that I was "harassing" her and hung up. I called her back, identified myself and again tried to request validation when she started screaming over me that this is "harassment" and hung up. I don't understand why when she calls its a requirement of the law and when I call its harassment.