I live in Japan, and have for the past decade. I had, HAD, a student loan (approximately $3, 000, taken out back in 1995 or 1996) which was paid off seven years ago to a company other than FAMS. I was sending international money orders. Unfortunately, I moved house thrice since then, and have lost the paperwork on those payments and on the letter confirming completion of payment.
About 30 minutes ago, I received a phone call at work from a fellow named Eric Thompson. He claimed that the Dept of Ed has not received any money from me. He also said that the loan defaulted five years ago. He then told me that I owed $8, 000+ and that he wanted to confirm that I was going to send them a check for that amount. When I tried to explain that I had already paid, and that everything was resolved, he rudely talked over me and used phrases like 'Look, do you want to resolve this voluntarily or not!' and then 'Okay, so you are saying that you don't want to resolve this voluntarily!'
Then he tried saying that they had been trying to reach me through my grandmother's phone 'for years'. This is preposterous, because I stopped using it as a mailing address years ago. AND, if anyone had actually been calling my grandmother and asking for me, she would have told me. I explained that I had been in contact by regular mail with that previous debt collector, and that they had my home address here in Japan. He asked for my home address, and I gave it to him (doh!!!)
When I persisted in trying to get my point at least heard, if not understood, some other fellow jumped in the called and blurted his name and title so fast that I could not catch it at all (his name turned out to be Kevin Inches). He was much less understanding, and was very abusive in his words and his tone. He said things like 'Look, you owe us money! You will pay your debt! You can't run away from your debt! You will do this!'
When I tried to suggest that he take a more amenable tone, he said he didn't have to. I explained (well, I tried to explain, but he kept yelling at me) that I was at work now, and I asked him/them to send me an e-mail with the details of this ‘loan' and the organization that they acquired it from. The really rude guy (who would not give his name again because “the only thing here is that you are going to pay your debt!") began talking over me again, and said “we're not gonna play e-mail tag here or let you get by with ‘I don't know what you are talking about'. You are going to pay this debt!" He was actually shouting so loud that my coworkers could hear him.
Then he tried strong-arming me into calling them tomorrow to settle on a payment plan (unfortunately, I agreed to that... should I actually go through with it?). I tried to explain that it was an impossibility to just up and write a check for $8, 000+, not least of which is because I do not have a checking account anywhere! Kevin (the rude one) took the new tack of threatening to “take action"... although he never mentioned what ‘action', and when pressed, he stammered and lost the thread; he simply fell back on ‘take action'. Then, as abruptly as he came in, he was gone. Eric finally said the other person's name was Kevin Inches.
Eric gave me the following phone number: [protected]. I still don't know why I am supposed to call them, or why they won't put anything in writing. I wish I had not agreed to anything at all. I wish I had not given them my home address.