Friday, July 06, 2007

Statute of Limitations

I am probably revealing more here than any of you wanted or cared to know, but here goes......

Yesterday I arrived home to a message on my voice mail from a person telling me that they are giving me a courtesy call and that I am being sued and that if I would like to discuss it then I could call them. So, being confused as to why I would be sued, I called.

Many years ago after my divorce, I was financially strapped (for a lot of reasons that I won't go into here). I had a credit card that I tried to pay, but just could not keep up with the payments. As with a lot of people after a divorce, the payments got farther and farther behind and the credit card company kept tacking on more and more fees. The bill got outrageously high. I just couldn't pay so I gave up and waited for the ax to fall. Somehow I went unnoticed, and here I am, almost a decade later.

When I called them back, I spoke to the person at this place called Collections Exchange, and the woman claimed that I was being sued for that credit card. Luckily for me I know the law about these things, and I informed her that it was beyond the statute of limitations and suing me would do them no good. Now please understand that I am not an advocate of non payment of bills, but at this point regarding that particular bill it would be a very bad idea to make any sort of payment or even arrangements to pay, as that would restart the timer and then they COULD sue me. When I informed her of the statute of limitations, she stuttered and got very defensive, saying that the debt, although old, has not been written off. (I didn't respond to this, but seeing as how they are a company that buys old debt, that seemed to be a complete and utter lie.) She went on to say that litigation is starting on this and that it would be up for the court to decide. She was trying to scare me and it almost worked for about 00.02 seconds. But what she wasn't banking on was the fact that I knew what I was talking about. How many times has that tactic worked? Countless, I'm sure. She said, "Then I guess we'll see you in court." I said I guess you will.

I did an internet search for this particular company, and lying like that to people seems to be their regular M.O. They harass and intimidate. What seems to be their red flag is applying for a home mortgage, which I did several months ago. If they see that you are attempting to buy a house, they will jump on you and try to disrupt the mortgage process, hoping to get some cash. What they didn't know is that I decided against buying a house, so they can't really hurt me.

It is practices like these that get people into such deep financial shit. They have a credit card that for various reasons they can't pay, so the credit card companies continue to tack on fee after fee after fee, until the amount gets so high that the person thinks that taking their chances with being sued is better than trying to keep up with neverending and constantly growing payments. Then they have disreputable collections companies using threats and intimidation tactics to get them to pay.

I have to admit that listening to the woman's wheels clicking on the other end when I mentioned the statute was rather amusing. She just wasn't expecting that and clearly didn't know the law at all, as she informed me that I needed to call back today and speak to a particular person.

Yeah. Like that is going to happen. Sucks to be them.

(And just as an side note here.. I pay all my bills on time now. My creditors love me these days.)


Odat said...

Those devious, blood sucking leeches....damn them all!!!
I did that with my cable company, when they threatened to close my cable off, I said, "Go ahead"...that always blows their minds.
I'm sure you have nothing to worry about here...

curmudgeon said...

Makes you wonder just how many people get conned by them assholes.
Must be plenty or they wouldn't be doing it.

Billy's said...

well done Debbie, that will teach those morons that they cant mess with you :)

Billy's said...

P.S Love the new wallpaper