Over the last several months, I have been in a dispute with my auto lender. They have been reporting incorrectly on my credit report, and claiming I was late when I was not.
On June 30 of this year, they reported me as being $880 past due on the credit report.....Ten days later, I get a letter from their attorney, demanding that I pay the "$1,800" that they claim was past due. The numbers are all over the place and nothing makes sense.
OK, so I start disputing. This is important---if you have a dispute, you need to make sure that you file all dispute claims properly. I called the creditor and informed them months ago that the credit reporting was incorrect. They actually told me "thats just how our computer reports it". They refused to address it. Fast forward a few months, and we were denied for a refinance because of this loan and how they are reporting on the credit report. So, I file a dispute with the credit bureau. The creditor responded with that letter I mentioned above. I then sent the creditor a written notice of dispute, in which I requested validation. Since the attorney is acting as a third party, the FDCPA applies to them here. Well, I never heard from the attorney again......
...but I DID hear from someone else. I got a phone call a week and a half ago from a guy....he left me a very serious sounding "it will be in your very best interest to call me back TODAY" voicemail. So, when I got in from work, I called him back. Here's where it gets good. He told me that he works for a state government agency office in my state. He said that he had a court order signed by a specific judge that he named, and said that the court order requires me to hand over possession of a certain truck.
What's the problem, you ask? Several things. One, he had THE WRONG TRUCK. I have never owned the truck he now claimed I was supposed to let him take from me. Two, once he learned that he had the wrong truck, it did not stop him one bit. He did not even pause....he continued on telling me how he needed to take possession of my truck. Now, if you have a court order to do something like this, it will be specific. It will identify the truck in question. So, if you have a court order with the wrong vehicle on it, it is worthless. But he kept pushing....
Long story short, the guy's a fraud. He's an unlicensed repo agent that the lender hired on the sly to try to get the truck from me without going through proper channels--in other words, without going to court. He claimed to be a state govt employee, but the office he said he worked for is not even real, it does not exist. The judge that he named? The guy is the head of our state's office of financial institutions, he's not a judge and never was one. In short, everything the man told me was phony.
So here's where it gets fun....I called my attorney. Since he is a third party, not an employee of the lender, he is acting in the capacity as a debt collector. And the FDCPA applies. He's also on the hook for some criminal charges when we get to that point as well for this stunt. The lender's in some hot water for knowingly contracting with an unlicensed repo agent--they could actually end up losing their lending license over this, depending on how much they have used this guy. Of course, being the kind of guy I am, I recorded both phone calls with this scammer.....its legal in my state to do so without telling him, so I did. The second phone call was me telling him not to contact me anymore, because I learned that he is a fraud and a phony. He cut me off and proceeded to curse me up one side and down the other--more violations that I now have on tape....
This guy, like others, preys on people because the people he preys on usually owe money, so they won't question too much when a repo guy shows up. QUESTION EVERYTHING. Make sure they are legit. In my state, repo agents must be licensed. Check your state's laws. Dont assume that they are legit simply because you owe money. MAKE SURE. Make them follow the law. You might just end up in a situation like this, where you dont owe what they claim you owe and they are breaking laws to boot!
My next action will be a possible FCRA suit against the lender, since we have sustained actual damages as a result of their false reporting. So, by the time we're done with this, we will have gotten back more than the original truck note was in the first place. These crooks will continue to do business like this....UNLESS we hold them accountable until it costs too much!!
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