Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Legalese




I've been getting calls from TRS Recovery Services, claiming that I owe them money for a debt I have with Amazon.com. Now, I do have a debt with Amazon. I ordered a Shepard Fairey book in September of 2007. They sent the book December 2008. Well, in the interim between me placing the order and them shipping it, I changed banks. I even put my new bank account info on Amazon for future purchases. I even made MORE purchases with the new bank account, namely "Learning JavaScript", by Shelly Powers (great book) and "Linux+ Study Guide", by Roderick W. Smith (also a great book). Anyways, I called Amazon and informed them of what happened, asking them to just debit my current account for the total debt. They refused, saying it was out of their hands since they had already sent the debt to TRS for recovery. Sold the debt, actually, although they will not tell you that.

So I did a little research online, and it turns out that in this situation, there is a way to get a debt collector off your back. Since I never did any business with TRS, they cannot legally demand any compensation from me without showing, in writing, exactly what product or service the debt collection company gave me in return for the money I supposedly owe. It's all in a little law called the Fair Credit Act. If you happen to be pestered by these cockroaches of society, just print out the following letter, inserting your information as appropriate, and send it to the collection agency via certified mail. Unless they can respond accordingly (and they cannot), they will be legally obligated to leave you the heck alone.
_____________________________________

[Your Name and Address]

TRS Recovery Services, Inc.

Corporate Office

5251 Westheimer

Houston, TX 77056

Reference: Claim # 255357519-3 Reference # 20834 LD #7

To Whom It May Concern:

You are in receipt of notice under the authority of The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act regarding your Claim # 255357519-3 Reference # 20834 LD #7. It is not now, nor has it ever been my intention to avoid paying any obligation that I lawfully owe. In order that I can make arrangements to pay an obligation which I may owe, please document and verify the "debt" by complying in good faith with this request for validation and notice that I dispute part of or all of the alleged debt.

1. Please furnish a copy of the original contract redacting my social security number to prevent identity theft and state under penalty of perjury that D&B Receivable Management Services is the bona fide party in interest of the contract and will produce the original for my own and a judge's inspection should there be a trial to contest these matters.

2. Please produce the account and general ledger statement showing the full accounting of the alleged obligation that you are now attempting to collect.

3. Please identify by name and address all persons, corporations, associations, or any other parties having an interest in legal proceedings regarding the alleged debt.

4. Please verify under penalty of perjury, that as a debt collector, you have not purchased evidence of debt and are proceeding with collection activity in the name of the original contracting party.

5. Please verify under penalty of perjury that you know and understand that certain clauses in a contract of adhesion, such as a so-called forum selection clause, are unenforceable unless the party to whom the contract is extended could have rejected the clause without impunity.

6. Please provide verification from the stated creditor that you are authorized to act for them.

7. Please verify that you know and understand that contacting me again after receipt of this notice without providing procedurally proper validation of the debt constitutes the use of interstate communications in a scheme of fraud by advancing a writing that you know is false with the intention that others rely on the written communication to the detriment of [Your full name].

Disputing the "debt",

[Your Name]

_______________________________________

If the collector refuses to stop contacting you despite your demands and without producing the demanded evidence, you may then report them to the FCC, your state's AG, their state's AG, and may even file a claim against them in your local small claims court, as per the Fair Credit Act, federal No Call List acts, etc.

Good Luck!

PS: the image above is "The Debt Collector", by Peter Gerasimon. I like it because I have a thing for the eye of Horus, for some reason, and yes it was relevant to the post. You can see more or purchase a print at www.gerasimon.com.au/thedebtcollector.html.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Do you have an opinion? Tell me what you think!