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Can a collection agency lie to obtain information?

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βˆ™ 2006-08-25 16:41:18

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they do all the time, go to ftc.gov read the laws that govern them and report the to the ftc and stop them

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βˆ™ 2006-08-25 16:41:18
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No. In fact, they are required by law to notify you of who they are and that they are attempting to collect a debt. This is covered under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).


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If a collection agency tries to collect an unpaid medical bill that you never received from the hospital should you pay the agency or try to pay the hospital directly?

:It's unbelievable how terrible of advice some people can give you. Credit Cavalier must have been the same guy who was giving people advice about their mortgages a few years ago too.Most medical agencies do not buy debt. They work on contingency.Pay the agency. That way they close the account and you don't have to worry about your credit etc. If you pay the provider (hospital) and they don't notify the agency then you will have to provide proof of payment. It's a big hassle.If you didn't get a bill in the mail because your address changed, the agency CAN remove the account from your credit if it has already been listed. If your address didn't change, but you pay the account within the first 30 days, then your credit shouldn't be affected.Don't take advice from people who think that they know how to "work the system". These are the same people that will tell you not to pay your taxes and how the FBI is spying on everyone.This advice might sound a little odd, but it's right on the money. Do NOT pay a collection agency a penny. I will explain: Pretend that you went to the dentist and submitted the bill to your insurance company. The insurance company did not pay what you had anticipated and it left you with a $200.00 balance. Granted, you should pay the dentist the $200.00. However, let's pretend you did not have the money to pay or forgot. Yes the letters informing you to pay the unpaid balance come in the mail every month and you keep forgetting to pay the bill. Guess what, eventually the dentist is going to write off the $200.00 you owed him as a loss. The IRS permits the dentist a "Benefit" for the "Loss". (I won't explain this, ask your CPA for clarification) Ok, now a collection agency slithers in to the dentist?s office and offers to help recover "Delinquent" accounts. The collection company will pay the dentist a portion of what they are able to collect. Typically, the older the account (money owed) the less likely the chance the collection agency will be able to collect the money and the less the percentage of the amount of money the "dentist" will receive on what IS collected. Granted, many collection agencies vary on what percentage of the money collected they will keep. The bottom line is the "dentist" will generally not receive the entire $200.00 that was owed. (Unless of course the collection agency just adds their fees on top of the original $200.00 balance) Moving forward: Any amount of money that the "Collection Agency' recovers and pays the dentist is now "Profit" to the dentist. They wrote the money off on their tax returns as a loss and now they are receiving "Profit". Yes, you should have paid the dentist in the first place. That goes without saying. However, things happen. Now here is the catch. A negative item can stay on your credit report for 7-10 years from the date of last activity. (Read that last sentence again) let's pretend that the collection agency added the collection to your credit report two years ago. If you pay the collection agency the negative item on your report will NOT be removed. If they say it will, they are full of it. The negative item will now be "Updated" on your credit report as a "Paid" collection and you scores will generally take a dip. The "Paid" collection can now stay on for another 7-10 years. Now we are at 9-12 years that the $200.00 collection is impacting your credit life. I am sure someone from a collection agency is going to rip apart what I am saying. Remember, they profit from your hardships. Moving on, you don't owe the collection agency ANYTHING. Unless you sign an agreement with them for repayment. Don't do this. You can fight the collection agency until you sign an agreement with them. Then you DO owe them money. You miss your payment and they can garnish wages, add additional fees, and levy your bank account and so on. Getting their "Claim? removed from your credit report is pretty easy if you never signed an agreement with them.~The Credit Cavalier~If the bill is legitimate, pay the collection agency.In most cases, it does not matter which you pay because the agency will be paid either way. Most work on a contengency fee basis (they get a % of the amount you pay).Whether you received a bill for the treatment is irrelevant. If you received treatment, you owe the bill. Many people have contracts with insurance companies to pay these bill (or a portion) for them.If you do not think you owe the bill, contact the agency. They are bound by federal law (FDCPA) to verify the debt.Before you begin to deal with a collection agency, please check out Ben Dover's website regarding medical collections and collection agencies in general. Don't deal with them if you can pay the hospital directly. Your adrenal gland will thank you for it, thereby avoiding the need to seek further medical care for your nerves.Credit Cavalier has his facts wrong. The dentist does NOT in most cases get any tax benefit for a bad debt. Most dentists/doctors use the cash accounting method, and the only tax paid is on money that actually comes in. A bad debt is simply a loss in income, like the dentist never earned the money in the first place.The best thing to do is to pay the debt collection agency. If you think it is your way at getting back at them by paying their client you are wasting your time. The collection agency is going to get their money regardless. Although, the collection agency is under no obligation to remove it from your credit if you have not paid in the alotted time period- they CAN. It is literally just a click of the button. If you are polite, and/or gripe enough they will have it removed. If you pay the client they probably won't. Also, the client waits to report payments to the collection agency, so you might still be called by the collection agency. They are still showing a balance in their office. It is not their fault you didn't pay who you were supposed to pay. Debt collectors are not bad people, they are just people trying to do their jobs. If you don't actually owe the bill there are things you can do to rectify the problem. Yelling and screaming and cussing out the debt collector will get you no where. It will probably make them want to call you everyday (which is not harassment).ANSWERMost of the time you can pay through either, but I recommend paying the collection agency. The client usually has a contract with the collection agency to report any payments within 30 days or so, so that they can update it in their office and on their credit. Either way the account will be reflected through the collection agency and as activity on your credit. If you pay straight to collection agency you have a better chance of keeping it from going on your credit if paid promptly or having it updated more quickly to the credit bureau as a paid collection. Plus there could always be a few payments that slip through and don't get reported to the collection agency and then you are sitting there with an unpaid collection on you credit. As for collection agencies being able to take collections off your credit if you are mean or nice enough to talk them into it by promising payment in exchange for removal from credit, well this is called credit bartering and is against collection laws, not to say some do not do it anyways, but don't be surprised or upset if you come upon one that follows their collection laws and want to keep there collection license in tact and their doors open for business. The best thing you can do is try your best to settle or set up pmts through the client before it gets to the collection agency. If it doesnt happen that way then some collection agencies give you a set amount of time to pay off before they report to your credit, like 30-60 days. You can try to borrow the money or take a small loan to build your credit by making monthly pmts on that instead of having the unpaid collection on your credit against you. If none of that is possible, then most will work with you on a payment schedule as long as it is reasonable and you stick to it. The account will then report as a paid collection once paid in full, which is usually better than an unpaid collection.ANSWER:The first post was actually written by a person who knows how these collection agencies act and harass consumers. The rest of the answers are from some collection agencies. The first post is all the way right about collection activities and their harassment acts. I am going to write few useful tips to avoid these collection agencies and to protect your credit. The main motive of these collection agencies is money money and money. They buy the defaulted debts pennies to a dollar and their main weapon is to report it to your credit report and wait until the fish get the bait means when you get hurt for denial of a credit card ,car loan etc also they regularly visit hospitals in search of defaulted accounts. Sometimes even hospital billing department does not know if the account has been assigned to a collection agency. They do it automaticLets say you receive a letter from collection agency saying you owe this money or you noted that some collection agency is posting a collection on your credit report.Mostly you have taken the treatment from hospital but your insurance paid half or you forgot to pay the half or full amount. My advice to all those in the situation is similar to post one. DO NOT PAY THE COLLECTION AGENCY A SINGLE PENNY. If you have Money make arrangements with the hospital and pay them but not to a collection agency. Hospital bills normally goes 10% of the debt. let's say $100 collection account and agency get $10 or more depends.Here is what you should do.(1) If you get a collection letter from collection agency. Write them a simple letter for cease and desist their collection actvities and validate the debt according toSection 809(a), 15 U.S.C. § 1692g via certified mail return receipt requested.If the collection agency do not validate with in 30 days send the copy of the return receipt with a letter mentioning the above FDCPA law and ask for deletion from credit bureaus. if they still keep posting that's a violation of FDCPA.· (2) Usually the collection agencies after receiving the validation request send a form with no logo for you to provide ss# address etc claiming that they need the permission to check your medical record.Dont Fall for that. search the Google for hippa laws. Any medical information is strict private and a doctor or hospital can not disclose it to any one without your prior consent.Do you understand what that means?.A collection agency has no proof so how does they put your account in collection. Another violation of FCRA,FDCPA AND HIPPA LAWS.Send it to federal trade commission. your attorney general and FBI for fraud and defamation.A collection agency can say yeah we either way get the money you pay it to the hospital or us. its better for you to pay us and we will update your account with credit bureaus as paid.Dont fall for that.Do you know that an unpaid collection cost you 150 points on your fico and a paid collection about 79 because it paid but its collection.write a letter to collection agency as stated above and pay the hospital. If the collection agency post it paid to credit bureaus and you have not paid a single dime to collection agency. Get a free lawyer to sue the hospital and collection in civil or superior court.Only the Hippa violation is more than $250,000 which an attorney general will happy to sue.To be fair send collection agency a 72 hour NOTICE OF INTENT TO SUE if they do not take your generosity and want to post that account in your credit files. Then you have to hit back hard just search the Google for free information and FIGHT BACK. There are more than 3000 collection agencies but only few are keeping legitimate tactics for their clients and they are not rude too.The rest will not care. To collect their commission in the name of business they will go beyond the law to hurt you and your families by hurting your credit.I would like to add more to this topic very soon------ the above is written by someone who has no idea what they are talking about. A collection agency has a right to obtain itemization of medical treatments so they can send proof of the debt. Under HIPAA they are allowed this info if it is necessary to collect the debt. There is so much wrong with this ignorant statement!*******************************************************************This is exactly very true. This is what happened to me and because I did not know this I was dumb enough to pay the collection agency and it is now over 14 years old, paid and it still shows up on my credit report. When I had the money to pay, it was 6 years old. I did owe it and the collection agency claimed they would remove it as soon as it was paid. Not at all they lied and updated it and now 8 more years to go and it is showing paid but that cost me dearly for a $25.00 debt.If you want to pay the original debtor within 2 years, do so, but strictly follow these exact instructions as stated above in the first answer and this very last answer. The ones in between are definatley from collection agencies. It is the original debtor that you owe and not a % to those unscrupulous collection agencies.from someone who worked at one,the agency gets the account via the client, they only work so many accounts.if the collector cannot contact the debtor and so many letters go out and phone callsthe account is still in their system, however is not worked in their list, it will sit witg them until the hosp or drs office tells them they want it back, by that time, the client has to ask the agency to report to the credit bureau, not all coll agency report to the credit bureau, the client has to notify them in writing to do so.depends on the balance.usually people want to clear up their accounts when they are buying a house,etcand that's when they see it on their credit report, so they call the agency and negotiate a deal and then have them take it off their credit reports, which update in 30 daysThe Credit Cavalier is absolutely correct! I know because I just came out of really bad credit! Score was in the mid 400's. That's horrible! So I learned a ton in 10 yrs how the credit systems works and what the laws are. He is correct that if your stuff is legitamently reported to the credit bureau and you pay the collection agency any or all the money that was due after that report, It does not come of your credit report because you paid!!! It stays on your report. So for me since that is so damaging to live with I learned on the first one that if it is reported I refuse to pay anything. I am the one that is dinged bad credit and can't buy, rent, borrow anything for a long time. This is not what I am telling YOU to do this is just what I have done. So to me if I am suffering already why suffer longer after paying off the debt??? So today my score is so much better and I am working on making my credit score really good. Don't forget that if you have something on there (report) you can fight the credit bureaus to get it off if you see they are reporting you from an incorrect date. The report must READ the ORIGINAL LAST PAYMENT MADE! That is the start date from which the 7 or the 10 yrs starts at and when those years come to and end and its still on your report, YOU FIGHT IT to get that off. Your free and clear! I did this as well and got my credit looking much better now. above 640 now. Its a learning lesson! Just one more thing! A lot of times the credit bureaus will lie and tell you different than what is legal. If you know the laws don't just listen to them! Fight them and tell them you know the laws and they must do what ever that is within the legal guidelines!"Experienced Lesson Learner"!


Why do you think people might lie about who they are online?

I think people might lie who they are online to be friends with you and to tell all your personal information.


Do costumer service lie?

Customer service representatives are there to help you. They don't lie but they may not give you unnecessary information that may upset you.


What is the word when someone knowingly gives you the wrong information?

It is called a lie.


Can a women lie and say she's married to you to child support agency?

Yes, but why would she? She has more the gain saying she's single.


Did GOD lie in the Old Testament?

No. God never lies. If there is somehow a lie in the Old testament it is due to the writers not God. God didn't write the Bible. It is merely a collection of historically important Christan documents.


Do psychics lie?

Psychics don't necessarily lie. Many psychics may actually believe that they have the abality to see into the future, or speak to the dead. psychics lie only when they need to get certin information


Is it a lie when someone does not tell you something?

Everyone has a right to their own private thoughts or any information they may have and it is not a lie if they keep that information to themselves instead of telling others a dramatic story of what they know that is not the truth.i agree


Is it a felony to bounce a check to a collection agency?

No, and if they tell you that it is, then they are violating the FDCPA- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. They are not allowed to lie or scare you. It is against the law and you can actually sue them for violating the FDCPA. In fact, the laws are very strict under that. But of course, it's never good to bounce that check. It can eliminate their willingness to hold a payment plan or offer settlements to you, etc. No, and if they tell you that it is, then they are violating the FDCPA- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. They are not allowed to lie or scare you. It is against the law and you can actually sue them for violating the FDCPA. In fact, the laws are very strict under that. But of course, it's never good to bounce that check. It can eliminate their willingness to hold a payment plan or offer settlements to you, etc.


If collections were paid off and credit cards were paid down will score go up in one month?

Paying down/off credit cards will improve your score as it reduces your utilization of available credit. This can provide a substantial score increase depending on how much utilization you have on your cards, singularly as as a whole. Utilization of available credit should be in the range of preferably 9% or less. Paying off collections will hurt your score initially UNLESS you get in writing from the collection agency that they will accept your payment in exchange for deleting the account from your reports AND they will not sell or transfer the unpaid collection balance to another debt collector. This last part is equally important as this same collection can be recycled over and over with some collectors tacking on erroneous fees and interest. Basically, the only way a collection can improve your credit scores is if it isn't there. If not, the collection will be updated as paid and will remain on your report as a derogatory. Kind of a no win situation, in my opinion unless you do a PFD (pay for delete.) If a collection agency tells you they can't do that; it's a lie.


Is it illegal to lie about your age to a website?

Yes. Some people just do it to impress people or be on cool websites. But people who do it. DON'T ! If you lie about your age in order to obtain goods or services that you would normally be excluded from - then yes !