Diversified Collections

by JR
(Missouri, USA)

I live in Missouri. This company has been calling me regarding an old phone bill for the last month to my knowledge(meaning, i've never gotten any messages saying they have called previously). They state they have been calling me for over 3 months. I have attempted to talk with them 3 times and the people are VERY rude. The first lady that called stated her name, when i asked her who she was with she replied with "Why are you running from your bills?" I told her i wasn't running from anything i just wanted to know what company she was with. She just kept saying that i was running from my bills and that i needed to pay them. A guy that i spoke with last week told me that i owed an amount of money which i did not agree with. I told him i would contact the original company and speak with them. He told me that it was too late to contact them they wouldn't have any information regarding my account. When i asked him for any information, he told me that he didn't have any all they had was the amount and my information. The last lady i spoke with this evening (again rude) told me that i could settle my debt with her for approximately $200 less than what they say i owe. I told her again, i am in the process of talking to the original company to find out the true amount. She stated to me that i couldn't do that, they would reject my money if i tried to pay them (the original company) and that they wouldn't talk to me. She asked me what the difference was in the amounts and when i told her that it was half of their amount she told me that was wrong and hung up the phone. I do not want to deal with these people. I do agree that i owe the bill, but i feel paying these people the money would be a mistake the way the are conducting themselves. Can i contact the original company and speak with them? What can i do regarding the rudeness of these collectors? I have also asked for a debt verification letter and all i get is a letter stating there company name, the original company name, the amount they say, and a paragraph telling me to pay them within 30 days. They are stating they have no information and that the original company has no information on this debt. What do i do?

JR

Comments for Diversified Collections

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Mar 11, 2010
Problems with Diversified Collections
by: Mary & Gerri

JR,

Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

Your situation sounds very frustrating and the agency representatives should not be treating you like there are! However, they may be right on one thing, it's unlikely that the original creditor -- the phone company -- will deal with you now that your debt has been turned over to collections.

It sounds however that the debt collectors who have been contacting you may have violated the law given their behavior when they contact you. Our book, Debt Collection Answers clearly explains what debt collectors can and cannot do to try to collect a debt. Please at least read the first chapter of Debt Collection Answers online for free so you have an overview of your rights when dealing with this collection agency.

We strongly that you use our Free Debt Collection Worksheet to record the details of your interactions with Diversified Collections to date and to record any future interactions you may have with the collectors. This information could be invaluable if you end up filing a lawsuit against the debt collection company or if it sues you.

Here is some other advice going forward: Put all of your requests to debt collectors in writing, and if you make a request over the phone, follow up by putting that same request in a letter. Send the letter certified mail and request a return receipt for your records. Again your letters and any letters you may receive from Diversified will be important if the two of you become embroiled in a lawsuit.

You did the right thing asking to have the debt verified. However, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the federal law that governs debt collection, doesn't spell out exactly what information a collector must send you when you request verification. So, even though what you received from Diversified is not very helpful, it may not be illegal. (A judge would have to decide.) We recommend that you send it a second letter asking for a specific accounting of your total debt - the amount of the original debt, of any interest and late fees you may owe, and of any payments you may already have made on the debt. Again send this letter certified mail with a return receipt requested.

If Diversified doesn't provide you with the information you've requested or if you disagree with its response to your second letter, we recommend that you contact a consumer law attorney right away. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

Contact an attorney if the collector's rudeness continues. You may have grounds for lawsuit.

Let us know what happens.

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