QUESTION: When I was 23, I bought a car and financed it. I erroneously used my brothers ss# and it was reposessed 6 months later. This was approx 1991. My brother and I are now getting hounded and threatened by a collection agency for this debt. Isn't too old? And they won't stop calling ? What do I do?
ANSWER: The first thing I have to know in order to answer your question is what state you live in. They won't stop calling? You should learn how to put a stop to that nonsense.
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QUESTION: I live in MO, the bank is in OH and the collector is in MA. Answer:
Missouri has a 10 year statute of limitations on such things so assuming it was repossessed in 1991 then the statute of limitations would have run out in 2001. That does not mean they have to stop hounding you however. It does not even mean that they cannot sue you and get a judgment because they can do all of those things if you don't take the proper steps to prevent it. It may be illegal for them to do some things but unless you are willing to learn the proper steps and act on them they may very well file a complaint against you and get a judgment. Once they have a judgment they can proceed to garnish wages or do whatever it takes to collect the money. So what to do to stop the hounding on the phone? The first thing to do is to go get a digital voice recorder that has a USB port on it so you can download the recordings. I use an Olympus DS-2200 which is a special Dictation type of voice recorder and costs $585.00 but I also have an Olympus WS-100 and 3 Sony ICD-P28 recorders. Those cost around $100 each. The WS-100 or similar model will do just fine. You don't even need to hook them up to the telephone line if you have a speaker phone. Just put the caller on speaker phone and turn on the recorder. Set it near the phone or even hold it close to the speaker on the phone. If you don't have a speaker phone then you will have to get a recording controller from Radio Shack and hook it into the phone line. I like the digitals much better than the old tape types because the digital files will download directly into your computer and you can rename the files to indicate the dates, name of caller or however you want to. Another way you can do it which I also do is to use an older computer with a 56K modem card in it and a huge hard drive and a program specifically designed to record the calls and all the information you need to identify the call. Those programs can also be used the same way telephone answering machines do. And yes, that sounds like a lot of redundancy and for people who use their phones in the way that most folks do it would be a lot of unnecessary redundancy but for me it is vital to have all of that because all calls are automatically forwarded to my cell phone. I can catch the phone connected to 405-227-9423 if I am in the office because that is a Vonage line while 405-616-7901 is a standard phone line and the transfer to my cell phone is forwarded so fast that the office phone itself never rings. If I am not in the office and pick up on my cellphone when driving or whatever I simply turn on the digital I always carry and record the call that way if it needs recording. So I need the level of redundancy I have but most folks don't. Of course, we then have to turn to the problem of legality of recording. I wait until the debt collector gives me his little starting spiel and then tell him that I also have to inform him that he is being recorded for quality control and training purposes and he has the right to remain silent and anything he says can and probably will be used against him in a court of law. That usually gets some response or other and often they just hang up which is OK because we probably didn't want to talk to him anyway. If he stays on the line and continues to talk the next step is to use the 18 questions to be found at http://www.creditwrench.com/18questions.html and make them answer all 18 questions and when they refuse to answer tell them that you demand they validate the debt and that you dispute the debt and each and every portion thereof and bid them a nice day and hang up. That is how you stop the hounding phone calls.