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HELP. Debt Collector - I have no idea what to do!

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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 OFFLINE   CRyan



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Posted December 22 2006 - 01:56 PM

OK. Well this has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever dealt with. This is my first time dealing with something like this

Here is the deal. About a year ago I rented many cars from Avis in Texas for work. I live in Tennessee. I dont get insurance as my company advises against it and they will cover (they have insurance for this). SOooo. One time when returning the car, the worker does their little walk around the car and says what happened here? I said "nothing, the car is being returned as I received it." They had me sign a form where I wrote that exact phrase and initialed. I thought nothing more about it.

I dont know if anyone uses AVIS, but In DFW, they DO NOT do a walk around with you. In fact, they send you to your car where the keys are already in it. You just get in and drive away. So how do they even know there was nothing wrong with it when I took it. There could have been something done in the parking garage where I got it.

ANYWAY, I then moved to a new house. Fast Foward to now (a year later). I get a call from a debt collection service (J&R). They tell me that Avis turned me over to them for an amount of $832 for an accident I had in an Avis rental car. So after a little thought it hit me... I moved, Avis must have mailed me information regarding this matter after the 6 month mail forwarding was over.

Now I am dealing with this collection agency who is now threatening to affect my credit record. My credit record is SPOTLESS. I dont want it screwed with. But this is REDICULOUS. I DO NOT want them to get a cent (not even from my company). AVIS had my work number. THEY NEVER tried to contact me directly. THEY had my cell number! They never tried to contact at that number either! The colletion agency had NO trouble getting me by phone. They got me on their FIRST attempt. What the Hell AVIS?

So now the point of this thread. What can I do with these people? They dont give a rats ass what I did or did not do with Avis or their car Avis will NOT talk to me as it has now been handed over to the collection agency. SO I feel stuck.

Here is what I have done thus far.

1. I asked them for all the information (paperwork) they had. They sent it. It included the signed AVIS form where I wrote that I did NOT have an accident.
2. I resent them this form where I signed and stated I did not have an accident back to the collection agency. I included a note stating the same and that I did not owe any money for damage I did not do.

They are still hounding me nd have now given me 25 days to pay or they will hit my credit record. I realize this is a tactic but they can do it and am sure they will.


I have had one person tell me that I can request to have the debt turned back over to AVIS - that it is a law or something that they have to comply with. But what will this do for me really?

Is there anything I can do short of having my comany pay this to get this stopped? The situation really pisses me off. I feel like i have been taken for a ride here.

ANY help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

#2 of 24 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted December 22 2006 - 02:13 PM

(I'm not an attorney) Posted Image Since this was businesss, this isn't your problem. If your company is big enough for interstate travel they should have an attorney. Sic them on the jerks!


#3 of 24 OFFLINE   CRyan



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Posted December 22 2006 - 02:29 PM

While I certainly agree with your sentimate, and the company does have lawyers, I would like to settle this on my own. But I will if I have to!

But there has got be a legal way for my (myself) to get out of this since really I am at NO fault. I would think it would be them that would have to prove I caused damage and not me prove that I did not. It has gotten to the principal of it!

#4 of 24 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted December 22 2006 - 04:55 PM

Small claims court.

#5 of 24 OFFLINE   Scooter



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Posted December 23 2006 - 12:59 AM

Judge Mathis
Judge Judy
The People's Court
Judge Joe Brown
Judge Hatchett

PLUS...you get to take another trip!

#6 of 24 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted December 23 2006 - 01:10 AM

I would like to settle this on my own. But I will if I have to!

Why do you want the headache? If you were using the car for business, let your employer deal with it.

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   CRyan



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Posted December 23 2006 - 01:20 AM

I do appreciate the comments and I did laugh.

But I would really like some real suggestions if anyone has them.

Speaking of small claims court. Is that really the only way you think? Has anyone here dealt with collectors in this way?

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   Greg Morse

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Posted December 23 2006 - 01:46 AM

I had a similar incident with Avis. A couple years ago I was on business travel and rear-ended at a stop light. Our company policy was to decline the insurance and make a claim with our credit card. I filed a claim with Diner's Club and they paid the damage to the car. Fast forward about 3 months and I get a bill from J&R for 800 or so dollars for administrative fees, loss of rental fees, etc. Called my company hr, they said they'd take care of it as their insurance covers everything above and beyond the cc insurance. About 3 days later, got an e-mail with (seriously) about 30 people in the chain between my company, avis, and j&r that ended with the line "collection action stopped". Just call your company, they should be the ones to take care of it, not you.

#9 of 24 OFFLINE   Eric Samonte

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Posted December 23 2006 - 03:42 AM

Greg is right here. If ur company paid for the rental, its their responsibility not yours.

#10 of 24 OFFLINE   Regulus



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Posted December 23 2006 - 04:20 AM

In June of 2000 I was in Salt Lake City and I had a Day at my disposal, so I rented a Car and spent the day at Lagoon Amusement Park. Posted Image On the way back to my Hotel I was traveling south on I-15 when a SUV swerved in front of me. To Avoid hitting him I swerved into the lane he just exited, only to find out why he swerved. Posted Image There was a Wooden Crate in the middle of the lane 15 feet in front of me and closing fast! Posted Image I used the Insurance that was on my Credit card and after a Month of making Phone Calls back and forth the Case was finally resolved.

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#11 of 24 OFFLINE   Eric_L



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Posted December 24 2006 - 04:29 AM

AFIK there are laws against predatory collection practices. You need to keep records of every call and letter you receive. Send your correspondance back registered mail. Make note that they have no record of an accident, there is no police record nor do you have any suce record. Advise them that continued attemts to collect will be registered with the finance authorities of both Texas and the state where you live. Should they contine file a formal complaint. Check your credit. If it is there then you can file not only small claims but also civil court and collect damages.

#12 of 24 OFFLINE   Buzz Foster

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Posted December 24 2006 - 04:30 AM

Dealing with this on your own is VERY painful. Give it to your company. Follow the advice.

I have had some run-ins over false collection situations. I got a collection letter once over a cable bill that I had already paid. Fortunately, I keep everything and had the cancelled check, bil stub, etc. I even got an apology letter from them.

Once, I got a nasty letter over a "bad check". As it turned out, the check had long cleared, but somehow had been labelled "refer to maker". I had the original, cancelled check returned to me, but this collection company had a copy of the check, as well as the guy I wrote it to did not get his money. (And yes, the money had been deducted from my account.) I got very lucky when I called this collection agency, as I first spoke to an idiot who insisted there was "no way" my bank had sent me a "statement" telling me that the check was good, and that they would only send me something that would say the check was bad. Someone with brains rather than rocks in his head walked by as this guy was lecturing me, and took the phone. Together, we figured out what had happened, and his collection company had to deal with my bank, NOT ME. Believe me when I say that I would much rather have people who know what they are doing deal with this, rather than myself. Had I tried to deal with it on my own, I would have ended up paying twice for the goods I'd recieved, as well as fees, and probably gotten a black mark on my credit.

Don't screw with this. GIVE IT TO YOUR COMPANY!!!!
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#13 of 24 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted December 24 2006 - 04:37 AM

I echo the sentiment to go through your company.

Any legal wranglings with a corporation the size of AVIS, or with a debt collection company whose area of expertise is to win these kind of matters, let your company's lawyers do the work they are being retained for.

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#14 of 24 OFFLINE   Marianne


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Posted December 24 2006 - 04:43 AM

I agree that you should refer this to your company. The problem is that you rented the car in your name with your credit card (not company?) so it is your credit that could be damaged. Make sure you keep informed on your company's actions and correspondence.

#15 of 24 OFFLINE   CRyan



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Posted January 31 2007 - 10:04 AM

Well, I thought I would update this to let everyone know.

The advice I received initially from my coworker was correct. I am not sure if it is law in every state, but all you have to do is request in writing that the collector send the debt back to the original debtor - in this case AVIS. They have no choice but to comply.

So all is taken care of. A simple letter to the collector with this request effectively closed the claim with the collector and AVIS has lost interest.

So thats it. And I have that in writing!

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   MarkHastings


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Posted January 31 2007 - 10:39 AM

Glad to hear it worked out, but I was gonna agree with the others and say that your company should be dealing with this, especially after reading this part of your post:
I dont get insurance as my company advises against it and they will cover

#17 of 24 OFFLINE   Christ Reynolds

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Posted January 31 2007 - 05:17 PM

But I would really like some real suggestions if anyone has them.
you've ignored the best advice you received. although it seems to have been resolved, it was your company's problem.

And then when I feel so stuffed I can't eat anymore, I just use the restroom! And then I CAN eat more!

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted February 01 2007 - 07:50 AM

He didn't ignore it; he just said that he wanted to try to deal with it himself first.

I would wait a month or so and then check with the credit agencies, just to make sure that nothing was put on your record due to this incident.
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#19 of 24 OFFLINE   CRyan



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Posted February 01 2007 - 09:08 AM

Yeah. It was a year later and I just did not want to envolve the company if I did not have to. I figured there had to be a way to deal with this legally myself.

Either way, the ordeal is over, I learned a few things, and maybe this thread will let someone else know their rights with collection agencies. They are a PITA - especially when you are at no fault.

I will certainly be checking the credit agencies again. Right now they are still clean.

Thanks to all for the suggestions and thoughts.

#20 of 24 OFFLINE   Brian W.

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Posted February 06 2007 - 06:13 AM

Glad to hear it worked out, CRyan. Still not sure why exactly you didn't want to involve work, though.

Reminds of a few years back, when I received a letter from a collection agency saying I had never paid for a magazine subscription I ordered. Well, I never paid for the subscription because I'd never received a copy! But this was the weird thing -- I received my first copy of the magazine in the mail the SAME DAY as the letter from the collection agency! And the copy of the magazine I got was several months old!

Anyway, I called the collection agency and left a message, telling them the situation, and never heard anything more about it. I pulled my credit report a year or two after that, and there was no record of it.

I'm no expert, but I know there are a lot of laws governing collection agencies these days. They've really had their claws clipped from what they were 20 years ago.

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