Post Number: 1485
|Posted on Wednesday, October 08, 2003 - 02:30 pm: ||
PACIFIC BELL, AMERICAN AGENCIES, TOM WELLS,
PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY AND FTC
77. Plaintiff repeats, realleges and incorporates by reference the foregoing paragraphs.
78. In October 1996, plaintiff paid her PACIFIC BELL telephone bill with a Home Savings of America check for $127.36, deposited by PACIFIC BELL into their Bank of America account in San Francisco on November 1, 1996. Home Savings printed this check and it contained plaintiff's full 10-digit phone number and the address.
79. When the payment was not credited on the subsequent phone bill, plaintiff called PACIFIC BELL billing and she was advised that they did not receive her check.
80. Plaintiff ordered the cancelled check from Home Savings. Throughout 1997, plaintiff called PACIFIC BELL billing numerous times, often being on hold over 30 minutes, and she submitted the cancelled check several times. PACIFIC BELL promised an investigation, but not once did they get back to plaintiff. Every month they assessed late charges for this paid bill.
81. In November 1997, plaintiff discontinued phone service with PACIFIC BELL and did not pay the final bill.
82. PACIFIC BELL assigned the account for collection to Bay Area Credit Services in San Jose, CA.
83. On or about February 7, 1998, Bay Area Credit Services received plaintiff's certified mailing with the cancelled check. The dispute and the cancelled check were again ignored. When plaintiff called, she was informed that a cancelled check was "not good enough."
84. In June 1998, after numerous faxed disputes were ignored, plaintiff drove to the office of Bay Area Credit Services. She was almost arrested when she became very upset after manager Riley Goodhart refused to put in writing his statement that plaintiff's cancelled check was not proof of payment. Rather than ending up in jail or losing her home in foreclosure due to her inability to refinance with this bogus collection on her credit, plaintiff decided to sell her home. In November 1998 escrow closed, plaintiff gave up on being a productive member of society, sold most of her belongings, and went camping.
85. On June 23, 2001, plaintiff ordered a tri-merged credit report online from CONSUMERINFO.COM and TRANS UNION and EXPERIAN were reporting a collection from Bureau of Commercial, collecting for PACIFIC BELL.
86. On or about August 8, 2001, plaintiff mailed her disputes of several incorrectly reported accounts including Bureau of Commercial to TRANS UNION.
87. CEDITDATA SW provided plaintiff with a new EXPERIAN consumer disclosure in response to plaintiff’s 8/8/01 dispute on September 10, 2001 and Bureau of Commercial was not on the report. However, AMERICAN AGENCIES was reporting the disputed PACIFIC BELL collection.
88. On October 10, 2001, TRANS UNION verified the PACIFIC BELL collection with George at PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY.
89. Upon information and belief, PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY had plaintiff’s correct address, but failed to inform her that they were attempting to collect this debt and had not informed plaintiff of her right to dispute the collection.
90. Upon information and belief, PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY had no actual file or documentation for the account, and George had informed TRANS UNION that PACIFIC BELL had requested the transfer to AMERICAN AGENCIES and that he did not have the date of the transfer.
91. TRANS UNION continued to report this collection on plaintiff’s credit.
92. Plaintiff does not understand why the CONSUMERINFO.COM tri-merged 6/23/01 report stated that EXPERIAN and TRANS UNION reported a PACIFIC BELL collection from Bureau of Commercial.
93. The TRANS UNION consumer disclosure dated 11/6/01 stated that the PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY collection was “verified, no change.” However, the consumer disclosure dated 9/27/01 reported the collection:
“BALANCE: $215” and “STATUS AS OF 7/1999: COLLECTION ACCOUNT.” The consumer disclosure dated 11/06/01 reported the collection:
“TRANSFER”, “BALANCE: $0” and “STATUS AS OF 11/2001: COLLECTION ACCOUNT.”
94. Upon information and belief, PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY informed TRANS UNION on 10/10/01 that the collection was transferred to AMERICAN AGENCIES at an unknown date. TRANS UNION decided to report the account as “STATUS AS OF 11/2001: COLLECTION ACCOUNT” without having any knowledge of the status of this collection in 11/01.
95. Upon information and belief, the newer and incorrect status date reported by TRANS UNION as of 11/01 may have lowered plaintiff’s FICO scores.
96. Upon information and belief, TRANS UNION also reported that the collection was “VERIF’D 11/2001” and their Initial Disclosures dated 1/31/02 do not mention any further communications with PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY after 10/10/01.
97. On or about December 10, 2001, plaintiff called AMERICAN AGENCIES and spoke with Ms. Martin, who refused plaintiff's dispute and refused to provide a fax number. Plaintiff later spoke with supervisor Ms. Temple, who finally provided a fax number.
98. On or about December 10, 2001, plaintiff faxed her dispute to AMERICAN AGENCIES, but her dispute and notice of plaintiff's Arizona address were ignored.
99. On or about December 10, 2001, plaintiff disputed the collection with EXPERIAN:
"This collection is NOT a valid debt -- please delete."
100. On or about January 24, 2002, plaintiff sent another dispute and her intent to sue to AMERICAN AGENCIES and subsequently received a call from their Office Manager Assistant Ms. Graves. She demanded payment despite plaintiff's disputes and notice of Arizona State licensing requirements, refused to accept plaintiff's cancelled check, demanded that plaintiff dispute with PACIFIC BELL, but did not provide any contact information for PACIFIC BELL.
101. On or about January 28, 2002, plaintiff faxed a call summary and settlement offer to Ms. Graves and no response was received.
102. On January 31, 2002, plaintiff filed a small claims complaint against AMERICAN AGENCIES in Kingman, AZ, Justice Court.
103. On January 31, 2002, plaintiff filed a small claims complaint against PACIFIC BELL in Kingman, AZ, Justice Court. PACIFIC BELL did not answer, but requested dismissal for improper venue on April 10, 2002, granted on May 24th, 2002.
104. Upon information and belief, AMERICAN AGENCIES obtained plaintiff's EXPERIAN credit report twice without a permissible purpose on February 1, 2002.
105. Upon information and belief, AMERICAN AGENCIES was served with the small claims complaint on February 2, 2002.
106. On or about February 7, 2002, TRANS UNION attorney Ms. Lewis informed plaintiff that they verified the PACIFIC BELL collection with PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY as "transferred."
107. Upon information and belief, TRANS UNION had failed to promptly notify plaintiff of the investigation results as required by the FCRA.
108. Ms. Lewis stated that the account would be reported for 7 years from 4/99, the date the collection was placed with PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY. After plaintiff accused TRANS UNION of re-aging accounts in violation of the FCRA, Ms. Lewis discovered upon further research that according to an internal "purge date," the account was aged as of 11/97. This date is extremely critical data and was NOT disclosed to plaintiff on any TRANS UNION consumer disclosures.
109. Upon information and belief, AMERICAN AGENCIES obtained plaintiff's EXPERIAN credit report again without a permissible purpose on February 11, 2002.
110. On or about February 18, 2002, plaintiff disputed the PACIFIC BELL collection with PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY.
111. On or about March 15, 2002, plaintiff started calling the AMERICAN AGENCIES legal department to find you why they didn't answer her small claims complaint, as the 20 days to answer had long expired.
112. On or about March 20, 2002, plaintiff explained her dispute in great detail to Tom Wells in the AMERICAN AGENCIES legal department. He subsequently claimed to validate this collection by faxing 19 pages to plaintiff, the final bills from October to November 1997, and he continued to collect.
113. On or about April 16, 2002, Ms. Lewis advised plaintiff that PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY deleted the account.
114. On or about May 8, 2002, Anna Wilson with PACIFIC BELL Customer Relations in Arlington, TX, called plaintiff to inform her that PACIFIC BELL sold the disputed account to AMERICAN AGENCIES. Ms. Wilson refused to provide any further information and denied plaintiff's request for a written statement. PACIFIC BELL sold this debt knowing that it was not valid.
115. On August 21, 2002, AMERICAN AGENCIES failed to attend the Court ordered mediation hearing and plaintiff subsequently dismissed her complaint without prejudice.
116. On or about September 15, 2002, plaintiff filed a complaint with the FTC about AMERICAN AGENCIES’ collection and business practices.
117. Upon information and belief, the FTC sent plaintiff a brochure and did nothing else.
CAUSES OF ACTION
461. PACIFIC BELL willfully and negligently failed to comply with generally accepted accounting standards and failed to investigate plaintiff’s numerous disputes with the intent to defraud plaintiff.
462. PACIFIC BELL employed collection agents engaging in deceptive and illegal debt collection practices and attempting to extort payment of this invalid debt by reporting the fraudulent collection to the CRAs.
463. PACIFIC BELL employed collection agents despite plaintiff’s numerous disputes and proof of payment in form of the cancelled check, resulting in the defamation of plaintiff’s character due to their agents’ credit reporting.
464. PACIFIC BELL is responsible and liable for the misconduct and FDCPA violations by the collection agencies they employed.
465. PACIFIC BELL knowingly sold this fraudulent debt after being served with plaintiff’s small claims complaint, with the intent to further harm plaintiff.