HellBill » Hell Bill Area: » Bill Collectors » Verizon debt and CBE Group

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  #1 (permalink)
: When I was 19 or 20, I opened a Verizon account at Best Buy. Unfortunately, I was swayed to open it by an ex-boyfriend (who I'm no longer with) who promised to make the payments. When the first payment came in and was almost $900, he refused and we turned off the service. However, we kept the phones because my ex reassured me we could without penalty.



When we signed up at Best Buy, I never got a copy of the contract. When I called to cancel the Verizon service, they basically shut it off without hesitation and said everything was 'good.' I even paid the early close-out fee to be DONE with Verizon.

Now I am 23 years old (and wiser). I recently graduated from college and am living with my dad, although I'm hoping to move out within 4-6 months. Just trying to save money. HOWEVER.... I started getting harassing phone calls from CBE Group who does Verizon collections. I ended up speaking up a collector and they said, "In the contract it states you cannot keep the phones. You also didn't pay the closing account fee. You owe us $2500."

This news literally made my stomach drop. I looked up my credit score and it's SO LOW because of this collections agency. I called CBE back and they said my only option is to make monthly payments of about $250 to pay it off. I explained I never got a contract and was never told about returning the phones, and that I closed the account properly. They basically responded with, "Too bad." I told them I would try to make payments but I'm currently dealing with student loans and more, while making minimum wage. They seemed okay with that, and the phone calls have stopped.

Do I actually NEED to repay these people? Will if affect my credit score until I do? I don't want to wait "7 years until it drops off my credit report" because that seems so far away and I'd like to move on with my life in that time. If I do make the minimum payments per month, will my credit score begin to rise, or will my score get better only once my whole balance is paid off?
When I spoke to the CBE collections agent over the phone, I asked if he would send me the repayment plan IN WRITING BY MAIL. That was probably 3 months ago and I've never received a letter with those details. If these people really want my money and for me to repay, shouldn't they be more professional?
I also called Verizon and they said they had no record of my account or that I owe anything.
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  #2 (permalink)
: They will sue you. (verizon's collections will sue for very small amounts).
Debt does not just go away after a few years.
They will garnish your wages or go after your assets.
This will have added court costs, legal fees, garnishment/levy fees, and the judgement will destroy your credit even further.

Settle if you have the cash so your credit can start repairing.
They might take 1/2 of the amount.
Do you have money?
Making payments just delays any recovery process. Score does not go up.
And remember that employers check credit.

Are you a college graduate? Making minimum wage?
Your job is to warn others not to take the degree you took.
----
Verizon sold off this debt. They washed their hands from it.
Verify the amount on your credit reports. All 3 are free once a year at
Annual Credit Report https://www.annualcreditreport /cra/index.jsp
Sounds like you only got 1 report.
And don't pay for the score again.
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more..
  #3 (permalink)
: If the contract is in your name, it is your responsibility to pay. You need to pay them off because Credit Collection Agencies never go away. They are like hound-dogs but worse. If you truly feel that you do not owe the monies being requested, your only other option is to find a lawyer (it can be pro-bono since all lawyers have to commit to certain hours annually of free work) and let him review your case. If you don't like his answer, see another one. You will soon get a feel of what you need to do based on each lawyers words. I'm sorry but its basic knowledge on every phone contract that you cannot keep the phones. If you must pay it off, have a garage sale, sell assets until its paid off.
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  #4 (permalink)
: Don't panic. It's very possible that this debt is outside the statute of limitations. (In Illinois, for instance, a cell phone bill has statute of limitations of 2 years, but you'll want to check your state's laws.) SOL means they can't sue you.

If they can't sue you, I'd advise NOT to pay it. Even if it stays on your report as a collection, it will have less effect as it gets further and further in the past. But, if you make a payment, it becomes a fresh collection, and will drop your score. It will also void the statute of limitations, as well as resetting the seven year time period where they can report it.

Verizon has no record of it because they sold the alleged debt to the collection agent, probably for a fraction of what they claim you owe. Basically, they will try to scare you into paying the debt and make a huge profit at your expense. Collection agencies are bottom feeders, I recommend not giving them a cent. If you feel a moral obligation to pay, do so with Verizon itself whom the contract was actually with. But, as they say you owe nothing, don't pay anything.

Pull all three of your credit reports from Experian, Equifax and Transunion. If this collection is on there, dispute it. If you contact this collector, do so in writing and keep copies of everything. If you speak to them by telephone, record the conversation. (most of the time, they will notify you that this call may be recorded, which also amounts to them giving you permission to record.)

Familiarize yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (you can Google it.) More often than not, these bottom feeders will violate your rights when collecting... if you have proof, you can then retain an attorney on your behalf, who will work on contingency (they get attorney's fees only when they win for you.) It's not inconceivable that this CBE could end up sending YOU a check for $2500 if you document everything well.
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