Friday, January 19, 2007
Some of you may recall my first encounter with the fine professionals at TrueLogic Financial. Well, they're BAAACK! Approximately ten months after they finally acknowledged that I don't owe anybody any money and removed my name from their robot's calling list, I have now received two calls from their robot within the past 48 hours.
These calls come in with no caller ID displayed (which is illegal under Section 806 and Section 807 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, credit collectors are supposed to identify themselves upon calling, but hey, criminals don't care about law except insofar as law benefits them), and a robotic Asian-sounding voice which does not denote the identity of the caller asks me to call the phone number 18664884299 (that's 1-866-488-4299 or 1 (866) 488-4299 for the Googlebot to capture).
Examining the Colorado Secretary of State's site turns up a lot of interesting info on them. Their current address is:
10000 E. Geddes Ave. Suite 100
Englewood CO 80122
The report was filed by a gentleman named Douglas Spencer. Their registered agent, who should be served with any legal papers regarding this company,
is was listed in public records as:
4695 Springmeadow Ln
Castle Rock, CO 80125
Who, however, apparently resigned on October 30, 2006, according to a report filed in public records on 11/08/2006. That report does not name a new registered agent and thus violates Colorado law, which requires a registered agent (that is not the corporation itself) in order for a corporation to operate legally within the state of Colorado. Because no registered agent has been named in public records, all legal correspondence should thus be addressed to a gentleman named Paul J. Konkel, who filed the report on 11/08/2006 and who apparently is the scam artist in charge of the outfit (i.e. their President and CEO). His address in public records is listed as:
Paul J. Konkel
13 White Oak
Littleton, CO 80127
Mr. Konkel's phone number is listed in another document as (720) 974-0715 and a previous poster listed 303-932-8718 as his home phone number but both phone numbers appear to be unlisted and it is unknown whether either is his current number. He has previously done business under the names "PROMINENCE FINANCIAL SERVICES CORPORATION" and "Genesis Financial Services Corporation". Note that businesses which change name often may indicate a classic criminal scam operation, which must change their name often in order to try to evade the wrath of their victims.
Mr. Konkel apparently is ignorant of the fundamental laws under which his corporation operates, as is demonstrated by his filing of 11/08/2006 with the Colorado Secretary of State which blatantly violates Colorado corporate law as well as his company's continued violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. My advice to Mr. Konkel: Get a lawyer. If you continue to act in a manner that blatantly disregards both Colorado and Federal law, you will need one. You may have gotten away with your illegal behavior in the past. But the law eventually does catch up with criminals, as Ken Lay and Jeffery Skilling prove.
-- Badtux the Investigative Penguin
Posted by: BadTux / 1/19/2007 11:23:00 AM
Well dear, I bumped in to let you know that 20/20 and Nightline covered illegal collections tonight (maybe online), but I will be my true self and beg to disagree with your closing lines.
Ken Lay skated home free and clear when he supposedly died unexpectedly in the comfort and grandeur of his own mansion. Since Ken supposedly died, the court broke the speed barrier to make sure Mrs Lay got to keep all of Ken's ill gotten goods.
Good luck with the credit thugs.
# posted by granny : 19/1/07 10:35 PM
Well, if Mr. Konkel died like Ken Lay, I wouldn't shed a tear. I suspect Kenny Boy is getting a little bit of a warm reception downstairs right now, if ya get what I mean...
# posted by BadTux : 23/1/07 10:06 AM
I just wanted to say thank you for your information. At 8:20 am on a Saturday morning, I received another call from these people. This is just another call added to the everyday one for a couple - few weeks now.
# posted by : 27/1/07 6:31 AM
Whoops - to badtux cont.
I guess I am going to have to try and figure something to get off of it. Verrry frustrating!
Anyway, your information is very helpful to me and I am sure to many others out there. Thanks again for taking the time to post it, etc.
Have a good one.
# posted by : 27/1/07 6:34 AM
Thank you so much for all of the information on this company. We have been receiving these calls for months now and we can't get them to stop. I finally put the phone number into the search engine and came up with this site. I also just emailed the company promising FTC action if they didn't stop calling, as well as letting them know I would start sending them bills for every call i recieved from them. Wont stop them, but maybe they will become annoyed too... Thanks again, this was so helpful!!!
# posted by Nicole : 29/1/07 2:54 PM
I just got off the phone with one of their "agents." Boy did I piss him off when I kept calling them back over and over and over...He said he would call the police on me if I continued to call and I laughed in his face (so to speak). But I can tell you this, I know they are not a legitimate practice and I am having alot of fun with them. Why get frustrated, when you can frustrate them worse.
# posted by : 3/2/07 12:35 PM
They have begun calling me, I contacted the bank they named, thinking identy theft. Washington mutual said "dont pay, there is no past or current account as named". True Logic made up the debt and is hoping I am some old lady who will pay them 5K not knowing better. I am planning some fun, A wistle (think football official) now rests by the phone awaiting the next call. TL made up a debt, didn't pay attention to my warning not to call, to bad for them.
# posted by : 11/2/07 10:49 AM
I just called (702) 974-0715, and it is Paul Konkel's direct line.
# posted by : 22/2/07 8:53 AM
I am in California.
I too have been recieving these recorded messages from these scammers with the number 1-866-488-4299 left on my machine and the messages are left 3-4 times a day, every day for the past 2 months.
How can I get them to stop?
# posted by : 1/3/07 2:09 PM
I just read through the old post and since comments are closed, ill post here.
I just called them back and told them (truthfully) that this is in fact a cellphone. I dont have a land line. They said we are trying to contact so and so, and I said I dont know them she said ok thanks we will stop calling. I think it was the cellphone thing that did the trick since its illegal for them to call my cell. Even if its not a cellphone I suggest you tell them that it is to get them to leave you alone. I know some of you have been dealing with these people day in day out.
# posted by : 1/6/07 3:08 PM
Wow. I read all the posts and have a hard time believing that you are all criminals, but you are. You open a charge card whether it be Visa or Mastercard...run the card up and never have intentions of repaying the money you have stolen. You all know these are your bills! Now you ridicule and post "false" comments on a company that works within the law to collect on YOUR past due accounts. Do any of you say, "Oh, yeah, I need to pay that." No, instead you hide and avoid owning up to your responsibilities and problems that YOU have created. Unbelievable! So the next time you get upset about paying large surcharges and taxes for goods just know that YOU "deadbeats" are the cause. You should be thankful there are people in this world who are willing to try to get you losers to pay your bills! Hey, here is an idea - want the calls to stop? PAY YOUR BILLS!!
# posted by : 19/7/07 8:40 PM
Wow, and the cockroaches crawl out from under the counters, making libelous and false accusations as usual (hint: I live modestly, have a six-figure income and that much money in the bank, a credit score in the top 10% in the country, have never defaulted on any loan or any credit card, etc.). The cockroaches can't justify themselves on the basis of facts, so they have to resort to lies instead.
Fact of the matter is that the cockroaches really don't care who they collect their debts from. Which is why I kept getting calls from them, they didn't care that my name was not the same as the person they were trying to collect from, they had my phone number (assigned to me years later) on their paperwork so I was as good a person as anybody for them to go after. And while they did back off eventually when I told them they had the wrong person and gave them my name and last four digits of my SSN, it was more because I never gave them enough information to actually use against me that they backed off (i.e., I never told them my employer, my full social security number, my driver's license number, or anything else they could use to actually go after my income and resources).
But hey, those are facts, and cockroaches prefer lies to facts...
# posted by BadTux : 19/7/07 9:50 PM
If contacted by these crooks, and they behave in a way that violates FDCPA, contact your state Attorney General. Their involvement was the ONLY way to stop their harassing, illegal calls for me. Making up accounts is ILLEGAL, and that's what they often do.
# posted by : 20/7/07 1:36 AM
Those are the facts? Are you kidding me? I haven't read ANY fact in what you wrote. You stated they didn't care that your name was different from the person that they were trying to collect from. Then right after that you acknowledged they stopped calling after you verified your name and the last 4 or your social security number. So your first statement then, is opinion, and your second statement is FACT.
A debt collector, by law, must verify that they are speaking with the EXACT person on the account and that is a FACT. They do everything possible to ensure that they don't disclose personal information to a 3rd party - that is why they must, by LAW, VERIFY they have the correct person on the phone. However, most of you people trying to evade your debts won't appreciate a legitimate business trying to protect you. Instead you will try almost anything to mislead the collector and will lie about your identity just to get out of having to confront an embarrassing situation.
I love this one BadTux: You kept them from going after your income becuase you didn't give them your full social security number or place of employment?? -still laughing-. How much did you say you make a year? Not too bright, are you. Here is another FACT for your readers: Collection agencies already have this information, and there is a good chance they are looking at a copy of your abbreviated credit report as well WHEN THEY CALL YOU. Thats right, so when you lie and say you don't have a job and can't pay, they know better and WILL call your bluff.
Lastly, the 2nd poster is a complete retard. Right after stating a good fact about being able to complain to the Attorney General if the collector behaves in a way that is not consistent with the F.D.C.P.A., they go and say something completely ridiculous like "making up accounts is ILLEGAL" <- well of course it is dummy... so why do you think they would do that, exactly? They have no benefit from making up accounts - not only can the agency be sued for doing so, but so can the collector!! Example: If BadTux thought he could be sued, personally, by posting false and misleading information about businesses he knows nothing about, do you think we all would be blogging here? Heck no! If he could be held personally liable for his actions and statements - like those cockroaches ARE - you might all get some good, truthful information.
As far as his 6 figure income and top 10% FICO score is concerned - I wouldn't believe it for a second. Just for the simple fact that he felt he needed to state that (no doubtedly an attempt to gain your respect and inflate his credibility) you know you can't trust him. People who pay their bills are not annoyed by agencies trying to collect from people who don't. That's not Newton's Law - it's a simple fact! Read the FDCPA Bad Tux - you may just learn something. Do your homework before you mislead people who may respect you.
# posted by : 21/7/07 8:45 AM
See, that's typical behavior for a debt collector. They make accusations based upon no facts at all (such as accusations that I am lying about my income and credit score), they claim the FDCMA protects CONSUMERS rather than protecting DEBT COLLECTORS (read the act yourself, it limit punitive damages against debt collectors and bans any punitive damages that would have the effect of putting debt collectors out of business), etc. Maybe they have to have such a delusional paranoid mindset to do their job, but it does mean they are not nice people, they are not your friend, and do not be helpful to them any more than you'd be helpful to the homeless dude shuffling around talking to his invisible friend while wearing a tin-foil hat to protect against government mind control rays -- i.e., at arms length, with all due concern for your own safety.
Like the debt collector says, if I were the person that he were collecting the debt from, he would have *MY* credit report on his desk, which, as someone who checks all his credit reports every year, I can attest most decidedly has my current address on it (I have lived at the same address for years). So *DO NOT GIVE YOUR ADDRESS TO ANY DEBT COLLECTOR WHO CALLS*. If he is legit, he has it. If he is not legit, he's fishing to scam you. Similarly, *DO NOT GIVE YOUR COMPLETE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER TO ANY DEBT COLLECTOR WHO CALLS*. If he is legit, he has it. If he is not legit, he is fishing to scam you. Once he fishes enough info out of you to pull your credit report (I believe he needs SSN, Date of Birth, and full name, but full address may substitute for one of the above), then he has you by the balls whether you owe any debt or not, because then he can file that other person's debt on your credit report and demand you pay it in order to get it off. Yes, there are people stupid enough to pay such blackmail demands, just as there are people stupid enough to fall for the Nigerian email scams, otherwise they wouldn't do it. Don't do it. Blackmail is the gift that never stops giving. Go to a lawyer if you were ever "helpful" to a debt collector and got yourself tagged with someone else's debt.
Oh, how they get away with it: The debt they are trying to collect generally is a valid debt. It just belongs to some other person. So they always claim it's a "mistake" that they went after you rather than the other person. It's hard to prove that they knew you weren't the person they were going after, so it is hard to get punitive damages against them. The best defense is to not get into the situation in the first place. Do not give a debt collector enough information to pull a credit report on you. As the debt collector above explains, if he is legit, he already has your credit report including your SSN and Date of Birth. If he is a scam artist like the ones covered by 20/20 and Nightline, on the other hand, giving him enough info to pull your own credit report can cause you a world of grief ranging from identity theft to inserting bogus debts on your credit report and demanding payoffs to take them off. (And once again, go immediately to a lawyer if you get a blackmail note of that sort, paying off criminals *never* works).
Oh, if it is a legitimate debt, pay it, of course. But if it is an older debt, it is wise to consult a consumer attorney to see the best way to do so that won't "start the clock ticking" on it again. If it's a nine-year-old debt that you'd forgotten about, that's about to fall off your credit report, it'd be a shame to have it on your credit report for another ten years because of recent activity. An attorney who regularly deals with debt collectors will know the best way to legally tie things up so that a) the debt can't be collected again, and b) you don't pay for 19 years for a mistake you made when you first got out of college.
Oh, BTW, I've now had *THREE* different debt collectors over the years try to collect debts from me that were someone else's debt. Generally they made accusations over the phone that I was lying when I told them I wasn't Joe Blow and didn't have any past-due debts. So for some debt collector to claim that I am lying is not unusual, and for this situation to arise is not unusual. All that is unusual is that now thanks to the Internet we can see how they think while keeping them at arm's length and staying safe. Like I said, deal with these guys like you'd deal with that crazy homeless guy mumbling to his invisible friend about government mind control rays...
# posted by BadTux : 21/7/07 9:37 AM
Do you really think that legitimate collection agencies “blackmail” consumers? Why do you say that? Is it because you’ve been contacted in error three times over the course of how many years? I think there are many people out there, including me that have been contacted in error at one point or another. But you know what? I get to the bottom of it like an ADULT. When I conduct business I don’t scream and cuss at the person on the other end of the phone. I have never had a bill collector continue to pursue collection efforts once they have found out they had the wrong person.
I do agree and recommend that you give just enough information to allow the collector to know whether or not they are speaking to the right person. However, you have no idea how many people; including little sweet old ladies; will lie to evade their debts. While extremely sad it’s true.
The statue of limitations in most cases applies only for reporting purposes, so even if the bill is no longer reporting as a trade line doesn’t mean the bill doesn’t need to get paid. In most cases out of statue accounts are still collectable, unpaid debts. However, I will agree with BadTux that each state does have specific laws regarding contracts and whatnot, so the consumer should look this up or seek the advice of a lawyer (who knows the law) as to whether or not you need to pay the bill. That was actually some GREAT ADVICE! However, no lawyer will ever tell you not to pay your debt if, in fact, the debt is valid. It would unethical for them to do so. Again, if there is legitimate law that states you don’t need to pay the bill I would forward all that along to the agency in the dispute letter.
As for business practices: There are rude and unprofessional bill collectors out there for sure. Not all of them are professional or courteous and that’s a shame because the work they do is so meaningful to ALL OF US who do pay our bills whether you chose to see it or not. In addition, those scam things that BadTux spoke about ARE REAL and you do need to be on your guard, just like you do when you go to get your car fixed by the mechanic to ensure he is not performing unauthorized work and charging you for it. Every business has its “bad apples” as BadTux points out in the Ken Lay example.
So DON’T give your address to the collector, but let him verify that the address he does have belongs to Jane or John Doe, don’t give our your social security number, but you can let them verify the last 4 digits so he KNOWS he has the RIGHT PERSON – if neither match then the next words out of the collector’s mouth SHOULD BE, “I’m sorry Sir/Ma’am, we have reached you in error – I will have your number removed and I apologize for the inconvenience.” If they don’t do that – they are WRONG and you need to immediately ask for a supervisor!
Lastly, collection agencies have your personal information because YOU PROVIDED IT when you signed up for the cell phone, or the credit card, or the long distance service, or the medical treatment, or the car loan… I can go on with that list all day, but the point is they don’t FISH for your information and most don’t make threats (it’s against the law to make threats on actions the agency has no intentions of pursuing). They don’t pull your full credit report (depending on amount of debt); most get the abbreviated report in an attempt to SEE IF YOU HAVE THE MEANS TO PAY THE BILL!! Not to “jack” your credit. In fact they can help by PROVIDING SOLUTIONS to help clearing your debts which will ultimately lead to IMPROVING YOUR CREDIT. Work with them and they will work with you. The only people you should keep at an arm’s distance are people who will misguide you and tell you that it’s OKAY not to pay your bills and will go into detail to explain why you shouldn’t. Unbelievable!
I didn’t accuse you of lying about your income or credit score, but your statement did lack the facts that would support your statements. Is that like you accusing me of being a debt collector when you know nothing of me. I could be Ken Lay or Paul Konkel for all you know. Touché!
# posted by : 23/7/07 8:57 PM
I love how the debt collectors post these giant screeds about debt collection, and then, at the end, protest "I'm not a collector". Funny, they always use the same argument: Don't be a deadbeat if you don't want debt collectors to call. Sure.
Here's my story. So far this year, I've been called repeatedly by six different collection agencies, who were seeking three different people.
None of these debtors was me, and I clearly explained this to each collector at length. No, I'm not so and so. No, I don't have any information on them. Do not call here again.
In one single case, after I told the collector (for the second time, in the second call) they had the wrong person, that company stopped calling.
In all of the other five cases, it took a complaint to my state Attorney General's office to make them stop calling. In the meantime, every one of these companies committed repeated violations of state and Federal law. One called at 5:30 AM. Another called five times a week (against state law) using an autodialler and a recording(against Federal law).
I'm sure there are legit, reputable debt collectors out there. I've just never met one.
# posted by : 25/7/07 11:37 AM
I just noticed that these are automated calls made to your cell phone.
That's illegal under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). You can now sue them for $500 per violation in any state court.
And before some debt collector minion bleats about how they can do that...they can't. TCPA is very clear on this point. Automated calls to a cell phone are illegal, period.
You want them to stop calling? Sue them. Or draw up the lawsuit, then fax it to them and advise them this is their last chance to settle out of court.
Until you make the debt collector lose money on the account, they are going to harass you because it costs them nothing.
# posted by : 25/7/07 11:47 AM
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