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A call to collect, loaded with lies

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The law is clear: debt collectors can’t use abusive, deceptive or unfair practices. Debt collectors who cross that line will end up in trouble with the FTC. That’s what happened to RTB Enterprises, Inc., a Houston company that collected debt as “Allied Data Corporation.” According to the FTC, collectors for Allied called people and pretended to be lawyers, made false threats to sue, and told lies to get people to pay unnecessary fees. Now Allied and its owner are the ones in court.

According to the FTC’s complaint, Allied’s collectors called people and claimed they worked with attorneys in departments — including a “Litigation Department” and “Legal Department” — that didn’t exist. Collectors were even more abusive when they made calls in Spanish, sometimes claiming to be lawyers, sometimes claiming they were preparing to sue.

Allied’s collectors were trained to extract information from consumers by offering them help through a “Hard-Ship Program,” but the “program,” like the “Litigation Department,” didn’t exist, according to the FTC. The training script was clear: every consumer “qualified” for the program if they gave detailed personal and financial information Allied could use against them later.

When consumers made payments, collectors insisted they pay an added $15 “transaction” or $10 “convenience” fee, saying the fees were required and unavoidable. The truth? The fees weren’t required, but they were lucrative. In two years, Allied cleared $1.3 million in profit from those fees.

You have rights when you deal with debt collectors. If you believe a collector has violated your rights, complain to the FTC. Your complaint gives us a lead to follow, and may stop a collector from mistreating someone else. Got a minute? Watch our short video about Dealing with Debt Collectors.


Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


We went through the same issues with Cogent with the threats of them voiding his cdl and taking our bank accounts turning over his pay to the IRS and claiming we stole his pay checks cause of the loan for training to drive semi the raised up the under 2000 owed to 13000.00 got his account info and took 300.00 a week until we closed the card he gave them. We set up 25.00 a month and the calls finally stop 3 months ago

I asked a collector to send me proof of my debt.
They only sent me a statement on their letterhead. No photocopy of the orginial debt or contract numeber of acquisition. I contacted the company that I "owed" the money to, they did a search and told me they had no record of anything outstanding but, for a fee they could search their archives.
How am I supposed to verify it's authenticity?

Please investigate Van Ru Credit Corporation, which is cold calling people collecting on defaulted student loans. They tell you that if you rehabilitate your loan through them, by allowing them to take a monthly loan payment out of your bank account for 10 months, you will then qualify for a student loan interest deduction program. Then they send you a contract in the mail to sign that does not say this, it says "after 10 months the monthly amount due may increase." I didn't sign it and I called the Dept. of Educ. I was unemployed and then recently got a job. My loan was picked up by Van Ru ONE MONTH AGO. What the Dept. of Ed. told me is that if I were to, in fact, rehabilitate my loan through Van Ru, after 10 months I will NOT qualify for any interest reduction program and that INSTEAD all of the interest on my defaulted student loan will be CONVERTED TO PRINCIPAL by Van Ru, plus Van Ru will tack on over $6,000 in costs and service fees. Even the Dept. of Ed. said I should, therefore, not rehab my loan through Van Ru. I have to wait for my loan to somehow revert back to the Dept. of Education in order to avoid these ONEROUS "rehabilitation" terms. My original loans were three federal direct student loans for $2500 each. Van Ru would have converted the interest to principal without telling me and I would not have been eligible for any interest reduction program. I did not sign the contract, I marked it void and I wrote that I did not agree to the terms and did not wish to rehab my loan through Van Ru Credit Corp and that I wanted my loan to go back to the Dept of Ed so I can repay the Dept of Ed directly, like I used to. However, they recorded me authorizing them to take $250 out of my checking account every month, so I had to close my bank account and open a claim against them at Bank of America so they can't try to get money out of my new account. They cold called me and I responded in good faith, however, the net result for me would have been paying four times the amount of the loan, essentially taking the rest of my life to pay it off! This is deceptive, and it is patently unfair for the Dept. of Ed. to allow my loan to go to a company like this. I got a job in late March, received a letter from the Dept. of Ed., which I kept, intending to set up a payment arrangement to resume payment of my loans, and in the very short interim, Van Ru ends up with my loan and tries to trap me in this ONEROUS situation, not telling me the full truth about the arrangement, and lying and telling me that the interest and/or penalties would be reduced or abated! The opposite was true! This destroys my trust in the federal government, as well, for contracting with such a company. They are located in Skokie Illinois.

I just got off the phone with a supervisor from Van Ru. He said that if I paid $5.00 a month for 9 months that the DOE would decrease my from $22,000 to $16000 and my loans would no longer be in default. He was very pushy and barely let me get in a word in the conversation. He didn't even ask me for my debit card information... he demanded it! I've already been through this with another student loan debt collector who I paid $230.00 a month for 8 months only come to find out it was a scam and I was out $1840.00!! I refused to give him my bank information and hung up. I would much rather deal with the DOE than some scammer subsidiary and I'm very disappointment that the DOE would even allow Van Ru to be a trusted contractor for them.

Notify the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman at 1-877-557-2575 if you have a complaint that you cannot resolve with your lender.

You also may wish to contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau online or call (855) 411-2372.

i got a call just hours ago at work from Van Ru or whatever! This is the second time they've called at work! To which we aren't allowed personal calls, they were told this before! The lady spoke quickly and gave me a number and ext to call stating I owed $2900 but didn't say to who! She asked me to verifyy SS# , I told her to give it to me and I would verify, she said she wasn't allowed to, she then said to give her my DOB, again I asked her to give me the date and again she said she wasn't allowed to! Is this legit? Any advice as to what I should actually do?

If you have a debt, but you think the caller isn't legitimate, call your creditor. Ask the creditor if it's using the company that contacted you.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you. The FDCPA gives you rights when you deal with a debt collector. This article tells about your  Debt collection rights.

For example, every debt collector must send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within five days after they first contact you. The notice has to include the name of the creditor you owe, and what to do if you think you don't owe the money.

Debt collectors can't contact you at work if they’re told orally or in writing that you’re not allowed to get calls. You can report problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

This is the 3th time in a month receiving phone calls from Van Ru Credit. I demanded to sent documents by Registered and Certified mail, since scammers are all over the place. At my knowledge I have not pending accounts with nobody., and they do have my DBO and want my SS, which I told them I do not give that information to strangers., and repeat: send documentos by mail, you do know the procedure. Have a nice day Sr. I repeat: I call the IRS, and they give warnings about how Scammers work.

THIS WORKS! I had Debt Collectors call me years ago with threats, cussing, everything this video talks about. FIGHT BACK! Next time they call you, RECORD IT & when they have cussed & threaten you, call them back & fight back. I did! I fought back 6 times & WON & so can you. USE THE FEDERAL LAWS & file a complaint as ProSe. Plus, file a complaint with the FTC & let them know. FIGHT BACK & WIN. I DID & SO CAN YOU!


Some rules and regulations for debt collectors. If anybody found that collectors activities different, don't hesitate to complaint to FTC

This same company called my cell phone looking for information for my son (a grown man who lives with his family in another city). I have now changed my cell phone message that now says: Hi! If this is a business-related call and you want a return phone call, please leave your full name, including spelling, the name of your company, the date and time of your call, a call back number, and the nature of your call. If this is a friend or family member, I'll get back to you as soon as possible! Lol!

file a complaint with CFPB


You can file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at or you can call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

You produced some decent points there. I looked on the net to the problem and discovered many people goes together with along along with your web site.

Everyone who ignored their debts until they went into default is now angry that they are required to pay them back. Our education system has failed us.

Ha - this company as of today has been put out of BUSINESS due to illegal business practices.

Read the article, and be sure to file COMPLAINTS against any collector who contacts you. Do not speak with ANY of them on the phone or give any information. They are all worthless and consumers WILL triumph over their tactless business practices.

All states have a consumer protection office and the one in this state shut Zenith Collection Agency down! WOOHOO. Other collection agencies are NEXT

Although some of the agencies are shut down, your debt will still be owed. Whats so crazy is they are giving DEBTORS the opportunity to get their credit in better standing, if that even matters to you debtors. If you did not plan to pay back the FEDERAL GOVERMENT, then why take out money you don't have? I'm not a collector, but ive dealt with multiple ones that were more than helpful to me. If you correspond with was is agreed upon those terms , oh and also answered your calls, all of this would be avoided. Think about this, you're paying $5.00 $10.00 $15.00 on a 2500.00, 3000.00, or maybe a 130,000.00 dollar loan, to put yourself in better position. All these comments are just ridiculous, and are just plain stupid if you ask me. You all need to get your life together!!!

Do NOT pay collection accounts thinking it will help your credit - it won't. See below.

Paying off a collection balance of $1,000 dropped a 630 FICO score to a 590 Unfortunately this is an all too common occurrence as any of you with collections have probably experienced. There’s a deficiency in the credit reporting system that shows recent activity on a collection account, if you were to make a payment. This recent activity makes the collection look younger and can result in a score drop. In my simulation the “recency” of the collection went from “greater than three years old” to less than 12 months. When you make a payment on a collection the collection agency will report the new balance to the credit reporting agencies. The “date reported” on the collection account will be the then current date, which can lead to the score drop.

That makes 100% sense! I know this is an old post, but then how are you to resume payments without this happening? No matter who the payment goes to, it will change the "date reported," right? Which will, as you said, make it appear as a more recent delinquency.

This company calls my cell phone multiple times daily. I do not have any debts in default. They never refer to me by name but leave messages asking for me to contact them back. I called them and asked them to remove my number from their list as I do not have any debt. They asked for private personal information but advised them I would not release information to them. I advised them that I will only respond to written correspondence. They asked for my address and so I advised they send it to the address they had on file as I have had the same address and phone number for a long time. They said they would remove my number from their call list but I have yet to see that occur.

Something similar has been happening with me. I get robocalls about once a month, for the last 6 months, asking me to contact them about an alleged debt to a medical center where I have NEVER even been a patient! I have never received anything in the mail, from the medical center or Medicredit, the debt collection agency who has been calling me. They apparently have the wrong phone number for some other patient, because the medical center and the collection agency would have my correct mailing address if this were legit (my address has been the same for 3 1/2 years).

You would think that they would eventually figure this out, since I have never responded to the robocalls and they have never sent anything to my mailing address. I filed a complaint with the FTC yesterday, hoping that they will contact Medicredit to tell them to quit contacting me, since I am not willing to give Medicredit any of my personal info, since I am obviously not the delinquent customer they think I am.

Also, my Medicare and Medicare supplemental insurance (plan F) pay for ALL deductibles and copays. So I couldn't possibly owe anything, even if I was the correct patient in question.

From Van Ru Credit Corporation.
Collecting a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose.

Clearly a scam. I have no debt. I pay all bills in full and on time.

You can report this to the FTC at The information will be added to a database that law enforcement uses for investigations. You can also report to your state Attorney General’s office.

Please, investigate Michael S     who sends notices from the Dept. of Treasury and other "official" government sites, pretending to be hired by the IRS and that he will seize your vehicle for monies owed to IRS.

He sent someone to take pictures of my car. His letters have no return address and uses zip codes that are from Mexico and / or do not exsist. he is affiliated with Medicredit/Cogent Financial. Please contact me.

If someone is pretending to work for the IRS, you can report him to the Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA).  

Include the phone number or address the scammer is using and any other details you have. You can also report IRS impersonators to the FTC at The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

You have rights when you deal with debt collectors. If someone says you owe a debt, you have a right to ask them for a validation notice. The notice must say how much you owe, the name of the creditor you owe money to, what you can do if you don’t think you owe the money. Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they can't falsely say they are lawyer or working for the government.

Van Ru has been calling my house for months. Initially they stated that the call was pertaining to an old medical services bill. They were told that the bill had been resubmitted to the insurance company because of incorrect coding by the doctor's staff. Next we started getting recorded calls that simply repeated my name over & over again with no message or instructions as to how to talk to a person or what the call was about. The calls then changed to repeat my wife's name over & over. My wife finally received a call from a Van Ru rep that asked her to verify her birth date & social security number. She stated that if they had her name & our phone number they should have our address as well and that she would NOT give any information over the phone. She instructed the rep to mail her a statement of charges - which have never been received!! I have verified that the number that all these calls came from, 877-891-9207, belong to Van Ru (using caller id & returning the last call myself). I told the rep that if they have an active account to mail it to us. I told him about the ridiculous, harassing recorded calls which simply repeated either my or my wife's name over and over again - which if you hang up right away WILL call you back and continue. And I stated that if this nonsense continues, that I will file complaints with every possible agency allowed. Companies like Van Ru do a job that suppliers (professionals & lenders) don't want to do, but companies like Van Ru should be penalized for every complaint and subsequently forced out of business without the possibility of "re-forming" under a new name.

Van Ru harassed me in the past over educational loan debts that had nothing to do with me or any family member. I have a relatively uncommon last name, so they apparently decided to harass me whenever they had a deliquent debtor of the same last name. They simply refused to believe me when I denied any knowledge of the person they were pursuing. They called daily, and when I tried to convince them the debt was not mine or that of any family member, they asked for my social security number (which I of course refused to give over the phone). They even called my fax number repeatedly. (You'd think they would figure out it was a fax after the first try!) In each case, they eventually stopped, but not without making my life a misery for a while. They are scum!

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