ARLINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- Sprint/Cavalry Portfolio Services drama continues since 2004 to the detriment of my credit score! Back on 7/24/04 I posted my story on www.my3cents.com about how Sprint PCS has misled me with their promotion and tried to collect close to $1,000 for something they do not have a written agreement and for something their own representative told me I would not owe any money.
After several collection attempts I have not heard from Sprint and its collection agencies until the summer of 2006. I thought that my arguments and the fact I brought my matter to the attention of the Attorney General office and the Better Business Bureau in KS (where Sprint PCS was headquartered) and MA (where I reside) produced result. Well, it was too early to celebrate…
In July 2006 I was contacted in writing by Cavalry Portfolio Services (www.cavalryportfolioservices.com), which is headquartered in Hawthorne, NY. Sprint sold my “debt” to that company. I called Cavalry within 30 days to explain that I was disputing the account and referred them back to Sprint. I thought that this matter was resolved (as I have not heard back from Cavalry) until I received another letter from Cavalry in April 2007 – almost a year later. This second letter had a “sweet” proposal – paying $581 or only 70% of what I “owe” to them/Sprint to settle the “debt”.
Suspecting that something was wrong, I obtained a free credit report from Experian, which showed that my “debt” was reported as debt in collection (basically a charge-off) starting September 2006! This dropped my credit score by a good 100 points from 700+ to 600+. I also noticed that Cavalry has begun to churn my credit inquiries history and posted 2 inquires in a short period of time (one in August 2006 and another in March 2007). Of course, too many recent credit inquires in the last 12 months can lead to further deterioration in one's credit score.
I called Cavalry and spoke with one of their representatives. He basically told me that disputing “debt” and collections does not mean anything. They are not going to drop it. Fun world we live in: when it comes to debt collection one is presumed guilty until proven innocent and the accusing side is the one that has the right (but no desire) to pronounce you innocent. To prove innocence you are either forced to spend money on attorneys or follow my suggestions (see the next posting on this site) or both.
So, 3 years later Sprint continues to attempt collecting without having any written proof of my obligation to pay. Attorney Generals' offices and better business bureaus have not been able to help me yet. I called Experian to initiate the dispute and correct my credit record. What Experian representative told was very disappointing but did not come as a surprise.
Experian and other credit reporting agencies are just data collectors. If debt holder, in this case Sprint/Cavalry (whether it is legally substantiated debt or fraudulent collection from Sprint), insists that the debt is valid, Experian and the like cannot and will not do anything. They will certainly investigate your claim of innocence but if creditor insists on the validity of your obligation, you are out of luck. Experian will continue reporting adverse information on your credit report. It is your responsibility to persuade a creditor to drop the claim.
Credit bureaus are not mediators. They are also on the side of creditors (true or fraudulent) and other than collecting information on individuals and earning income on various services related to all of us, when it comes to false information on your credit report, they do not want to have anything to do with you.
At his point I am forced to contact Attorney Generals' offices and other regulators in hopes that my credit record will get corrected. This is what creditors like Sprint and their collectors hope for – you will pay, even it is fraudulent debt collection, because you will be afraid to ruin your credit record. In this situation Sprints of this world are not better than identity thieves as well as blackmail shops that destroy people's credit.
If I have learned anything from this experience, it will be a course of action you can and should take to show to Sprints of this world that while you may be a consumer (nobody in their opinion), you can do a lot of damage if you get together with other people. Read my next posting on this website to learn how you can have negative impact on companies such as Sprint. I realize that many people who work for Sprint are honest and hard-working people and just happen to work for this company. However, Sprint's management is leaving me and other people no choice.
PHOENIX, ARKANSAS -- Cavalry Portfolio Services, is a bottom feeding debt collector, the buyer hold debts for pennies on the dollar and try to collect the full amount from you. It's legal but stopping the harassing calls and letters is very easy. Send a certified letter return receipt requested stating the following. "I am invoking my rights under the fair debt collection practices act and demand you stop all communications." Sign the letter and send it off - you will not hear from the scam artist again. Make sure you never give them your work name or phone # - they will sue you.