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CTI Collection Services -- Crude and Rude
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CTI Collection Services -- just phoned me about a student loan supposedly owed by my spouse. First they try to verify who they are speaking with by using their birth date and then last four digits of their social security number. But I can't remember my spouse's # and they spoke with me anyway.. Hello, I could be Joe Blow from ? and they were discussing personal finance with me, WTF is that?

Well I did know most of the story and that my income tax has been garnished a few times till I learned of the form 8379 injured spouse and filing jointly was able to get a return.

The Gov't turned the defunct loan over to this CTI Collection Agency, which are totally rude and crude. Once they verified, if I can use that term, the birthdate they transferred me to someone else to speak with.

This person didn't want to hear anything except we are going to set you up with a payment plan, and this is how much you are going to pay. I said, now wait a minute, the loan was in my spouse's name, but the ex, forged my spouse's name and used the proceeds for his company business after they were divorced. I explained that this was already being worked on by the Dept of Education and forms were sent in to them by my spouse.

Now they said we'll contact the Dept of Ed and have your taxes garnished. I said go for it as I am the injured spouse and already filed an 8379 form. They said they were still going to call and that I was a liar. I have nothing to do with any of it, as this was before my spouse and I were married. They said I'm responsible and I need to pay.. I told them there's no way I'm paying her ex-spouse's debts. They then asked if my spouse received a letter from the Dept of Ed. and I said I suppose so. Now that opened a new can of worms, now they asked do you know or don't you know? I said I don't know, then I was a liar again..

The Dept of Ed is a Federally run program that is now using strong arm tactics by CTI Collections of Chicago. I don't know what the Government is thinking by using them, but whoever is responsible should hang their heads. These people are thugs plain and simple, and I'm not going to be treated like a criminal by anyone.

My thoughts to anyone having dealings with these people need to just hang up the phone when they get the recording and make them search for someone else.

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Skye on 06/04/2010:
How come when people need student loans, they are fine with receiving them, but when it comes time to pay them back, and if they are not paid back, and get sent to collections, they become so offended?

The money was allocated to your husband when he needed it, now they want it back.
biomajor on 06/04/2010:
From what I read, they weren't married at the time. The money wasn't allocated to the WIFE, but to her EX HUSBAND after their divorce and thus they don't feel responsible. Under those circumstances, I wouldn't either!
Skye on 06/04/2010:
Where did I say she is responsible?? I never said the wife received the money, did I? So I guess if people divorce, then student loans become null and void for the original borrower?
biomajor on 06/04/2010:
Skye, this was written by the new husband. It sounds to me like some fraud went on by the original husband and then no, I don't feel the wife is responsible. Not to mention, the collections agent broke all sorts of rules.
thomjohn98 on 06/05/2010:
Hi Skye. My spouse was divorced from her ex, but she had a student loan application that he found. She was having a very difficult pregnancy at that time, so school was out of the question, during the time in question when the loan was to be used. The ex took it upon himself to forge her name to the application and used the proceeds with a then business partner to save their business. My spouse knew nothing of this until a few years ago when our joint return was garnished. I filed an innocent spouse as I was the sole bread winner and the debt was neither of ours.

I believe when something like this occurs that the collection agency should get involved in the investigation and go after the proper people instead of bulling anyone involved to try to gain repayment.

I had a student loan way back when in the late 70s and paid it entirely. And believe me I am all for people paying their debts when they are theirs.

biomajor hit it on the head, there was fraud and deception used to obtain the loan and I or my spouse aren't paying for his business problems even though I did pay a few years worth of tax returns toward it, (not knowing what I was paying for), until Turbo Tax opened my eyes to the 8379 form. And due to an error, this past year 2009 return also went toward this debt that isn't ours, and I am still fighting to regain the funds which I filed for in Feb 2010
PepperElf on 06/05/2010:
if her name was forged then I would recommend going to court over it

just telling them "he forged her name" doesn't provide the proof needed to have them do what you want them to.

when did she find out that he was forging her name?
goduke on 06/05/2010:
I'm kind of curious why the collection agency is talking to the OP. If the loan is in his wife's name, and her name only, they can't talk to him about it under the law. Something odd here. Were charges over identity theft filed? If not, then the company making the loan has a pretty good argument that it's a legit loan, given that the OP and his wife know the guy who got the money.
thomjohn98 on 06/06/2010:
I've never met the ex-spouse, but I have been informed he has used the kids soc sec # to get credit cards in their names etc. and have already killed their credit. I didn't know about the identity fraud, so this is something my spouse is going to look into with our attorney.
PepperElf on 06/06/2010:
good, talk to the lawyer

at this point this is the best thing you can do
especially if he's using the kids' ss numbers for cards.

Also, since the kids sound like they're under age I would suggest putting a "Security Freeze" on their credit. This will prevent new accounts from being made in their names. You might want to do one at Experian, Equifax, and Transunion to cover all of the bases.

but above all else... get your lawyer on this
william Collector on 06/12/2010:
When you take out a student loan you as the student do not receive a check, the school does. In order to receive a student loan you are required to fill out the FASFA application, produce 2 forms of ID and be registered at least half time.

Because the loan isn't made payable to the student her X couldn't use it to save his business.

I have been working on defaulted student loans for 8 years and drawing from my experience I would say that either you are lying to the forum and the DOE or your wife is lying to you.

There is no statue of limitations on student loans, they cannot be discharged through bankruptcy and they will continue to accrue interest and penalties until paid. Taxes are not garnished, they are offset under the treasurey offset program.

Now there is some good news in all of this. Student loans do have many remedies that are designed to save you money and fix your credit. Just remember the worst option is consolidation. The best option to fix your credit is the loan rehabilitation program. the best option to save you money is a settlement. If you just leave the debt alone the end result will be tax offsets and a wage garnishment. With a federally backed student loan the collection agency does not need to obtain a judgment to garnish her wages.

I hope this was informative.
DebtorBasher on 06/12/2010:
If you ID'd yourself as her spouse and you live in a state that allows a collector to speak with a spouse then they have their butt covered as far as a third party disclosure violation goes.

If he forged her name, did she file a police report? That's the first thing the agency will ask. If she didn't, then it's going to be her responsibility to prove it.

William, not all student loans are sent directly to the shcools. Some are sent to the student. I've known people who got student loans, put the money in the bank and didn't go to school after applying or they quit and still had the loan. Since so many people has done that, then more and more student loans have been sent directly to the schools...but there's still some out there that doesn't.
DebtorBasher on 06/12/2010:
William...why would she settle the loan if it's truly a fraud case? And when you tell people about settlements, you should make sure that you also inform them that a settlement will be shown on their credit report and some creditors look at that as a negative. A settlement is better than not paying at all, but not as good as a payment in full. It will still affect your credit report.
biomajor on 06/12/2010:
William, why, under normal circumstances, not this one, is student loan consolidation a bad thing? If the interest rate that it will be consolidated at is lower than the current rate, I don't see any negatives
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CTI Collections Services Reps Are Rude, Sarcastic, and Insulting
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I would like to share my negative experience with a company called CTI Collection Services. On February 10, 2009, I was contacted over the phone by a representative of a company called CTI, which I had never heard of before. The person on the phone claimed that I owed a balance on a Sears/Citi credit card, and that the account had been charged off and turned over to them for collections. They were demanding that I pay this immediately by giving them my checking account number over the phone. This made me very nervous because it sounded like it could be a scam. I told them that I thought what they were saying could be true, since I remembered that I had an old Sears credit card that I had not used in years and probably had forgotten to update my address several years ago when I moved. But I told them that I did not feel ready to pay this until getting more information and checking it out first with Sears to verify everything.

As I tried to gather the account information from them, they became very impatient. Although they agreed that I was right to verify everything, they continued to pressure me for immediate payment. When I asked them to send me a written statement, the representative became openly rude, hostile, and belligerent. I then asked to speak with a supervisor. What I got was another rude person on the phone, named [snip]. I explained to her what I thought had happened and that I intended to pay any legitimate debt, and again requested that they send me a written statement. She flat-out refused, and angrily argued that's not how they do things and I should not need this and that because they had already talked to my husband on the phone that he should have told me all I need to know. (In fact, my husband told me he had asked them for a written statement and was refused as well).

She then claimed that they had already contacted me by mail. I told her that I had not seen a letter from them. She did not believe me! She acted as though I was claiming that I was not receiving any mail. I said, no, I am getting my mail, I just haven't seen a letter from CTI. [snip] then sneered, "Oh, yeah, your mailman is delivering all your mail except ours". I find this sarcastic, insulting, and completely uncalled for.

It should have been obvious to this woman that I was an individual with a long history of excellent credit who had simply made an honest mistake by losing track of an old account years ago and had merely failed to update my address at the time. I assured her that I have perfect credit and had every intention of promptly paying any debt I owed, but that I had to verify it first in order to protect myself. Why was it necessary for her to treat me like a lying, deadbeat debtor? Perhaps she could tell I was telling the truth but enjoyed bullying me nevertheless.

I am not used to dealing with thug-like collection agencies. Perhaps this is common for this industry. But these people should learn how to behave in a professional manner. They should realize that it is often counterproductive to use such strong-arm tactics with people acting in good faith. Ironically, their rude behavior and stubborn refusal to send me a written statement made me more suspicious that they could not possibly be a legitimate company.

It is disappointing and disturbing that such a large and reputable company like Sears/Citicard has contracted to send their collections to this substandard vendor. CTI Collection Services representatives are rude, disrespectful, and completely unprofessional. No one who wishes to have good customer relations should do business with them.
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Soaring Consumer on 02/10/2009:
I would contact CitiBank and pay them directly. It would eliminate this collection company from the picture entirely.
AnnInFL on 02/10/2009:
Internal collections for Sears is done by Citibank. When I called that number, I had to enter my account number into the automated system. Apparently, the account was recognized by the automated system as having been charged off, so I was automatically forwarded over to CTI Collection Services. So unfortunately, I was not able to find any way of paying Citibank directly.
Soaring Consumer on 02/10/2009:
In that case I would mail them a check for the amount that you owe. It would be safer to use one of those checks that credit companies occasionally give you, so they can't take more than is owed to them.
grandma005 on 02/10/2009:
How many years ago was this charge? If it was for more than four years ago Ignore them.. They will take the money and still Bing your credit. If the account is more than 4 years old you don' owe them anything and paying them will not stop them.
Anonymous on 02/10/2009:
Send them a letter via return receipt asking that they provide proof of the debt. Also state that you will not accept further communication from them that is not in writing. The statue in Illinois is 5 years on revolving debt. Just by admitting you may owe it starts the clock again.
AnnInFL on 02/10/2009:
Thank you all for your helpful comments and advice. According to CTI Collections, the last activity on the my Sears account was in 2001. I was not aware of a statute of limitations on consumer debts, but I would still want to take care of debts for which I am responsible.

UPDATE: I called CTI back today to let them know that I would send them a check in the mail. I wanted to them to give me a final payoff balance. They continued to INSIST that I give them my checking account number over the phone. I did not want to do that. They said the balance was $275.22 as of TODAY, but that more interest and fees could be added (no telling how much) if I did not pay it immediately with my checking account over the phone. I was determined to be polite but firm, and this time, the Account Rep, Ms. Westbrook, was fairly civil and somewhat understanding. However, she flatly refused to give me a final payoff balance and would not give me any assurance that if I mailed a check today, that would be all I would owe. She then put her supervisor on the phone, Ms. Vaccaro. Immediately, this woman became abusive. She lectured me, then accused me of not being serious about paying. She spoke to me like I was a child. At one point, she yelled something like "Let's stop all this nonsense --GO GET YOUR CHECKBOOK! GET YOUR CHECKBOOK NOW!" I am not kidding you. She ordered me to get my checkbook and pay. I was shocked. I told her that I was happy this conversation was being recorded (I had already been reminded of that several times). That seemed to make her quiet. I told her that I was going to mail them my payment today, and if they came after me for any more money, I would contact the media.

I sent the check today by certified, priority mail, return receipt requested, along with a letter asking them to notify the credit reporting agencies that the debt has been paid in full and discharged and send me written notice as well. We'll see what they do. Hope I did the right thing. My next step is to try to repair the damage to me credit.

Thanks, all!

Anonymous on 02/11/2009:
You did right by not giving them checking account numbers over the phone. But since you admitted a willingness to pay the stale debt the clock started running for another 5 years. Do not call them anymore. Send the letter instead.
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Cell Phone Nightmare
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FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- On September 30th I purchased a phone from CTI-Miami which I didn't receive until the beginning of October. I received the phone on a Friday and by Saturday a crucial key on the phone was malfunctioning. On Monday I called the office and explained the problem to them and was told to ship back out.

That following Tuesday I shipped back out for $25.00 overnight shipping which they received the next day, Oct 8th. For almost two weeks they kept the phone, during which time the price of the phone went down almost $35.00 dollars. I had to continuously call them until finally they got someone to check the phone who then told me "nothing is wrong it." I asked why I would pay $25.00 out of pocket to ship back a perfectly working phone and kept getting stone walled with useless reponses. Finally I requested a refund seeing as I only had the phone in my possession 72 hours. I was told that they would deduct almost $80.00 for the $280.00 dollar phone. So I would left almost $100.00 in losses and phoneless.

I wasn't about to lose $100.00 so I asked if it was possible to just change phones since I didn't trust them not to send me back the defective phone. I went ahead a switched to a blue w595 which on the very day it was shipped, the person I spoke with kept confimring that I would be receiving a Blue w595. About a week later on Oct. 27, almost a month after I first ordered my first phone, I received a jungle grey w595.

When I immediately called the company to complain I was more or less told to just be grateful I wasn't charged the $7.00 difference between the two phones. I then reminded her that in just the week it took for me to even receive the phone, the price of the second phone had now fallen almost $6.00 below what I initially paid for the second phone. She then put me on hold and came back to inform me to on the day my phone was shipped they only had a grey and a white and I guess they just abritrarily picked a color out, without notifying me first and shipped it out. She then tells me that they won't even get the blue ones until later this week.

She gives me the option of sending it back on my own dime and then when they received the blue they would ship it out. After some arguing she tells me they would foot the bill to send it back but it would probably take me another two or more weeks before I received the right one. Mind you I have been out of a phone since September 30th and I've only had possession of their phone for 72 hours. At this point what I really want is my money back. I want to send them back their phone and sever all ties with them but they want to charge me almost $100.00 because of these problems. I've never had such bad customer service in my life and I am contemplating filing a complaint with the BBB so that I return their phone to them and get my money back. Now I am left with a phone I never really wanted, in a color I hate and the company could acre less. When doing business with CTI-Miami BUYER BEWARE, you are not going to get what you paid for.
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CTI Networks Does Not Care about your Business
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MECHANICSBURG, PA -- We are a business customer of CTI Networks (Mechanicsburg, PA). We are in the top two months of our sales --- this weekend was projected to see upwards of $60k in new customers through our website. CTI, which hosts the site, had technical difficulties yesterday and a lot of their business customers sites' went down. According to a CTI residential tech who my colleague and I talked with this morning, the techs went home at the end of the work day yesterday, before getting business customers' websites back online. As of this morning, they still weren't back to resume working on the problem. The tech with whom we spoke was clearly disturbed by this, as well.

Further, nobody in business support has answered calls or returned calls --- yesterday or today. We had to go through residential sales to actually get someone on the line.

Consider this complaint against CTI Networks, a business that does not prioritize service or delivering on their business support promises / obligations. Also note on their website that they promise the most up-time "possible" --- legitimate business service providers will guarantee 99.9% up-time. CTI Network is rinky dink and there's no reason to risk hosting or having other critical technical services done through them when the cost of going with a nationally-recognized company is the same, or even less in some cases.

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Anonymous on 03/05/2011:
I think posting here was the perfect thing for ksd to do. It warns other potential customers about Citi and what kind of business practices they have and that ultimately, when the business day is over the clock out and go home. If I had a business website I wouldn't trust it to that kind of mentality.
larry on 03/23/2012:
I have isp services through CTI also and its been a nightmare, I was without internet service for 6 days and numerous calls when they did not disconnect were met with condescending attitudes, ignorance, misinformation and downright hostility. They said I was harassing them for trying to coax them to get my service restored everyday. Thank God I did not host m y businesss web site with them and I feel for you guys because I know their attitude and inept abilities. This small company refuses to let you talk to the manager or owner, in fact they told me that I would never be able to talk to them because they do not talk to customers--wow small PA. company doesn't think their customers are important enough to talk to. We both trusted a smaller company to feel better taken care of and it was just the opposite NO CUSTOMER SERVICE.
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Incompetent Convicts
Posted by on
I had agreed from a representative from CTI Collections in early Jan '09 to pay a balance that I owed. This was with the fact that my income tax return was in. I asked that representative if my income tax was not ready by the date we agreed upon the withdrawal if we could push the withdrawal back until the money was there. I called saying the money was not there and the representative said he would push it back. He told me to call the next day to make sure the request went through the system. I called back the next two days and that representative was not in. I left messages and got no call back. I then asked for a supervisor who I called approximately 15-18 times and I may have been lucky enough to speak with her 3 of them. I have a total of 13 non-returned calls from her. None the less, the withdrawal went through which shouldn't have and I called immediately. I was told to fax over documentation regarding the negative transactions and I should receive a check within 7-10 days.

After approximately 20 calls over a 7 week period I still got nothing. I then spoke to the manager of the supervisor who didn't help me out one bit. She was either on break or never available. I actually thought I would get help from this person. He checked into it and said that I would not be getting any money back from their company because it would defeat the purpose of their making the collection. It was their unauthorized withdrawal that screwed me for two weeks with my bank account making numerous negative transactions and bank fees charged to me. To this date, they owe me $375.00 and I am now getting mailings from the businesses where the checks bounced asking for their $30 fee for bounced checks. The amount is adding up daily. Of course I was told by this other supervisor that they would not pay me anything because I should have paid the bills in the first place.

I told him that if the company would have kept to their word I would have never had that problem. He simply told me to pay my bills and I would have no problems. [snip - please be respectful] If someone from CTI Calls you do not answer and if you do and you hear CTI, hang up on them.
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Anonymous on 03/26/2009:
I'm willing to bet that you'll never see a cent from them. If the withdrawal was returned to them as insufficient funds, you could try sending them a registered letter saying that according to their agreement you will remit what you owe, less the overdraft fees. You may or may not get away with this.
This is a good example of why to NEVER give your account information to anyone. When you agreed to the debt you should just have firmly stated that yes you owe it, and that you will remit it during the month of March (or April), and that the conversation is over. Try not to let them pressure you into agreements that don't work for you.
Good luck.
Anonymous on 03/26/2009:
It sounds like CTI got their money but it caused other transactions you'd made to bounce. Have you tried talking to your bank to see if they would be willing to do a chargeback to CTI, and reverse the NSF fees?

I agree with Ken, never ever let a collection agency have access to your bank account. Good luck!
CTI Hater on 03/27/2009:
Thanks a lot for the advice. I may try some of those ideas but ultimately I may have my lawyer send the company a nice letter if they don't work. I guess it goes to show you that the good guy who tries to do the right thing always gets burned.
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Agents must be prison inmates
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This company has been chosen by Educational Fianancil Services to handle my loan. They are receiving and equal amount of funds paid towards my loan. Mr. Montgomery attempted to be very condescending but didn't know who he was dealing with. I have drafted a letter to congress regarding the misuse of funds not protected by Educational Financial Services. They want me to pay an obscene amount of money on top of what they get every month for 9 months to get out of default. "Not going to happen." I'm writing letters and seeking advice from other officials on how to not end up homeless at the hands of CTI...who are contracted by Educational Fiancial Services.
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Anonymous on 01/07/2010:
So, your complaint really doesn't explain why you think the agents must be prison inmates.
PepperElf on 01/07/2010:
"didn't know who he was dealing with"

Are you famous?

But from what you've written, I haven't seen anything illegal done by the company, other than asking you to make bigger payments.
Starlord on 01/07/2010:
Your letter to Congress will receive all the consideration it is due, then will be filed in file 13. A letter addressed to the US Congress will probably end up in the dead letter file at the post office. You need specifically to write YOUR Senators or Gongresspersons. I doubt, with the present economy, two wars and the threat of terrorism, that your letter will receive more than a cursory glance. I have to agree with the Elf. I don't see anything illegal, either.
goduke on 01/07/2010:
Sorry you felt he was condescending. It seems from what you were describing, he was saying "here's what needs to happen to make the loan current," and you said "nope, not going to happen." That's pretty much one of the textbook collection calls. Why could anyone in Congress take action on it?
Anonymous on 01/07/2010:
goduke, Stranger things have happened. When J.C. Watts was in congress he took action to get a clerk/typist's job back when the typist was fired for refusing to type. I laughed my ass off over that one. She got back pay for the nine months she was fired. Lovely lady. Still won't type though and ya know who could blame her.
Slimjim on 01/07/2010:
They want you to get current on your obligation and devised a payment plan to do so. what should Congress do because you can't afford it? If this is a student loan, check the web for student loan debt management companies that deal with these type of loans (and lenders) specifically.
PepperElf on 01/07/2010:
stew - fired for refusing to type when it's part of her job description? and she "won" against her employer?

Hell! I need a job like that! Where I can go in and refuse to do my job and still collect pay.
goduke on 01/07/2010:
That would be the government, Pepper. Except for the armed forces. In the armed forces you get shot for refusing to do your job.
PepperElf on 01/07/2010:
only in a battle situation.

refusing to do your job normally just means NJP, not a bullet to the brainpan (squish!)
goduke on 01/07/2010:
I don't know...on NCIS it seems like it happens a lot.....
PepperElf on 01/07/2010:
No, Gibbs just slaps them on the back of the head.
Anonymous on 01/07/2010:
"but didn't know who he was dealing with" Yes he did, someone who defaulted on his promise.
PepperElf on 01/07/2010:
Ken ++ and an extra + for making me giggle
CrazyRedHead on 01/08/2010:
There was a piece on the news a while back where they were using inmates to do collection calls. I can't remember where I heard it from but the main concern was that inmates had access to peoples sensitive info and was not happy about it. I wish I could find that piece. Debt collectors aren't paid to be nice there being paid to collect.
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Rude Representatives
Posted by on
ILLINOIS -- Representative refused to identify company and the purpose of phone call he made to my home. Representative expected me to give out information on the whereabouts of a person and when I asked him again to disclose to me the purpose of the phone call, as it is unwise to give out personal information to people I do not know, he had quite a rude comment and hung up on me. Just to remind you, he called my home requesting information about a young lady.
I called the number back on my caller ID, and spoke to another representative who told me that the company is a collections agency and that I shouldn't be expected to give out personal information just because someone asks for it. She told me my number would be taken out of their files. Although she was not rude, she offered no apology on behalf of he company.

Thia company in unprofessional, and definitely harassed me in my own home on my private telephone line. Expecting information without introducing oneself is unsafe and should never be expected.
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Principissa on 01/03/2008:
I'm glad you didn't answer them. We recently moved and got a new phone number and between 9-5 all we get are collections phone calls for I assume the person who previously had this number. If they call again remind them that this person doesn't live at your address and that the next time they call you will be sending them a letter ordering them to stop calling your home. Send it return receipt/certified.
Anonymous on 01/03/2008:
I was getting collection phone calls from an agency that does not believe that I am not the person they are looking for. They expected me to fax them a copy of my drivers license and social security card to prove I am me and not this other person. I am not up to date on what the collection laws are, but I don't think I should have to prove who I am by providing them such sensitive information. They should be the ones proving I am who they think I am.
old fart on 01/03/2008:
Johninsolcal.. the last thing you would want to do is give ANYBODY you driver's license and social security number... for all you know it is some nigerian phone room that would empty your bank accounts in a heartbeat..Not to mention opening up a million credit cards in your name...
Tell them to go stuff it..
jktshff1 on 01/03/2008:
what of and princi said
Anonymous on 01/03/2008:
Exactly Old Fart. The only response they ever hear from me if I answer the call because I didn't pay attention to the caller ID is the "CLICK" of the phone hanging up in their ear. :)
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