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*Cries In American*

, , , , , , , | Healthy | January 23, 2023

A thirty-minute ambulance ride with three EMTs, one dose of steroids, and a nebulizer treatment (respiratory failure) resulted in a bill of over $1,500. Because I was on disability and only received about $800 a month, I just didn’t have it.

I called a couple of times to try to set up a payment plan, but no one ever called back, so it went to collections. I got the letter and saw that the collection agency had a specific phone line for setting up payments. 

Collector: “What kind of plan are you thinking of?”

Me: “I can pay about $100 a month.”

Collector: “Ma’am, are you aware of how much this bill is?”

Me: “Yes, I—”

Collector: “$100 a month will take you over a year to pay off.”

Me: “I know, but—”

Collector: “I’ll tell you what. We can set you up on four payments of—”

Me: “No. I can barely make this payment. I’m on disability. I only get $800 a month as it is.”

Collector: “Okay, so if you do $400 a month—”

I lost it.

Me: “Are you f****** kidding? Can you pay for everything in your life with $400 a month? I have to buy medications and food and—”

Collector: “Ma’am—”

Me: “I am offering $100 a month, and that is it.”

Collector: “I can’t approve that.”

Me: “Then find someone who can, or you won’t see a penny.”

Collector: “Hold on.”

I know it was rude. I know he was “just doing his job” and someone will undoubtedly say that I shouldn’t have taken the ambulance if I couldn’t afford it. Since the other option was dying, I took the ambulance.

After a few minutes, he returned to the line.

Collector: “I spoke with my supervisor. If you can make your first payment right now, we can approve $100 a month. But if you’re late once, the whole bill will be due. You will owe $100 by the fifteenth of every month.”

I get my payments on the tenth, so that worked.

Me: “Fine, thank you.”

It was a rough year, but with the help of my friends and family, I paid my debt in full.

There’s Never A Good Time To Behave Like This

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: McNuggeteer | January 8, 2023

I work at a debt collection agency.

Me: “You’ve reached [Company]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi. I have three bills I want to pay.”

Me: “Sure. I’m not pulling anything up by your phone number. Do you have an account number?”

Caller: “No, but I have three bills for me, my daughter, and my husband.”

Me: “Okay. Is your daughter under the age of eighteen?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay. What is your name?”

Caller: “Oh, well, I had my name changed.”

Me: “All right, what’s your husband’s name?”

Y’all, I have no clue why or how, but this woman goes from zero to a hundred faster than should be possible on a Monday at 9:00 in the morning

Caller: “The f*** are you talking about, b****? You’re making some f****** assumptions that she would be underneath his name!”

Me: “Ma’am, you said you changed your name, so I thought it would be easier on both of us if we searched his first—”

Caller: “B****, how dare you assume she’s under his insurance?! What, do you think women are f****** better than men?!”

I have no idea where she got this from.

Me: “All right, ma’am. At this point, I’m gonna have to ask you to tone your language down—”

Caller: “SHUT THE F*** UP, YOU SEXIST B****!”

And she hung up on me before I could hang up on her.

Y’all… I just can’t this morning. It is waaaayyyy too early for this level of bulls***.

Maybe She Was A Housekeeper In A Bank?

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: DirtyDorito1995 | April 1, 2022

I work in a collections department for a large bank. I’m answering the phone.

Me: “Hello, this [My Name] in collections. How can I help you?”

Caller: “I received a letter saying that I am past due and my account will close if I don’t pay.”

She then proceeds to read the entire letter to me.

Me: “Yes, that would be correct. You are [amount] past due and [number] days past due. Your last payment was on [date]. Do you want to set up a payment?”

Caller: “I have not been paying because I have not received any statements since the last time I paid, so I thought a payment wasn’t due.”

I confirm that her address is still the same and make sure that her statements aren’t being suppressed. There isn’t anything wrong, so I tell her that it might be an issue with the post office.

Caller: “If it was an issue with the post office, then why was I able to receive this letter but not my statements? Can I speak to [Manager], the manager that signed this letter to me?”

Me: “No, ma’am, that letter is automated and they do not work here.”

Caller: “How do you spell your name? What department are you in again? You’re just having trouble finding them. I retired from [Bank] and I know how things work there. Do you work in [State #1] or [State #2].”

We have two main headquarter locations.

Me: “I work in [State #2].”

Caller: *Scoffs* “THAT’S why.”

Me: “Okay, well, would you like to set up a payment?”

Caller: “No, I won’t be paying until I can see the statements showing how much my payments are.”

Me: “Okay. Do you have access to online banking? You can see the amounts on there.”

Caller: “No, I am too old for that; I don’t use that.”

LITERALLY every single job at the bank uses computers all day. Please tell me how you worked here without using them.

Me: “I can get someone to send another statement out, but there is a possibility that it will not arrive before the account closes on [date]. You are still responsible for payments on the account each month.”

Caller: “Yes, I would like another statement sent out. I’ll pay when I receive it.”

I got someone to send the statements out and sent her on her way to another department. I still don’t understand how she worked on computers at a bank but can’t do online banking. I also don’t understand how someone who worked at a bank doesn’t know that a payment is due on an account every month regardless of statement issues. This lady was in her late fifties, so it’s not like she was incredibly old, either. I found it super funny that she thought some manager personally addressed this letter to her.

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 105

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Akschadt | October 3, 2021

I work for a collections job in a bank where I deal with people behind on their payments for retail services. One of the more common things I deal with is past dues on [Credit Card Company] cards. I get this lady on the phone who is irate.

Caller: “Your automated system won’t accept my payment!”

That’s normal; most people hit an extra button and type in the wrong account number or switch the expiration date up. I go through the normal business of collecting this payment — something like an $800 balance with $200 of it past due.

Me: “I can use a debit card or bank account information for the payment.”

Caller: “Card.”

She gives me her information and I pull up my screen to process it through. It gets declined. She loses her mind.

Caller: *Screaming* “How dare you decline my card?! I’ve been a customer for years! When I got this card, you said it would be accepted anywhere [Credit Card Company] is accepted, and that’s everywhere. And now you’re declining me!”

I sit there for a second and look at the card number she provided and then at her account number; they’re the same number.

Me: “Ma’am are you… trying to pay off your [Credit Card Company] card… with your [Credit Card Company] card?”

The answer was yes. What followed was a twenty-minute conversation about how you can’t pay off a credit card with the same credit card. She hung up after threatening to sue me personally for false advertising as, “[Credit Card Company] apparently isn’t accepted everywhere like you said!”

Related:
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 104
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 103
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 102
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 101
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 100

Take It To Your Grave

, , , , , , , | Legal | June 18, 2021

I had a client come into my office to deal with her brother’s estate. Her brother, unmarried and childless, had known he was terminal for almost a year before he died. He chose to spend that year applying for as many credit cards as he could and maxing them all out. Amazingly, he got credit cards for four major banks and managed to rack up more than $50,000.00 in debt before he died. He had maybe $10,000.00 in savings that he had kept as a cushion to make sure the debt collectors didn’t come after him until it was too late.

The first thing I did was assure the sister that no one was responsible for her brother’s debts except his estate. After that, I gave her the options.

Option A was the technically correct way to handle the estate: contact all the banks, get them to agree to take a ratable percentage of the remaining assets, and pay them out. This could take months and would cost a lot of money.

Option B was not technically the correct way to handle it but it was easier: contact the banks, tell them that the sister had resigned as estate trustee and no one was replacing her, and ask them not to contact her.

She obviously went with Option B. With no one in charge of the estate, the banks couldn’t even attempt to collect on the debt, and there was no way to go through legal channels to collect the money that would not cost ten times the money owed.

Do I have sympathy for the banks? Nope.