Valentine & Kebarta collection scam
Valentine & Kebarta's ring of deception
This is coming from 7+ years of experience dealing with this company. My wife bought a computer through Dell about 8+ years ago. Things were going fine making payments then one day Dell wrote the account off and sent it to collections. There supposed reason was she moved and violated there terms. This collection agency is known as Valentine & Kebarta's. Let me tell you they are the at the top of the crop for scam artists. They have nothing to do with helping you pay off your debt. First thing they will do is offer you a settlement offer for what looks like an excellent amount, this is to get your money. Well 7 years ago we knew nothing about the company or why it went to collections. The settlement they offered was a bit below what we owed and looked great at the time and trying not to have anything go against our credit. Well here it is 7 years later and even to this day we receive a call from one company or another trying to collect this debt we still supposedly owe Dell. Let's just say on top of what we supposedly owed we have gotten about 300% in intrest and are still fighting it. Dell will tell us that they authorized Val and Kebarta to collect on the account but never received anything from them. However they can provide no account number and V&K has no record of even collecting from us.
What pushed me overboard today was I received a call from a company called Progressive Collections. I go through my usual spill of where did you get my account from, how much do I owe now and so on. Funny thing is they still won't provide any information an original account number or anything about the account just that I owe almost 7,000 dollars now. And that they will continue trying to collect it. Well I have just gotten tired of this and decided to put an end to it once and for all. I look up V&K's number only to find they have changed there location again and telephone number (If that doesnt make you question them). I give them a call go through there automated response and get a receptionist. I ask for a collection agent that can help me with former Dell collections. I get some lady who asks for all my wife's info and finds nothing in there computer. I then ask how long are you required to keep data on file? Take a guess, yeah they hung up on me. This point I was getting frustrated called back again not even 30 seconds later asked to speak to the same person. This time I got what sounded like the same person, I can usually tell voices, they inform me that all agents that represent Dell went home already. I said, I'm sorry I was just speaking to one not even a minute ago. Told her to quite jerking my chain that I wanted this fixed that they needed to find my account. She then asked if we had received a settlement offer. I answered yes and it was paid. She goes oh well after an account is paid we no longer keep records the payment is sent on to Dell and we delete you from our system. If that isn't a red flag if I'm not mistaken any company that receives money especially a collection agency has to keep a record of some sort. I then informed this so called agent that I would be contacting the District Attorney's office of Mass. and informing them about there business practices. Before I finished my sentence an older lady was on the phone from somewhere outwest. I wasn't in the best mood as it was and started letting in on this supposed old lady. Reason I say supposed is I wouldnt put it past a crooked scam company like this to have another person who impersonates people to get you off the phone. Yes, I apologized to the lady just in case. As you can imagine I immediately called back one more time to Valentine and Kebarta's. Boy was I mad, I asked to speak to another collection agent again and again this one said she was a different one. Same voice in every way mind you. I simply told them ok well I know exactly who you are you can claim to be whoever you like but you can't hang up on me if I show up on your doorstep. The agent goes ok our address is 15 Union St. Lawrence Mass. and hangs up on me yet again.
Ok here is the light at the end of the tunnel I 110% recommend http://www.clvlaw.com/ they offer a free consultation on what your options are. They were extremely helpful and told me right away that yes Valentine & Kebarta's is a scam. They informed me that in my state there is a statue of limitation of 6 years after the initial write off of your account that a collection agency can contact you legally. That time was 2 years ago and I didn't know this. It is also illegal for collection agencies to threaten you, call you excessively or threaten to "call every hour til you pay." Most don't even have the ability to report against your credit or garnish your wages, taxes, etc... i.e. empty threats. It is also illegal for more then one company at a time to collect on your account. Also come to find out some states require a collection agency be licensed in the state in which they try to collect so check if your state requires this if so the collection agency either has to be licensed there or has no business contacting you. I'm not trying to promote not paying a debt but just inform you of your rights and ways of protecting yourself. In my case I did not know these things at the time and was scammed by a snake. They collected my payment then turned right around and probably doubled there money by selling the account to another company saying it was unpaid.
If you ever have a concern about any collection agency you have right's yourself. First check out www.RipOffReport.com for a list of known scam companies. In my opinion call the company that the debt is with to verify if the collection agency is approved to take collections. Never, NEVER pay a settlement all up front and another opinion never pay with a credit card or bank card. This is because one, make payments and get reciepts to show proof of payment in case they try to pass it on to another agency or there are any problems. Second I don't know about you but collection companies are on the bottom of the pile in my consideration I wouldn't trust them with a way to get into any of your accounts.
If you have any question's or similar experiences let everyone know and I will try to help answer.