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"Check Restitution Program"....heheheee

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  • "Check Restitution Program"....heheheee

    Here's a fun collection story.

    A friend of mine lost her job and was struggling....somewhere in between employment and receiving unemployment she bounced a check. It happens.

    The notice that she received in the mail was unreal. It actually cited a District Attorney's office and even had the name of the DA (and a correct name too...I'll give them credit for that) and cited that it was a "Check Restitution" program. The notice demanded payment for the check, plus fees, plus a 'mandatory' financial responsibility class. It stated that failure to make payment in the next 30 days would result in charges being pressed and jail time. Needless to say, she was freaked out. She called them up and they agreed to let her make the 'payments' over a 30 day time frame. She was given 45 days to schedule her 'class'. A 50 dollar check was now going to cost her 475 bucks..... Well, enter the trouble maker - me.

    She explained this whole thing to me and showed me the paperwork....of course I've read the 'Fair Debt Collections Act" and knew that something was fishy. So, I did a bit of digging and had the growing suspicion that this was not right at all. I told her to call the number on the notice back and cancel her second payment (she already paid 235 bucks by credit card - DA's don't take Credit card payments or have 800 numbers!!!...). Of course they threw up a bit of a fit but agreed to do it....especially after she asked (on my direction in the background) to speak to a supervisor and asked point blank "who do you really work for?" THEN she received another notice in the mail reminding her of the remaining balance and again, the threat of incarceration! She had a fit and I died laughing. I had to explain to her that only a judge could order that class....and jail time for failure to comply. Off to the internet we go....there is no "District run" restitution program...which furthered my suspicion that this was indeed a collection agency.... So, I called their number and pretended to be a shop owner who has had a bounced check...they were WAY happy to tell me that I had "nothing to worry about"...their collections efforts resulted in a "98% success rate of collection"...of course it does....they frighten people and threaten them with jail....but in the process the noodle heads had given me access to the 'real' website. Oh you bet it's a slimey collection company.....!!!

    So, I got the bright idea to actually email the District Attorney and verify this program. Two hours later, an email shows up from her that says she has referred the matter to her Chief Investigator. One day later, my friend receives an email from the investigator telling her that "she is correct in her suspicions that this company is employing strong arm tactics and does not have the authority to order any such class or payment for such." He told her that this company 'would not be bothering her further and that if they did she should contact him".

    About two weeks later, she received a check from the "program" for $90.00. There was no explanation as to the amount...We were sorely tempted to go down to the community college where they were holding the 'mandatory class' and tell all the participants not to attend and that there was nothing that could be done if they didn't go......but I didn't want to be responsible for citing a riot.

  • #2
    Well good for you for setting them straight. Too bad they only refunded her $90 of the $235 she'd been suckered into paying.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow. I am glad you stepped in. These are the types of criminals that the Attorney General (AG) seems to ignore. White-collar crime is just as bad. I think it's worse, because it fleeces the general populous.
      Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
      Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
      Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


      I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

      Comment


      • #4
        I just wonder how many people they've suckered with their tactics.....honestly, if it had been me, I would've freaked out too....for a minute....until I saw the 800 number.....

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by justbroke View Post
          Wow. I am glad you stepped in. These are the types of criminals that the Attorney General (AG) seems to ignore. White-collar crime is just as bad. I think it's worse, because it fleeces the general populous.
          Honestly, and this is one of my favorite rants....why does everyone think they need to make big bucks (for the least amount of work) regardless of who they fleece for it or how they collect it? Seriously, the Credit Card companies are raising their rates to continue to make their big profits....and to cover those who can't make the payments.....insurance companies have been posting big profits too...at the cost of ma and pa american....the mortgage industry is in a wreck because of the subprime loans (again, they found a way to make that bottom line fatter)...but in the long run, no matter how you slice it, there are too many companies that are just after money and they don't care how they get it....the scruples of many companies just seem to have gone down the toilet in the past few years....and in my opinion that's part of the reason this country's finances are in such a mess....

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by NHC View Post
            Honestly, and this is one of my favorite rants....why does everyone think they need to make big bucks (for the least amount of work) regardless of who they fleece for it or how they collect it? Seriously, the Credit Card companies are raising their rates to continue to make their big profits....and to cover those who can't make the payments.....insurance companies have been posting big profits too...at the cost of ma and pa american....the mortgage industry is in a wreck because of the subprime loans (again, they found a way to make that bottom line fatter)...but in the long run, no matter how you slice it, there are too many companies that are just after money and they don't care how they get it....the scruples of many companies just seem to have gone down the toilet in the past few years....and in my opinion that's part of the reason this country's finances are in such a mess....
            This is just plain incorrect and overstated.
            Well, I did. Every one of 'em. Mostly I remember the last one. The wild finish. A guy standing on a station platform in the rain with a comical look in his face because his insides have been kicked out. -Rick

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by OhioFiler View Post
              This is just plain incorrect and overstated.

              It could very well be....but it's my own opinion.....and based on my experiences and observations. Maybe I need to get out more.... LOL

              Comment


              • #8
                NHC, you were great in helping your friend recoup part of her funds. Also you were able to point out the violations to the AG. Have you spoken to your friend about her taking the CA to court for damages (pro se) because of the FDCPA violation? She could at least recoup not only her expenditure, but have a little extra left over.
                Filed CH 7 9/30/2008
                Discharged Jan 5, 2009! Closed Jan 18, 2009

                I am not an attorney. None of my advice is legal advice in any way..

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by StartingOver08 View Post
                  NHC, you were great in helping your friend recoup part of her funds. Also you were able to point out the violations to the AG. Have you spoken to your friend about her taking the CA to court for damages (pro se) because of the FDCPA violation? She could at least recoup not only her expenditure, but have a little extra left over.

                  I suggested it but I think she was just so glad to get that whole mess off her shoulders that she really hasn't given the whole thing any more thought....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NHC View Post
                    It could very well be....but it's my own opinion.....and based on my experiences and observations. Maybe I need to get out more.... LOL
                    That is funny!

                    I think it's easy to become jaded and skeptical of every organization but the fact is most business is run fairly.
                    Well, I did. Every one of 'em. Mostly I remember the last one. The wild finish. A guy standing on a station platform in the rain with a comical look in his face because his insides have been kicked out. -Rick

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OhioFiler View Post
                      That is funny!

                      I think it's easy to become jaded and skeptical of every organization but the fact is most business is run fairly.
                      Jaded? Yup, that's me.
                      Stopped Payings CC's: 8/14/2009 | Retained Attorney: 9/23/2009 | Filed CH 7: 12/7/2009 | 341 Meeting: 1/21/2010 - Complete | Discharged: 4/9/2010
                      "One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OhioFiler View Post
                        That is funny!

                        I think it's easy to become jaded and skeptical of every organization but the fact is most business is run fairly.

                        I'm skeptical of a lot of things anyway....and if I'm not skeptical about it I'm probably sarcastic...take your pic...either one keeps me pretty entertained....

                        OH...and I did keep a copy of my friends' paperwork....I'm very, very very sure that this outfit is doing this in other states....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is this real:

                          http://www.hotchecks.net/sandiego/

                          Sure looks real.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Stl49 View Post
                            Is this real:

                            http://www.hotchecks.net/sandiego/

                            Sure looks real.

                            Interesting...wouldn't a program run by the state have a state.us internet address? Anyone can buy a website and call it hotchecks.net, steal the DA's pic and siggy off her official site and build a sucker site.

                            Another example of why never to sign DV letters...who knows where your signature will wind up...
                            First consult: You go now, no CH 7 for you. You spent entire buffet. 13 has a 95 percent payback. (Owwwch) On to next consult....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by flyinbroke View Post
                              Interesting...wouldn't a program run by the state have a state.us internet address? ...
                              Its run by a Collector contracted by the County of San Diego.

                              And it's very real.

                              Be careful out there...

                              Comment

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