Last Friday (3/11/05) I got a phone call from an attorney's assistant in Massachusetts who informed me that they are trying to collect a debt of $298.85 for their client - which traces back to Arrow Financial and eventually to SYMS/GE Capital Cons. Card Co. They told me that I owe their client $298.85, but they did not and could not provide any more detail (e.g., date and amount of purchase or finance charge). They told me to settlle the matter by 3PM Friday.
I was at work and did not have any information at hand, so I had to come home to look in my files to see what happened. After searching through the files, I found that I had not received any monthly statment from the credit card company since January 2004. My last payment of $75.05 on the account was received and cashed by the company in Fabruary 2004, while my address and phone number have remained the same in the last 2 years. I never received any phone call from the credit card company.
I did find a receipt of $120.94 for a purchase I made at SYMS in May 2004, although no statement was received by me.
Apparently, SYMS has turned my purchase of $120.94 into a delinquent debt of $298.85. Last Friday afternoon, I made repeated phone calls to the SYMS credit card company, but was told that my account was forwarded to Arrow Financial. Arrow Financial told me that my account has been forwarded to America Collect, who then told me my account was forward to an attorney's office in MA. None of the parties would tell me the date, amount, and detail of the alleged debt of $298.85. Yet I have never received any written statement, letter, or phone call from any of the parties involved.
By the way, I always pay off all my credit card balances every month and never accumulate anything.
The attorney's assistant wants me to pay him $298.85 right away, or else.
My questions are:
1. What is the best way to resolve this matter?
2. Have my legal rights been violated in this process? This will certainly damage my credit history.
3. Should I pay $298.85 or $120.94?
4. What's the worst case scenario if I do not pay $298.85?
Your advice will be greatly appreciated. hope to hear from you today.