This company, which does not a business web site, contacted me, and told me that due to an old unpaid online payday loan my husband took out back in 2013 and never paid back had come to this particular business (which refused to say it was a debt collector and therefore not subject to Federal Debt Collection or State Collection laws) told me all about this alleged debt of my husband’s (collection agencies are not allowed to speak with anyone other than the debt holder about that person’s debts).
But this guy told me unless we paid the loan amount plus interest and late fees (totaling somewhere around $600 TODAY, a sheriff would be showing up tomorrow at my husband’s place of business with a court summons.
Consumer Action Taken:
After being told the above information, I asked this person, who was going by the name of “Director Fanelli” of Enhanced Acquisitions, LLC, whether the company my husband allegedly got the loan from would have sent an email of the award of the loan funds. My husband and I keep a joint access gmail email account that we NEVER delete any emails from).
This Director Fanelli person said that yes, the company my husband got this loan from would have sent an approval of loan proceeds to my husband’s email address. I asked this Director Fanelli if he would mind holding on the phone with me while I went through all of the emails in that gmail account, looking for the alleged loan award email. Since gmail has a really great email search tool, I searched for all possible related keywords in all emails regarding the loan company my husband allegedly got the loan award letter from.
I could find nothing related to any online payday lender who Director Fanelli told me would have gone by the name of “Mesa” or perhaps its parent company “Bahama Media Associates.” No luck. No email could be found from either of those company names, and as to the date range the alleged email would have arrived during, I could find no email at all that fit that date range.
When I told this Director Fanelli I could not find any email at all related to the award of a payday loan for either my husband or myself. He seemed genuinely surprised, and then backed off from the threat of sending a sheriff to my husband’s workplace the next day, and instead said he would send a “Validation of Debt” letter along with a affidavit signed by someone attesting to the validity of the debt.
I told Director Fanelli (if that is really his name) that while I was waiting for those documents to arrive from him in the mail, I would ask my bank to provide bank statements for the time period in question to see if any electronic deposit was shown on them for the alleged payday loan amount of $400.00.
I did get those bank statements for the time frame back in 2013 when my husband was supposed to have had deposited this $400.00 from a lender of some kind. When I got them, there was no electronic deposit from any payday lender. There was however, an electronic deposit for $1,600 for an installment loan my husband did take out, and we remain on good terms with that lender even now.
When Director Fanelli’s documents arrived, the document he was calling the “Validation of Debt” letter was very vague. It listed the alleged lender as “Mesa.” No other information about this alleged lender was provided.
As to the other document, the alleged affidavit, someone named Cassandra Mercado was the person who signed a sworn statement about the validity of the alleged debt, and another person signed off on this document as the notary.
I FAX’d the bank statements to Director Fanelli after receiving his mailed documents, and then told him I would call him on the next business day to discuss this issue.
When I called him, he attempted to claim that the unpaid debt was somehow related to the electronically deposited $1,600.00, and I quickly shut down that allegation by telling him exactly who deposited those funds and that this was an installment loan with a company that we remain on good terms with.
Then this Director Fanelli said that “after further research” the unpaid debt was not from a defaulted payday loan, instead, he made the claim that it was actually an unpaid loan processing fee from some loan company he would not name, but said if we simply paid him $195.00 today (that day with him on the phone), we could settle this whole matter.
I told him that if some lender was due a processing fee that was not paid, that fact would be reflected on our bank statements as well as having been declined by our bank.
This guy, all through our conversations, would hardly let me get a word in edgewise. However I got to the point where I was going to drop all phone etiquette and begin talking over him like he was doing to me.
I asked him who the person was who had signed the affidavit. He said that was probably a notary in his company’s corporate offices. I said I wasn’t asking who the notary was, I wanted to know who this Cassandra Mercado was, who signed a sworn affidavit before a notary, attesting to the alleged validity of this debt, and how she was related to this alleged unpaid debt.
Director Fanelli kept trying to change the subject, kept trying to tell me what bad people we were for lying about not paying debts we KNEW we owed. But Director Fanelli ignored my repeated, and repeated again, question of who exactly, Cassandra Mercado was who had signed a sworn affidavit attesting to the validity of this alleged debt.
After a few tries to be civil and give him a chance to answer my question while he talked on and on about this unpaid debt, and what liars we were, I repeated my question of who this Cassandra Mercado was about four or five more times in a row, speaking loudly over this Director Fanelli, saying in a raised rude voice, and talking over him: “WHO IS THIS CASSANDRA MERCADO???”
Know what this big, bad, pushy Director Fanelli person did? He hung up on me! We’ve not heard from him or his alleged company, Enhanced Acquisitions, LLC, again. It’s been more than two months now, and we’ve not received any mail, phone calls, emails…nothing from him or his scam company…if it even really exists outside of being a PO Box number…as that’s the address I was given for his alleged company. As I said, they have no web site presence. I asked him why early on, his company didn’t have a web site. He said not all companies have web sites. I replied, saying: “The most legitimate companies seem to,” and left it at that.
I did Google for this company name and found a lot of people who reported having been scammed by this outfit. Sadly, the fear tactics used by the likes of this Director Fanelli so frightened some of the victims of this scam outfit, that they paid upwards of $1,500.00 to this company to keep from going to jail over a debt this company claimed the victim owed.
It is sad to me that so many Americans do not understand the law in regards to what is and isn’t legal or what can or can’t happen to them for not paying an owed debt.
To anyone reading this, the FIRST thing you need to understand is that this nation ended “Debtor’s Prisons” centuries ago. You CANNOT go to prison for an unpaid debt. Don’t let these scammers try to tell you that you go to jail if you don’t make payment on some debt the scam company claims you owe. The SECOND thing you need to know is that any collection agency, legal or not, MUST provide you with a document known as a Validation of Debt letter. And THIRD, if you tell them you have not ever received that document, even if they claim to have a date on which they sent it, it is THEIR responsibility to ensure you receive that document. It is NOT your responsibility to ensure you receive mail from somebody — it is THEIR responsibility. Ask the representative who contacts you whether or not they sent the document with a “proof of delivery” form that you would have to have signed and which would then be sent back to the company who claims t o have sent the Letter of Debt Validation to you. If they don’t have a form returned to them with your signature on it, then they have no proof you ever got the document they claim to have sent. If they don’t have a proof of delivery form returned to them by the post office with your signature on it, your not having received any document they claim they sent is NOT your fault — it is THEIR fault. Logically, you can’t be responsible for mail you didn’t know you might receive. If they tell you that it would cost their company too much money to have to spend and additional $2.00 to request a proof of deliver form returned to them, you can tell them that if they don’t want to spend that extra small sum, they have no proof that they sent, or that you received what they allege to have sent, and that’s their problem, not yours.
I’ve received a few calls from these scam companies. When I ask them to send me a Letter of Validation of Debt, showing their state license number that is necessary for collection agencies to collect in the state I live in, they tell me they aren’t a collection agency, but some other kind of business. I ask them if they are trying to collect money from me. If so, I tell them, they are de facto collection agencies and before I will deal with them, I need a Letter of Validation of Debt from them that includes their state licensing allowing them to act as a collection agency in my state.
Often, they will simply disappear after I ask for that information. Unless they will provide said Letter of Debt Validation, complete with their state license number granting them the right to collect from citizens in my state, I won’t commit to a thing. Let them threaten. Little good it will do them.
Lately, too, because an unpaid debt is NOT a criminal matter, I’ve seen these scam companies try to say that the person who has an unpaid debt will be sued for trying to defraud a financial institution, which does happen to be a criminal act. If they hand you that line, tell them that unless they follow legal procedure in providing you the collection document the law says they must provide you (the Letter of Validation of Debt, with all information legally required on it), you’re going to sue them for trying to defraud you by trying to make you pay on some alleged debt without first following proper debt collection law procedures.
These people and scam companies are NOT better nor smarter than you, unless you allow them to be by not researching debt and collection laws both federally and in your state. If you do not know the laws that pertain to debt collection practices, you may take them at their word because they “seem” to know more than you do. In a way, if you don’t know the law, then they DO know more than you, but not about debt collection laws, they know more about how to scam you because you DON’T know debt collection laws.
Pity the poor people who allow these hard-edged, used car salesmen type individuals who them and tell them untruthful but frightening things, and the poor victims, who don’t know debt and debt collection law, are taken in all because these fast talking, demoralizing creeps have been able to convince these scam victims that what they say is the truth, and the consequences they claim will occur to the poor victim are told to the victims in very convincing ways. And when these poor souls are so frightened they will part with something like $1,500.00 of their hard earned dollars, that only happens because the chosen victim did not have a basic knowledge set about the legalities of debt and debt collection.
What we all need to do is take a few hours and learn about how legal debt collection works. Then, when these creeps and their scam companies call us, we can show them that we know way more than they could have suspected, and they will disappear. But DO report them to the FTC. And DON’T give them any money. If you do give them any of your money, you are in effect agreeing to their allegations of you having some kind of unpaid debt. DON’T PAY THEM until they’ve provided you the proper, legal document about their claim of unpaid debt on your part.
Date This Problem Happened: December 4, 2014
State You Live in: Tennessee
Age Range: 51-65
Total Amount of Fee Paid:
Company Name: Enhanced Acquisitions, LLC
PO BOX 73
Buffalo, NY 14128
Company Telephone Number: 844-592-4855
Website of Company:
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