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Should I Just Pay - Need Advice


elevation
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My credit score is in the high 700's as of now but I don't know how long that will last.

 

I went on a short vacation in Charleston, S.C. in March 2015, where I attended a little high pressure sales seminar. For whatever reason, I bought one of the packages that Holiday Passport/Festiva/RTX don't advertise to anyone for the price of $995. The representative wanted me to fill out the form in which I did but I refused to give my ssn. Holiday Passport/Festiva/RTX did, however, get my license number. I used my debit card to charge $195 and they setup 10 payments in the amount of $80 starting May 2015.

 

When I got home, I looked over the package that Holiday Passport/Festiva/RTX had given me and realized that they grossly misrepresented what they were selling. I did some research online and found that this is common practice with this company. I further found tons of complaints online as well as a Lawsuit against Festiva for Telemarketing Act Violations and Deceptive Business Practices. The company representing that day was RTX. RTX is one of the many companies named in the lawsuit.

 

After finding this information and realizing I had been duped, I called my bank and they reversed the charge of the initial $195, although it took them about a week to do it. I had them to cancel my debit card and issue me another one as well.

 

Today, May 14th, I received a call and message that I didn't answer from Holiday Passport / Zealandia Capital Incorporated. I also recieved a letter from them today basically stating that they were notified on 5/5/2015 by my credit card company/bank that the payment due on 5/5/2015 for my Holiday Passport account was declined.

 

I also checked my credit report today and found the following on my Equifax and TransUnion report:

 

EQUIANT FINANCIAL SERVIC #976xxxxx****

5401 N PIMA RD STE 150

SCOTTSDALE, AZ 85250

(800) 447-1760

Date Opened: 03/21/2015

Responsibility: Individual Account

Account Type: Installment Account

Loan Type: TIMESHARE LOAN

Balance: $800

Date Updated: 04/30/2015

Payment Received: $0

High Balance: $800

 

As of right now, this bill is reporting as OK, I'm thinking because I wasn't due to pay a bill until this month.

 

I wrote them twice to cancel this package. According to their terms, I had to write them within 14 days of signing in order to cancel the contract. I did write them but didn't hear anything but did receive a call from Holiday Passport to let me know that I would have a payment due in May. By the way, this was sometime in early to mid April when they first called me. I sent a second letter of cancellation but made sure I sent the second letter by registered mail, although it was past the 14 day time limit.

 

I'm not sure about how to proceed with this issue. I have really good credit and I surely don't want to mess that up. I do plan on contacting the Attorney Generals office here in North Carolina but will that do any good as far as getting them off my credit report? They are on two of my credit reports as mentioned above but I would like to take action now and take them off even though they are reporting OK for this month. I don't think that will be the case for next month. What should i do to ensure that this doesn't affect my credit?

 

Any help is greatly appreciated..

 

By the way, if you were to google zealandia capital incorporated lawsuit, you would find tons of complaints as well as a lawsuit filed by the attorney general in Tennessee. http://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/press/2014/pr14-01.html

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If you have proof of sending cancellation in 14 days (I assume the USPS CM-RRR Green Card) then after the DV and CFPB process, I cannot see this standing.

 

Did you DV them?

 

First thing with a CA: ALWAYS DV.

 

It is common misconception to think that "just paying" a CA will help you. It won't. Then another CA pops up for same thing.. what then?? That isnt even the point though... CA is something to not pay.

 

OC? Perhaps... depending.

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Based on my reading, it does not appear he sent the first cancellation CMRRR,

 

OP signed a contract he/she never should have signed. Then he/she changed his/her mind and made a huge mistake by not making sure the cancellation was received and that proff wa sin hand. It should have gone CMRRR the first time. And even if Equiant takes the collection off the report, the OC could still sue. Also, some collection agencies (like Cavalry and Midland) are bottom feeders. Midland came after me one time and they were the 4th to own the debt. I do not think they even had the full account number. Equiant handles collections for resort owners ad for companies that finance such luxuries. Unlike most CAs, they are BBB accredited with an A+ rating.

 

The debt is a month old. I would be hard pressed to think that Equiant will not be able to validate the debt. And if for some reason they cannot, it goes back the OC who can place it for collections again, or can sue.

 

Look, these high-pressure timeshares are a dangerous thing. It is not even worth the risk of putting yourself in that position for few free nights at their resort or whatever they were offering.

 

But at this point, OP has some issues. A contract was signed, and a payment made. OP then reversed/cancelled the payment BEFORE cancelling the contract. Then OP failed to document the cancellation, and the only proof is of the second effort which is past the 14-day deadline. And like DollarDog noted, will there be ongoing fees that keep this debt fresh and damaging?

 

I must disagree with Joseph on the CAs. If all of a sudden, Scumbag Collections, Inc. came after me for a debt that was 10 years old, I would tell them to FOAD. But if it were 6 years old, and they could severely damage my rebuilt credit over $100? Yes, I would try all the ways to get it off my report and to get them off my back, but I would pay it rather than suffer a huge hit. And this specific case is quite different. This is not some old zombie debt that has been passed around 10 times and sold for 2 cents on the dollar. This is a valid debt (unless proven otherwise) that is a month old. I do not think, form what I read about Equiant, that they purchased the debt. I would figure the OP still owns the debt, and simply contracts with Equiant for collection activities. Others may disagree, but to me, paying them in this case would be the same as paying the OC.

 

Quite a mess, and no doubt a lesson learned.

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Read your contract again, look for anything in there.

Personally, I'd just pay it and use the timeshare benefits you signed up for. They might have some lawsuits or whatever, but don't you get to use the timeshare? $80 a month for clean credit AND you get to use the services, that seems like you're getting off easier than fighting this and hurting yourself.

 

I know nothing about these things but I would look at it as a learning experience and use my new timeshare. I don't even know what a timeshare is, I just know they are a bad idea from watching TV Sitcoms.

Edited by soundtraxx
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Timeshares are typically *heavily* regulated by the state and state's Attorneys General Office; likewise by the FTC. There should be wide lee-way for reneging on the contract because it's recognized that such industries use heavy handed sales techniques.

 

Your best bet is to:

  • Begin documenting *EVERYTHING* so you have a record
  • Correspond nearly exclusively via snail mail; ask for written responses for any agreements reached via phone
  • Use CMRR exclusively for all correspondence
  • Wait for results with what you've done so far. Lets see what their response will be.
  • In the mean time, reach out to the state AG's office where you bought this to begin asking them for information and help on handling this
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ASAP call your State Attorney General's Office.

 

Don't wait until you're dotted the i's and crossed the t's for any documentation you feel you might need to collect. Instead call and get some immediate feedback and recommendation for your situation.

 

I expect it's a safe bet that the AG has heard from other residents re this firm. If so, they may offer some expedited handling. Otherwise, they'll clearly lay out what you need to provide before their prepared to investigate on your behalf.

 

I base this advice on a dissimilar situation I engaged in around 10 years ago. (Pretty sure there's a post here discussing the details). Bottom line, I called AG re an abusive, uncooperative collection company trying to collect on defunct medical charges. They said something about looking into it, and something like 10 days the collection was removed from all 3 CRA's! Never said or heard a word beyond that initial phone call.

 

I keep my fingers crossed things work out so that you can report back similarly. Trust me, this is going to sound shady to anyone who hears it.

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Don't pay just yet. See if you can get a cancellation legally.

 

I agree with hdporter. If what you purchased is not what they presented in person, file a complaint with both the AG in your state of residence, and the AG where they are licensed as a business. Be detailed and specific describing what they presented, versus what you were sold. They have to respond to those complaints with a specific timeframe (usually 30 days).

 

Is Equiant the OC? A Demand for Validation (DV) under the FDCPA only applies to outside, third-party collectors, not the OC. If there was an error in the CRA reporting, you could go after the OC through FCRA disputes, and a 623 letter.

 

Although you didn't send the cancellation request CMRRR, I would still start by filing the AG complaints.

Edited by tmcgill
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You own a timeshare now, right? So if you manage to get this one entry off your credit reports, you're still on the hook for the monthly fees. If you don't pay those, they'll continue to report.

I filed a complaint with the Attorney General in NC a couple of days ago and called them today. They are sending the letter to the OC today. The AG's office couldn't offer me any advice but I did ask if they had any prior complaints on this company and the response was yes, plenty. Since i purchased the package while in SC, I asked if I should also file a complaint with the AG's office in SC and the response was yes, it can't hurt anything.

 

While googling "festiva development group llc complaints", I found even more complaints but the interesting thing was that I found 407 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years and 100 closed in last 12 months.You can look through the following if you need additional information like I do.

 

Complaint Resolution Log (407)

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You own a timeshare now, right? So if you manage to get this one entry off your credit reports, you're still on the hook for the monthly fees. If you don't pay those, they'll continue to report.

 

FWIW, not a timeshare. You can purchase a membership online: http://www.holidaypassports.com/default.asp

 

It's not a time share? So you only owe $800 as a one-time cost?

 

I'll let others read the fine print. Seems like an awful lot of work on a hard-sell for less than a month's minimum wage.

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Don't pay just yet. See if you can get a cancellation legally.

 

I agree with hdporter. If what you purchased is not what they presented in person, file a complaint with both the AG in your state of residence, and the AG where they are licensed as a business. Be detailed and specific describing what they presented, versus what you were sold. They have to respond to those complaints with a specific timeframe (usually 30 days).

 

Is Equiant the OC? A Demand for Validation (DV) under the FDCPA only applies to outside, third-party collectors, not the OC. If there was an error in the CRA reporting, you could go after the OC through FCRA disputes, and a 623 letter.

 

Although you didn't send the cancellation request CMRRR, I would still start by filing the AG complaints.

 

Thanks for your response. I filed a complaint online with the AG in NC a couple of days ago and spoke with them today by phone. They couldn't give me any legal advice but had received complaints about Festiva Development Group LLC. I will also be filing an online complaint tonight with the AG in SC as well.

 

You asked a good question that I somehow overlooked. I'm not sure that Equiant Financial Services is the OC. All I can tell you is that as of Wednesday, May 12, 2015, Zealandia Capital Incorporated / Holiday Passport, calls me everyday during the week religiously. I never answer the calls. I just let them go to voicemail.

 

I have received a credit card decline letter and on the letter head is Holiday Passport and Zealandia Capital Incorporated so I don't really know who Equiant Financial Services unless they are the third party.

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Don't pay just yet. See if you can get a cancellation legally.

 

I agree with hdporter. If what you purchased is not what they presented in person, file a complaint with both the AG in your state of residence, and the AG where they are licensed as a business. Be detailed and specific describing what they presented, versus what you were sold. They have to respond to those complaints with a specific timeframe (usually 30 days).

 

Is Equiant the OC? A Demand for Validation (DV) under the FDCPA only applies to outside, third-party collectors, not the OC. If there was an error in the CRA reporting, you could go after the OC through FCRA disputes, and a 623 letter.

 

Although you didn't send the cancellation request CMRRR, I would still start by filing the AG complaints.

 

Your advice has been a great help. I think you have already responded to one of my updates. I will keep you posted. This type of scamming really needs to be shutdown.

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If you have proof of sending cancellation in 14 days (I assume the USPS CM-RRR Green Card) then after the DV and CFPB process, I cannot see this standing.

 

Did you DV them?

 

First thing with a CA: ALWAYS DV.

 

It is common misconception to think that "just paying" a CA will help you. It won't. Then another CA pops up for same thing.. what then?? That isnt even the point though... CA is something to not pay.

 

OC? Perhaps... depending.

 

Thanks for your response. The first letter that I sent wasn't sent by registered mail but the second was. I filed a complaint with the Attorney Generals office in NC and will be doing the same for the AG in SC tonight. I have also taken some time to file an online complaint with the SC Department of Consumer Affairs.

 

I don't think Equiant Financial Services is the OC but not 100% sure right now. I didn't realize this until it was brought to my attention. All I can tell you is that as of Wednesday, May 12, 2015, Zealandia Capital Incorporated / Holiday Passport, calls me everyday during the week religiously. I never answer the calls. I just let them go to voicemail.

 

I have received a credit card decline letter and on the letter head is Holiday Passport and Zealandia Capital Incorporated so I don't really know who Equiant Financial Services is unless they are the third party.

 

I'll keep you posted as to what happens next.

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Zealandia is a debt collector. ( http://www.zcapservices.com) You can send them a Demand for Validation/Cease and Desist letter to stop the calls. Once they sign for it, they are only allowed one additional call to notify you of their next step. They also have to stop all collection activities until they validate.

 

Note: The legal bar is low on what constitutes "validation", so they'll probably send a copy of your original contract. However, this will temporarily stop collection efforts pending the outcome of the AG complaints.

Edited by tmcgill
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I'm not even sure what the BBB or the State AG is going to be able to do.

 

OP voluntarily attended a seminar

OP voluntarily filled out a contract

OP voluntarily signed and executed a contract

OP voluntarily supplied financial information

 

 

Then OP went home and read all of the documents that he already had in his possession and decided it wasn't for him. Where was the misrepresentation? In the documents he signed and had in his possession the whole time? Where's the bait and switch? What does a telemarketing complaint have to do with an in person attendance and contract execution?

 

OP cancelled a payment before contract was cancelled

OP didn't cancel a contract with the diligence that should be expected

 

What sucks is this bogs down the State AG's, so that people who really have problems get less help and poor service. Essentially dilutes the efficiency and efficacy of their office and impacts people who got screwed by companies instead of screwed themselves.

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Konrad2012, thanks for your opinion. I'm not a take the bait poster, so I'll confirm that my suggestion was not to file a frivilous complaint with the AG. The OP indicated what he got was not what he was sold. I suggested the AG as a legal resource, indicating he must provide details and documentation of shady business practices. There are no guarantees, but if there was a problem, he should fight it.

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I read the OP's OP as that he read the contract he signed AFTER he executed it. He got exactly what he was sold, he just didn't read enough to see what he was buying. "Due Diligence". Most states do not allow for a "cooling off" period. This contract actually had a 14 day cooling off period incorporated into it, but the OP didn't execute that clause as would be expected in a legal fashion.

 

Imagine leasing a car, reading the contract a week later that it had a lease end disposition fee, deciding you didn't like that, and then canceling your lease payments. How do you think that's going to work out for you?

 

And I stand by my "opinion". All the people getting screwed by CA's and JDB's, complaints like these that I view as frivolous is hurting those who need/deserve their intervention.

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elevation - Keep us posted on any updates. If you've read some of my posts, you'll note my obsessive paranoia for anything related to parting with my cash. I've been burned a few times, so I absolutely check and double check businesses I'm doing any kind of business with. :blush2:

 

You were on vacation and probably in relaxation mode, but this was a painful lesson learned for you. There are no guarantees, but here's hoping for a positive outcome.

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Zealandia is a debt collector. ( http://www.zcapservices.com) You can send them a Demand for Validation/Cease and Desist letter to stop the calls. Once they sign for it, they are only allowed one additional call to notify you of their next step. They also have to stop all collection activities until they validate.

 

Note: The legal bar is low on what constitutes "validation", so they'll probably send a copy of your original contract. However, this will temporarily stop collection efforts pending the outcome of the AG complaints.

 

I sent a DV today via registered mail with a return reciept and also received another loan statement in the mail today from Holiday Passport/ Zealandia Capital. There is a past due balance of $80 and no late charge and a current amount due of $160 on 6/5/2015. My question is, while I'm not paying pending validating and what happens with the Attorney General, how is my credit being affected? My credit scores are in the mid to high 770's with all 3 credit bureaus.

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elevation - Keep us posted on any updates. If you've read some of my posts, you'll note my obsessive paranoia for anything related to parting with my cash. I've been burned a few times, so I absolutely check and double check businesses I'm doing any kind of business with. :blush2:

 

You were on vacation and probably in relaxation mode, but this was a painful lesson learned for you. There are no guarantees, but here's hoping for a positive outcome.

 

I sent a DV today via registered mail with a return reciept and also received another loan statement in the mail today from Holiday Passport/ Zealandia Capital. There is a past due balance of $80 and no late charge and a current amount due of $160 on 6/5/2015. My question is, while I'm not paying pending validating and what happens with the Attorney General, how is my credit being affected? My credit scores are in the mid to high 770's with all 3 credit bureaus.

 

Do I, in the meantime just send $160 by way of money order, via registered mail, pending the outcome of the AG and validatition?

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This is where you determine your legal leverage. I would wait until you get the AG response before sending a payment, or negotiating a settlement amount.

 

Key Questions:

 

1) Can you prove what you received is not what they sold you? Simple dissatisfaction won't hold up legally. What did you include in your AG complaint?

 

2) I'm rereading your original posts - did you receive a debt notice from one of the collection agencies showing the original creditor, the amount of the debt - that included a statement you have 30 days to respond back to them?

 

3) Did the loan statement you just received come from the collector you sent the DV to?

Edited by tmcgill
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