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One Mans Struggle With A Large Corporation

Aug 17, 2007
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and he told me a story about an ongoing fight he was having with a south Texas title search company, for the last 8 months. I just had to pass this story on to you. Lets call my friend Mr. X. Lets call the title company, Sierra Search.

Mr. X purchased a home in south Texas last August. During the purchasing process a credit check was done and a couple of items showed up on the report.
Mr. X was in the process of fighting with 1 creditor but the information that had showed up on his credit report he knew nothing about. The amount in question was over $1,500.00. Now this may not be a lot of money to Mr. X but it sure is a lot of money to me.

Now, how many of us truly knows and agrees with what is on their credit report? I know of a couple of things on my report that I have no clue what they are for. Have you ever tried to get something removed from your credit report? I have and it is a nightmare!

Because of proliferation of identity theft and credit scams today we all should keep a close eye on our credit reports but it is not easy to do. I have yet to find a truly FREE credit report being offered on the Internet. You can get a free report if you also sign up for some type of related product. That is not my idea of FREE.

Every time I make a major purchase such as a car or home appliance the merchant that I am dealing with will run a report. I ask the merchant for a copy of the report. They do not like to do this but I insist and if they refuse then I take my business to someone who really wants my business.

The load officer told Mr. X that these matters had to be clear up because the company that is loaning the money said so. The Sierra Search would collect the money and send it to the creditors. This did not sound right to Mr. X but when he asked Sierra Search about this they said that this was correct and that the company does whatever the loan officer tells them to do.

Wait a minute. I drive a truck. I deliver sand and gravel to construction sites. If a contractor that I am working for tells me that I have to lay the foundation that doesn't mean that I am going to. Sand and ravel is used in foundations but that does not mean that I know anything about laying foundations. I would tell the contractor to stuff-it. It's just not going to happen!

A Sierra Search gathers information on the property in question and makes sure that the person that is selling the property has right to sell it and that the property does not have any outstanding monitory leans on it. Money does exchange hands so acting as a collection agency is within the companies business scope. I think NOT. A collection agency has an entirely different set of skills required by its employees to perform this type of work just like a truck driver trying to lay a foundation. It's just wrong!

After Mr. X took possession of his new home he received three checks in the mail from the Sierra Search. The checks were made out to him and some company. The name was abbreviated. Pay to the order of amer and Mr. X and two other checks were made out to fitr cr tnwk and Mr. X. No other information was supplied.

Mr. X called the Sierra Search and asked them who and where he was supposed to send them. The Sierra Search had no clue and told Mr. X that he would have to call the load officer for that information. Mr. X was informed that he needed to send the checks out as soon as possible because the checks were only valid through September 26. A collection agency that does not know who the creditors is and does not know the addresses. This does not sound like a good start to me!

Mr. X called the loan officer and sent out the checks as directed. Within two weeks all of them had come back to him with notes stating that they did not know what to the checks were for or that it was not their account. Mr. X sent all of the checks and envelopes back to Sierra Search with a note stating "Now What"?

Four weeks pass with no word from the Sierra Search. Finally Mr. X calls and they informed him that they would have to re-issue the checks and he would have to come in and sign for them. Mr. X took a day off work and went in to sign for the checks. Guess what? No checks! He signed a document that stated that if he ever found the checks that he would return them to them. The Sierra Search could not issue the check until after the December bank statement was looked at which would be about another three weeks.

Mr. X is a computer consultant and he is a very smart individual. He has the same type of pay arrangement that I do and if I do not work I do not get paid. Mr. X has worked in the computer field for over the last 30 years. He has worked for the federal government, state government, military, police department and a verity of businesses. He has worked as a computer programmer for security and business issues. This is NOT the kind of guy I want to have mad at me and now he is mad.

I have asked Mr. X if he has ever extracted vengeance on a company by using his computer knowledge. He told me that as a business man he could not do that because it would not be ethical and that it was also against his morals. I still do not want him mad at me! He did tell me that he had a three-phase attack plan that he has developed to deal with situations like this.

Phase-one is to write letters to everyone and he means everyone. The Mayor of the town, all of the local council members, the better business bureau, the Governor of the State, the State Senators, and the State Representatives. Even if nothing happens in phase-one at least he knows who to vote for in the next election. Everyone that did not at least respond to his letters will not get his vote. He never did tell me what phase-two and phase-three consist of.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) did respond and open a file, BBB Case ID #72003424. Dealing with the BBB is a long, slow drawn out process. It consists of filing a complaint and then the BBB sends the complaint to the business and then the may or not business respond. If the business does not respond then they have a listing with Customer Experience of unsatisfactory record with the Bureau due to failure to respond to a complaint. I would like to see detail about the complaint(s) but it does not appear to be available.

Several claims and counter claims went through the BBB complaint process. The first response had the statement, "We did close a transaction for Mr. X but did not take $x,xxx.xx from him, per his statement". Sierra Search did received money from a bank wire transfer and money for the outstanding credit issues was part of the transaction. I guess they did not like the word "take". Stop, stop, stop, you want Mr. X to go from being mad to being angry? What are you knuckle heads thinking, playing word games with a guy like him?

In the same response had another statement, "I am sorry he missed a whole day's work, but I can assure you that it was not at our request, that was Mr. X decision". Right, he can go into the office and sign for the check or he can sit at home and hope that the Sierra Search will somehow resolve the issue.

In all responses Mr. X has received the same theme keeps appearing over and over. The mortgage company told us to do it and it's not our fault. The checks were re-issued in mid January and sent out to the creditors again and all of the checks were returned to Sierra Search.

As it turns out, one of the checks was issued to the wrong creditor and for the wrong amount and Mr. X did receive some money from the Sierra Search. The Sierra Search still has not any responsibility for what happened. The mortgage company told us to do it and it's not our fault. I'm waiting to see if the other two checks were also issued to the wrong creditor.

Lets see, my contractor told me to deliver one truck load of gravel to 123 main street and I deliver two truck loads of sand to 456 center street. No problem, my contractor told me to do it and it's not my fault. I don't think I would be in business very long.

I am starting to see a pattern here. Lets say I close escrow on 100 properties a month and if I can collect $500.00 to $1,000.00 for outstanding credit issues. After a year I could have a large chunk of change in my bank account and its free money.

The Governor of Texas, Rick Perry did respond to Mr. X letter and as a result the Texas Department of Insurance has opened a file CID #774952. He gets my vote.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas did respond and he has contacted Federal Trade Commission in this matter. He gets my vote.

Hopefully the investigations will result in all un-cashed checks for the past 5 years will be looked at to determine if this was an isolated incident or a common business practice for this company.

The bottom line is NEVER GIVE UP. Most people give up after a short time and say "What can I do I'm just a little guy". You do not have to take on a Large Corporation by your self or with a lawyer. Get as many people involved as possible especially your government officials. Happy Hunting.
About the Author
David F. Cowley has created over 50 articles about the relationship between diseases and vitamins. For other Articles on Diseases and Vitamin Needs feel free to visit my Web Site at http://www.dfcinvestment-team.com
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