By Adam Peterson
I am tired of people trying to take advantage of me for being young, and as a result, you’re about to gain an entire new insight into what happens when Carl Adam Estaban Armando Peterson III suffers from a rage blackout and sees nothing but red for the same duration of time that it takes to write a rash and hopefully offensive column.
First off, if you are an employee for NCC Recovery, I hope that someday you have the misfortune of having your genitals curb-stomped by the world’s largest sumo wrestler. For those of you who don’t know, NCC Recovery is a collections agency, the same collections agency that has dedicated the past three weeks of their lives avoiding getting real jobs and making my life miserable instead. Now before you judge, I have never missed a single payment in my life, minus a late fee for a Harry Potter book that I never returned to the local library when I was 12, but I digress. My big mistake here was co-signing on an apartment lease for somebody whose credit was less of a concern to him than a semi-professional football career.
Let me spare you the painful details and give you the gist of my conundrum. I co-signed on a lease, the resident I co-signed for terminated his contract without paying his final month’s rent, eight months go by without anybody informing me of the situation, and now out of nowhere I was facing a lawsuit for someone else’s screw-up. A $1,855.19 screw-up, to be exact.
Nobody has to preach at me that I had an equal responsibility to make sure that the rent was paid, but you would think that if I were just as liable as the resident I co-signed for, then the apartment complex would at least inform me if he were negligent on any of his payments. Or do you think that maybe it would benefit them the most to wait for eight months of late fees, surcharges, and collectors fees to pile on before they decided that it might be a good time to let the guarantor know that he’s going to have to cover for his “friend” that told him everything was paid off right before disappearing into the mist?
Learning to never co-sign for anyone ever again was the first lesson I learned from this incident, but I’m not sure it was the most important one. The second lesson I learned was that if you’re under the age of 25, anybody with an associates degree working for a car dealership, an electricity company, or a collections agency is going to assume that you are just an ignorant child who is attending college on your parent’s paycheck, willing to concede to any form of bill they wave in your face out of fear that your future might be at stake if you don’t yield to their every waking command.
It’s surprising what you can learn about these con-artists from a free attorney consultation. I requested an audience with a local lawyer here in Tyler, and as I expected I was not liable for half of the amount of money that this collections agency was trying to coerce me into paying. After an absurd amount of R-rated phone calls, I finally compromised with these skid-marks on the adult diaper of life at NCC to settle on a payment of $300, and that’s just because I’m a nice guy, I could have sued my “friend” and actually have made a profit in the process. I hope my Post-It note with a drawing of my middle finger, a certified letter expressing my vindictive nature and disappointment with their unprofessional attempts to take advantage of a 20 year old, and a check for less than a sixth of the money NCC Recovery initially wanted from me served as a lesson that some of us “children” refuse to be bullied by wannabe tyrants from collection agencies.
Now to avoid any more legal conflicts, I will refrain from using this collector’s real name, and unfortunately, my inability to use profanity has drastically limited my choices for aliases, so we’re just going to refrain from speaking of him at all, which is good, considering I might have another rage blackout and force myself to write another column. So I think it’s time I wrap this one up with a cliché life lesson at the end: Don’t ever, ever, ever, EVER…co-sign on anything. I don’t care who it’s with, and NEVER let anybody take advantage of you for being young. This collector shark may think that a $300 check from me was a victory, but he doesn’t realize that he was out negotiated by somebody half his age. I hope he reads this because I think I might have just dedicated the rest of my life to becoming his boss.