Dispatches From Scammerland: Checks In the Mail to Montana

movie theater 150x150 Dispatches From Scammerland: Checks In the Mail to MontanaAre you from Montana? Did you get suddenly get a check in the mail that you didn’t expect? Good news: This one could be real.

Montana State Attorney General Steve Bullock has announced that around 100 Montana consumers will be reimbursed this week for payments to NCS (National Credit Solutions) collection agency on a debt owed to the now-defunct Hollywood Video or Movie Gallery.

Amounts range from $100 to $250.

Another 8,000 Montanans will receive letters from the AG’s office assuring them that their credit reports will no longer contain black marks related to NCS’s collection efforts in this matter.

“These are important settlements…” Bullock said. “NCS has agreed to rescind every single negative credit report it issued related to the video rentals and this company is not allowed to come back and try to collect these debts in Montana in the future.”

There are two important takeaways here for consumers.
1. If you get a check in the mail that claims to be from a settlement, contact the BBB or the agency issuing the check to see if it is legitimate. For example: If your letter states that the MT AG’s office has caused you to be issued this check, call their office to validate. Be sure to look up the number yourself and not use any contact information provided in the letter. Sometimes a settlement letter will reference a specific court or government agency. Always contact that court or agency for validation.

2. Under this settlement, the lead representative involved in the bankruptcy is allowed to try to collect on accounts that they claim remain unpaid. If you receive a demand for payment, you should ask for:

the title of the product
the date it was rented
the basis for the amount that is claimed

If consumers experience problems relating to Movie Gallery or Hollywood Video accounts, Bullock said they should contact the Office of Consumer Protection at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, or via email at collectionslawsuit@mt.gov.
urther details are also available at http://www.doj.mt.gov/consumer/lawsuit.asp.

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About Holly Doering

Holly Doering has worked for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and Montana for half a decade. Her areas of expertise include the CORE Values Program (Character, Optimism, Respect, Ethics) for Teens and Charity Review as well as writing and editing. Prior to that, she has written for two newspapers, a local magazine, and taught English at the community college. She is the proud author of a short story in ZYZZYVA literary magazine and has had good luck publishing lots of poetry. Each year she rolls up her sleeves and wades into the autumn Nanowrimo writing madness and has several unfinished novels to her credit.