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Blue Squad

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  1. @bassplayr Thank you for your detailed explanation. It was very useful in better understanding the situation. From what I understand, from reading your post, is that a dispute with the CRA is of negligible value. Neither will a DV to the debt collector be of any good either. (From my reading of the FDCPA, a DV letter makes no sense without a dunning letter.) Then what should the OP do then? Wait for a dunning letter, or some other debt collection activity?
  2. Nice try in deflecting the issue. I clearly said earlier that the DV makes no sense without the debt collector previously mailing a dunning letter, per the FDCPA. In response, you said a DV letter would "preserve consumer rights" without addressing whether a dunning letter is necessary or not. If (and I say if) you honestly believe a dunning letter is not necessary, then do not evade the issue, but directly address it, as follows: Please explain to me how a DV letter, without a dunning letter, would trigger protections which "preserves consumer rights" under the FDCPA. Please provide statutory references from the FDCPA to demonstrate your point, instead or merely asserting it is indeed the case. I never claimed the ERC mailed a letter either, or suggest that you said it, so I think you're misreading what I'm saying. To be very clear, I am saying a DV letter makes no sense without a dunning letter. It seems you disagree with my point, but you do not seem to address the issue. None. No experience with this particular debt collector. That you have personal experience adds great value to your suggestion. That said, even if the OP replicated your procedure, it does not necessary mean he or she will be successful this time around (although I would admit that the odds are in the OP's favor.) Your batting average is besides the point. My point is the OP could cover all the bases by taking the extra time, and extra steps, in disputing with the CRA first, the most risk adverse approach. Ultimately, the OP would have to decide whether to roll the dice or not. If the OP wins using your procedure, then I will be very happy for him or her. From my vantage point, your knowledge of the FDCPA seems mistaken, until you address the issue I mentioned above. I will humbly admit I am not a FCRA and FDCPA expert, since I am a learner like many others here. But you haven't presented a convincing case either, until you back up your claims.
  3. Do you have a statutory reference in the FDCPA to prove this? In other words, demonstrate the debt collector has to honor a DV letter from the OP, even if a dunning letter was never mailed. I'm glad you resolved your dispute with ERC, and your experience is insightful. Maybe by replicating what you did, the OP will get the same result, but then maybe the OP will get a different result, and not so favorable. That's why it may be prudent to follow the steps in the FCRA first. Your presuming the debt collector has an airtight case (under the FCRA), which unless you know all the facts (which some may be unknown at this time), and you can be 100% sure the "private cause of action" is of no value, then it makes sense to take the extra steps, even if it takes extra time.
  4. I think I understand what you're saying, so your point is well taken. But is there any harm in disputing with the CRA first? If by doing so, the OP catches the furnisher doing a mistake (FCRA violation), could it not be to the OP's benefit? Furthermore, "bona fide error defense" is not a full proof shield as commonly believed, as I explained in another thread. Finally, there is no provision for a "bona fide error defense" in the FCRA itself.
  5. How do you know the alleged debt is "accurate" or "legitimate"? What possible harm is there in disputing with the CRA in the first place? This is not about the FDCPA. This is about the FCRA, with reference to the "private cause of action." There is no mention by me about disputing directly the OC, so I'm somewhat mystified. What's the point of a DV letter if the OP never received a dunning letter? (That makes no sense per the FDCPA). If the OP wishes to dispute, then maybe the OP could dispute with the CRA first, then after the CRA completes its investigation, the OP can dispute directly with the furnisher (debt collector) per FCRA 623. I think there is a confusion between the FDCPA and the FCRA. I agree in principle complaints to government agencies can be effective.
  6. There are some issues with doing that: Maybe it's more prudent for the OP to dispute with the CRA first (if the OP chooses to dispute), since the OP would have a private cause of action If the OP never received a debt collection letter from ERC (with the 30 day notice), then the debt collector does not have to honor any debt validation (DV) request. Disputing with ERC directly may be treated as a dispute under FCRA 623, which does not have a private cause of action. There's also a possibility that any dispute may awaken the debt collector, which may not had actively pursued the account, yet.
  7. @Nelsonammo If you received a debt collection letter containing a 30 day notice to dispute, then you have 30 days (from the date of receipt) for you to dispute the debt through a debt validation letter, else you will lose an important right. If you mail the letter, the debt collector must stop debt collection, until it chooses to debt validate. This is providing you mail the letter within the 30 day time period. Thereafter, the debt collector does not have to honor your request. If you choose to do so, then be sure to mail the letter CMRRR.
  8. Perhaps it's the wrong mailing address? Maybe it's not at that address anymore? (This could explain why your letter was returned unsigned.) Method of Verification (MOV) is the right move (no pun intended).
  9. I tried registering a new account on Debtorboards, but it gives me an error message "Your account is still awaiting admin approval." I checked my e-mail, but nothing from the forum. I've been waiting a few days already. If you have an account over there, can you contact the admin on that forum and relay this thread to him or her? I can private message to you my new registration user ID, if that will help. Much appreciated. Thanks.
  10. @beeez1 For your last visit, do you still have the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from the insurance company? How about the billing statement from your doctor? Is your doctor still in practice?
  11. Here is another example how a "bona fide" error defense can backfire. Let's say the debt collector uses foul language over the telephone. Even though this a FDCPA violation, the defense claims it was "bona fide" error, and contrary to the firm's policy of "no foul language." If the employee was aware of the policy, but spoke profanity over the telephone regardless, then this would be an intentional act, and would fail the "bona fide" error test. Furthermore, under vicarious liability, the firm would be held responsible for the actions of its employees. If the employee claims it was a "slip of the tongue", and was unintentional, then it would still fail the "bona fide " error test, since such a defense is only limited to "clerical or factual" errors. (From the case law, the courts suggest a "clerical or factual" error must be within the context of a mechanical process or an orderly procedure.) If the employee was not aware of the policy, and, as a result, did not know any better, then the firm did not maintain "reasonably adapted" procedures, such as training or supervision, to prevent this violation, and thus fail the test. For every possible scenario, the debt collector would be trapped, and would be held liable.
  12. @BV80 From what I understand, the OP mentioned in the 1st DV that the alleged debt was "not mine." But the debt collector did not validate, but proceeded with a 2nd debt collection letter. Then the OP responded with a 2nd DV, saying the OP was still waiting for validation from the 1st DV. Maybe I'm missing something here, but the violation was on the 2nd debt collection letter, without providing debt validation on the 1st DV.
  13. @CCRP626 I read through the 2010 case Jerman v. Carlisle. It refers to a "mistake of law" by a debt collecting law firm, as opposed to a clerical or factual error. The law firm issued a complaint saying the debt would be assumed valid, unless the person disputed the debt in writing. The FDCPA does not require the dispute of the validity of the debt to be in writing. (However, the dispute must be in writing for the debt collector to stop debt collection, until it provides the validation information requested.) The defense argued that the "bona fide error defense" extends to a "mistake of law." But the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed, and ruled in the plaintiff's favor. For the OP's case, there is no evidence of a "mistake of law", but most likely a clerical or factual error, unless the debt collector did not properly word the required FDCPA notice on the debt collection letter, so it's not applicable. Furthermore, this court case does not negate or improve the earlier cases relevant for "clerical or factual errors", so the effect on the OP's situation would seem neutral at best. Finally, even if the the debt collector "dropped the matter" upon notification by the OP of the violation, but before the CFPB complaint, the violation would still exist nonetheless. However, you raised an interesting point. Is the debt collector still debt collecting if it does nothing? In other words, can the debt collector failing to drop the matter, until the CFPB complaint, be evidence that it intended to continue debt collection, despite notice from the OP it violated? If the OP can demonstrate that this is indeed the case, then a "bona fide error defense" would certainly fail.
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