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Everything posted by Goody_Ouchless

  1. I see - there is a period of two years on the OC trade line two "charge offs", one "closed" and the rest "no data." The "closed" date is the last one and corresponds to when current JDB claims to have bought debt. I would think the OC would have sold it shortly after first "charge off" but maybe they kept it on the shelf for two years.
  2. Excellent points. I suffer from OCD (the real thing - psychiatrists, medication, etc.) and clearly I'm not doing as well as I had believed. The letter was a trigger and the disease sought a "solution" to an imagined threat. Apparently the "solution" was to try to establish the utter hopelessness of my circumstance. I am deeply grateful for your continued logical engagement - left unchecked I would have continued surfing until there was no left to argue with - all without any real sense or purpose. We have been sued once and won. If we get sued again we will take whatever action is appropriate. The letters we got this week are printed with our new address - clearly my wife's change-of-address procedure with the post office updated a spreadsheet sheet somewhere - I expect another stack of collection notices in the coming weeks. My (over)reaction to all of this is my problem - my friends and family suffer enough, I don't need to torture you kind folks. On a positive note I just read the thread from the young lady in Michigan who is fighting a credit card suit. When the thread started she was a lost, frightened child - in her latest posts she is an adult who should consider law school. Inspirational stuff. And a question: Our credit report shows many of these accounts remained with the OC in a defaulted state for about three years before being recently bought. When we were sued (on a CC from the same era) the plaintiff's paperwork showed that the debt had been bouncing around the industry, through several hands. Should the CR show every destination, or could the debt have been bought and sold many times without being reflected on the CR? My thought is that if a given debt has passed through multiple JDB's then a single "witness" isn't going to cut it at trial. Thanks again, and I apologize for my negative comments.
  3. So she's been at this for two years... I've aged two years since we got our letter Tuesday. For less than 2K a lawyer could have made her case go away. On the flip side the creditor probably offered her a payment plan for about six grand. What will it be if she loses - close to 20K once interest and fees are added? Maybe she's a rich widow and this is her hobby. The evidence for an "internet effect" seems undeniable. When I first started researching this stuff I was totally inspired by success stories - it appeared that any semblance of resistance would lead the collector to fold. I get a much darker vibe today - many more tales of collectors that won't quit in the face of tenacious defense, denials of arbitration, lower standards of evidence, etc. Collectors also study these forums - yesterdays "rent-a-lawyer" now comes to the case prepared. Back to Howell, I found the appellate ruling bone chilling. Unless I am way off base, they affirmed that a lackey clerk from a JDB can serve as a witness to the veracity of OC documentation. After SOL, the top trick in the DIY defense kit was and is documentation. I'd be surprised if Midland doesn't have a 'clerk' in every state in the union just sitting in court all day.
  4. I'd be interested to know what happened to Howell after appeals tossed it back. Seems that Midland/MCM could easily correct the issue with another witness resulting in eventual defeat for the same amount that was appealed, plus additional interest and legal fees. I think the game has changed. When there were just a handful of people fighting back, the collections industry was at a loss. With a whole generation of internet-spawned wannabe-lawyers the industry had to up its game or die. I hope I'm wrong but I think we are going to see way more stories of people defending themselves and getting ground into dust.
  5. I have also pulled my hair out over the AZ SOL. My attorney said the way the courts handle it is that anything more than three years prior to July 2010 uses three years, anything else is six. Basically there are conflicting clauses but the one that has prevailed is the one that says "anything still within SOL at the time of a law change adopts the new SOL..." So even if you were at 2 years, 11 months in July 2010, you were considered still within statute, so the new one applies. There is/was a debt collections lawyer out of Tucson named Reed who is active as a lobbyist - that is why Arizona is like a third-world country when it comes to consumer rights in these matters. He pushed through another statute that basically says a computer print out of the final account balance, if uncontested, is to be considered enough to get a summary judgement. This is why I come across as skeptical of pro se defenses - the deck is totally stacked against the debtor in AZ.
  6. I will keep the board posted as we proceed. I thank you for the opinions and lively debate! On a coincidental note, I found a letter from Midland in the mail today. It is for one of the nine accounts I mentioned - this one is for less than $1000. This one makes no threats and offers several "payment options" - starting at 60 cents on the dollar. The only benefit they argue is that it will settle the debt and clear the trade line from credit report. This goes back to my "leverage" list. Eight of the nine accounts are in my wife's name, Her credit is trashed and it affects us not at all - we just buy everything in my name. The point being, by their own admission, for debts that aren't worth suing over "credit damage" is their only point of leverage. I also noticed that, at least in the case of Midland, they seem to have a highly automated system in place - it appears possible to settle (on their terms) without ever talking to a human. I wonder if the embrace of technology has cut their costs to the point where it's possible to offer better terms up front. I'm not crying about the obnoxious human debt collectors that this has kicked to the unemployment line...
  7. I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I think the specifics are still getting lost: I am talking about nine accounts owned by two JDBs - four by Cavalry and five by Midland. My proposal was to have my attorney - someone who beats these people for a living - approach Midland to negotiate a settlement for the five accounts they own. He would also approach Cavalry to negotiate a settlement for the four accounts they own. It's that simple. I have drawers full of letters from collectors offering at least "50% off", so that is clearly not an unreasonable starting point. The rest of it boils down to individual circumstances. If my income could pass a BK7 means test this would be a moot point. Also, I'd love the challenge of fighting them all pro se, but my career simply doesn't leave enough hours in the day.
  8. Maybe I misread BK 13, but when I last did the math (about six months ago) the conditions were draconian. Basically full garnishment at 25% left us with substantially more disposable income than any BK 13 plan I looked at. It was so bad (three years living at subsistence level) that it made more sense to switch jobs, take a pay cut for six months, let them take our junk, and give them nothing under BK 7. I still don't understand the aversion to "settlement", unless it is somehow perceived as "letting them win." I have heard no one dispute that these places will take less than 50 cents on the dollar with a serious offer, yet BK 13 would have me paying them 100% of what they currently seek.
  9. Credator - I think we understand each other. I found this board through "Harry's" thread about his pro se battle with Cavalry. The letter that prompted my search is from a lawyer representing the same DB, for a debt from the same OC - a debt that defaulted the same month and year as "Harry's" - in the same jurisdiction. It has been like a looking glass into the future. Frankly, I would write a check today to avoid what he has going through. If he loses, add a judgment and garnishment for the full amount plus legal fees to the stress and time-lost. I sound like a JDB... well, not exactly - a lawyer in my last case accused us of destroying the fabric of Western Civilization by "not paying our debts." I neglected my "day job" in order to read that thread. I would not have a job if I put the same amount of work into a single case - I almost lost it last year during my prior suit. Recall, I face a potential of nine such suits in the next 18 months, before SOL. The facts are, as we both recognize, that I am not in any position to fight these pro se, and, taken piecemeal, winning them all with a lawyer would cost me around 90 cents on the dollar allegedly owed. I don't see an option other than some type of settlement. At least in that arena I can see some "leverage:" 1) Due to some withholding issues, the IRS is first in line. 2) With nine accounts, the DC's will be facing the same "economy-of-scale" issues as me, in terms of cost-effective litigation. 3) I've been sued once and won - every suit will be fought - there will be no 'default judgment' 4) Most of these are in my wife's name and she makes a poverty-level wage - even with 'community property', they will have to work harder to collect from me. 5) Several of these accounts are for less than $1000 - seems risky to risk losing legal fees for that kind of potential payoff. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't torn and conflicted - it kills me to even consider paying them a dime. I don't see a choice - I can't see risking my career for what, worst case, will be like a two year car payment for a vehicle that doesn't exist. I hope I am missing another option.
  10. Thank you for your responses. A couple of clarifications are in order - I apologize if I was not clear: It appears I gave the impression that we talk to these people on the phone. We do not. We do not even have our home phone plugged in, and never answer anything unrecognized on cell. Having "lived and learned" concerning lawyers, I did my homework and have no doubt that our current representation is as good as it gets. His reputation and track record are undeniable, and I can't complain about what he accomplished for us. The downside is that he is not cheap - and he doesn't work like a "consignment store." And that leads to the crux of my initial question/issue: Outside of my single five-figure debt, the eight critical line items on my wife's report, when taken individually, would either break-even or lose money if defended by my attorney. Recall, these nine items are split between two JDB's (Midland and Cavalry.) My inquiry was if, at the end of the day, it is more cost effective to have him approach Midland and Cavalry and attempt to "clear the books" with each one. I have read and studied approaches to handling these matters and I think it's important to be crystal clear about my particular circumstance: 1) I have no doubt the debts are valid. We were not the victim of ID theft, etc. 2) I have no reason to question the amounts, as charged off. Of course the "interest and fees", post-charge-off will be disputed, if claimed. 3) None of these are outside of SOL. 4) We may be "bad with money" and living "check to check", but are nowhere near eligible for Chapter 7. From my math, Chapter 13 would be worse than garnishment, so no form of bankruptcy is a viable option or threat. 5) Per credit report, these are all "1st generation" junk - Midland and Cavalry bought these from the OC's. This is important as the only viable defense I see is the "paper trail", which in these cases is all fresh and the transactions are between major players - not insolvent banks and fly-by-night debt peddlers Basically - other than being pursued by an OC, it doesn't get much darker. I'd love to hear some approaches, starting with the assumption that I have no leverage: it's my debt, we all know it, there are no FDCPA violations, none of it is time barred, the standing/chain of custody is as solid as can be and I can offer no threat of bankruptcy. I hate to sound so negative, but I honestly can't recall reading about any positive outcomes in these matters unless they sue on a time barred debt, committed blatant FDCPA violations, or essentially went after the wrong person. I'd like to add a comment about the "five cents on the dollar" these outfits pay for the debt. I understand it's true, and it's infuriating, but it strikes me as a distraction and irrelevant. I used that logic when house hunting and looking at "flips" - I know what the guy paid and how much his "Home Depot" re-model cost. While I wouldn't pay for it, these guys still got their money, eventually. Same analogy holds true with shows like "Pawn Stars" and "American Pickers" - they are not going to sell a $10,000 antique for $1100 bucks just because someone knows they acquired it for a grand. The fact is, if I go to the owner of my 10K debt and say "I know you only paid a thousand for it..." they will laugh and say "actually, it was 500 bucks - where's the 10 grand you owe us?"
  11. Hello, all: I just found this board while researching a question and am very impressed with the thoughtful answers given in other threads. I have been active at DB for a while, and, while they have been incredibly helpful and supportive, there is a tendency to recommend "arbitration" as the solution to all problems, along with an intense aversion to "settling." I am hoping you all can provide some sober guidance to help me out of my current situation. Background: My wife and I live in Arizona. During the real estate meltdown we lost our home to foreclosure. During that time, being completely clueless, we stopped paying all credit cards. I guess we thought foreclosure was like bankruptcy, where either everything would just "go away", or we would never have credit again so what did it matter. During this time (late 2008 - early 2010) roughly a dozen credit cards were charged off. Again, not understanding the law (AZ is 'community property'), we worked on fixing my credit, while leaving everything 'toxic' in my wife's name. With my improved credit and the passage of time, we were able to qualify for an FHA mortgage and become home owners again. We actually purchased a home using a 'hard money' lender and have since refinanced that property with FHA, before selling and buying a new home with another FHA mortgage. It was during the credit checks for the refinance in 2012 and our new mortgage in 2013 that the letters started pouring in from JDB's regarding the credit cards that went bad in the 2009 time-frame. Again, perhaps in ignorance, we figured they came out of the wood work to torpedo our loans, and would simply disappear again. (Another story for another thread is the effect changing FHA guidelines had on the ability of JDB's to wreck mortgage applications...) In 2012 my wife was sued over one of the credit cards. Armed with my online "legal" advice I managed to fumble the thing into a Summary Judgement. Luckily I was directed to NACA where I found a lawyer who was able to turn that Summary Judgment (for over 10K) into a mutual walk-away. After that victory my stress level evaporated, but the peace was short lived. My wife just got a letter from a law firm representing another JDB. I can only assume a lawsuit is close at hand. Current Situation: Reviewing our credit reports I find eight accounts split between Midland and Cavalry on my wife's report (total between 15K and 22K, depending on the validity of the "interest and fees") and one one my report for about 10K, give or take based on their numbers, last owned by Midland. All of these were charged off between late 2008 and early 2010. Extensive research in Arizona's vague SOL makes it clear that anything after July, 2007 is ruled to have a six year SOL, so none of these are time-barred. Question: Does it make sense to have our attorney approach the JDB's in question and try to work out a total settlement? Or is it better to let the lawyer fight the next one in court and hope they get the message that none of these will result in Summary Judgement? I wish I had the time and energy to handle these pro se, but the landscape has obviously changed. JDB's (at least in Arizona) no longer back down at the first sign of a fight. I still have this attitude that it is criminal to pay them anything without a fight, but maybe that is not grounded in reality. Any advice or experiences greatly appreciated!