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Everything posted by Methuss

  1. Did you get the payment plan in writing? And I don't mean e-mail... but a signed and countersigned agreement? e-mail is inadmissible as evidence if all you have is a print-out. You have to have an affidavit from an IT employee swearing it is a true copy of the data on the server it came from otherwise it will be defeated easily. All they have to say is anyone with word processing software could have typed it up. *and yes I have seen that exact defense used in court to quash printed emails* If you have a written agreement (even better if it was filed with the court), then Prosay is actually correct. It's an FDCPA violation and the collector can be sued for $1000 plus court costs. The FDCPA is a strict liability statute so you get the $1000 plus court costs just if you show they violated the law, regardless of what their intent was. If you can prove actual damages, that can be added on to the complaint as recovery sought. If you do not have a written agreement, then the judgment stands alone as the evidence of what you owe and the collector would simply be taking payments toward the balance. How much was this judgment anyways? Are you aware there is statutory interest on unpaid judgments? The annual percentage depends on the State, but in Arizona it's 10%. Your payments go toward the accumulated interest first...
  2. I'm sorry but I gotta call this one. Prosay, have you ever actually been in a courtroom arguing a case? Almost all this stuff you are advising will get people into a lot more difficult position than they are in already with their unpaid debts. In theory some of your advice seems reasonable, but in practice it doesn't stand up. In the present thread, there are mounds of case-law already on the books that says a collector need only provide the name and address of the original creditor and the amount owed as debt validation. The very few cases where collectors have been forced under subpeona to produce highly detailed records, including copies of procedure manuals, has been limited to class-action cases as a means of showing a pattern of behavior to bring about injunctive relief. As Kristy said, you can ask for it as a "nutcase letter," but make no mistake: There is no legal standing for any consumer to take action if the collector complies with the minimal requirements under the FDCPA for validation. At best it may scare them off. At worst you'll have shown them how inept your legal knowledge truely is and paint yourself as an easier target to take to court. Now don't get me wrong. I've used nutcase letters myself. But I use them not as a scare tactic but to draw them into thinking they are dealing with a legal dumb-a$$ they make more mistakes. Then I stomp them into the dirt in court with it. But I *do* have the legal accumen to back it up, if it comes to that. As does people like our Admin, Kristy, and some of the actual lawyers that volunteer their time on these boards to help (like flalawyer and callawyer)
  3. Article about people going to jail more frequently for not paying debts. And I'm not talking just about child support payments. But on judgments for consumer debt: This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money. The United States does not have debtors prisons, per se -- they effectively were outlawed in 1833 -- but you can still go to jail for failure to pay your debts. Surprised? You wouldn't be if you thought about it for a bit. Judges occasionally jail a parent who fails to pay court-ordered child support, but only after going to considerable effort to extract the money in other ways, and usually only if the courts believe the parent can afford to pay. And there are still "pay the fine or …" judgments, although community service in lieu of slammer time is the preferred option these civilized days. Popping up more often, however, are cases where people go to jail for failure to pay their personal debts to businesses. According to The Wall Street Journal, more than a third of all U.S. states allow jailing of debtors who can't or won't pay. Its survey of nine counties with a total population of 13.6 million showed that judges have signed off on more than 5,000 such warrants since the start of 2010.
  4. Good luck with that. Creditors don't have to stop calling on a C&D because they are not subject to the FDCPA. Nor must they stop calling under the TCPA as they have a prior business relationship. In all liklihood sending a C&D to the creditors will cause them to crank up the pressure making matters worse. Only 3rd party collectors have a legal obligation to cease calling under a C&D letter. And before you go there, Prosay, I work in the banking industry and spent over half a decade supervising a large bank's law department. A C&D letter to a creditor gets your file forwarded from the collections department to legal almost instantly. So that is Bad advice you are offering up.
  5. All they have to do is recall as a mistake. It's not rocket surgery. But the basics of it is no agreement in writing, no payment.
  6. JQ26, Its funny how we aren't economists but we can see the freight train coming at us, while the Fed has their back to the train with their ipods cranked up. We aren't even the experts, yet we understand it better than they apparently do.
  7. The general rule is that if you do the math and find yourself insolvent (need to file BK) then what you do is stop paying all unsecured creditors and the secured creditors which you plan to forfeit the collateral on. You then save what you would be paying out to those creditors to pay for the attorney. Continue to pay secured creditors where you plan to keep the collateral or you may loose it in court. The attorney generally will not file until you have paid all his fee up front plus the court costs. If you make a payment plan with the attorney, then once the first payment is made you tell any calling creditor you are represented by a lawyer and give the lawyer's number. From that point on the creditor has to stop calling you and only talk to the lawyer. Mail from creditors should be saved and turned over to the lawyer if asked for. As for collectors, the FDCPA specifically prohibits collectors from calling once they know you have a lawyer representing you.
  8. you would have to obtain a copy of the Master Servicing Agreement between the Trust and the Servicer to really know what rights and remedies have been conveyed to the Servicer. This document is usually kept priviledged and confidential and you have zero chance of getting it outside of a order to produce signed by a judge in an active case. They won't even give it up in discovery.
  9. That depends on what the letters are. If they are payment demands in any form then they are violating the injunction and her BK attorney should be handling it. If they are simply notices of foreclosure, then just ignore them. She has no payment obligation but the foreclosure process does require that the creditor send certain notices. The FDCPA only applies to debt collectors, not original creditors... unless the OC uses a false name to lead the conumer into the belief it is a 3rd party collector or allows a 3rd party collector to use their name in order to lead the ocnsumer into the false belief the letters are from the original creditor... In either of these two cases, the OC looses exemption and is treated as a collector subject to the FDCPA. The statutory amount under the FDCPA is per action (per lawsuit) not per violation. So it is just $1000 even if they do a hundred violations; unless you can prove actual damages, which then you can add on.
  10. Your BK attorney acting in a fiduciary capacity (meaning he has an obligation to your best interests) should handle any loose ends regarding discharged debts. That includes dealing with having judgments expunged and handling any doofus debt collectors or creditors that come asking for payment. Your BK attorney does get paid for these extra services, so expect to foot out fifty to a hundred bucks to have him/her handle it. If the collector/creditor doesn't fold and damages are sought for violating the injunciton then you will get your money back with interest.
  11. A 3rd round of money printing would be disasterous. Although not beyond the realm of possibility so long as the Fed keeps it's head in the sand regarding the real inflation rate. Core inflation at .8 percent...bunch of overpaid idiots. Of course inflation is at .8 percent when you take out energy and food. DUH. Put all those things back in and the real rate of inflation is about 9.1 percent right now (courtesy And that doesn't count all the price pressures that are in the pipeline that have not yet reached consumers like increased source commodities. If they did a QE3 we would be facing real inflation rate of over 14%. I'm sure everyone reading this has thought the same thing with salaries depressed and not keeping up with real costs of living. We've all been going backward for a decade.
  12. Most of the time a cell phone bill is considered a revolver or open account since new charges can be laid as old charges are paid off. But there is a catch the telco's seem to keep forgetting: Cell phone and landline bills are paid in advance for the basic/package services (you have a package plan that includes long distance etc. and you have no actual metered services). Your first bill usually is prorated to include service from the start date plus the next billing period. Which is why it's always larger. If you don't pay for 30 days they cut of your service. So how can you be delinquent on an account that is paid in advance? The answer is you can't. They consider the amount you are supposed to be advancing to them for the next 30 days to be "unpaid" and yet they haven't actually provided the service yet. Now if they keep your service on for 60 or 90 days then maybe... but that usually doesn't happen. If you rack up metered services, then yeah it could be "unpaid"
  13. Seriously, this is fear is hyped up nonsense. I worked for half a decade as a law department supervisor for one of the large banks. I've been an Admin on these boards for nearly a decade and I have not seen a SINGLE case first hand where a debt collector has used a signature from a DV letter to forge a document. It's always some friend of a friend's other cousin's sister sort of story. In every case I have seen of forged signatures coming up in a collection it was a case of identity fraud by someone close to the victim opening the account... including my own personal experience when someone in the accounting office of a company I once worked for put my SSN on an AMEX app without my knowledge and signed her own name as "on behalf of" and I had to spend years fighting it. The primary reason is that it would be absoultely stupid for a collector to even try. Forgery of signatures is so easy to prove and it would expose the collector to about a dozen felony criminal charges. Not something they can pay a fine for and walk away... prison time. Now not signing the documents can be equally stupid for the same reason. If a collector wanted to try their hand at forgery, you just gave them a blank check and made it easier for them. They could sign the letter themselves and they have original ink, not a reproduction. SO THINK ABOUT THAT. If you are that concerned about your signature being reproduced, use the anti-copying methods I outline above, or pay an attorney to handle the issue for you.
  14. It's called "scorecards." I wrote something about this a while back. I think the sticky is called Strange Things That Can Affect Your Score or something like that.
  15. That would be fraud. BK judges don't take kindly to efforts to hide assets.
  16. Based on Afni's own letter they were in material non-compliance with the FCRA anyways. An account delinquent in 2000 (verizon) with the original creditor cannot be re-posted by the collector eight years later to the credit bureaus. The collector is required to use the same delinquency date as the original creditor... which by the FCRA would have fallen off in 2007. Similarly, they were not reporting the correct delinquency date for AT&T, which was also due to fall off the bureau reports. Afni knew they had done wrong and just wanted to sweep it away before they got sued.
  17. Banking rules that went into effect late last year require the financial institutions to not freeze any amount equal to the social security ACH deposits. (Social Security is phasing out checks and will only be doing deposits by ACH) She needs only to send a letter to the bank showing her SS benefits amount and then the bank is required to prevent that from being frozen or garnisheed. The only part unclear about the new rules is unused portions of SS benefits each month. i.e. what happens if you spend only $500 of a $1000 benefit deposit that the remaining $500 still exempt from freeze or does it become fair game when the next SS deposit hits? I haven't seen the answer from the Fed about that yet.
  18. In the Florida sun...hell no. I'll care for the fruit trees I'm planting and for the garden, but the lawn... that's for a service to do. Besides...allergic to grass. in ten years... my daughter can do it.
  19. This has been debated before. If you don't sign it, they can say you didn't personally send it and fall behind the debt-fixer defense to legally ignore the letter. Ask any attorney that does this kind of work and they will tell you to sign it. If you are concerned about anyone lifting your signature, then print your letter on green ledger paper (the type that is light green with darker green # marks) that you can get at any office supply store then sign with a red glitter gel pen. This is absolutely impossible to copy without scanning equipment that costs tens of thousands of dollars...and even then the image will be broken and choppy. The contrast of the green on green and red is too much for just about all scanning equipment to pick up on and the glitter in the gel ink refracts light from the scanning CCD and breaks up the image even if it can pick it up. This is the same technique used on the new US currency with the red reflective ink for the denomination (in the lower right corner on the $20 bill)
  20. USDA has no mortgage insurance.
  21. Pretty much finished. They just epoxied the grarage floor yesterday and all that is left is to screen in the back porch. One more week to until the paperwork gets done and then I should be closing in the first half of April. It'll be nice to be in the new house in time for my big-4-0 in July
  22. Well firstly you need to determine what the landlord is suing over. Is it unpaid rent? Or damages to the property? "Unpaid rent" is a murky term, by the way. In a lot of leases, fines and penalties can be written in as payable as unpaid rent. So you need a copy of the lease. It is also, in nearly all jurisdictions, a requirement that the landlord specify line by line what it is they are attempting to recover for. If unpaid rent, they need to specify how they came to that amount. For damages, the landlord has to itemize and provide receipts for everything they supposedly fixed that they claim was damaged by the tenant. They cannot up-charge the damages. They can only claim what they have receipts for. They also, generally, cannot charge for "normal wear and tear" in the course of the lease. If the carpet is dirty after two years, they generally can't charge to have it steam cleaned. But if there is a burn-hole in the carpet from a dropped cigarette then they can charge for repair of that (but usually not the whole room being replaced!). If it is their normal practice to repaint a property after each tenant moves out regardless of condition, then they can't generally charge for that. There also should have been a move-in checklist done and a move-out checklist noting any damages at both times. The landlord can't come back later and claim damages if it wasn't on the move-out checklist or if it was there before the tenant moved in. So that's another thing to scrutinize. If your friend was smart, she took pictures of each room when she moved in so there is proof of condition. Lastly, just because the lease says something, doesn't mean it is enforcible. An example is a write in where they charge $100 to steam clean carpets. As indicated above, that is almost always deemed wear and tear, so that provision of the lease would be unenforcible. And, if there is no severability clause in the lease, then if any part of the lease is deemed unenforcible, then the entire lease is void.
  23. Well the end result for me was 4.875% on a 30 year USDA. Not too bad. I think it dropped another .125% the day after I locked in, but that's still pretty good if you think about where things will probably be in 5 or 10 years. Rates are flat this week, and I'm thinking it will be 20 years before rates are this low again after it starts picking back up.
  24. The summons may not have all the attachements, but the complaint filed with the court needs to have the attched copy of the contract they claim you have violated as well as a stated cause for the violation and relief sought. That's law 101. If the contract is "lost or destroyed" they must say so in the complaint and then it is up to the defense to bring up that point as an affirmative defense. Still, if you can't get the plaintiff to respond in writing as to the cause of their action you could file a motion for summary judgment in favor of the defense for not having a cause of action. Further if you can show a pattern of this from the debt collector you can counter with a suit of your own for malicious prosecution and abuse of process. But make sure you have all your facts before doing so as that is a very serious charge to levy against a lawyer.