superrev

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Posts posted by superrev


  1. Okay, a lot of misinformation. Once again, verification of debt is mostly meant to make sure the debt collector is reaching the right person. If you simply dispute the bill, an itemized statement is all that is needed to verify the debt. The agency does NOT have to provide you with most of the things in these debt verification letters.

    Being specific with the dispute is helpful. I worked as a compliance person at an agency and when we got your debt verification letter, we sent the itemized statement and kept on collecting. I recieved things asking for signatures on contracts that the consumer knew didn't exist because there was no original contract creating the debt and there was no signature.

    Believe it or not, getting a specific dispute back with information such as proof of payment, etc. is quite helpful. I have seen many bills adjusted due to the fact that the original client misapplied a payment, didn't note something correctly, etc. The original creditor may have no record of your dispute.

    If you don't send in something to back up your dispute, all you are going to get is an itemized statement, and that's all they have to send.


  2. You had your opportunity to settle with the original client. You didn't and now it is with the agency. Many original clients, especially if they are large operations, routinely refer the debtor to the outside collection agency. That is what they are paying them for and quite frankly, they don't have time to deal with you. More than likely, this bill will have to be paid before they would re-consider you for a membership. If you don't want it on your credit report, you probably need to pay it.

    I am a little concerned with all the suit language. If what you are describing is accurate, it's a little over the top, especially the"the above referenced account is being reviewed for our client's approval for referral to their attorney's office for immediate action. This communication is from a debt collector, not an attorney." An agency cannot threaten what they do not intend to do, and the gold standard for the FDCPA is that it applies to the least sophisicated (dumber than dirt) debtor. I would say the language on the letter indicates that they are trying to scare you by bringing up a lawsuit. I would show the letter to an attorney that specializes collection matters and defending debtors.

    I certainly wouldn't fill the form out.


  3. Collection agencies are required to send out notification. The vast majority of the send out a letter the first day they get the account. I mean look at this rationally, why would they NOT try to contact you? Creditors and collection agencies bill to get paid. It is not cost effective to not send you a notice, not try to contact you, and basically ignore the bill.

    If this is an old untility bill, it is very likely that you moved and did not update your utility with a current address, or your utility did not correct your address if you gave them forwarding information. The agency more than likely did try to contact you by mail, and more than likely got a mail return. If you moved and left no forwarding information, I would assume that your telephone number changed. The agency probably tried to call you and got a disconnected number. Depending on the size of the bill, it may not have been worth the time and effort to try to locate you.

    A couple things to try - contact the agency and give them the song and dance about how you never got a notice, and find out if the above is true. Believe me, collection agencies want your money, and if it comes to reporting it on your credit for up to seven years or getting your money, they will take your money and delete it, especially if they see that you never were contacted. Just make sure you get any agreement to delete from the credit bureau in writing before you pay them.


  4. The best bet is to dispute the accounts with the credit report directly. The FCRA states that once you dispute it with the credit bureau, the credit bureau will contact the people making the report. They have thiry days to either verify, update, delete, or correct. More than likely, when you dispute it, you would provide your name, address, and social security number. When the credit bureau sends the dispute to those making the report, it is very likely that the information won't match as a whole. If that is the case, the creditor will inform the credit bureau to delete the information.

    It is important to understand how the credit report reports information. They go by name, address and social security number. They often will cross match on a name or an address, but not the whole address. For example, if you are John Smith at 55 Headway Avenue, and there is another John Smith at 55 Headwaters Avenue, there is a high likelihood that other person's stuff will end up on your bureau. Also, if you name your kid after yourself, more than likely the credit will be co-mingled as you and your child will share the same address at one time as well as name, so when that child enters the world of credit, many times their accounts will show on your report.

    When we get requests where I work to verify,we verify if the information we have, such as name and social security number and address, match the information you are sending. If it all does, we verify it as correct. If it does not, then we tell them to delete it. If you end up with repeated verifications on accounts that you know are not yours, then what is happening is that the creditor has the same information as you. At that point, if it is fraud, then you would probably have to contact the creditor to deal with the fraud issue.

    It will take some time to take care of this issue, so you will need to be patient. Usually, once a correction is made on a report, it may take 30-60 days for the report to show the correct information. That is why it is important if you contact the original creditors and they agree to delete that you get something in writing on their letterhead either mailed or faxed to you for your records. Then, if the matter comes up again and you are trying to obtain financing for a house or car or something, you can show the creditor that letter and that in many cases is enough for them to ignore the listing.


  5. Validation under the FDCPA generally means showing that you have the right person. Many requests for "validation" include wanting copies of all signed contracts, proof the agency is licensed in the state, copies of the agreement between the creditor and the agency, and all kinds of other such garbage.

    An itemized statement from the creditor is generally considered to be enough for validation. Agencies have learned that they do not have to respond to excessive requests for "validation." Proof the agency is licensed in the state is not "validation." Copies of the agreement with the creditor and the agency is not "validation." Consumers often ask for signatures when they know they haven't signed anything, or tapes of telephone conversations, or copies of every transaction that has ever happened on the account. These are not "validation."

    Consumers are led to think that they can request validation at any time, even after paying the debt. They are often told that the agency has thirty days to respond to a request, not the real fact that the consumer has thirty days to to request validation.

    The Federal Trade Commission, the organization that regulates collection agencies, has stated that validation of debt is: "intended to assist the consumer when a debt collector inadvertently contacts the wrong consumer at the start of his collection efforts.” 53 Fed. Reg. 50109 (Dec. 13, 1998). Court cases have pretty much upheld this. Some examples:

    “[V]erification of a debt involves nothing more than the debt collector confirming in writing that the amount being demanded is what the creditor is claiming is owed; the debt collector is not required to keep detailed files of the alleged debt. Consistent with the legislative history, verification is only intended to 'eliminate the ... problem of debt collectors dunning the wrong person or attempting to collect debts which the consumer has already paid.' S.Rep. No. 95-382, at 4 (1977). There is no concomitant obligation to forward copies of bills or other detailed evidence of the debt.” Chaudhry v. Gallerizzo, 174 F.3d 394, 406 (4th Cir. 1999), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 891 (1999) (citations omitted).

    Debt verification is meant to make sure the collector is collecting from the right party.


  6. Whether you are responsible for your ex-wife's debts depends on your state law. In many states, both parties are responsible for medical debt because it is a necessary expense. Some states would require a signature from the spouse. The debts would have to have been incurred during your marriage.

    If you are in a state that makes you responsible for an ex-spouse's debts, the divorce decree doesn't really mean much. Your divorce decree is an agreement between you and your ex spouse. If you end up paying one of the ex spouse's debts, the ex spouse would be responsible to you to reimburse you. The agreement you have with the medical provider is between you and your ex-spouse and the medical provider. You are responsible to them. The medical provider did not sign your divorce agreement, therefore would probably not be a party to it.

    If the debt is not medical or for a necessity of life, then whether you would be responsible would depend if you are in a community property state or not.

    You probably need to consult a lawyer who deals with past due debt.