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Everything posted by scarab

  1. This is a valid point. In my OP, I mentioned that the atty I spoke with said this is a viable option. I am considering it.
  2. Thank you for this. I'm happy to call a truce. Yes, you've stated the facts as I see them. M has already promised me that they will not borrow any more money. I told M that if they need money for medical or something, to let me know. Now that I know any money I give to M could be seized (non exempt funds), I will just have M send me any bills they need paid, and I will do it directly with the biller.
  3. 1) I agree that M was/is incapable of knowing his/her own limits. I'd like to know why you think this scenario is unlikely. Your statement: "there is no way BoA opened a $33k credit line on this person.  Your scenario (which is highly unlikely for a variety of reasons) doesn't controvert that." is not backed up by anything. Back in the days when I used a lot more credit cards, I noticed they kept increasing my limits everytime I paid more than the minimum. I don't see why its so hard to believe the same thing happened with M. Should M have stopped? Yes of course they should have. Unfortunately they did not and now they are in this predicament, and I have to deal with it because I cannot just abandon M in disgust (much as I want to). I'm also guilty of getting in over my head in the past (see my old threads on this forum), so I cannot claim that I don't live in a glass house and throw stones at others. 2) I can only say that I disagree. I've seen it with my own eyes when I worked in the industry, and I've read stories about bank executives saying they want to over lend to consumers. The part you may not fully appreciate is that defaults do not automatically equal more monetary losses for the banks. They are playing the probabilities game. In my first hand experience, over 97% of people do not default. So the bank spreads their risks. You just have to run the numbers. Additionally, banks found a way to socialize their losses, by taxpayer bailout. In the specific business I worked in, we were proud that our default rate was less than 1/2 percent. However, we noticed our competitors were more than happy with a 3-5% default rate. Why? because they did a LOT more dollar volume than we did. So they made up the losses with profits from more loans. Additionally, in the past 10-15 years, they changed the way they collect defaulted loans. They hire attorneys to do collections, so they are more successful in recovering defaults. Talk about preposterous. If you don't agree, that's your right. I will believe what I've seen. So far, you haven't backed up your claims with anything 3) Again, when I was a lender, I can and did cut people off when I saw they were trying to get in over their heads. Our competitors had a different model: lend more money anyway.
  4. New info: I just received another letter forwarded from M: This letter is from Gurstel Law Firm out of Scottsdale AZ, and is a demand to collect on one of the other BofA debts. $8 to 9K for this one. So this explains why More Law Group is not asking about the other 2 credit cards. It appears that BofA is using at least 2 (and my guess, 3) law firms.
  5. I wish we could have stepped in years ago. M absolutely flat-out refused to let me know their financial situation until they finally realized they were in way over their head. This is why I spent a couple of hours yelling at M once they did let me know. I finally had the true picture of M's situation. Until this point, I did not even know how much M got from Social Security. You cannot force an adult to disclose stuff like this unless you can prove they are incompetent, incapacitated, or similar. As for family, as I mentioned in my first post, M has no one else besides me. I know M fairly well. M is unlikely to exaggerate or lie about income. The emotional issues I refer to are more about having huge amounts of anxiety dealing with people, such as in the work place or just dealing with people in general. M is nearly a shut-in, and would rather avoid people altogether. In essence, M is afraid of most people, and suffers from paranoia. For example, M thinks his/her neighbors sneak into M's apartment when M is not home and steal stuff (I've never found this to be true). It has nothing to do with lying or fraud or similar.
  6. There's a lot more than 2 possibilities here. One that I can think of right off the bat is that as long as M made payments great than the minimum - by using cash advances from the other 2 accounts or another credit card outside of these 3 accounts, in other words, rob Peter to pay Paul, then rob Paul to pay Mary, then rob Mary to pay Peter, ad nauseam, then the bank's automated systems would keep increasing the credit limits. I've seen this with my own credit cards in the past - if I kept paying them down, they kept increasing my credit limits. So, yes, banks can and will (and are very willing) to give credit to people far beyond what that debtor can pay back. I'm not sure why this is news to anyone on this forum. As I stated before, banks, in general, decided that its more profitable overall to keep extending more credit to consumers and increase the overall rates of defaults.
  7. These credit cards were opened quite a while back, around 2010 or 2012 I believe. I will check on that and report back here. I am certain the cards were opened at least a year or two before M really racked up the debt. Also, there are other cards/accounts in default with other lenders, but no one else has hired attorneys. M's income has been the same for the past 9 years: social security only. I believe there have been some Cost of Living adjustments over time (not sure about that part), so 9 years ago, M got less from SS than today. Before that, M got by from payments from a house sold in the late 70's or early 80's (seller financing, a deal another family member who is now dead, set up for M so that M would have some income). That house was paid off around the time M qualified for SS. Note that the income from that house was less than the SS M receives now. M used to do some min wage work back before that, but it was sporadic, and not regular. Please understand that M has some real emotional issues and refuses medication from psychiatrists. I've tried in the past to help M with the emotional issues, but was unable to get anywhere. M is a fairly dysfunctional person. I may need to put M in an assisted care living facility sometime in the next couple of years.
  8. I'M not saying this justifies M's actions, only that banks bear equal, if greater, responsibilty. But, they no longer care about being responsible. They can socialize bad debt (taxpayer bailout).
  9. I agree that M deserves blame. At the same time, so does the bank. They KYC (knew their customer), etc. A very long tim ago, I underwrote loans for Subprime consumers (not in real estate though), and we always looked at a consumer's ability to pay back our loan, and other loans they had. We often reduced or denied the amount of credit they wanted. It's up to lenders to lend responsibly. Banks no longer don't want to do this. Things have changed since I worked in that industry (2005). I've seen reports on the Internet going back years, that banks are ok with high default rates because, overall, they make more money, especially since they got BK laws changed very much in their favor back in 2005. With the current methods of collecting (i.e. file thousands of debtor suits, getting thousands of default judgements), they have gotten bolder. Hedge funds and private investor groups have gotten into the junk debt game as well, during the past 15 years. If you wonder about why the divide between the top 0.1% and the rest of us "unwashed masses) has been accelerating lately, it's because we haven't been trained to resist getting unproductive credit. We have been brainwashed into buying crap we don't need that is counterproductive to our financial health. We are financially sick, while the top 0.1% know better.
  10. 2 hours ago, WhoCares1000 said: " I know we get jaded on this board because we see more than our fair share of fraudsters and people who refuse to pay their bills not because they don't have the resources but because they don't want to. A few names come up instantly. However, most people do not go out with the intent to defraud the bank. I would put the percentage of applicants trying to commit fraud at about 5%. Also, based on the description of M, I doubt he could have pulled off such a fraud. That said, M will be in his own personal hell from this. The constant calls, the constant financial disclosures, and even some of the "service process" fraudsters will call him, all looking for a payday. This does not absolve the responsibility of the bank to understand the risk they were taking. Let's say that the total credit extended was only $20K (or about 1/2 of what is owed). It still would have taken M more than his lifetime to pay that off with minimum payments and the banks certainly have M's birth date, even if they did not get an accurate picture of his income. The banks have access to more data on us than we would ever think. Due diligence would have told any bank to not extend more than $500 - $1000 in credit to M. Again, banks are using computers to make these decisions and no thinking person can intercede and ask what why we are doing that. So is M responsible for what happened, yes. Is the bank responsible for what happened, yes. The bank made a gamble and although it does not happen too often, the house lost this time." Thank you for this. M did not intend to create this mess. You are right, M does not have the where-with-all to pull off fraud, and is not within their character anyway. I've kown M for over 40 years. Like so many people who get caught in the debt trap (myself included, in a younger, dumber phase of my life), M fell into psychological trap of thinking he/she could just keep borrowing to pay prior credit. The bamnks make this easy to do, and actively encourage it. I can assure everyone here, though you may not believe me, that M did not do this intentionally. As a matter of fact, when I first explained to M that they are likely to be sued, they thought that meant jail time. Believe me, they have been freaking out now ever since defaulting, in spite of my asurrances that they will not go to jail. Just the idea of being sued strikes terror into M. I realize many people come to this forum for the purpose of defrauding banks, but at the same time, banks are VERY keen to give too much credit to Subprime borrowers. You all recall MBS's and whatnot? The banks have shown recently that they have forgotten all about the 2008 Subprome debacle, and they are at it again, though the form may be different. History may not repeat exactly, but it often rhymes. If it makes anyone feel any better, M is well in their 70's with completely destroyed credit. M gets collection letters constantly and freaks out every time he/she gets one. Given M's health history and ancestor health history, M will probably not live much past 80, so will never recover their credit from this.
  11. My plan is to inform More (sic) Law Group of the risks they incur if they sue, along with the most likely result (nothing collected, even if they win a judgement). I will write a letter. Risks to them will be: I will hire a consumer attorney that I will pay for (they are aware we have used one) to look for FDCPA and FRCA violations, we will elect arbitration at a cost of $950 filing fees to them plus around $5k starting fees, and so on.
  12. I posted the only agreements I could find for Bofa credit cards in my first post. The aggregate total available of all three credit cards was around $38 to $40k. M was had not maxed out their credit limit at the time of default, which is why the current total is less. Sorry I was not clear on that. Also, per my first post, M is in AZ. I am in NV, so laws for NV do not apply.
  13. I agree, but practically speaking, M cannot pay the bank. SS is M's only income and M is near (or under) the poverty line as it is. M's SS income is exempt under law anyway.
  14. Right now, they have only demanded on one of the 3 lines of credit, and not the other 2. I have no idea why they haven't demanded on the other 2 accounts, but this one was the largest. So, they are demanding under $15K. Are they likely keep going in arbitration on that?
  15. Balance after late fees and such is around $37K
  16. I don't know what their perspective is. I can only give you all the facts of the situation.
  17. This is exactly what happened. There is nothing more to the story. If you want more detail: there are 3 credit card accounts. M received cash advances on all 3. By using cash advances to make payments to one account, (not pay it off, just make payments) and getting cash advances from that account to pay another, repeat ad nauseam, the bank saw fit to increase all 3 lines of credit, to the point where the total available credit was close to $40k. By the time M defaulted, M had racked up around $38K. All 3 were through the bank. It's the same bank M had their checking account through and receive Social Security benefits into. The bank was well aware (or should have been) of M's income source. M had been banking with them for YEARS. I don't know what M told them as far as assets are concerned. M is not in a habit of lying or exaggerating. M has not owned any assets of any consequence for years, not even a car.
  18. Thank you for the responses. That's a good idea about sending a pre-emptive letter (CMRR) to M's current bank to inform them of M's exemption. I will do that. I'm not worried about them calling me if M dies, and I end up being executor. I know I don't owe them anything. Today, I sat down to write a DV letter, to send to M, and have M sign it and send it on to the Moore Law Group, and the same time, I was going to have M sign a POA and send that back to me. As I was researching these items, I came across an article about the SOL for credit card debt in AZ: http://skibalaw.com/arizona-statute-of-limitations-on-credit-card-debt-new-decision-deals-blow-to-consumers/ Thankfully for Consumers, the AZ Supreme Court vacated the AZ court of Appeals ruling. (see attached or see: https://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/0/OpinionFiles/Supreme/2018/CV-17-0109-PR Opinion.pdf ) CV-17-0109-PR Opinion.pdf
  19. I learned recently that a close family member has racked up some debt, and defaulted. As this person has no one else, they have asked me to help. To preserve anonymity, I will refer to this person as M. Here's the situation: M is well into retirement age, and has not worked for many years. They rely 100% on Social Security Income (this fact is significant, and I will come back to this) at well below $16,000 per year income. No other income. I occasionally buy stuff M needs and have it shipped to their door step. M does not own a car, home or have any assets of significant value, as they cannot afford any of this. They rent the place they live. Additionally, M speaks English as a 2nd language and does not always understand what you are telling them, but (due to culture) will agree that they understand even if they don't. They live in Arizona, Pima County (I'm in another state). Unbeknownst to me, around 3-5 years ago, M started racking up some pretty serious debt, to the tune of around $40,000 or possibly more. This was not all at once. It took a few years to get to this level, and this is with several creditors. I don't think M really understood what he/she was doing because at the peak, they were using cash advances from one credit card to pay other credit cards and did not really understand that this did not pay down debt. When I discovered all of this, I had to explain all of this to them, as if they were a child. The largest creditor is Bank of America and this person racked up around 33K with them alone. This was in the form of credit card debt. They kept pushing "cash advance checks" to M and M, not knowing any better (possibly getting senile), went ahead and signed and deposited the "checks" into their BofA checking account and spent the money. Once I found out how bad the situation was, I spoke with a consumer protection law firm. While M cannot afford an attorney, I can. Basically our attorney said the following: 1) They can only help once M is sued and/or if any creditors have violated M's rights under the FDCPA or FRCA. They reviewed all of the demand letters received so far and did not find any issues. There were no phone calls, as M changed their number. 2) The attorney's assessment is that M is judgement proof: the BofA lawyers can sue and even get a judgement, but they cannot legally enforce it by garnishing money from M's bank account, as long as the money in that account came from Social Security (and no other sources - do not co-mingle funds, etc.). No problems or complications there. 3) If BofA sues and gets a judgement, and serves a garnishment notice (not sure of the terminology here) on M's current bank in an attempt to grab some funds, we can tell M's current bank that all of the funds in M's account are exempt from this judgement as all funds came from Social Security (this is 100% true), and that M only receives income from SS, so its also exempt. 4) Doing nothing may be the best course of action if BofA sues M, due to M being judgement proof. I'm strongly considering this course of action for M. 5) Our lawyer also said that BofA would be reluctant to sue an elderly person, though I understand that means that they still might. BofA is aware that we have spoken to a consumer lawyer as we asked our attorney to respond to BofA's early demand letters (before they hired their own lawyers). I believe this is why they hired this firm instead of a normal CA, as we have raised BofA's guard. BofA hired the Moore Law Group (licensed in AZ and a few other southwest states) and they have recently sent a demand letter for around $14K on behalf of BofA. Its the usual demand letter and states we have 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt, etc. Note that M used to bank with BofA, so they are well aware that they made large loans to an elderly retired person who had only a very meager Social Security as their only income, and they knew M did not have the means to pay all of that money back. If we had to fight BofA in court, arbitration or sue them for FDCPA violations, we would use that against them. While this is not a legal argument: I'm saying that we could easily paint a picture of BofA as a predatory lender of elderly immigrants that do not speak/understand english very well. The date of the last payment made to BofA by M was around the middle of 2016 (not sure of the exact date), so I think they are within SOL (note that they have not yet sued M). M did not have the original BofA credit card agreement, so I am uncertain if arbitration is available. Attached are the agreements I could find online that I believe are applicable. My questions are: Should we bother with DV? They already stated in their letter that if M sends a DV letter, they will obtain verification and send it to M, etc. Note that BofA still owns the debt. They did not sell it to a JDB. To me, the DV letter seems like a waste of time. Should we send a letter to the Moore Group explaining M's situation to them (elderly, SS income and bank funds from SS are exempt from judgements, garnishments, etc.)? I was thinking of letting them know that we would be on the lookout for any garnishments hitting M's current bank account (with another bank, where M gets Social Security deposited), and that we would sue if they did garnish anything. I believe this would be a FDCPA violation, though I'm not certain on this last point. Also, if they attempt a garnishment, but we manage to stop it by notifying M's bank all money is exempt, do we still have a FDCPA violation? My goal in sending a letter stating this is to get them to understand that suing M would be a waste of their time and money. If BofA or the Moore Law group has done any background checks on M, they would see that M does not have any assets, or a job, and therefore is very unlikely to pay them. 2008 - BofA-Agreement.pdf 2003 - Bank-of-America-Agreement-with-JAMS.pdf
  20. UPDATE After I forced them into arbitration, they finally paid their part of the fee (after a couple months delay) and arbitration was on. In other words they followed me into arbitration. I guess they felt they had no choice. I did not have the time to fight them by myself so I hired a consumer advocate attorney. They negotiated a mutual walk-away. Velocity did not get anything from me, and I did not get anything other than a mutual dismissal and a promise by them to not sell the debt. Yes, its in writing, signed by them. All-in-all a pretty good outcome. The lesson here is that they WILL follow you into arbitration. Whether or not you want to continue to fight them in Arb is up to you. I simply did not have the time anymore to do my own legal work. It was a far more cost effective use of my time to hire the NACA attorney. Upon reflection, I should have done that the moment Velocity sued me in county court. Would have saved me time that I could have spent on more productive projects, which is what I am doing now.
  21. Actually, the subject of SOL brings up another question for me. I understand that when someone files a lawsuit (assuming they do it before the SOL), the SOL is then "tolled", or the clock stops ticking, but if the case is dismissed, its as if the SOL was never tolled. Is that true for me as I received a dismissal withOUT prejudice ?
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