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almost_there

My case against JBC

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The following messages are from the old board, but I wanted to move them over here because I now have an update. I apologize for my sloppy copy paste job :oops:

Posted Monday, July 7, 2003 @ 12:50 PM This is going to be my thread to keep everyone posted in my progress suing JBC.

To recap for any new readers: Last Wednesday night, after work, I logged on to my computer a few minutes after 10 p.m. to find an offline message from my mom that an attorney's office had called their house for me and left a message for me to call the attorney's office back by 10 p.m.! There was also a case number in the message for reference. Thinking that it must be serious in order for an attorney's office to be calling, I quickly called the number my mom passed along and hoped that someone would still be in the office. After it rang several times and no one answered, I assumed I was SOL and hung up. I thought, "well I hope it can wait till morning." Right away, my phone rang and it was a lady calling me back from some law firm. I immediately asked what it was in regards to and she replied that they were representing a business for a very old debt of mine for a $6 bad check from May 1997. I asked, "isn't the statute of limitations up on this check?"

"In New Jersey, it's 8 years."

"Oh, so that is what state you're using?"

"It's 8 years in every state for a bad check."

OK, I thought, so that answers that question. Then she went into telling me how I HAD to pay by 9 a.m. Thursday morning. I said, "ok, I'm not refusing to pay this but what if I can't have the money by then?"

"If the money is not in our office by 9 a.m., I go into meet with the attorneys and we'll file the paperwork in court tomorrow morning."

"How am I supposed to pay so quick?"

"Western Union"

"It's after 10, can I do it over the internet?"

"We don't accept payment over the internet. You'll have to go to Western Union or call their 800 number, they'll be happy to assist you."

"What if I don't have the money tonight?"

"If the money isn't received here by 9 a.m. we will prosecute you. We will file the paperwork tomorrow morning."

When she said prosecute, that was what made up my mind. The threat of a judgement was bad enough, but when she mentioned prosecution, I thought she meant as in a theft charge for the check. No way!

I got the information from her to send the payment, totaling $54. That was $6 for the original check, $30 for the bad check charge ($36 was all I was expecting to have to pay) then another $18 for the three times the amount of the check. I called Western Union and ended up having a problem sending the money because of the sate I was calling from, MN. The operator at Western Union was really great, especially when I got upset about not being able to send the money and why I was sending it. She even said. "oh my god! some people!" about the lady I had just talked to at JBC. The operator at Western union told me to go ahead and try the internet, which I did, successfully. But for a while there, I was really worried that I wasn't going to be able to pay them and wake up with a very big mess on my hands. I called JBC back and gave the lady the transfer control number. I told her I would call again tomorrow to make sure everything went as planned.

When I woke up on Thursday morning, I immediately came here and began to put 2 and 2 together that I had just been royally screwed the night before. I looked at the FDCPA and thought to myself, "there's one! Ooops! There's another!" in a long list of things that didn't sit well with me about that phone call. Glaring at me from the screen was the rule about being an attorney or representing yourself as one or in affliation with one. When someone leaves messages from an attorney's office, answers their phone "law firm" and talks about filing against you and prosecuting you, without actually saying "this is so and so, attorney at law, " what would you think? Being that I don't think she actually called herself an attorney, overwhelming someone with aggressive collection tactics and not making it clear she WASN'T an attorney, I didn't think in the moment to stop and make her clarify. They have it all set up to lead people to assume they are talking to attorney's! Calling from an attorney's office, answering the phone "law firm" using case numbers instead of account numbers. Now it all seems so obvious!

-Then there is the issue about threatening me with litigation and prosecution.

-Then there is the issue about the SOL, which if I find out (still can't find it) she was lying

when she said 8 years, that's one more item on my list of complaints.

-Then there is the fact that they called me back after 10, which may be a thin argument, but at this point I plan to get them on whatever I can.

-Then there is JBC's website, which boasts pretty openly about being able to collect money where others couldn't. In fact, it wasn't until going to their website that I learned it wasn't actually attorney's I was dealing with, but just another collection agency! I've printed out copies of their claims, because if a judge wants proof of motive for this woman's behavior, right there it is!

When I was talking to her the other night, every question I had was quickly silenced by either a spouting off about the law and how I broke it by writing a bad check or with the answer that it had to be paid by 9 a.m., no exceptions. The recollection of our conversation above is pretty much how it went. I never refused to pay, but any question I had about my ability to was met with "it must be 9 a.m. or else" Or else I was gonna get sued or else I was going to be prosecuted or else all the hard work I've been doing at credit repair and financial responsibility was going to suffer a brand new huge black mark. So I paid. I don't mind that I did, as it turns out the $70 (including the Western union fee) was available to me after all, after I got a chance to sit down and move some stuff around in my budget. Now I'm going to go after as much satisfaction on this as I can and I'm not talking about money. If I win, I'll put the money to good use, but the idea of taking a stand against these people is by far more valuable to me than any possible financial win.

Wish me luck

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LadynRed replied Monday, July 7, 2003 @ 04:18 PM

JBC is BAD, BAD, BAD. They are picking up where NCC left off with their illegal tactics and Western Union BS !!

SOL on a check is NOT 8 YEARS ACROSS ALL STATES !! That is utterly LUDICROUS ! Each state has its own statute of limitations for everything and checks are NOT considered written contracts - they'll try to pull THAT one on you too. Someone posted that they'd spoken to someone at the FDIC and they stated the SOL on a dishonored check is 2 years !! Well.. at any rate, a check from 1997 is definitely NOT valid and they have NO RIGHT to collect on the 'treble damages' allowed by civil penalty , that can ONLY come from a JUDGE !!

Yes, you were definitely duped, but at least you came to the right place - just a tad too late. Do not EVER believe ANY CA that gives you any kind of bogus 'time limit' to pay a debt. They could NOT have filed 'tomorrow' .. it never happens that fast !!!

I hope you succeed - they are nasty violators. LOTS of people are having huge problems with them. Drop on over at www.cardreport.com and cruise the archives for JBC, you're hair will stand on end with the stories !!

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C Whitney

Master Sergeant

Gender: Unspecified

Location: Florida

Registered: Apr 2003

Status: Offline

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Posted Monday, July 7, 2003 @ 07:40 PM

I was the one who e-mailed the Federal Reserve Board about JBC and their lame attempt to collect on an 8 yr old check my daughter had written. In part this is what they had to say...

"The majority of the state legislatures, including Florida have adopted the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Although we cannot speak authoratatively on state law, we note that under the UCC, an action for the colection of a check must be commenced with in three years after the cause of action accrues. UCC sec. 4-111.

You can e-mail them at FRB.Mail@frd.gov

I wrote JBC a wonderful letter and told them they surely didn't mean to threaten her ( my daughter) with a lawsuit on a check that was passed the SOL to sue over and as a law firm they should be aware of the UCC and all of its implications. Then I told them to "Go pee up a tree"

Good luck with your law suit... keep us posted.

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Pale Rider 2

Private

Gender: Male

Location: Texas

Registered: Jul 2003

Status: Offline

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Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2003 @ 07:33 PM

Found this at Lawdog.com for state of Iowa. Thought you may be able to use it.

When a check, draft or order has been dishonored, after presented trice, for lack of funds, a credit may pursue a civil action to recover the amount of the check and seek damages for three times the amount of the check up to a maximum of $500.00. However, the treble damages may generally be awarded only if the creditor has complied with the written notice requirement under Section 554.3513 of the Iowa Code.

A prerequisite for the recovery of treble damages is that the creditor has "clearly and conspicuously posted a notice at the usual place of payment, or in a billing statement of the creditor, stating that civil damages pursuant to Section 554.3513 would be sought upon dishonorment". In addition, thirty (30) days before a creditor commences a civil action to recover the damages on a dishonored check, he must send a written demand to the debtor either by personal service or by restricted certified mail, notifying the debtor that if the face amount of the dishonored check is not paid within thirty (30) days, treble damages would be sought.

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Pale Rider 2

Private

Gender: Male

Location: Texas

Registered: Jul 2003

Status: Offline

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Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2003 @ 07:56 PM

Here is a link to statute of limitations for Iowa.

http://www.legis.state.ia.us/IACODE/2003/614/

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almost_there

Sergeant First Class

Gender: Female

Location: Minnesota

Registered: Apr 2003

Status: Offline

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Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2003 @ 08:37 PM

Thanks Pale Rider 2

Guess what I just found I remembered getting a letter from JBC awhile ago, but I misplaced it and I hadn't taken it very seriously anyway because I thought the SOL was up. Well I found it. And man is it ever incriminating!

It says from JBC....Attorney's at Law. Funny, on their web site they do not claim to be attorney's. The amount they are asking for in the letter is only $36, not the $54 I ended up paying them.

The bottom of the letter also says "this is an attempt to collect a debt by a debt collector. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose."

LMAO @ these guys! Their @$$ is mine now!!!!

Interestingly, I flip the letter over and see NCO Portfolio Management listed at the top of a bunch of debt collection mumbo jumbo. I know that NCO is a debt collection agency, too. I once settled with them on an old credit card. Must be like JBC's parent company or something.

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almost_there

Sergeant First Class

Gender: Female

Location: Minnesota

Registered: Apr 2003

Status: Offline

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Posted Wednesday, July 9, 2003 @ 06:52 PM

I am having very poor luck finding an attorney willing to return my phone calls, let alone help me sue these people. I talked to one attorney today that was much more interested in selling me on bankruptcy! The problem is, as I see it, there are virtually no consumer protection lawyers in my city. So, I called Edelman, Combs & Latturner. I'm supposed to send them all my materials and a description of what happened. They will review my case and determine if it's worth pursuing. But my mind is made up. Even if I have to do it without representation, I'm going to go through with this. I have one year to file a case against them, so I still have roughly 358 days

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Ok, now for my update....

I have a partial tape of the message left on my parents answering machine, part of it was recorded over. The part that was not was the use of the case number and the caller saying "this is about an urgent legal matter, you have until 10 pm est to call this office" The call came in at 7:14 p.m. cst, she was only allowing me 1 hour and 46 minutes to call her back!!

I have typed all this up, found every piece of information that might help me, including a ruling in a class action lawsuit against JBC & Associates, copied everything, made a copy of the tapes I have, and I plan to send it all off in the morning to Edelman, Combs, and Lattuner. I had NO luck finding a local attorney. But I am hoping that with all the research I've already done on my own behalf that the attorney's I am sending it to will consider taking the case, or at the very least I hope they will advise me in how to proceed on my own.

I'm hopeful that because JBC has had issues with violating FDCPA in the past that it will make my case against them that much easier. I can't wait to go to the post office in the morning!! xburnoutx

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Thanks for the vote of confidence, Sis :)%

I was once sued by a former landlord, whom I am convinced had a pact with the devil :twisted:, but hey what can you do? Anyway, when he sued DH and I, I did LOTS of research to defend myself. So much research in fact that when I met with an attorney to discuss my case, he asked me "what do you need me for?" Then he asked if I'd ever considered going to law school. :lol:

I am so proud of myself for that. I fought the evil (not allowed to say) and got some of the claims dropped or reduced. It was awesome and it felt so empowering. I'm ready to take that kind of chance again on my abilities in court, but I'll always feel better consulting an attorney first...or at least until I've successfully done this a few times and know for sure that I'm interpreting the laws correctly. Besides, maybe we can find more consumers and do another class action. I am sure there are alot of us out here with similar stories.

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That is a good idea, get advice from other atty and then go smack a good one with all you have learned. I am sure there are many that would do class action. Good Luck, but you won't need it.

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Wow, I think this is more of a case of what DIDN'T they do than what DID they do! Let's see....

If they sent you the letter and you didn't request validation, then they were legally allowed to call you. BUT... they can call a relative only to find your location, NOT tell them that you have an "important legal matter" to settle. Violation #1.

They called you after 10, but it was an immediate response to a call you'd just placed. They would probably argue from the "implied permission" standpoint and win on that point (although it's technically a violation).

"Law Office??" They can legally say (to you only) that it's a "legal" matter, but can't answer the phone as "law office" unless it is truly a LAW OFFICE. Violation #2 (most likely). And if that be the case, write a letter to the Bar Association in their state, explaining what happened and that you suspect they are engaged in the unaurhorized practice of law (holding oneself out to be a lawyer when not). If that turns out to be the case, the Bar Association 'might' bring charges against them.

Treble damages and "prosecution." Violation #3. They can't threaten something unless they fully intend to do it. Bottom line: treble damages can ONLY be awarded by a judge or jury, and only after you've been sued. Sure, the CA can 'ask' for treble damages, but only the legal system has the power to enforce it. As for "prosecution," that's yet another unattainable threat, as they would have to be able to prove criminal intent on your part and establish probable cause.

Good luck on your case, and please keep us posted!

OH.. and who the hell is this JBC outfit?? I haven't heard of them, at least not under that name.

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Buzz,

JBS is another bad-azz check collection outfit that seems to be walking in National Check Control's (NCC) shoes - and they are just as bad as NCC ! NCC has the FTC on their butts along the the NJ AG's office and the AG's from a few other states as well. JBC is next in line if any of its vicitims have anything to say about it. They sound like the same company in the way they operate to collect, so if the FTC is in the process of prosecuting NCC, JBC will get similar treatment.

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Well, I received word today from Edelman, Combs, and Latturner's office that they will represent me in my case against JBC.

I'm really excited about it and I can't wait to get the paperwork from them that I have to sign to move forward. I'll keep posting my progress :D

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Well, I received word today from Edelman, Combs, and Latturner's office that they will represent me in my case against JBC.

I'm really excited about it and I can't wait to get the paperwork from them that I have to sign to move forward. I'll keep posting my progress :D

Great! Looks like you're on the road to success. I've been studying edcombs.com in much detail recently and have learned lots...especially in terms of how the courts (and WHICH courts) interpret some of the more vague portions of the FDCPA. They even go so far as citing the cases (FINALLY....parallel cites AND in bluebook form!!!) that were cited in the various courts' opinions, and then providing their own analysis of how similar issues will be viewed by the courts. They're doing some pretty neat things, not just in terms of FDCPA, but other areas of consumer law as well.

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Just wanted to update everyone that this case is going to be me being added as a plantiff to a class action lawsuit already in the works.

BUT, I had to basically drop my complaints regarding the phone call!! The class action will be pertaining to the letter I received instead. I regret not going after them for that phone call, but I had to prioritize. The phone call would be my word against theirs, whereas the letter is right there in black and white.

I sent my authorization for them to represent me yesterday. I wish I could call JBC and speak to the woman who wrangled the money out of me, she said before she hung up on me "if you retain counsel, have them send it" I'd say "it's on it's way baby!" :twisted:

On a side note, I thought you can be awarded damages of up to $1000 per violation...my attorney said,

You are limited to one recovery under the FDCPA regardless of the number of violations, whether they be in a letter or made on the phone.
Anyone care to comment on that one?

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Under the FDCPA its $1000 PER ACTION, not per violation. However, you CAN collect actual damages - if you can prove them and that can be a LOT more than $1000.

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Here is a little story I was told about this bill collector one of my collegues worked with a few years ago. This bill collector called this lady on a bad check (much more than $6) and threatened to have her thrown in jail. She called her state's AG and told him about the call. The AG called back the collector pretending to be the lady's husband and asked "did you threaten to throw my wife in jail?" The collector replied "that wasn't a threat that was a promise". An hour and a half later the cops came and arrested the bill collector.

Maybe the person who told me this was full of it. But maybe not. Thought you would enjoy the tale.

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LMAO, great story! True or not, it's still a good one!

I got copies of the court filing today. The class action is underway. The paperwork I got says "Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint" and I don't know exactly what that means, although it sounds like something was added, but the ball is apparently moving now. My letter from JBC is Exhibit G and my story is outlined in the first part of the case, along with the other plaintiffs. I would love to see this all get wrapped up quickly, not holding my breath though, because then when we win JBC can help me buy my house ;) I doubt this will happen, but it never hurts to fantasize.

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almost_there - need any new members for you class action ? I'm sure I could find more than a few willing to join you.

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Got a letter from JBC back in August. Sent them DV letter ((Not certified as I didnt have money)). The check in question was written in April of 1999.

Got a letter from them today for 5 TIMES the amount of the original check.

I called ((yeah I was being a beotch )) and asked them why I got another letter when I asked for DV. The lady got all flustered and told me that in NJ the SOL was 8 years. I told her thats nice but I didnt write the check in NJ or to a NJ company. She got nasty and hung up on me.

I wonder if I should file a small claims against them for violation of the FDCPA section 809. Misrepresenting the amount of the debt and not giving me proper validation.

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Indiana is one of the state's in the class action. My advice is to contact Edelman's office ASAP. If you can't get in on the Indiana class, you might have a lawsuit of your own. JBC is crazy! They need to be stopped.

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