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small claim gurus lend me your ears!!


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Thanks for all the wonderful advice that I have received from this board and its members. My saga continues...

I am preparing a small claim suit against a collection agency(NCO)for a medical collection. Pulled CR and saw that Medclr claims that I have a account with them though they identify this medical collection as a revolving account with 2 times 90 days late.

I have requested validation letters via phone, and mail (CRRR)the only response to date has been a printout of fees and the original creditor. I have no recollection of this bill and refuse to pay without validaton. I have called their name original crditor who refuses to give any info an the account as it has been purchased. I have sent a copy of the wollman letter to them to show that a printout from their comuters is not enough. Since that validation letter with Wollman enclosed I have heard nothing but deafening silence. They continue to verify with the CRA's. More than 6 mths have passed.

I have sent 30 day, 15 day and 2 five day validation and intent to sue letters to no avail. I have found that the account actually belongs to NCO who is using Medclr as a front. Recently found that the account has been transferred to Gold Key Credit (whch I have researced and found that this is also another front for Medclr/NCO.

It has been suggested that I may have a case against all these companies NCO/Medclr/Gold Key ( and another Marlin Capital.

However, I only have a small amount of $ and when I file, I cannot afford any mistakes. My questions are:

1. Can I file one suit naming all these CA's who are affiliated with th account. Me vs NCO/Medclr/Gold KEY/Marlin?

2.NCo is not located in my state but the registered agent is. However Medclr, Gold Key and marlin are located in my state ( all have the same registered agent of course) Which address/Name should I use for filing?

3. Should I include in my papers all of my proof - correspondence from NCO, research showing that the CA's are one and the same working together, my damages- receipts from mailing CRRR, credit denials, increase cc rates, copies of my cr ( withall but pertient info blocked out of course) to show that they continue to verif without validating and are reporting incorrect info

4.should I include in my papers the areas of law that the have violated quoting sections and cases?

I am afraid to send them all my proof giving them time to find ways to fight it!

To all who are in the know... your advice please!


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Well I know your answer to number one: You can file suite against NCO DBA .... (listing the others you know to be under them).

DBA (Doing Business As)

As for as the other questions of yours: Not sure who you should send to, but yes take everything that you have on all matters.

Will need to use a processor to serve them, not sure what you are required or even have to give them.

But the court will expect you to make all efforts to settle if they offer something acceptable.


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I have the same issue and situation. Except, I did file a small claims suit and they are threatening to take it to Circuit Court, which it's already been approved to do. The attorney for the CA continues to contact me, but I'm not certain if all I want out of these a$$e$ is an expungement, which I'm not sure what the lawyer is going to offer. I have already spoken to the lawyer briefly once, and he said that he would contact the CA to see if they would be willing to expunge it off of my CR's. He tried to scare me off by telling me that I was going to lose and I had no case. Then once he found out the situation, he said well what if the CA offers to get rid of it and put Paid in full. I thought, yeah right, it's still on my CR's, I'm not stupid you damn attorney!!!! Thanks be to God for CREDIT INFO CENTER!!!!! They rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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You're not gonna have to do any of that.

Fax a letter with "INTENT TO FILE LAW SUIT" across the top to this number: 706-404-2120. Send it ATTN: John Emmons. Outline everything, and don't forget to add FDCPA § 807. False or misleading representations [15 USC 1962e](14) as one of their violations.

Wait for a couple of days, and when you get your deletion, post on here.....we'll be waiting!

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Never settle for a "Paid in full". I know you wouldn't, I just wanna make sure no one else reading this would.

they are trying to scare you by placing it in circuit court. This is pretty stupid of them, if you have a good case. How many violations do you have on them?

You've been messing with this for so long, I wouldn't settle for anything less than $1000, your court costs, and a signed promissary note from them to delete, and to never resale this debt.......

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Demoncaster, I have four total violations filed for the CA. FDCPA Section 809(B), Section 807 (8), Section 809(B), and FCRA Section 623. I also put on my small claims paperwork that I was denied for an auto loan because of this collection affecting my credit score. The attorney whom is representing the CA continues to contact me via phone and wants to speak to me. I spoke with him once, but I wanted to get more advice. Do you think I should settle over the phone with him and then of course once we come to an agreement, have signed documents for proof? I'm just not sure if they take it to Circuit Court that I'm going to win against a lawyer, especially if I can not find one who will work on Contingency Basis here in Oregon. Please let me know any other advice or suggestions you may have Demoncaster. Thanks.

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Yes, settlement over the phone is OK, just don't file a dismissal until you get a SIGNED copy of the settlement. Also, make sure any settlement has deletion from your CR and that the settlement states that it is a full and final settlement of all differences oncerning this account. (In other words that the account is considered paid in full, so they can't resume collection efforts at a later date.)

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If the lawyer won't except my settlement offer and says that he'll see me in Court, how do I go about finding a lawyer to represent me in Circuit Court based on a Contingency? (I'm in Oregon) I called my counties bar association and the Oregon State Bar. Do you think I will definitely need a lawyer in Circuit Court if as you said, I do have a strong case?

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Sharpenu will be able to tell you more about this than I because I have not been to court......yet ;) But I know that they will have a pre-trial hearing in a private setting where it is just you, the lawyer, and I think the judge too....right Sharpy?....but anyway, in that part of it, it's supposed to be for both sides to air their side of the story, and to give a chance for you both to come to a settlement before it goes to trial.

Here, you will be given the chance to accept or deny their settlement offer (or vice-versa). BTW, I'm sorry, you are the the plaintiff here right? Anyway, at this hearing, I wouldn't accept ANYTHING less than their total and unconditional deletion of this item from ALL CRA's (NOT just the big 3, because you never know if they reported to Innovis which could be the up and coming 4th "biggie", or any of the other mom-and-pop ones), so delete from all CRA's, and "agree to not resale or re-assign this debt should we purchase this debt in the future" (something like that).

I think what is happening here, is that they are trying to buffalo you into getting scared, and settling on their terms. I mean they even "offered" to update it to "paid in full", so they're sweating. Besides, circuit court is more embarrassing for them if they lose than small claims. But they'll likely move it there anyway.

I would be VERY surprised if they didn't accept your settlement offer at that point.

but nonetheless, you still need to be prepared. So I would have these things:

1. A self copy of all the laws pertaining to your case.

2. A judges copy of the laws pertaining to your case.

3. Your original documentation (all CMRRR's, validation letters, FTC opinion letters, etc.)

4. Copy ALL of the stuff in #3 for the judge. and have this ready to show him as evidence.

5. Before you go to the pre-trial, draw up a settlement agreement on YOUR terms, and make a couple fo copies of it, ready for them to sign. And put a place for them to sign to show that you agree to hold them harmless, should they accept your offer.

Next, go to nolo.com, and order the book called "represent yourself in court". It comes highly recommended, I don't have it, but I can tell I'm gonna need it very soon.

If it stays in small claims, it's a walk in the park, very informal, etc. Circuit court is "real court". But if you represent yourself, the judges are required to help you.

So don't let Bozo scare you off. You'll likely win this one. And one last thing, beware of the "people" in the hallway outside the court room that wanna "talk" to you. Don't talk to them.

[Edit by demoncasterouter on Sunday, January 19, 2003 @ 06:13 PM]

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If I had a check for every one of those places that tried to scare me off by threatening action... oh wait, I do! HaHA

Just kidding. Listen, this is a standard tactic. I swear, it is like all of these places are trained from some master textbook or something. Ok, to put your mind at ease, here are my rules to remember about suing. (I may add to them later)

1. The CA cannot sue you unless they have been reassigned the debt. In that event, they HAVE to produce the paperwork to prove that they are the sole creditor for the debt. This actually works in your favor, as this means the settlement is binding on all future assigns.

2. They will always try to "psyche" you out and scare you. Don't worry, they will settle. They almost always do. Just remember, don't get greedy. You started this for a clean CR, not to make money.

3. DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT. The better your documentation, the easier it will be for you in court. FTC letters, relevant court cases, copies of the applicable laws and all of the letters/CR's involved are good. If you document well enough, Johnny Cochran can't weasel out. Make it airtight, don't give the other attny room to maneuver.

4. Take a deep breath and CALM down. The law is on your side. I filed 3 suits and got deletions on all and checks for 2. E mail me if you want copies of some good settlements.

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<blockquote>Originally posted by Swede

Damn, I'm at 9, what does one have to do to get a star around here.....??


Don't feel bad, I only have 1 star and the guy some people want kicked off the board for bad advice has 1 & 1/2 stars!? :eek::D


Oops, when I posted, I went up 1/2 a star.


[Edit by kenrb01 on Tuesday, January 21, 2003 @ 04:50 PM]

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FTC opinion letters help, but they can't be used as actual authority to support your case. You could use the cases that are cited in the opinions within your authorities though.

Sharpenu is right about CA's. They probably don't have any standing in the court. Although, it seems that's all everyone hears from me, it's tantamount to use it as a defense which will get you in and out quick and shut em' down. It worked in my case.

Don't forget to pray for relief of any acutal damages, court or attorney's fees. If you win, you'll get it.

For damages, you could try throwing in the difference of the bargain damages as well. This means that because of their actions, you had to pay more for something (like higher rate) as opposed to what you could have gotten for less if they hadn't acted improperly. Worth a shot, but not sure if this would apply since you didn't really "buy" anything from them. Worth a shot.

Good luck.

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I would just go for $1000. This will be all you can get anyway in federal court. Unfortunately, you get only a maximum of $1000 per suit (and you have to bring all of your violations at once). I hate that. But it's the way it is. He knows if he doesn't settle, then he's got to pay that plus court fees, etc. So he should go for it. Here's what I've been using for settlement offers:


I, the undersigned authorized agent for CACA Collections including all of it’s officers, employees, successors and assigns, at (their address), do agree to be bound, and that CACA Collections and all of it’s officers, employees, successors, and assigns will also be bound by this settlement offer and the terms described below. The terms are as follows:

In regards to the account number in our database known as account #XXXXXXXXXXXX, also known as account #XXXXXXXXXX for (OC), CACA Collections agrees to permanently discontinue any and all further collection activity on the above listed accounts including, but not limited to, reporting this account at any time in the future to any credit reporting agency. CACA Collections, including all of it’s officers, employees, successors and assigns also agrees that it, if so able in the future, will not attempt to re-assign or re-sale this account to any “debt purchasers” or businesses which engage in collection activity. This agreement will be the last and final settlement of this alleged debt.

In addition, CACA Collections, including all of it’s officers, employees, successors and assigns, chooses to settle for the amount of $1000, payable to demoncasterouter at (address), and for complete deletion of any and all references of this account from any and all credit reporting agencies for which it has been reported.

Lastly, CACA Collections, including all of it’s officers, employees, successors and assigns, agrees to draft and send a letter requesting the deletion of the above referenced alleged account to Experian Credit Reporting Agency, Trans Union Credit Reporting Agency, Equifax Credit Reporting Agency, CSC (an affiliate of Equifax), and to demoncasterouter at (address), and to any other credit reporting agency for which the account has been reported.


Authorized agent for CACA Collections



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