Jump to content

is this law firm a CA??


Recommended Posts

Ok, yes, I'm crazy. I just got a collection letter from an attorney/law firm representing an insurance company making a $5400 claim. I opened the letter, read the letter, and jumped up and down, laughing and yelling, "they just sent me a letter worth money"

Short story. DH gets divorced in 1998. Decree says DH is not responsible for ex DW medical bills. From 1999-2000 ex DW makes medical claims using DH's insurance. DH just now sends in divorce decree so he can get me on insurance.

Well, great, I'm gonna have insurance. Yay!! Next thing you know, insurance company sends DH a bill for $5400 for claims ex DW made using his insurance card. He sent them notice he was divorced in 1998, but did not send divorce decree until last month. Divorce decree says he is not responsible for her. She fraudulently used his insurance, and insurance gives him 14 days to send payment in full for her deceptive acts, before being referred to attorney.

They weren't kidding. Attorney sends letter today. Here are the contents:

Please be advised that this firm serves as counsel to XXXXXX. We have been notified by XXXX the you and XXXXX obtained a divorce in June 1998. The fund paid $5395.09 in medical claims on behalf of your ex-wife after the two of you had divorced. the Summary Plan Document states in pertinent part:

a. A spouse will qualify as a Dependent provided he or she is not divorced from the Employee and has not been legally separated from the Employee

Please remit a check in the amount of $5395.09 made payable to [OC] or contact this office on or before Monday, December 27, 2004 to discuss payment of the same. I assume that your good business sense will compel you to respond to this correspondence immediately to avoid legal action, and forward the reimbursement check to [law firm].

The claim is that DH sent claim forms putting ex as spouse after they divorced. He never did. She racked these bills up in violation of a court order. He had nothing to do with it, and no this is not a community property state, and even if it were, these bills were created after the divorce which specifically states that he is not responsible for her medical bills.

Now, here is my question. Is this law firm a CA under FDCPA.

This firm is not licensed to practice law in Indiana, but only in Illinois, and they have one attorney who is licensed to practice in Missouri.

Therefore, in order to sue, they would have to hire an Indiana attorney.

They are not licensed as debt collectors.

My take on this is that they have not been retained to file suit against DH because they can't do so. All contracts and transactions stem from IN, and IN would have jurisdiction.

Therefore, it appears they are general counsel, retained for purposes of providing general legal advice, and services including the collection of debts.

So, my assumption is that YES, they are debt collectors. Since they are lawyers, I don't think they are required to be licensed in IN to collect debts. I'll have to read that exception. However, that does not exonerate them from FDCPA.

Well, if they are collectors subject to FDCPA, just read those contents. First communication. No mini miranda. No notice that this is an attempt to collect a debt, nothing.

They did send something else by certified mail which I have to pick up tomorrow. Hmmm, scary. Wonder if it's legal documents? Wouldn't that just ice the cake. Actually, they addressed this letter: Via certified mail, and noted in the CC: section - DH , via regular mail. So, it's quite possible they sent the same letter by certified and regular mail.

I gotta DV them one way or another, but want to make sure I'm not just a wired up idiot before I start throwing violations at them. Thanks everyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes darlin.. he falls under the FDCPA.

Take a look at the great Indiana Case of Brennan Vs Spears. It very plainly shows that a lawyer acting on behalf of the OC is covered by the FDCPA.

You need to send the DV letter and then have them SUPPLY the claims that your DH supposedly sent in with his signatre stating that she was still his wife.

I think he is in the free and clear on this one but.. they might say he failed to submit the information to them (The insruace) and that he might be responsible.

But then he could sue the tar out of his wife and then also have her charged with contempt of court.

Might as the attorneys to be sure on this one but I would find it hard to believe a juidge would hold the DH responsible if he wasn't notified of these charges until after the fact.

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Take a look at the great Indiana Case of Brennan Vs Spears. It very plainly shows that a lawyer acting on behalf of the OC is covered by the FDCPA.

I was thinking exactly that. They sent that letter to the wrong state. 8-)

He never sent in a claim form, and he did send in notification that he was divorced. He did his part. They may claim he never sent the notification, but he did. She was putting utility bills in his name, using his insurance, and stealing money directly from his bank accounts. She literally continued using his identity, and forging his signature for a few years after the divorce. I've called the insurance company, so I know they knew he was divorced. (I happen to be the "homewrecker" in this case, so I was there from day one of the whole thing). In fact, I was getting collections letters for him for the birth of her child that wasn't his. This has been ongoing, but I never thought the insurance company would try to make him pay for her fraud.

And, yes, I already planned on requesting proof of their claims. He's in Nevada right now, and screwed up the POA, and I hate sending things in his name. So, I gotta send another POA so I can legally take care of this for him. If I don't, he'll let them get a default judgment and just pay it. Just one of those people who lets others screw him because it's easier than fighting back. Thank goodness his wife (me) is a fiesty b*tch.

He doesn't do anything and would rather pay it then sue her. He literally would rather see her missing from the world than ever see her in court, jail or otherwise. He says "it's just easier to pay everything, than it is to get involved with her". She is psychotic. I'll give him that much. It would be easier, but I'm not looking for easy. I'm looking for justice. Thanks. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't off my rocker. Cause that is literally a thousand dollar letter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is the insurance carrier sending you copies of the signed claim forms submitted for these bills? How about all of the other fraudulent acts (power, phone, etc.)? If not, obtain these as quick as you can. What you are wanting is to be able to show the dates of service to compare with the Divorce, as well as the fact the addresses are different from his.

While talking to the carrier, also ask to speak to their fraud department and go through the whole thing with them. Be sure and give them the current location of the X. They can still go after her for payment. Hopefully, they are honest and will accept what you say.

You also need to understand something. Many times a creditor or court is not obligated to abide by a Divorce Decree in regards to debt. But, from what I understand, this only involves debt incurred before divorce. An example is if the court says the 2 must split a Tax bill and one reneges, they can come after the other without any problem. Same applies to a BK 13. My youngest son got shafted on this one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Insurance carrier never sent anything, but you make an excellent point. Even if they claim he never notified them of the divorce, the fact that she was using a different address than him should have informed them that they were at least separated. I just wonder if she was using his address as hers when she obtained the medical care. So much to find out, and so little time. Thanks for the insight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.