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Silver1

And the lawyer says...

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in his letter that I have a "legal and moral obligation" to pay the debt he's trying to collect on behalf of Icky Creditor, to whom I don't owe a dime.

"Icky Creditor has submitted your past due account to me for immediate investigation and collection. There must be some reason you have chosen not to pay this legal and moral obligation. You must dispute this debt in writing to me within 30 days or it will be assumed to be correct.

To avoid further action and possible associated costs, contact the Law offices and make arrangements to pay this debt. If you do not contact my law office and make arrangements for payment WE WILL EXERCISE EVERY NECESSARY LEGAL REMEDY AVAILABLE TO COLLECT THIS DEBT. (yes, this phrase was in all CAPS)

Please contact my office in confidence by calling, writing or mailing payment.

Unless this account or any portion thereof is disputed within 30 days from receipt of this notice, we will assume this debt to be valid. If you dispute this debt or any portion thereof within this 30 day time period we will furnish, at your request, a verification of this debt, or the name and address of the original creditor. This is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose. PROTECT YOUR CREDIT! CALL THIS OFFICE TODAY TOLL FREE 1-800-

Sincerely,

The scumbag.

Atty is in NM, I am in TX. OC is in NM.

So, I will DV the lawyer CMRRR. What's up with the "you have a legal and moral obligation" thing? :roll: Does anyone see any violations?

Thanks!

Silver

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No real violation, I think...just another intimidation tactic by a CA / Lawyer. You might get them on "overshawdowing" the "least sophisticated consumer" and / or "threatening to take action they don't intend to take", but it would be a weak case.

I'd just go ahead and DV them and wait for them to really screw up later on.

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No violations, but very crafty. Just on the borderline of overshadowing...

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If you do not contact my law office and make arrangements for payment WE WILL EXERCISE EVERY NECESSARY LEGAL REMEDY AVAILABLE TO COLLECT THIS DEBT.

That's the violation right there. "if you don't pay, we will come after you". That overshadows your right to dispute the validity of the debt.

Be sure to include a copy of that letter when you report him to his State Bar and State Attorney General.

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i would agree - its borderline overshadowing (g) but not a great case

however.. it also depends what law firm .. you might have an (e) for false threat of legal action that can not or is not intended to be taken...

do they actually sue .. or is it a lawyer letterhead of some guy that has never been to court....

what is the amount of the debt... (small amount under 500 are rarely litigated)

is it signed by the attorney himself ... is there adequate attorney review?

send dispute letter

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Hi everyone! Thank you for responding! :D

The amount in question is less than $200. I have never heard of this lawyer but the letterhead has him alone listed; not like a string of names as you'd find in a law firm. I put the letter away at home to respond but I seem to recall that it wasn't actually signed, just had his name typed at the bottom.

Doc, that line you mentioned concerned me too. I'm still doing as much reading and research as I can on this stuff and that struck me as "overshadowing" too. I was thinking, if I had gotten this letter a year ago it would have scared the bejeezus out of me and I'd have paid, thinking I was going to get sued.

It sort of contradicts the " you have 30 days to dispute" thing, since they are demanding that I contact them to make payment arrangements or they'll "exercise every necessary legal remedy" to collect.

I get the impression the usual "Your claim is disputed and validation is requested" isn't going to be enough this time. :roll:

Thanks!

Silver

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DV him and yes that letter is overshadowing in any district that isn't the 9th.

Letter not signed by the lawyer? Violation.

PROTECT YOUR CREDIT = violation.

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Sorry! The letter is signed by the lawyer, I just looked at it - but it's not an actual written signature, it just looks like he typed his name, then changed the font, put it in bold and italic letters to look like a signature, or maybe it's one of those stamps. In any event it's not handwritten.

I am not sure where the 9th district is; it's not Texas or New Mexico is it?

The violations so far:

Overshadowing with the "If you do not contact my law office and make arrangements for payment WE WILL EXERCISE EVERY NECESSARY LEGAL REMEDY AVAILABLE TO COLLECT THIS DEBT."

PROTECT YOUR CREDIT - CALL THIS OFFICE TODAY! - violation?

The signature thing, I'm not sure. I guess technically he did sign it?

Doc, should I wait to see what his response to my DV is before going forth with a complaint to the Bar and Atty General? If he replies with additional violations I can include all of it in my complaints for more bang, and to rack up more violations for a counterclaim if he decides to sue for $187. :roll:

Thanks!

Silver

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Sorry! The letter is signed by the lawyer, I just looked at it - but it's not an actual written signature, it just looks like he typed his name, then changed the font, put it in bold and italic letters to look like a signature, or maybe it's one of those stamps. In any event it's not handwritten.

The attorney must review your file before signing it. CAs can't send out form letters and stamp his name to it. I'm not sure what the standard for proving the attorney reviewed the account is though.

If you can prove this attorney sends out many of these form letters every month, that may be sufficient to cast doubt on him personally reviewing your account.

I am not sure where the 9th district is; it's not Texas or New Mexico is it?

No. Texas is 5th circuit, NM is 10th.

Handy dandy map here:

http://www.uscourts.gov/courtlinks/index.cfm

The 9th circuit ruled that the words IMMEDIATE PAYMENT have to be in the dunning letter for it to be considered overshadowing.

The violations so far:

Overshadowing with the "If you do not contact my law office and make arrangements for payment WE WILL EXERCISE EVERY NECESSARY LEGAL REMEDY AVAILABLE TO COLLECT THIS DEBT."

That's definitely overshadowing, especially the bold. It contradicts the 30 day dispute notice.

PROTECT YOUR CREDIT - CALL THIS OFFICE TODAY! - violation?

CALL THIS OFFICE TODAY = demand for immediate action = overshadowing.

CALL THIS OFFICE TODAY = enticing the consumer to waive his right to dispute in writing by having him call = overshadowing

PROTECT YOUR CREDIT = possible violation of the Credit Repair Organizations ACT (CROA). I'm not really up on those statutes though. That's still overshadowing IMO.

You DEFINITELY want to check with the Texas Bar to see if he's registered. If not, that entire letter becomes a 1692e violation.

I think that "moral obligation line" may be a 1692e(7) violation.

"(7) The false representation or implication that the consumer committed any crime or other conduct in order to disgrace the consumer."

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Thank you!! This really helps. :D Okay, I will check with the Texas Bar and post with an update. Thanks again!!! :D

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Sorry, I forgot to ask - the bar website lets you search for lawyers licensed to practice law in TX - is registration different? Would this atty need to be licensed to practice law in TX if he's in New Mexico, where the OC is?

Thanks,

Silver

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Sorry, I forgot to ask - the bar website lets you search for lawyers licensed to practice law in TX - is registration different? Would this atty need to be licensed to practice law in TX if he's in New Mexico, where the OC is?

Thanks,

Silver

If he's threatening to sue you, he sure does.

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Maybe I'm not doing it right, but when I searched on the State Bar/TX website I couldn't find a lawyer by that name. So, if he is saying he will "exercise every necessary legal remedy available to collect this debt" then he better be licensed to practice law in TX? Ack - I couldn't find him on my search of the Bar website.

Hmm, another violation? :D

Thanks!

Silver

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"you have a legal and moral obligation"

That is nothing but language meant to itimidate you into paying. It is NOT a crime to not pay a debt ! Paying off debts is NOT a 'moral obligation' at all, its BUSINESS, nothing more, nothing less, but they ALWAYS play the 'morality' card to guilt you into coughing up the cash. Weasel words - plain and simple.

As for the "WE WILL EXERCISE EVERY NECESSARY LEGAL REMEDY AVAILABLE TO COLLECT THIS DEBT." language, its not necessarily overshadowing. His 'legal remedy' could merely be continued collection activity, it does NOT have to be a lawsuit at all.

If this 'attorney' is not licensed to practice law in TX, then he cannot sue you, he'd have to hire a TX attorney to do that. 9 will get you 10 that this is nothing more than a collection agency.

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Hi LadyNRed, sorry for the long delay responding.

Okay, I searched and could not find this lawyer anywhere on the state bar website. I sent a simple DV letter to him CMRRR, so I will wait to see what his response is.

Weasel words - my sentiments exactly! His letter was a bit sleazy with the "legal and moral" BS line.

I'll post with an update as soon as I hear back.

Thanks!

Silver

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"Icky Creditor has submitted your past due account to me for immediate investigation and collection. There must be some reason you have chosen not to pay this legal and moral obligation. You must dispute this debt in writing to me within 30 days or it will be assumed to be correct.

To avoid further action and possible associated costs, contact the Law offices and make arrangements to pay this debt. If you do not contact my law office and make arrangements for payment WE WILL EXERCISE EVERY NECESSARY LEGAL REMEDY AVAILABLE TO COLLECT THIS DEBT. (yes, this phrase was in all CAPS)

Well the first thing I see here is a violation of the FDCPA for overshadowing. Although he does not specifically say you have to contact/pay within the 30 day DV time period, he does place a substantial amount of emphasis on contacting/paying to the point that a less astute individual might be convinced that urgent action is necessary to avoid "LEGAL REMEDIES." See Jenkins v. Union Corp (ND. Illinois, 1998) and Ozkaya v. Telecheck Services (also ND. Illinois, 1997)

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Yes, that is what makes this all so confusing. I would gather from that letter that if he doesn't hear from me - and by hearing from me meaning I make full payment - that he would start a lawsuit against me. It sounds like that is the intent of the letter, although LadyNRed clarified that "legal remedies" doesn't necessarily mean a lawsuit - but it can. Sheesh! I have a headache. :D

So let's see what Mr. Sleazebag has to say in response to my DV. :D

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