sifxpert

Sending DV's and CD's to Citi....

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I've been given a lot of negative feedback in regards to my posts warning members not to DV or CD any Citi accounts. So, I will explain...

In January 2004 Citi began sueing any client who sent a CD to Citi. In May 2004, Citi began sueing any client who also sent a CD or DV to a CA representing one of their accounts.

I have relationships with every CA who handles Citi accounts and they have all told me the same thing. Once the CA receives a CD or DV the account is automatically recalled and sent to a local attorney to file suit.

Citi is not bending on settlements. Its quite obvious that Citi has been giving a very difficult time to everyone trying to settle.

When Citi changed their policy they flagged every uncollected account that has a CD or DV noted and filed suit. I had accounts that we sent a DV or CD to over a year before they changed their policy and yes, they were sued.

Our legal fees increased by 20k per month and so did many other companies like my own for defending their clients. Some companies spend well over 6 figures per month on Citi alone.

Although, this may not be the same for everyone but speaking for myself and everyone else I know in this industry we are all experiencing the same results.

I strongly urge any member dealing with Citi to not send a CD or DV. If you are looking for positive results it would be best to try to settle for 50% when it has gone to a CA. When the account is with the CA wait 60 days and call and offer 50%. I settle Citi accounts with the CA's for 50-55%. No more.

I do not work for Citi and most who know me on this forum know that I do not work for any OC or CA. I simply see what Citi has done to so many of my clients and after reading this forum enough I think it is an absolute shame.

If you doubt any of what I have listed here please call a CA or Citi themselves and ask them before you post any more negative remarks.

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Okay, so here's my thoughts...

IF...big IF...you have money to work with, perhaps you can try for a settlement. But if, like me, circumstances take your income away, settlement is not an option.

Therefore, unless you can file BK, you have no choice but to play the DV game against any collector and / or lawyer that might come after you. The idea is to get the CA and / or lawyer to trip over their own arrogance to the point where you can sue them.

So, if you DV a citibank collector, and that cause citibank to pull the account back in and hand it to a lawyer...DV the lawyer (they're still just another collector). If the lawyer responds with a summons, then deny everything for lack of proof and show up in court...show the judge the original DV letter and point out that you do not have proof that the CA / lawyer / whatever has the right to try to collect on this debt.

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I completely agree and I was using this process for some time but what I learned very fast is that Citi will show up to court with just about everything to slam your a$$ against the wall.

"So, if you DV a citibank collector, and that cause citibank to pull the account back in and hand it to a lawyer...DV the lawyer (they're still just another collector). If the lawyer responds with a summons, then deny everything for lack of proof and show up in court...show the judge the original DV letter and point out that you do not have proof that the CA / lawyer / whatever has the right to try to collect on this debt."

Your IF as a very big IF and Citi unlike other creditors...they do not trip over their own feet.

Citi comes prepared and ready to serve you in court. Citi for the most part does not use collection attorneys for this type of case. They are not your typical paper pushing attorneys which is the problem.

Most collection attorneys are just hoping for that easy default and do not come prepared. Not Citi my friend.

Its not worth the risk. Any other creditor roll the dice. I do. With Citi its just not worth it. They have their ducks ina row every time.

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My .02....

I can see both sides ..

However....if your cash flow is short or non-existant then you may be forced to DV to add time as well as hope the lawyers trip on something.

An outright settlement may not be an option at all depending on the situation.

I am somewhat in that boat now with Cap 1 auto.

If you don't have the money then what are you supposed to do? Just ignore it and wait for the summons? No disrespect intended.

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This is in regards to CITI only. Citi is unlike the others. By sending a dispute or CD to Citi or a CA representing citi it is not a stall tactic...rather a speedy way to get served.

What I wrote is specific to Citi only. Please read again.

I send DV's and CD's all day long. I have one person on my payroll who does nothing else but these letters. The only creditor we do not send it is Citi. The client must deal with the calls until the account is settled or sold.

DV all you want as long its not citi.

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Ok got a question for you sifxpert.

I did DV Midland Credit Management prior to reading any of your advice. Since then I've been biting my nails.

Date of last Status 12/2000 (as of EX)

DOLA: 1/2001 (as of EQ)

TU has N/A for the DOLA.

Funny thing is that there is no Associates account lising on DWs CR, except on TU which only says paid as agreed (no derogs showing). So I have no clue how Midland could be collecting on this account since it is not showing on EX or EQ at all and has no negatives on TU. Baffles my mind frankly. So I DVd them. She has never had a first contact from them. I am living in MI so the SOL on the account is 6 years (according to one of the pages here).

What do you think I should do? Hope that CITI does not repurchase the account back?

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yeah, good news!

Thanks! I am betting dollars to doughnuts that they cannot validate the account. Plus they have re-aged the account twice and I've got them red handed with proof of that. Been speaking with a few lawyers locally to see if I can force their hand and I am busy trying to give Midland enough rope to hang themselves.

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They will provide validation but normally they will serve you first. But, my point was initially, to help prevent the account from getting to an attorney.

If you have a small balance less than 10k most times they go to CA's and some accounts well over 10k also go to CA's.

If you send a CD or DV letter to either Citi or to the CA the account will then be recalled and sent to a local attorney. Once a local attorney has the account they will serve you.

To answer your question, it is a violation to serve a consumer after submitting a DV but in all honesty, the plaintiff attorney could really care less about it and apparently, the judges do too.

What it boils down to is "Do you owe the debt or not?"

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TheLookingGlass You need to be certain who you're dealing with. If the letter you've received has the "mini-miranda" (i.e., "this is an attempt to collect a debt") verbage on it, the what you've got is just a CA who happens to be an attorney. On the other hand, if that isn't on the letter, then PERHAPS you're dealing with an attorney who works for Citi. The former is more likely, so yes you should DV them.

If they do respond with a summons (continued collection) without validation then they have violated the FDCPA...in which case you should respond to the summons and plan on showing up in court. You should admit your name and address and then answer all other questions with "lacks sufficient knowledge to affirm or deny". And then, turn around and sue them in small claims for violation of the FDCPA.

Will the judge care? Who knows. Some judges do...some don't. Most CA attornies expect us poor consumers to roll over and cough up money, so they might not even show up...in which case, you win by default.

Read...read...read...there's lots of info here on just that subject.

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It sounds as if you are all saying that the law means very little. Intent of the law is for more important than the word of the law and the judge will not be expected to follow the word but the intent. Must of this process seem to be based on the word not the intent. I have always thought that it is safer to settle than go to court but I am beginning to think it is almost the only way.

It seems that other OC's can go the same route if they become to popular with DV process aware people. Then the teeth of the FDCPA and FCRA are lost in the paper work.

[:writing with fear;]

It seems that most people here are "pro se" because they can't find legal assistance. If I understand what is being implied, it is difficult to find a lawyer because there is no such thing as a "slam dunk" case a judge can just not care and you lose.

I've been very naive about the judicial process protecting my rights. I've not read threads about the mindset of the courts but I will start. Is this why there are few laws like FDCPA against the OC? Are you suggesting that judges are more likely to side with the company over the individual?

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It's called "having the best judicial system money can buy"

Lawyers write laws that are impossible to interpret unless a lawyer does so. Self preservation. Judges and lawyers hang out together at country clubs so Judges will not have patience for someone going pro se when he would rather have you hire one of his clubhouse friends, before the judge rules against you.

Sucks. Then they wonder why Ted Kaczynski and Tim McVeigh did what they did.

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Although I don't condone Ted Kaczynski's and Tim McVeigh's actions, I can understand some of the frustration. This thread just confirms it happens to all classes and races. I guess having certain civil rights provides us a chance to be frustrated by the government because we are allowed to know about the problems.

This thread seems to be saying we are no better than we were in the 60's when citizens were enlightened to the oppression of the 50's or during slavery when citizens of one class were oppressed or even compared to oppressive governments where the citizen can become one of the oppressors if enough tribute is given.

Back to the problem at hand,

If Citi takes you to court and you sue their CA on FDCPA violations, can you include citi as a defendant since they tried to short cut your right to verify that the debt is yours? It is conceivable that the OC is wrong when contacting you about debt. Many times I’ve had bills that were incorrect and the company was difficult to deal with.

...PERHAPS you're dealing with an attorney who works for Citi...

What do you do about this case?

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There's only one sure thing about receiving a summons regarding a debt. If you don't respond and you don't show up in court...you'll lose.

On the other hand, fight back...and you just might win.

There a lots of posts all over the board here from people that have responded to summons and / or filed pro se suits and won against CAs, OCs, and CRAs.

The truth is that CAs, OCs, and JDBs are most intent on dealing with people that don't know their rights and are easy marks. The folks that do fight back often win. Yes, some judges are part of the buddy system and will not deal with non-lawyers. But on the other hand, some judges are fair and impartial and will even give a well prepared individual the benefit of the doubt. After all, small claims courts are built with that in mind.

Personally, I don't think I'd be inclined to beleive that someone who makes his living off of telling other people "hey, you can't win in court, but we can settle your debts for less than the full amount" is telling me the whole truth.

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Oh, and TheLookingGlass yes, you can include the OC in your case against a CA. In fact, if the attorney works for Citi, and doesn't respond to your DV, then you might have an even stronger case.

The point is, you can include whoever you like in your suit...obviously, if you get to carried away, the judge may dismiss the case a frivolus...but read about other suits filed by people on the board here. It is possible to fight back and win.

Remember...the fact that you owe somebody some money...and the methods they use in attempting to collect it...are two different things. The FDCPA is little about the debt and all about making them play fair with the "least sophisticated consumer". Very few CAs know what that means.

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Guys, I started this thread specifically focusing on Citi and trying to avoid going to court. Again, this is specifically regarding CITI. CITI. PLease understand!!

Willing...I do not make my living off of telling people "not to go to court because you will lose, let us settle". This is not true at all and as a matter of fact, I currently have 20 cases pending and since January, I have had approx 60 cases total. 17 were won by us, dismissed with full delete. 20 pending, but the other 23 were all citi and guess what...we either settled out of court for 80% or lost every one of them costing us tons in legal fees.

I spend a lot of time on this site learning how other people are sueing and winning and also defending themselves.

I am part of a trade organization that represents the debt settlement industry and we all speak. Citi has every one of us with our backs to the walls. No one is winning cases against Citi.

We have been fighting against other creditors and winning. Most will not send to an attorney any longer because they know if they see our name attached to the account we will fight in court and if we do not win, they are going to have to pay for the fight and since each of them end in settlement why pay the extra cash to an attorney and lose out more?

I fight every one in court including citi. At least if we lose, we go down fighting and we hit citi right in their pockets or whatever the taliban hold their money in...their turbans perhaps?

Anyway, the focus of this thread is on Citi and how to avoid going to court. Simply stated, DV or CD Citi or thier Ca's and expect a summons. If the account is with a local attorney already...DV them and CD them as a stall tactic.

Since I am in the industry it is very easy to look only at the possibility of my ulterior motives but look at my posts...am I trying to generate business here or could I possibly be looking out for the best interest of the consumer and the fellow members of this group?

I think I have provided some very useful information and if anyone really took the time to look into the validity of my statements they would find that I am correct. So before you jump the gun and post some ridiculous statement that I shouldn't be trusted without having anything to back it up with look into what I am talking about, educate yourself and come back with facts instead of pety criticism.

Again, this thread is to assist people with Citi accounts. Nothing else.

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I am a veteran of several suits with Citi. I agree that they are not kidding around when they take you to court. Crap 1 sends attorneys to court who seem to have difficulty even matching up their shoes in the morning. Not so, the Citi crew. In my county, they send veterans of the credit wars, armed with the correct ammunition to sink your lilttle DV boat. They are a judgment machine and, in our court, statements stand as validation. They willl, however, be happy to talk to you about settling, either before first time up or they will be honest at the call and tell the judge you are working on a settlement and they want a continuance to pursue it - rather than pushing for a quick judgment right then and there. They seem to want to hold the settlement line at 70-80% if you wait this long to work on an offer. However, once you have an agreement and hand over the check, they are scrupulous about getting you that DWP and copies of the orders. When they are done, they will leave you smarting, but they are done. Not so, with other attorneys I have encountered who will settle with you and then try to slip a DWOP past you thus leaving the door open for some CA to purchase the remainder of the debt and sue you all over again. Take a field trip to your local court - it's a real education on who hires the real players and who hires the posers.

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THANK YOU!!!

Finally, someone who can back me up a little on this one here or actually a lot.

It gets quite annoying seeing such negative posts by members who are not speaking from professional experience. I can appreciate looking out for the best interest of the other members but you must take into consideration that perhaps, your input may have a very serious adverse effect on an uneducated member in need of an educated opinion.

Citi hires the best in my opinion. I have excellent attorneys in California who get their asses handed to them against Citi on a regular basis. Advising a pro se consumer to go against Citi is simply suicide.

Again, I appreciate you speaking up.

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Unless Cti has changed their strategy, tho, one thing I will disagree on is that Citi will always file against you as soon as you DV their initially assigned CA. With each account, we went through about 4 assigned CAs on the way to a Citi summons. With each one I played the delay game by DV’ing them while writing to Citi at the same time to try to work out a settlement and create a paper trail that we were interested in working things out and paying off the debt directly to the OC – the only question was terms. Citi continued to refer us back to their CAs to settle even though I had told them we wouldn’t work with a CA, but that was fine - we needed time. All the CAs disappeared without providing validation until a local collection law firm got the assignments, thus pretty much telegraphing Citi’s intentions to take us to court. My final DV just bought me an additional 30 days to finish getting the cash together to settle. They filed about three days after mailing me validation and we moved on to settlement discussions. We did have legal counsel on retainer but were able to do almost everything Pro Se. Our attorney was helpful in tuning up my first settlement agreement but thought that we were negotiating well on our own. He gave us no hope of being able to prevail in court without perjuring ourselves by denying a debt the OC could easily prove was ours – the only question was how much it would take to settle prior to judgment. If a CA had purchased the debt from Citi and filed suit, our approach to defending in court would most likely have been different, depending on what they might have had as validation and how they had gone about trying to collect.

On the stranger side of what Citi will do - Citi filed against DH to take him to arbitration when they were only reporting him as 2 payments late – no CAs, not even a dunning letter from their in-house collection department – we had just mailed a large “catch-up” payment bringing the account current (or so we thought) and received a summons a couple of days later. We may have been able to do more with that one but by that time we were so sick of Citi. We were fortunate enough to have some cash at the time to work out a settlement through their attorney and we just wanted to be done with Citi.

I will also say, from experience, that you never know what will work until you try it so I can’t fault the advisors who pretty much advise the OP to throw everything at the wall to see what will stick. You just never know - sometimes the CAs really step into it and you can make that work in your favor. When I first started this journey I didn’t have a clue how to work through the collection system and get the time I needed to try to settle my debts directly with the OC. I am fortunate to not have had to work through any debts that have been sold to CAs yet but, before I found these boards, I made settlements with OCs without getting releases and those may be coming back to haunt me. Before I found the wealth of info on these boards I was scared to death every time the mail arrived and the phone rang. I have amazed myself at how much I have been able to accomplish in digging out from under with the help of the folks on this board. I have a bit farther to go and will continue to read posts and seek advice. But advice is just that and the posters who are serious need to educate themselves enough to be able to consider all of the info and how it may or may hot work with their particular situation. So many new posters, tho, seem to be looking for someone to give them the quick fix. I was an ostrich, myself; keeping my head in the sand and hoping for someone to tell me how to make it all go away. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Digging out is hard work – your mess didn’t happen overnight and you have to put in the time and the work to get out from under.

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I 'm another newbie. I've been reading this whole site for several months, and some other sites as well, but this is my favorite one and yes I think I may be obcessed! Thanks so much to all you people who have asked questions (thats hard too) as well as the ones who send advise. You are so knowledgable and super supportive. Anyway to my question; Needless to say I wish I had read the advice beforehand about NOT sending a C&D letter to Citi because sure enough I sent one for my mother as her POA (they were making an elderly sick woman crazy) and they sent the account to a local attorney, I immediately DV'ed them and they quickly sent 3 years of statements. So... The lawyer filed for a judgement and served me and then I filed a motion to vacate to make an extremely long story short --The lawyer delayed the hearing date because I said I would settle, so I offered 15%, he sent it to Citi, they said NO and that the offer did'nt include medical proof. Ok now next step I can offer a little more because my brother came up with some money to help me with the offer. 1). Do I send a new offer letter to the Lawyer or Citi directly and do I include "hardship explanation" or should I call the lawyer as I did the first time? 2). Knowing that they only except 50% (sometimes) do I even try for 35%--thats about as high as we can go? 3). Sixfpert (I think that is right) do you know anybody at Citi that might work with me?? Thanks in advance.

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I'm also a newbiel. I've got a question for sifxpert, as well. I've got Citi reporting on my CR an amount my mother was responisble for from her Sears credit card. She has since past away, and there were not funds to settle the account in her estate. I, however, was an AU on the account. I've disputed it with the CRA's and Citi keeps reporting it on my report as "not responsible". Does it hurt me?

My second question is that I currently have 2 accounts with Sears, now Citi that I'm delinquent on because of my DH's pancreas transplant. One of them will let me go on a "franction program" for 6 months for zero interest and small payments. The other, however, will not take my $25 a month or lower the interest rate. They insist on $64 and the same default interest rate of almost 29%. Any ideas?

Also, IthinkIcan, I wish you much luck in dealing with Citi. You sound like a nice person who deserves it.

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Normally, the hardship programs are only offered to those who are behind. The creditors will not assist in any way until they think they will get nothing at all. Even then, they make it difficult. What they want is to make you decide that putting food on your table is less important than paying your cards.

I would call again and demand to speak to a manager. Explain the situation and tell them you will send medical documents to support your hardship. They should comply but they may not. Sears/Citi are extremely difficult to deal with.

If that does not work here is the number for the sears hardship dept...800-733-1116 or 888-620-2309. I think its the 1116 number. Just ask to speak to the hardship dept. Don't be surprised but of all the 1000's of employees...they have 2 people who run the hardship dept. Just goes to show how much they are willing to help. It took me a long time to get this contact number.

Keep me updated.

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