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DV with Bankruptcy papers?


BoudreauOnMyBack
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Over a year ago, my husband and I declared Ch13. This past June, we had it dismissed by request of our bank so we could refinance our house. At the 11th hour, the bank turned down our request for a loan based on the fact that we have a manufactured home (the second home) on our property. We're still working to get that situation straightened out, and in the meantime, we've been clearing up our debt.

So, here's my question:

We learned that Sears had charged off our account once we declared bankruptcy. The account was purchased by Sherman Acquisitions. We are now getting calls from Boudreau and Associates demanding $4500 on an account that we only owed $1800 in the first place.

At first, they continually harrassed my husband at work, calling several times a day and talking too fast for him to even get a word in. They nearly had him convinced to give them all the money we have in savings to pay off most of the $4500 when I stepped in. I asked for validation and told them that they were no longer allowed to contact us by phone. They said if we disputed the debt, we would be perjuring ourselves becase we had sworn the debt was valid in our Bankruptcy petition and we would go to jail. (I filed a complaint with our state Atty General after that.)

Today, in the mail, I got a copy of our Bankruptcy petition from them with the Sears account highlighted. I assume my next step is to get them to prove they are legally allowed to collect the debt, correct? What are the chances they are?

Furthermore, the account hasn't been used since 1997. The SoL for my state is six years. Because we listed it in our Bankruptcy petition, has the SoL been renewed?

I've searched through the forums for a couple of days trying to see if my question had already been answered, so I apologize if it already has.

Thanks in advance for any and all help. (Also, bop me up side the head if I used any wrong terminology.)

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What an interesting way to completely f*ck up validation. Never seen this one before.

Sending you a copy of your BK petition is not validation. In fact, if Sears sold off this debt before the BK was dismissed, they are in trouble.

How did they arrive at the $4500 figure?

Did they break down the $4500 into fees, interest, principal etc?

Did they send all required notices through the mail (this is from a debt collector, any information will be used etc etc. You have 30 days to dispute this in writing etc etc)?

A dismissed BK MAY have given your creditor a window to file suit against you to recover the balance. Usually those windows are 30 days though, and it seems you are far past that. Depends on your state.

I wish you had them on tape saying that disputing the debt would be perjury. That's all sorts of FDCPA violations right there.

You need to get to Radio Shack for a phone recorder and get them on the phone again. The $50 you spend will be well worth it IMO.

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Actually, I DO have them on tape! I recorded the conversation on my answering machine—with their permission!

They also said that if we didn't pay, they would call the payroll office at my work and have them garnish my wages or they would put a lien against my house. (Unfortunately, NOT caught on tape.)

That's when I knew something was screwed up and googled my way here.

The only form I got in the mail said we owed $2300 and that they were collecting.

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Actually, I DO have them on tape! I recorded the conversation on my answering machine—with their permission!

That's just lovely!

They also said that if we didn't pay, they would call the payroll office at my work and have them garnish my wages or they would put a lien against my house. (Unfortunately, NOT caught on tape.)

That's a shame.

The only form I got in the mail said we owed $2300 and that they were collecting.

Did their letter include any of the following?

"the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose"

"the amount of the debt;"

"the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;"

"a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;"

"a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and"

"a statement that, upon the consumer’s written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor. "

Are the phonecalls you just started getting and that letter the first you've been contacted about this?

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Yes, but I'm going to retype it here, just to make sure I didn't miss anything:

Client: NCM TRST

Original Creditor: Sears-Sears

Account Number:***********

Balance: $2352.28

Dear ********:

This law firm has been retained by the above named client to assist it in the collection of your above referenced account. Your account was assigned from the above stated creditor. The balance stated about is the total amount due as of the date of this letter. Your balance may include additional charges, including interest or collection costs, as applied at the direction of our client, if such charges are permissible in accordance with the terms of your agreement and with applicable law. Pursuant to the terms of your agreement, the total balance is due and payable in full.

Unless payment in full is made or you arrange for the repayment of this debt through this office in a manner acceptable to our client, this office will conduct a review of your account. Our review is undertaken to determine whether there is a valid legal despute to the indebtedness, and if none, the most effective means to secure repayment. Please not that our client seeks an amicable, voluntary and non-litigious resolution to this matter. It is our hope that you take this opportunity to contact our office concerning this matter.

Please note that this office shall assume the validity of this debt unless you dispute said debt, or any portion therof, within thirty (30) days of receipt of this letter. Upon written notification that this debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, this office shall obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against you and mail you a copy of such verification or judgment. Furthermore, upon written request within the said thirty (30) day period, this office shall provide you with the name and address of the original creditor.

Unless you either dispute the debt within thirty (30) days or contact this office to discuss repayment with a non-attorney account manager at the above listed toll-free number, this office shall have no alternative but to proceed as indicated above.

Sincerely,

Richard J. Boudreau

This correspondence is from a debt collector. This is an attempt to collect a debt, and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.

__________

And then there is some other stuff on the back of the letter that says the law firm employs people that aren't attorneys, that the letter is computer generated and that while they're not licensed to practice law in my state (Oregon), the original creditor may hire another attorney in our state to pursue the matter. (paraphrased. let me know if you'd like me to type it out.)

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Client: NCM TRST

Who? Never heard of that.

Balance: $2352.28

Violation

Also, where did the $4500 come from? Just the phone?

Unless payment in full is made or you arrange for the repayment of this debt through this office in a manner acceptable to our client, this office will conduct a review of your account.

An attorney should've already conducted one. Not doing so is a violation.

Sincerely,

Richard J. Boudreau

And then there is some other stuff on the back of the letter that says the law firm employs people that aren't attorneys, that the letter is computer generated and that while they're not licensed to practice law in my state (Oregon), the original creditor may hire another attorney in our state to pursue the matter. (paraphrased. let me know if you'd like me to type it out.)

They just admitted to you that they are committing a violation. This is not the first time I've seen a lawfirm/CA have this disclosure on the back of a letter. Attorneys can't rent their signature.

Here's the thing. I've never seen "NCM TRST" before. You mentioned Sherman, so I assume that NCM TRST is yet another subsidiary of Sherman (they have many), but you never know.

Normally my advice would be to send a DV to the JDB and their CA, but in this case I can't be 100% sure since I dunno who the JDB is.

Did they tell you on the phone they are from Sherman?

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I searched from other boards and came up with very little. You are not the first person they sent copies of BK filings to though. I almost wonder if these guys just check BK filings that were dismissed then dun the person to see if they pay. It wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility (and not a bad racket).

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Balance: $2352.28

Violation

Also, where did the $4500 come from? Just the phone?

Yes, they said it had gone up to $4500 from the time they mailed us the letter. Also, why is stating the balance a violation?

They just admitted to you that they are committing a violation. This is not the first time I've seen a lawfirm/CA have this disclosure on the back of a letter. Attorneys can't rent their signature.

They are a law firm, with several attorneys on staff, and they say an attorney has approved the letter to be sent to me, but that it's most likely not the attorney that signed the letter.

Here's the thing. I've never seen "NCM TRST" before. You mentioned Sherman, so I assume that NCM TRST is yet another subsidiary of Sherman (they have many), but you never know.

Normally my advice would be to send a DV to the JDB and their CA, but in this case I can't be 100% sure since I dunno who the JDB is.

Did they tell you on the phone they are from Sherman?

I actually don't remember where I got Sherman from. I'm sorry. I have another CA I'm working on and I must have mixed them up.

We called Sears to find out where the account was and they said it belonged to RCS. Upon calling RCS, we found it now belonged to the NCM TRST. I do have a phone number for NCM TRST, but that's all I have on them.

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Yes, they said it had gone up to $4500 from the time they mailed us the letter. Also, why is stating the balance a violation?

LOL, what a blatant lie. Do you have that on tape?

They have to do more than state the balance. They have to show you how they arrived at the balance. The FDCPA has a provision to dispute portions of the debt. If you don't know how they arrived at that balance, they are eliminating your ability to dispute portions of the debt.

Also sine we are on the topic, round off the amount in your letter. The amount you have posted could be used to uniquely identify you on these boards (yes collectors do watch places like this). From now on, just round it.

They are a law firm, with several attorneys on staff, and they say an attorney has approved the letter to be sent to me, but that it's most likely not the attorney that signed the letter.

Uh-huh, sure he approved it.

I actually don't remember where I got Sherman from. I'm sorry. I have another CA I'm working on and I must have mixed them up.

We called Sears to find out where the account was and they said it belonged to RCS. Upon calling RCS, we found it now belonged to the NCM TRST. I do have a phone number for NCM TRST, but that's all I have on them.

Nice detective work. In general, stay off the phone. I usually advise to use the phone to record violations and to do detective work aka who are you guys and do you have an address?

What's the # to NCM TRST or do you also have an address on them?

Being in Oregon, CAs must be licensed and registered to do business in your state with the dept of of consumer & business services.

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