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My First time here


ntlnfn
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Im kind of new to this whole collection thing. I have a CA that is constantly calling my house using the old out of area on the caller ID. They also call my cell phone. I finally told them to stop calling and that I did not owe the debt. The woman I spoke with agreed to not call and only correspond by mail. So the calls stopped for a week, then she calls again and leaves a message and actually says on the recording "I know I agreed to only contact you by mail but I had not heard from you and I wanted to call you about his account..." I saved the message. Now they have started calling again on their normal two to three times a day on my home number and on my cell. I was going to send them a DV letter and see what they are sitting on as far as proof. I really feel like this is a dbet I don't owe. I have no recollection of this supposed OC. Any initial advice from the pros on the board?

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First of all, if you don’t want to talk with these people (and I recommend that you don’t), don’t answer their calls at all.

Second; you have at least two options on how to handle this.

You can send a “Cease and Desist” (C&D) letter demanding they cease all contact with you. I would also say in the letter that you dispute this debt in its entirety/that it is not your debt at all. I believe you can find sample C&D letters on this and other sites

The problem with sending a C&D letter is that you leave the creditor only two options, to sue or go away…which one they will do depends on a lot of factors and probably the most important one is how much the debt is.

The second option is to dispute the debt in its entirety and demand validation which in your case will include proof that this is actually your debt, etc. Again, there are sample DV letters on this site. In the letter you can demand they never call you, especially your cell phone, and to correspond only by mail (verbal arrangements are totally worthless).

If after 30 days they don’t properly validate (which is very likely) you can follow up with a “15 day” letter and then follow-up with a C&D letter based on their lack of validation.

The second option is probably the better of the two although it’s also more time consuming.

For any correspondence, only send US Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested and a copy of the same letter(s) send regular US Mail with Proof of Mailing.

Hope that helps some!

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Actually, there is some wiggle room there. There is no provision in the FDCPA that says a CA has to obey a limited C&D. All you can do is try a full C&D.

Even so, the FDCPA being a strict liability statute is no guarantee of the full $1000. They could rule in your favor, but only award $1.

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the supposed debt is $5000. I have drafted a Debt validation letter and am sending it today to them. I'll let you know what happens. She did leave a message on my cell phone voicemail saying she knew she was asked to not call but she wanted too anyway essentially. She has continued to call at all hours. She also got my wife on the phone one day and did not identify herself. she simply began asking her questions. what is the best way to document these violations? should i record all phone messages and keep them. I live in Missouri by the way.

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also wanted to add that they sent a copy of the collection letter to a relative of mine. is this a violation considering they know our address and phone number and can say that they know we live there?

This was somewhat emabarassing to explain to my relative as well.

One more thing the OC is Citibank, I heard they sue you if you ask for validation. Is that likely to happen. Should I let them build up more violations before I DV the account?

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Agreed, a "limited" Cease and Desist notice is questionable at best for stopping the calls. However, there is another alternative to using the full C&D provision.

section 805 of the FDCPA says:

§ 805. Communication in connection with debt collection [15 USC 1692c]

(a) COMMUNICATION WITH THE CONSUMER GENERALLY. Without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt --

(1) at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer. In the absence of knowledge of circumstances to the contrary, a debt collector shall assume that the convenient time for communicating with a consumer is after 8 o'clock antimeridian and before 9 o'clock postmeridian, local time

at the consumer's location;

Just tell the collector IN WRITING (CMRRR) that it is inconvenient for the collector to call at home or at work per section 805 of the FDCPA. All communication shall be in writing only.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A consumer can send a limited C&D to a CA and it will hold up. Though the law does not include the verbiage regarding a limited, it does apply. As long as the consumer clearly explains the CA is only allowed to communicate by mail, they must obey. Remember, the consumer is not telling the CA to go away, they are simply stating they will only communicate by mail, which could also mean they can't have calls at work, or whatever else may apply. Thus, they are only saying the CA must cease and desist using the phone. Mind you, if it goes to court, and the Judge, not a "wannabe", hears a consumer relate all of the threatening calls, intimidation, and harassment, the CA usually ends up having a problem. Especially if there are recordings, logs, witnesses, etc.

Also remember, there is no law that causes a consumer to have to deal with a CA, only the agreement you signed with the OC regarding assignments. And no one can force you to, either. The best way to deal with this is to send a CMRR letter to the OC that clearly explains that you refuse to deal with their assignee due to continued violations of law governing debt collections by several in the industry, or words to that effect. Then you state that, in some states, an OC can be held liable for the actions of their assignee. Sometimes this will cause them to work with you in resolving this matter.

To include, a CA cannot cause you any costs for a phone call. Thus, cell phones are not allowed unless the consumer used it as their only number. Then, on the first call, you inform them of your home number and give it to them, then your cell becomes poisonous. In short, first time without knowledge, is a free ride. If they had both to begin with, then they are in trouble from the start. Read FDCPA 808(5).

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