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Rubin & Debski / Palisades


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I’m currently dealing with the law firm of Rubin & Debski, P.A. who is collecting for Palisades. I sent a Validation letter to Rubin & Debski on December 17, 2004 and just received a response on December 9, 2005.

In their response they state, “Enclosed please find the documentation you requested. Please remit the balance stated above to our office.” “This communication is from a debt collector. This letter is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.”

The documentation that they are referring to is a copy of a letter from Palisades that was sent to Rubin & Debski. The content of that letter follows:

Dear Rubin & Debski, P.A.:

I am a representative of PALISADES COLLECTION LLC and authorized to make this verification of debt. I am familiar with the records of the above referenced creditor in regards to the above referenced account.

After all payments have been applied, the current balance owed to PALISADES COLLECTION LLC is $10,017.15.

The original creditor is: DISCOVER BANK

Address: ___________________

City, State, Zip: ___________________

PALISADES COLLECTION LLC

By: (Signature)

Title: Accounts Specialist

Can this be considered as Validation?

What should I do next?

Would the following be a proper response?

To Whom it may concern:

This is in response to your letter dated December 9, 2005. As that is not valid under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) section 809. Validation of debts [15 USC 1692g.], I am again requesting that you send me validation of this alleged debt before you continue with your collection activities.

I would suggest you lookup and review the cases of Coppola v. Arrow Financial Services as well as Fields v. Wilber. These two examples of case law do concern the topic at hand and explains what is required to validate a disputed debt.

I have attached copies of the letter you sent, and the “Validation” request. The alleged debt and amount is disputed in its entirety.

Sincerely,

Sorry for such a long post. I appreciate any and all help/advice you may be able to provide.

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They did not send you anything from the OC. They sent you an affidavit from a CA that was collecting for the OC. This is clearly NOT the OC and the law is clear on that point. The person signing the affidavit cannot say that the account is correct, they can only testify as to the content of the CA's records.

The intent of the FDCPA is to ensure that the CA is dunning the correct person and that the amount being collected is correct. A simple printout of what the CA already has on file is not sufficient. There is tons of case law on this.

Also, refer to Fields v. Wilbur Law firm (7th cir, 2004)

Look here and pay special attention to the parts in red

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I agree, Palisades would be covered by the FDCPA. However, the law firm is validating what Palisaeds asked them to collect, so at this point, the law firm discharges its duty to validate by getting something from Palisades. I'm not saying that cinches liability, but I think it satisfies validation by the lawyer

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I don't think so. The validation rule states:

the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor

How can another debt collector be the ORIGINAL creditor. If that were the case, it would be a simple matter for a CA to circumvent the validation process: Simply buy a debt and then pass it along to another CA with an affidavit.

The term "debt collector" means any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another.

How does this definition excuse them from obtaining the paperwork from Discover? RA- you are usually spot on here, but in this case, I think you are wrong.

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IMHO, this is not proper validation although it also, in my opinion, depends on what you specifically asked for and what exactly you are trying to validate. :)

Whether it is or is not proper validation per FDCPA, it clearly is not sufficient to justify paying these people a single penny...all they have really supplied you with is a claim that they think you owe them money; something you knew the moment they contacted you in the first place!

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I agree, Palisades would be covered by the FDCPA. However, the law firm is validating what Palisaeds asked them to collect, so at this point, the law firm discharges its duty to validate by getting something from Palisades. I'm not saying that cinches liability, but I think it satisfies validation by the lawyer

Palisades was notified of a dispute through their agent. Since Palisades is a debt collector under the FDCPA, they had an obligation to obtain verification and validate the debt.

It's an end run around the protections of the statute. They will argue that they themselves never received a verification request in writing within 30 days, so they had no duty to obtain verification from whomever.

Being allowed to engage in that sort of behavior is blatantly trying to end run the protections. You are still a CA. Just because you had a CA do your work for you, did not nullify your obligation to obtain verification. Your agent was notified of the dispute in writing, and your agent communicated that dispute to you.

As you can see, they will do whatever they can to try to skirt the law. You can avoid all this by disputing directly with the JDB next time, no matter if they send one of their commission collectors after you.

I would send a follow-up letter to Palisades stating that they have failed to honor their obligations under the FDCPA.

$10,000 is a lot of money, so you better get to working on FCRA violations post haste to offset any claim they have against you.

ETA:

WTF?!

I just realized that you disputed a YEAR ago and they are just now providing this? Why did you sit on your a$$ over this when they didn't respond after a month or two?

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That letter does not even come close to meeting even the minimum requirements of the law. As Divemedic pointed out, the CA's own computer generated paper does not come close. All required information must be on the OC's own letterhead, period.

It does not matter if there is an attorney involved or not. The law is clear and stands each time when argued. Therefore, either the attorney has no knowledge of the law or is relying on the consumer to not catch the ????being passed around.

Do as advised and send a letter clearly explaining they failed to meet the requirements of the law. Go on to say that complaints are being filed with the AG, Bar, and any and all other agencies that govern debt collection and attorney's who violate the law, with or without knowledge. Also remind them that though Palisades is a JDB, they must, by law, send proof of debt from the OC, as their own computer generated letter has no legal standing in any court. Compose your letter here, minus personals, and we will gladly critique for you.

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