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West Asset Response


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I received a letter today from a Mitchell B. (an alleged general counsel for West Asst. Mgt) regarding a letter I sent them to DV to medical collections they have listed on my CR.

* I sent out a DV for 2 medical collections. I only rcvd a print out statement of only of the accts. It didn't have any letterhead but a computer print out from their own in-house.

* I sent a 2nd DV (April 20th) requesting proper validation & that they failed to validate one of the accts I requested. They never responded.

Now, more than a month later I get this letter from them:

"I am a general counsel to West Asset and your request for validation has been forwarded to me for reply. Our records note validation was previously sent to you.

(Out of the 2 accts I requested DV for-they only sent their print out statement for just one-never validated the other acct)

Debt verification under the FDCPA is intented to be a straightforward process to confirm in writing that the collection efforts are being directed to the appropiate person and are not based on incorrect information.

No other information is required to be furnished pursuant to the FDCPA."

I understand the FDCPA doens't enforce them to send documentation from the OC- but they haven't clearly validated the debts for me.

I am planning to clearly state to Mitchell B. that they never sent me proper validation in the 1st place and that they failed to validate one of the accts, but is there anything else I can add?

I have filed a complaint w/the BBB and I have sent a letter to the AG of GA...

I'd like to response to this letter since they poorly responded to me originally when I requested validation.

Any suggestions are appreciated!

Thanks!

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"I am a general counsel to West Asset and your request for validation has been forwarded to me for reply. Our records note validation was previously sent to you.

(Out of the 2 accts I requested DV for-they only sent their print out statement for just one-never validated the other acct)

Debt verification under the FDCPA is intented to be a straightforward process to confirm in writing that the collection efforts are being directed to the appropiate person and are not based on incorrect information.

No other information is required to be furnished pursuant to the FDCPA."

Well, the Wollman letter says that mere itemization isn't adequate to meet the validation standards. A recent Supreme Court ruling (this year) said that, "unofficial" letters written by administrative agencies can be used for legal interpretation (don't know the name of that ruling however).

Here is the standard letter I write to a CA when I get unacceptable validation, which cites the Wollman letter, in part:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am in receipt of your letter mailed on (date). This is a request for information only, tendered without prejudice, and is not a statement, election, or waiver of status, nor an admission of liability, nor is it a refusal to pay, but a notice that your claim is being disputed in its entirety. This is a request for “VALIDATION” of this alleged debt as defined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (B) that your claim is disputed and validation is requested.

Be advised that I am not requesting a "verification" that you have my mailing address, I am requesting a "VALIDATION”; that is, competent evidence that I have some contractual obligation to pay you.

Clarification:

According to the FTC, a “validation” of a debt must include both a signed contract and a complete itemization of the account. You can reference this case law/opinion letters at the following two web links.

1. http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/letters/wollman.htm

2. http://www.state.in.us/judiciary/opinions/archive/03260101.ewn.html

To summarize:

To “validate” this debt, by law, you must provide a copy of the original signed contract for the alleged debt, as well as a detailed accounting of the alleged debt including payments made. Your failure to respond will work as a waiver to any and all of your claims in this matter.

Documents I am asking for:

1. A copy of the original contract that has my signature on it.

2. Any and all documents detailing the accounting of this alleged debt (from inception to current date).

3. All documentation as provided on the second page of this letter.

Until such time as you provide these documents, I will take the position that this presentment is erroneous. Failure to respond within 30 days will be taken to mean that you have, "acquiesced" and from that date forward the concept of, "Estoppel by silence/acquiescence" shall prevail.

I request that all contact shall be done via US postal mail.

Sincerely,

MP

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isnt there a HIPAA clause to add for medical bills?

basically if the CA does get information on you the the OC is in violation of HIPAA laws and you can use that to your leverage against the OC.

On (date) , I (or name of patient) was provided health services by (name of OC).

On or about (date of violation) and subsequent to 04/13/2003 (OC) communicated private health care information to one or more unauthorized parties without any permissible purpose under HIPAA privacy rules, and absent my signed authorization.

Since there is NO balance due on this account, there is NO permitted business purpose under the HIPAA privacy rules.

This unauthorized dissemination of private health care information has been, and continues to be of great detriment to my wellfare, and is a violation of the HIPAA privacy rules.

I have entered this complaint after exhausting all possible means of prevailing upon (OC) to cease and desist the continued dissemination of private health information to unauthorized parties and after (OC) has refused my requests to comply with the privacy rules of HIPAA.

I am including with this complaint, copies of the return receipts from (OC) acknowledging receipt of these letters requesting compliance (copies enclosed)

Enclosed please find the dated proof of the continued illegal dissemination of this private health information.

Include copy of letter from CRA stating they have verified or have investigated or have changed the entry in ANY WAY

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