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Collection calls after debit validation letter


hummer931
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I have sent a debit valdation letter to alltell financial Certified mail on the 25 of last month and filed a dispute at same time. Have not recieved anything from them yet. HOWEVER this collection agency has contacted me 3 times since receipt of the debit validation letter (which included instructions on how to contact me no phone and only letters)

So i think i have them allready on 3 violations , i KNOW i sent it to the right addy as i sent it to the addy the equifax lasy said to send it to. and this is a 1 year old collections account that i had NEVER been called about until i debit validated!! SO i guess they get the debit validation and just decide to call??

The woman was very rude when i said Look, youve been debit validated all communication in writing only stop calling.

She said YEAH RIGHT!!!

What should i do about these 3 communications by phone? I wonder if they are gonna validate to the Credit bureas.....

Should i include these 3 communicatons in an eventual ITS letter? I dont have any recordings though is that bad?

THANKS for yalls help!!!

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Document EVERYTHING about this call and any others. If you have caller ID, take a picture of the number. The letters are a violation and so are any calls. What all did she say to you? Certain statements can be violations, too. Keep all letters AND envelopes. Next time they call, tell them it is inconvenient to call you and that they need to communicate with you in writing. THen hang up. If they keep calling, well, good for you. :twisted:

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She simply said she was calling on behalf of alltell, i said you have been debit validated and all communication is to be in writing, she said YEAH RIGHT. First 2 times she called the wife answered.

So i have all 3 call times written. have recieved nothing in writing from them. What are my courses of action if they verify the debit this week but still havent validated.

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Before you send anything else I would read a lot here, especially in the debt validation forum. It'll give you all the info you need to know. You have to be comfortable with the rules to make this work. In the meantime, let them keep screwing up. It'll only help you. You should find out if you're allowed to record in your state. If it's not your wife's debt, I think you might tell her just to hang up on them. But all these calls MUST be documented! Just be very diligent about keeping records. Keep reading and you'll find some good info for your next letter. You can post it to get help and advice on it. Good luck!!

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Ive been reading for 7 months :-) ive soaked up all i can. Im assuming that if they verify the debit and havent validated i should send an intent to sue letter containing the dates of the 3 recorded calls, the copy of the cmrrr signed letter for DV and a copy of the DV letter,

Basically say hey you broke the law by verifying but not validating AND you called me 3 times after being told not to in the DV letter. In NC thats 500.00 a pop.

What do you think as ive read until my head feels like its gonna explode. Mabye im a slow learner :=)

OR should i let them hangthemselves a second time with another DV go around THEN do an ITS?

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Oh, I see, sorry if I misunderstood. I haven't gotten past the point of DV'ing twice, so I hesitate to give advice on that one. But yeah, you could let them screw themselves while you figure out your ITS letter. Or you could do a variation on a DV, which outlines their violations but isn't a formal ITS, to give them one more chance.

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To hummer931,

Ultimately you have some basic choices--since these are FDCPA violations. And assuming you can document these violations.

1. You can sue them in court---no ITS needed.---if aggregious enough you might get more than $1000. of any number of violations---or exactly $1000.--or as little as a dollar--or you might lose----you take your chances

2. You can let them know you have them on violations and make a threat of lawsuit. I am not a fan of threats you are not willing to carry out with certainty. And if you sue them in case one or two expect a countersuit on the debt.

3. Let them know you have them on violations without a either or threat of a lawsuit--often the best course---it often prevents the collector from suing you.--giving you a Mexican standoff in many cases.

4. Hold the violations in reserve and use them if the CA sues you to counter sue on.

5. Pay the debt.

All courses have up side downside risks---ultimately you have to decide. But violations are unmitigated boons for you---only collectors stupidity can create them--your job is to document them---every single one of them.--in your case---get phone recorder asap.

Do not fail to record gift horses in the mouth.

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I think we need to slow down a bit – I don’t see any hard and fast “violations” here; at lest, not based on what has been said so far.

First of all, in my opinion (I know many here will disagree with me), telling a CA they must communicate only in writing what is often called a "limited" C&D letter) is fine but a CA does not have to abide by that request…in other words, I don't' agree that their ignoring that request, by itself, is a violation.

What might be a violation is if you could show that your DV letter was sent within the “30 day window” which should prevent all collection activity until they validate. That’s easy if you get a letter in the mail and it’s the first contact with you - not so easy when you are DVing based on their listing of the account on your bureau (which is what it sounds like).

Bottom line is, follow the DV and Dispute processes as outlined on this site and see what happens and if you don’t want to talk to these people on the phone then don’t take their calls. When the dust settles and you have some provable violations then you can decide if they are worth pursuing.

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hummer931,

Here is a c&p from section 805 of the FDCPA:

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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;

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All you have to say in your letter is that it is inconvenient for them to call you at home or at work and that you will communicate with them in writing only. If they continue to call you after that, THEN you have them on a violation of the FDCPA.

(forget the "limited cease and desist" angle. As Robert pointed out, it's iffy at best)

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For whatever it's worth; here is my take on the issue of "limited C&D"...

As I read the statute, I do not believe that the the law gives a consumer the statutory right to restrict a CA from one particular method of communication.

As noted above, the statute specifically references "time or place that is inconvenient" and also specifically mentions restrictions on contacting a consumer at their place of employment but it is otherwise silent about what methods of communication can be used by a CA.

Althouh a consumer can certainly choose to not answer a phone, open a letter or answer the doorbell if a CA shows up on their doorstep, telling a CA they can’t send a letter or make a phone call or show up in person is a different matter and I think goes beyond both the letter and the intent of the FDCPA.

I certainly agree that a consumer can make such a demand of a CA but I don’t believe that’s it’s enforceable in court and/or constitutes a violation if the CA calls after the demand is made.

If someone can point me to some Fed case law to prove me wrong I’d appreciate it.

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Collection agencies if they do not validate your debt yet continue to pursue collection activity (file for judgments, call or write you)

Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA FDCPA

Section 809 (B),

FTC opinion letter Cass from LeFevre

$1,000

Collection agencies if you have sent them a cease and desist letter and they still call you

Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA FDCPA

Section 805 © $1,000

Seems pretty clear cut to me. :?:

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Collection agencies if they do not validate your debt yet continue to pursue collection activity (file for judgments, call or write you)

Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA FDCPA

Section 809 (B),

FTC opinion letter Cass from LeFevre

$1,000

Collection agencies if you have sent them a cease and desist letter and they still call you

Consumer protection afforded by the FDCPA FDCPA

Section 805 © $1,000

Seems pretty clear cut to me. :?:

Section 809 isn't the issue here...no one is disagreeing that if validation is requested within the 30 day window that the CA must cease collection until they validate; whether the OP did that here is not immieiately clear as I indicated in my first post.

That aside, there is a difference between a C&D letter which restricts ALL communication (and is specifically addressed by the statute) and trying to restrict a CA from one specific method of communication which, as I read it, is not addressed by the statute.

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I know what you mean, but doesn't the typical DV letter simply ask the CA to only communicate in writing? That's not telling them to go away, just to stop calling. The OP was asking only about phone calls. Obviously the CA should not be calling; it was sent to them in writing, to ONLY contact him/her in writing. It's a violation every time they call.

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Suppose you request a DV and get a simple basic statement with name, OC, address, balance,and fees...(something the CA considers a DV), so they continue to report on your CR. You do not beleive the CA has validated the debt and tell them to remove their report on the CR. Are they breaking the law if they continue to report?

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I know what you mean, but doesn't the typical DV letter simply ask the CA to only communicate in writing? That's not telling them to go away, just to stop calling. The OP was asking only about phone calls. Obviously the CA should not be calling; it was sent to them in writing, to ONLY contact him/her in writing. It's a violation every time they call.

I think we are just going to have to disagree!

It is true that many consumer sites, this one included, include a “limited cease and desist” statement in their sample DV letters that directs the CA to limit all contact to written correspondence and I see no harm in making that request.

All I’m saying is that I don’t see, in the statute, that there is any such provision in section 805 that can enforce that request in court and that’s why I cautioned everyone to slow down a bit before calling everything a violation.

Ultimately, it’s for the FTC and the courts to decide what is and isn’t a violation but as I read the FDCPA, I don’t see this as violation.

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Suppose you request a DV and get a simple basic statement with name, OC, address, balance,and fees...(something the CA considers a DV), so they continue to report on your CR. You do not beleive the CA has validated the debt and tell them to remove their report on the CR. Are they breaking the law if they continue to report?

It depends on several items but in general, what a CA is actually required to send as validation to meet the letter of the law is pretty light…they simply don’t have to provide a huge amount of stuff in order to meet the validation test and, therefore, continue collection activity.

As for reporting to the bureaus, if they’ve met the minimum requirements for validation then they can report.

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Suppose you request a DV and get a simple basic statement with name, OC, address, balance,and fees...(something the CA considers a DV), so they continue to report on your CR. You do not beleive the CA has validated the debt and tell them to remove their report on the CR. Are they breaking the law if they continue to report?

It depends on several items but in general, what a CA is actually required to send as validation to meet the letter of the law is pretty light…they simply don’t have to provide a huge amount of stuff in order to meet the validation test and, therefore, continue collection activity.

As for reporting to the bureaus, if they’ve met the minimum requirements for validation then they can report.

What are the minimum requirements? Just the name of the OC, your name, and address and a balance? So, with that little info, the CA can report the debt to the CR?

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Suppose you request a DV and get a simple basic statement with name, OC, address, balance,and fees...(something the CA considers a DV), so they continue to report on your CR. You do not beleive the CA has validated the debt and tell them to remove their report on the CR. Are they breaking the law if they continue to report?

It depends on several items but in general, what a CA is actually required to send as validation to meet the letter of the law is pretty light…they simply don’t have to provide a huge amount of stuff in order to meet the validation test and, therefore, continue collection activity.

As for reporting to the bureaus, if they’ve met the minimum requirements for validation then they can report.

What are the minimum requirements? Just the name of the OC, your name, and address and a balance? So, with that little info, the CA can report the debt to the CR?

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FDCPA Section 809. Validation of debts [15 USC 1692g]

(B) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.

-----------------------------------------------------------

To meet the letter of the law for them to continue collection action, the minimum isn't much...it can be as simple as an account statement from the OC and perhaps, a copy of the contract/instrument that originated the debt (sich as a CC application, etc).

That said, what is the "minimum" before you decide the debt is valid and decide to pay it is up to you. If you are convinced the debt isn't yours or isn't owed or that this CA isn't legally abot to collect then you have to decide what you are going to to based on that.

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I completely agree that the "limited cease and desist" notice is not recognized within the FDCPA.

However, I think a good argument could be made for the use of disallowing phone contact based on "inconvenience" here:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

§ 806. Harassment or abuse [15 USC 1692d]

A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:

(1) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.

(2) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural consequence of which is to abuse the hearer or reader.

(3) The publication of a list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except to a consumer reporting agency or to persons meeting the requirements of section 603(f) or 604(3)1 of this Act.

(4) The advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce payment of the debt.

(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.

(6) Except as provided in section 804, the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller's identity.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IMO, if the consumer is receiving multiple phone calls and considers it an inconvenience and then notifies the CA in writing that calls at home or at work are inconvenient, then the calls should stop, period. Because the calls will now fall under the terms of section 806, Harassment or abuse.

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I completely agree that the "limited cease and desist" notice is not recognized within the FDCPA.

However, I think a good argument could be made for the use of disallowing phone contact based on "inconvenience" here:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

§ 806. Harassment or abuse [15 USC 1692d]

A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:

(1) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.

(2) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural consequence of which is to abuse the hearer or reader.

(3) The publication of a list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except to a consumer reporting agency or to persons meeting the requirements of section 603(f) or 604(3)1 of this Act.

(4) The advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce payment of the debt.

(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.

(6) Except as provided in section 804, the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller's identity.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IMO, if the consumer is receiving multiple phone calls and considers it an inconvenience and then notifies the CA in writing that calls at home or at work are inconvenient, then the calls should stop, period. Because the calls will now fall under the terms of section 806, Harassment or abuse.

I admint that's a posibility but I don't know if it would hold up in fed court as a violation. It might also matter how often they are calling.

One or two phone calls a week might not get any response from a judge but two or three or four calls a day might and also might be bordering on criminal harassment (of course whether you can get your phone company and local DA to do anything about it is a carp-shoot!).

Again, I'm not at all opposed to a consumer making the request of a CA but I suspect the best method of "enforcement" of the request is for the consumer to simply not answer the phone when they call. :)

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