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If a Collection Agency is assigned or bought the account they are trying to collect on you don't owe them correct? Because they are not the Original Creditor. It should not matter how long it has been since they started to try and collect you should still try DV CORRECT?

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Q. If a Collection Agency is assigned or bought the account they are trying to collect on you don't owe them correct? Because they are not the Original Creditor.

A. Two part answer -

If the CA bought the debt, then they purchased all the rights to collect the debt and the debtor is legally liable to the owner of the debt. In this case the buyer steps into the shoes of the OC and has all the legal rights and powers of the OC.

If the CA is assiged the debt by the owner (the owner may or may not be the original creditor) then the owner has assigned the responsibility to collect the debt to the CA. The CA is merely the contractor on behalf of the owner. The debt owner (which may or may not be the original creditor) rarely will deal with the debtor at this point for a variety of reasons.

Q. It should not matter how long it has been since they started to try and collect you should still try DV CORRECT?

A. Mmmm, yes and no. Again, a two-part answer.

You always have the right to request validation -- that right never expires. However, the CA is only required to cease collection activity if the validation request is made during the 30 day following the initial contact between the CA and the debtor.

A CA is never required to reply to the request for validation -- even if made during that first 30-day period. They are only required to cease collection activity until they respond to the request if the request was made during the first 30-day "validation period".

If the request is made after the 30-day period, the CA is not required to cease collection activity. Further, the FDCPA does not contain a provision for a deadline for the CA to respond to the request. So, for practical purposes, they are never required to respond.

The FDCPA does not contain a definition of what a proper validation response is except to say that the CA must provide the name of the original creditor and the amount due. The CA may not merely check their internal records for this information but must obtain it from the OC. The FDCPA does not require the CA to send you copies of statements or anything with your signature.

So, for practical purposes, a CA can legally meet the the definition of a response by sending a letter that says "yep, you owe".

To read the FDCPA go to www.ftc.gov. It is not very long and is pretty easy to read. The FTC website also contains a series of Staff Opinion Letters that clarify certain questions for how CAs may comply with the FDCPA.

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There are soem things you mention that are true, but slightly off. First, a CA does not obtain all of the rights of the OC merely by purchasing the debt. If they purchase the debt AFTER it has gone delinquent, they are STILL a debt collector, but they are also a real party in interest and can sue to obtain payment.

Also, not to put to fine of a point on it, but the word "assign" has a totally different meaning within the law and I try to avoid that word. I prefer to say "contracted to collect"

The next point is that a CA meets the definition of validation merely by responding with the name of the OC. That is kind of untrue. While the law istself does not define validation, the courts have done so on numerous occasions. The most recent of which I am aware is Fields v. Wilbur Law firm. The answer as to what constitutes validation largely depends on which district, state, or circuit you are in, and on the particulars of your case.

Some collections require more validation than others.

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At first I thought what a great sight. Now it seems like everything that I have been reading that gave me hope is no good. It's still better to leave the debts alone and let time pass if you are not being sued.Either negotiate with the creditor's and pay them off or leave them alone old debt does not count as much against you as new debt.Anyway Good Luck!

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At first I thought what a great sight. Now it seems like everything that I have been reading that gave me hope is no good. It's still better to leave the debts alone and let time pass if you are not being sued.Either negotiate with the creditor's and pay them off or leave them alone old debt does not count as much against you as new debt.Anyway Good Luck!

I would encourage you not to give up quite so quickly although I am not one to foster the idea of "repairing" a credit history.

Keep in mind that whatever has caused your credit history to be "bad" didn't happen overnight and establishing a good history won't happen overnight either.

I'd encourage you to keep reading...buy a good book or two on personal finance (PM me if you want a couple of recomendations)...deal immediately with any creditors/CAs actively contacting you but take the time to lean a bit more before "waking up" any that are sleeping.

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Mr. Divemedic

Thanks for the link to Fields. I read it. But, I do not see how it applies to 99.9% of collection activities.

Fields only says that any fees or costs added to the claim must be disclosed and explained to the debtor. Which seems to me not only reasonable but good business.

If I ponder on this, I wonder about accrued interest when blended with the least sophisticated consumer. Einstein said the most powerful force in the universe is compound interest.

We all know that banks typically stop accruing interest to the account when it is charged off. This is purely an accounting issue. However, the contract (cardholder agreement, if you will, since 99% of these issues relate to credit cards) provides for interest until the end of time.

So, a buyer acquires the debt, computes all the "accrued but unposted" interest, adds it to the debt on the bank's books at time of charge-off, and sends a dunning letter to the debtor for the entire amount.

Does Fields apply? I don't know. I've not seen a debt buyer dunning letter that went into that level of detail to disclose the breakdown.

In the case of Fields, the amount in question was an arbitrary collection (attorney) fee provided for in the contract - and the fee itself was larger than the amount of the debt being collected. The dunning letter did not contain any explanation how the amount was arrived at. So, I see how the "least sophisticated consumer" would be confused. Heck, I would be confused until I called and asked what the dickens was going on.

Are you aware of any case where the concept of Fields was applied to accrued interest? Seems to me this would be a much more meaningful matter than a $250 attorney fee that was not itemized (which probably occurred through carelessness and lack of foresight rather than an intent to deceive).

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Fields is relevant, in that the court said:

Unsophisticated readers may require more explanation than do federal judges; what seems pellucid to a judge, a legally sophisticated reader, may be opaque to someone whose formal education ended after sixth grade.

It is unfair to consumers under the FDCPA to hide the true character of the debt, thereby impairing their ability to knowledgeably assess the validity of the debt. One simple way to comply with § 1692e and § 1692f in this regard would be to itemize the various charges that comprise the total amount of the debt.

This seems to me to say that validation is not simply a letter that states the balance owed and the name of the OC.

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This is an interesting and educational dialogue.

I'm not sure if we are talking about the same thing or not. Are we seeing Fields differently -- one seeing a narrow application and the other a wide application? If that is the case, then we are not going to know for sure until we see more decisions.

I should probably stop using the phrase "yep, you owe" as descriptive of a response to a validation request. I know that it is not literally accurate but it is an appropriate description for the great majority of situations. People have this notion that validation is a massive undertaking on the part of the CA and eventual delivery of 3 pounds of paperwork and videotapes of every time they used that credit card. Maybe it should be but it is not.

However, if the CA goes back to the OC as they are required and then sends a letter saying, "we checked with the OC and yes, you owe the balance as stated by the OC" -- how has the CA hidden the true character of the debt? Certainly there is no deception.

I'm still curious about the "accrued but unposted interest" scenario I described. In that situation, what do you think the debt buyer/CA would have to do in order to be FDCPA compliant? Is your answer different if we are talking about the dunning letter and a validation notice? Seems to me that Fields is more on point to the dunning letter in this situation. Are you aware of anyone who has pursued an FDCPA violation for failure to breakdown the amount?

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I take the wider view, and I think it is plausible to read the case that way. Certainly no less plausible that the CA's who choose to read Chaudhry the way they do. The courts will decide.

My strategy is designed to clean my credit and not to make money. For that reason, I have sued 8 CA's and OC's and I have not once set foot in a court room. Every case settled with me for deletion and expenses, in exchange for me dismissing with prejudice. I consider that to be a win for me, because all I wanted was a deletion in the first place, and asking for thousands of $$ in damages was just a way to get attention.

For that reason, my cases are all legally plausible. Can they lose? yes. Can they win? yes. The point is, they are good enough to force the defendant to settle. Will I take them to court if I have to? Of course, but as any decent lawyer will tell you, court is a crap shoot and a settlement is the only sure way to get a decent deal on your terms.

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Interesting. I think Chaudhry is misused by CAs -- especially Asset Acceptance and Midland. However, I think they view Chaudhry as widely as you view Fields. In my opinion, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

But, given your contentious nature and objectives, what does constitute validation? In your view, can a CA ever validate?

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