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Help letter from attorney...(LONG)


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Hi all. I sent the typical debt validation to CAS of Tennessee for a collection for $256.00. In response to my letter, I received the following letter:

“Law Offices of William M. Jeter, PLLC

Memphis, TN 38103

Dear Ms. CMWINS

I represent CAS of Tennessee and South E/R Associates-Desoto. Your letter of July19, 2006 has been forwarded to my attention for response. I will respond in accordance with Federal Statutes and try to address some of the erroneous information you have put forward. I did a quick internet search and located a number of copies of the form letter you have utilized. Unfortunately, that form letter contains a number of inaccuracies and misapplications of the law. With that being said, I an attaching a proper 15 U.S.C. Section 1692 (gb) verification of the debt.

I will now attempt to address the issues you have raised in your letter. You have requested a list of information to be included in the verification of debt. The items are not included in or contemplated by the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practice Act and are therefore not going to be furnished. Thus a number of the items you have requested are matters of public record and are freely available to you.

You made a number of demands under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. CAS of Tennessee does not furnish information about consumers to Consumer Reporting Agency for using consumer reports and therefore has no obligation for potential liabilities under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

You make reference to you legal counsel in one of the many threats included in your letter of correspondence. If in fact you have legal counsel, please forward the correspondence to them immediately and direct them to contact me. I will be more than happy to speak with your attorney.

You have included deadlines which are illusary. First, you demanded we respond to your correspondence within thirty (30) days or delete all reference to this account. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practice Act simply does not include this thirty (30) day time limit, in fact 15 U.S.C. Section 1692(gb) simply requires the debt collector to cease collections until they forward the verification to the debtor. As we have now forwarded you the verification we are now free to continue with further debtor collection activity. The second deadline you have included is a request for thirty (30) days to investigate once the verification is received during which time all collection activity must cease and desist. There is simply no provision for this in the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practice Act whatsoever.

I have written this letter attempting to be as clear and responsive as possible to you. I am not attempting to antagonize you. If in fact you truly dispute this debt and do not believe it to be your own, I would highly recommend that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Again, please do not attempt to contact my clients, CAS or South E/R Associates-Desoto, neither by telephone or written communication to my attention at the above address.

Sincerely,...

THIS IS AN ATTEMPT TO COLLECT A DEBT, AND ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED WILL BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE. UNLESS YOU NOTIFY THIS OFFICE WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER RECEIVING THIS NOTICE THAT YOU DISPUTE THE VALIDITY OF THIS DEBT OR ANY PORTION THEREOF, THIS OFFFICE WILL ASSUME THIS DEBT IS VALID. IF YOU NOTIFY THIS OFFICE IN WRITING WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS FROM RECEIVING THIS NOTICE, THIS OFFICE WILL: OBTAIN VERIFICATION OF THE DEBT OR OBTAIN A COPY OF ANY JUDGEMENT AND MAIL YOU A COPY OF SAID JUDGEMENT OR VERIFICATION. IF YOU REQUEST THIS OFFICE IN WRITING, WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER RECEIVING THIS NOTICE, THIS OFFICE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE ORIGINAL CREDITOR, IF DIFFERENT FROM THE CURRENT CREDITIOR.

The following was attached to the letter from the attorney:

CAS of Tennessee

Memphis, TN

To Jean James, South E/R Associates-Desoto

Date July 24, 2006

Subject Request for Verification Data

Your account against CMWINS

For (amount) $256.00

Consumer's account number with your firm: *****

Date submitted to us for collection July 31, 2003

The consumer listed above has requested verification of his/her account with you. Will you please provide us with appropriate data so we may send it to this consumer and then resume our collection efforts on your behalf?

Section 809 of the Fair Dept Collection Practices Act entitled "Validation of Debts" requires us to notify all consumers that, upon their written request, we shall obtain verification of the debt and mail a copy of it to them. This law requires us to cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the verification is mailed to the consumer.

Your prompt response will enable us to effect collection more quickly.

Please see attached correspondence from CMWINS disputing the above debt.

Your signature at the bottom of this form shall be considered as a verification of the fact the above account is due and owing from the above mentioned.”

(This letter was signed by Jean James CPC - Office Administrator.)

There was no copy of anything signed by me or even showing when this was or what it was for. Please help me to respond to this letter. Thank you for your help.

CMWINS

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Some thoughts:

1. I think the lawyer did as good a job of answering as I have seen. IMO, the FDCPA really only requires the CA to give you what the OC has given them. However, I think the " sign this as confirmation of the debt" without more is BS, as the mere say-so of a creditor does not really fulfill what the statute intended. The statute does not mean he has to give you legally competent proof, but I think to answer an honest dispute he should ask for more of his OC.

2. That being said, you need to be specific in yoru dispute. The problem with the form letters is it doesn't underscore the purpose of DV: to help you answer in your own mind if this is a creditor of yours or not. Just as you will find the say-so of the OC unsatisfiying, it is equally unsatisfying when a debtor says " You need to prove to me I owe this before I will do anything." If it is not yours, say so. If you do not know who the OC is, or you believe you paid them, or they are trying to gouge you, or insurance was supposed to pay - whatever the reason- you need to say that and let the lawyer know you will back it up if he comes after you in court. That's what I would do now. Send a second letter saying yo continue to dispute the debt because of X and you will contest the matter vigorously.

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Should I then say, you were right this was just a form letter that I found. However, I do dispute this because I was never billed for this and have no knowledge of what this is or what this is for. If I am provided adequate proof I will be happy to take care of my debts.

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If you truly do not remember doing business with the firm, what you should do is write them back and tell them that you do not remember doing business with them, and that you want to know what the claim is FOR, and how they calculated the balance. At a minimum, the law does state that they have to provide that.

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How is this reply letter?

I appreciate your prompt reply to my letter. Please be advised that I am only a confused consumer trying to make sure my rights are met.

I will agree with you that the letter I sent you was a form letter. I found the form letter on what I believe to be a reputable website. I sent the letter because I am disputing the collection for $256.00.

I dispute the validity of this debt because I am not aware of what this debt is for, the breakdown of the debt, or if I am liable. I am not someone who “runs away” from my debts. However, I would like to be given proof that the debt is mine. I would like to request proof of what the debt is for, the breakdown of the debt, and something showing that I am the liable person for this debt. I would like to receive the name and address of the original creditor.

Please be aware that any false statements in my previous letter were not to be misleading or threatening. I guess that my ignorance to the law may have caused me to jump to conclusions.

At this time, I would like to request that forward actual proof of this debt as I have requested. I request that I receive that proof within thirty days from your receipt of my letter. I further request that I be given ample time to do my own investigation. I will require thirty days to investigate once I receive your response.

Thank you in advance for your help with this matter.

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