Jump to content

Thinking Out Loud


CantCU
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am thinking out loud, and would appreciate any and all input into what I am pondering over.

In most states, if there is a dispute between two parties, either/or can bring suit to resolve this dispute. Can this be done in situations with CA's, JDB, and such? I mean, put them on the defensive rather than us?

I realize that the FCRA and the FDCPA are both in place for our protection, but it seems the JDB/CA always finds a way around the issue and the CRA's are just as guilty.

What about venue? If the roles were reversed, would the debtor have to file suit in the CA's state of residence? (that would not be economically feasible) or could it still be filed in the state where the debtor resides?

Do you think if we all started filing lawsuits in small claims courts all over the country, would that put the JDB out of business having to suddenly hire lawyers throughout the country to defend themselves? Or by suing the OC, make them think twice before they sell off large portfolios of debt to these scumbags?

I know it probably sounds outlandish, but I am just so over these CA's I could just SCREAM!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you think if we all started filing lawsuits in small claims courts all over the country, would that put the JDB out of business having to suddenly hire lawyers throughout the country to defend themselves? Or by suing the OC, make them think twice before they sell off large portfolios of debt to these scumbags?

I've often thought the same thing. It's frustrating that there is such a flagrant disregard for the consumer's rights these days. Yeah, I made some decisions that, in the big picture, made sense to me, but didn't do any good for my credit. That shouldn't allow these bastards to jack up the balance, which if I had the money, don't you think I would have paid already? DUH! It's maddening but, unfortunately, it's the way of the world. I'm just going to channel every ounce of hatred toward these bottom-feeders and in the end, maybe I'll be the one on top. That's what I hope anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've often thought the same thing. It's frustrating that there is such a flagrant disregard for the consumer's rights these days. Yeah, I made some decisions that, in the big picture, made sense to me, but didn't do any good for my credit. That shouldn't allow these bastards to jack up the balance, which if I had the money, don't you think I would have paid already? DUH! It's maddening but, unfortunately, it's the way of the world. I'm just going to channel every ounce of hatred toward these bottom-feeders and in the end, maybe I'll be the one on top. That's what I hope anyway.

It really is disheartening.

It would be nice if a "consumer advocacy CA" could be formed. So when we have violations by CA's, we just send them a bill. When they don't pay, we start reporting THEM to the CRA's, sending them dunning letters, and calling them consistently and continually days and days on end. When they don't pay, we have our own arbitration and get judgements against them.

Oh, in a perfect world!

But wait! Isn't that what the Nutcase thread is all about??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think in a perfect world the OC and/or JDB should have to give the debtor the "instrument" (or what ever it is they are selling) for the debt once it's paid or settled so it can't be sold again.

It would be really cool to find a way to buy our own debts for pennies on the dollar.....dream on......Maybe all the people with the last name begining with "x" could get together and buy all the "x"'s etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the CA sends you a bill, but you dispute the amount they want, you certainly have a cause of action for attempting to collect more than they are entitled.

There is caselaw, however, that says that the CA can't just countersue for the underlying account that caused them to violate in the first place.

I suppose you could not bring that up, though.

If you just wanted to hurry up and get in front of a judge as soon as you receive your initial dun, the courts don't work like that. The courts will want you to resolve the dispute yourselves before it goes to court.

You could suggest mediation or non-binding arbitration with the CA at first, but both sides have to agree on the mediator or arbitrator and each pay half of the fee.

And as soon as you do that, the CA will probably say "Good idea! NAF will arbitrate for us! Just sign this arbitration agreement first!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be nice if a "consumer advocacy CA" could be formed. So when we have violations by CA's, we just send them a bill. When they don't pay, we start reporting THEM to the CRA's, sending them dunning letters, and calling them consistently and continually days and days on end. When they don't pay, we have our own arbitration and get judgements against them.

In a more general sense, I think a "debtor's rights" nonprofit consumer advocacy organization really ought to be a reality. Ideally, state chapters would lobby their respective state legislatures to make specific changes to the law, and a certain percentage of the membership dues would go toward lobbying the federal government and toward ad campaigns to increase general awareness of credit and debt related issues.

Paying a membership fee would entitle you to a subscription to a monthly or quarterly magazine, with legal updates, and step-by-step tutorials written and/or vetted by actual attorneys. Perhaps a "gold" level membership fee would entitle you to access to a sort of prepaid legal service, with staffers specifically focused on the issues regarding debt collection and credit repair. Staff trained in the laws of your home state would be available.

Lobbying at the federal level, I think would be extremely challenging. The recent bankruptcy changes demonstrate the credit industry's thrall over Congress; I doubt very much that the FDCPA would be passed today if it were a new bill under consideration. State legislatures seem to me to be much more amenable to protecting their citizens. Attempting to get each state to pass a statute of repose for contract-based debts might be one place to start.

I wonder as well whether even municipal laws could be effective -- large cities with a population of economically vulnerable residents could benefit from laws requiring collection attempts within their city limits to abide by certain rules. You could have a Detroit Fair Debt Collection Act, and a Baltimore Fair Debt Collection Act, and a Pittsburgh Fair Debt Collection Act, and so on (to pick a few cities at random). These acts might, for example, require municipal bonding and licensing for anyone attempting to collect from their residents, along with penalties for unlicensed collection attempts. The additional burden on JDBs attempting to collect nationally would make them less profitable, as well.

I suppose if the national organization were big enough, it could even purchase portfolios of debt for pennies on the dollar, comb through them for the names of members, extinguish those accounts, and resell the remaining names. I'd think that would be a very compelling reason to become a paid member.

Since I don't know of any organization quite like this, I have to ask myself why there isn't one. Maybe being in debt has such a stigma associated with it that people are too embarrassed to join, or maybe the costs associated with running an organization like this are bigger than the donor base is able to support. Or maybe no one's really tried. That seems hard to believe, but who knows? I'd pay $40 a year for membership in an organization like this. Heck, if I thought I could make a living at it, I'd start one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder as well whether even municipal laws could be effective -- large cities with a population of economically vulnerable residents could benefit from laws requiring collection attempts within their city limits to abide by certain rules. You could have a Detroit Fair Debt Collection Act, and a Baltimore Fair Debt Collection Act, and a Pittsburgh Fair Debt Collection Act, and so on (to pick a few cities at random). These acts might, for example, require municipal bonding and licensing for anyone attempting to collect from their residents, along with penalties for unlicensed collection attempts. The additional burden on JDBs attempting to collect nationally would make them less profitable, as well.

I believe a simpler "fix" would be to require that all collection agencies to have an local offices in the state/county in which they are attempting to collect. This would basically eliminate the JDB as it would no longer be profitable for them to buy large portfolio's of debt throughout the US because they would have to set up a local office in every state in which they are attempting to collect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe a simpler "fix" would be to require that all collection agencies to have an local offices in the state/county in which they are attempting to collect.

The reason I find the municipal approach interesting is that it seems potentially easier to successfully lobby city councils than state legislatures, and there is a carrot for poorer cities in that licensing would allow them to raise money, while preventing predatory collectors from enforcing judgments that ultimately put burdens on the city. For example, if a JDB seizes someone's bank account, preventing them from paying their rent, making them homeless, the city may have to deal with that individual.

But ultimately, I think you'd want any consumer organation to be working on multiple levels. You could definitely lobby the state to require collection agencies to have a physical office in any county or state they collect in, but you'd have to prevent them from using a generic mail drop as an "office".

One of the changes I'd like to see made at the state level in my state is the exemption from garnishment of the first $1500 in a consumer's bank account, with a limit on this exemption of one bank account per consumer. There's absolutely no reason an unsecured creditor should ever be able to force any economically vulnerable family into homelessness. We should protect enough money in a consumer's bank account for them to be able to pay reasonable rent, buy groceries, and get to work each month. If a consumer has money left over after that, the creditor is welcome to it, but their needs are not the priority here.

If anyone else has any other suggestions they'd like to see implemented in state or federal law, I'd love to hear them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.