EdwinRamos

Response from my First DV letter from AC (law Firm)

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Well, I just received my first response from an assigned collector with a lawyers letterhead, letter reads as follows:

Our client has asked us to convey to you an exciting way for you to SAVE MONEY and liquidate the above balance which is significantly past due.

Our client has authorized us to accept any reasonable settlement amount in order to satisfy this debt in full, One-lump payment settlements will create the largest savings for you, We will also accept offers of partial payment settlements.

The only requirement is that you call this office within ten(10) days after receipt of this letter to discuss how much money you will be saving. After this time frame has elapsed, we will no longer be permitted to help you save money

Our representatives are here from 8:00am - 5:00pm to assist you in this matter and confirm in writing to you any agreed settlement plan.

Sincerely, Bla-Bla-Bla

This is a debt collection firm, This is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose.

Boy what a sweet deal, they must think of me as a fool ,anyone know if this letter violates any of the FDCPA rules, since they are stipulating in order to make this sweet deal, I have to call them by phone?? I'm located in New York State...

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Sounds like your standard letter. I would wait for the results of your DV before making your next move. I'm sure they would accept "any reasonable" amount since they no doubt bought it for pennies on the dollar.

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my opinion is that since this is an assigned collector (not sold to right? assigned by oc) then if you are wanting to settle this account, I would respond via mail or fax telling them that you have asked for verification of said debt, and if they can show you without doubt this is your debt, you would be glad to work out an arrangement however until they have shown you that this is your debt you will not be able to respond to thier 10 day dead line.

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Thanks for all the replies, and yes keep them coming...

Q: This matter is related to an old credit card debt , which according to my most recently acquired - three(03) Credit Reports Equifax is the only one reporting this debt as HSBC NV but the orginal OC was Direct Merchants Bank, as I know it, Direct Merchants Bank has been acquired by HSBC, who now appears to be the new OC so now I wonder if HSBC has sufficent information to actually perform a verification on this old account? and why the suggested sweet deal by this law firm...

But, getting back to my orginal arguement, for the letter to suggest the only way to make this sweet deal is to call them within ten days, its obvious to me they are trying to bait me in to calling them, but are the conditions of actually having to call allowable or does it violate the FDCPA in any possible way ?

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You said you sent a DV. If it was timely, that letter is a continued collection violation. If it was not timely, I don't see any solid violations.

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Yeah, DV was timely, but, I decided to make phone contact with them, as to their second letter, I basiclly related, I do not owe this debt, and have requested full Verification in relation to this matter. Before ending the call, they related it will take as much as 120days for them to verify this, which I don't mind, since this debt goes back to 2002 and the clock is ticking, I than asked clarification as to there status in relation to this debt, the representative I first spoke to related they own the account in question, I than asked her to repeat what she had just related, since I was recording our conversation"Not ReallY", she didn't repeat it, instead she asked me to hold the line, another representative than came on line, I explained to her that I wanted to know the their position relative to this debt, she related they were collecting it for Direct Merchants Bank MC, I than related if they have a contact number for Direct Merchants Bank so I can confirm they are representing them in relation to this matter, again I was placed on hold, finally another representative directly asked me, if this was my account, I replied "NO", I than pointed out I had sent a Verification letter which was signed for by one of the employee's, I than asked, who is the current owner of this account, all she would relate is, the current owner was on the letter I received which she stated was "LR CREDIT 12, LLC" so obviously I asked how can I make contact with this LR Credit 12, LLC she related she doesn't have any contact number to give me...

I guess I will have to wait this one out and see what Verification they send me on this one..

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I'm so glad you got that on tape. Talk about deceptive practives? As "IHateCAs" pointed out, this is overshadowing if they were in receipt of your DV prior to date on that letter. But, you must look at the two dates. If close, they can easily get around a violation. Even if it was past the 30 day window, the law only says they may assume, nothing as to your not being able to dispute. This is a collector's attempt to get around something that isn't there.

So far, I see overshadowing, deceptive practices, attorney letterhead with no attorney signature, or disclaimer, and, if we look further, I'm sure we can find some more.

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An interesting wrinkle...if the debt was in default when HSBC bought Direct Merchants...then in this instance, HDBC is a junk debt buyer. They're not the OC...and there's no such thing as a "new" OC on a defaulted debt.

So...chances are the "sweet deal" was offered with full knowledge of the fact that they've lost a lot of their leverage for collecting on this.

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willingtocope

I never saw it in that way, and yes a very good point.

Anyone have any info on LR Credit 12,LLC ? I wonder if the Law Firm on the letter head and LR Credit 12,LLC are related as possibly one in the same ? Since the letters show the following...

Re: LR CREDIT 12, LLC ASSIGNEE OF DIRECT MERCHANTS

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I would wait for the results of your DV before making your next move.

Give 'em 120 days, they can't collect until they verify:

(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,

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Well I got all my three credit reports, this account is only being reported by TUC and it relates the account belongs to CACV LLC (Collect America), but what I also found was Collect America LLC was bought in 2005 by another orginzation, "First Analysts Private Equity Fund IV", here is a link for further info. :arrow:http://anonym.to/?http://www.budhibbs.com/debtcollectorpages/collect_america_cacv_bud.htm

Can't wait to see what this Verification will disclose....

*************************************************** UPDATE ***************************************************************************

Just read some info on this Law Firm, It doesn't look good, this firm MEL S. HARRIS AND ASSOCIATES LLC don't appear to play fair game, you have to read what they do to get a judgement on you, they will most likely do it behind your back, by having a process server serve a summons at an old address, or get this, have a notice served to you directing you to contact them, when you don't make contact they file a real summons in court and use the affidavit of service they sent you the notice with as if you were properly served the summons, and than they show up to court and get a judgement against you, and you don't even know you were sued !!! :arrow:http://anonym.to/?http://www.budhibbs.com/debtcollectorpages/harris_mel_cmts.htm

I may just try and settle with this blood sucking firm and cross my fingers and toes they don't do anything under handed during our settlement, I don't need to be dragged into court to try and fix any under handed things they do with out my knowledge, how this firm is still in operation for the things being discussed at the site listed above, is beyond reason, and leaves me speechless...

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How much are they claiming? How old is the debt?

Myself, I would do as Budd says and find an attorney at naca.com. Also, contact your DA or City Attorney's office. Give them the lowdown on the illegal activities and see if they will jump in. Some states may consider this Fraud and/or Extortion, which is a Felony. Also, call your state Ethics Board and Bar to assure they are aware of this illegal activity going on in their state.

While you are getting things in order, sit down and find your state's SOL statute. Then go on and read the FDCPA and note each violation you find. If you find the debt is timebarred and no legal recourse exisits, let us know. What you would do is write in your answer, after service, that the debt is timebarred and no legal recourse exists. Of course, you add the words "LACHES are attached". This means they waited too long to file.

Willingtocope, that is strong! Honestly, I would use this to challenge all they are doing. This would definitely bring good arguement if worded right in court.

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retmar

Thanks for the advice, but when your dealing with someone as under handed as this law firm is indicated to being, I feel I have a lot to lose.

This firm will do these same tactics with an account that the sol has long since expired, from all accounts, I see smoke, and you know how the rest of that saying goes.

But really, for one moment, imagine wakeing up one day, and receiving a telephone call from your bank that financed the purchase of your home, and being told they can't access your account for proper payment for your mortgage which was due several days ago, and upon making contact with your bank you are informed to contact Mel S Harris since your account has been frozen due to a legal issue from a court of law...

This firm, went to the point of freezing an elderly woman's account, who relied on that account for her survival, since she was recieving Social Security funds to the account, this woman suddenly found herself without access to her own money, and had to seek a legal aid lawyer to help her unfreeze the account on the basis of it being funded with her only lively hood, the Social Security checks she received monthly. By all accounts this woman was afraid to have her money automatically deposited to her bank account after the incident, fearing a reoccurance.

So from all accounts if you are contacted by this law firm, be ready to either pay, or go to battle, and realize from all accounts being reported the enemy in this war doesn't play fairly by the rules.

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Though we can all appreciate your apprehension on this matter, you need to understand something else not said earlier.

Let's say you found your account frozen by their illegal action. Usually within 30 days you are aware. This default judgement is due to improper service, such as a previous address, therefore, you are unaware. Remember, even if you filed a COA with the post office, they only retain the record for 1 year. BUT, if you've lived for a fair (reasonable) amount of time at your present address, all you will need to prove they had knowledge is to have your utility company give you a letter on their letterhead of how long you've been a customer. Then note the timeframe of this claim, even if within the period you moved. Once you have compiled your information to prove they had knowledge of your current residence, you file a "Motion to Vacate", then get them in court and nail them to the wall. Yes, you would include the SOL, and all other violations, even though they are considered one action. Check your state's laws to find how long you have to file a motion. And, hopefully, as an extra, you have even one piece of paper from the OC, or assignee, addressed to your current residence. Do realize that their main goal is to scare you into not fighting back.

Lastly, since you are positive this debt is timebarred, send them a C&D telling them to go eat Maggot Droppings. Read the FDCPA and it clearly states that they are bound by this, even if a new owner of debt is present. The original DOFD, DOLA, whatever, does not change. PLUS, by your doing this, they have proof of your current address and would never be able to prove otherwise. In short, there is no way they can not properly serve you if they were stupid enough to file on a timebarred debt. And, if they did, all you need to do is answer the claim and cite the SOL, and other applicable laws. Then go to court and get it done. Don't rely on the judge to know or act on the SOL defense as you must ask for it and introduce it yourself.

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i just got the same letter from them filing complaint with DCA they are not license to collect debts in NY. read this law

Mel S. Harris And Associates, LLC and LR CREDIT are not license to collect debts in NY they are lawyers but they are also as they say in their dun letter

This is a debt collection firm. Mel S. Harris and Associates LLC has violated

§ 20-489 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (7) and § 20-490 of the New York City Administrative Code

Subchap. 30 - DEBT COLLECTION AGENCIES.

§ 20-489 Definitions. a. "Debt collection agency" shall mean a person

Engaged in business the principal purpose of which is to regularly

Collect or attempt to collect debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due to another. The term does not include:

(1 any officer of employee of a creditor while, in the name of the creditor, collecting debts for such creditor;

(2)any officer or employee of a debt collection agency;

(3)any person while acting as a debt collection agency for another person, both of whom are related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control, if the person acting as a debt collection agency does so only for persons to whom it is so related or affiliated and if the principal business of such person is not the collection of debts;

(4)any person while serving or attempting to serve legal process on any other person in connection with the judicial enforcement of any

debt;

(5) Any attorney-at-law collecting a debt as an attorney on behalf of and in the name of a client;

(6)any person employed by a utility regulated under the provisions of the public service law, acting for such utility;

(7)any person collecting or attempting to collect any debt owed or

due or asserted to be owed or due another to the extent such activity

(i) is incidental to a bona fide fiduciary obligation or a bona fide

escrow agreement; (ii) concerns a debt which was originated by such

person;(iii) concerns a debt which was not in default at the time it

was obtained by such person as a secured party in a commercial credit

transaction involving the creditor;

(8) any officer or employee of the United States, any state thereof or

any political subdivision of any state to the extent that collecting or

attempting to collect any debt owed is in the performance of his or her

official duties;

(9) any non-profit organization which, at the request of consumers,

performs bona fide consumer credit counseling and assists customers in

the liquidation of their debts by receiving payments from such customers

and distributing such amounts to creditors.

b. The term "child support" means a sum to be paid by either or both

parents pursuant to court order or decree or pursuant to a valid

agreement between the parties for care, maintenance and education of a

child.

c. The term "consumer" means any natural person obligated or allegedly

obligated to pay any debt.

d. The term "debt" means any obligation or alleged obligation of a

consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money,

property, insurance, or services which are the subject of the

transaction are primarily for personal, family, or household purposes,

whether or not such obligation has been reduced to judgment, or any

obligation or alleged obligation arising out of a judgment or valid

agreement for the payment of child support.

§ 20-490 License required. It shall be unlawful for any person to act

as a debt collection agency without first having obtained a license in

accordance with the provisions of this subchapter, and without first

being in compliance with all other applicable law, rules and

regulations.

get the Dept of consumer afairs after them file a complaint with the state bar the lawyer are breaking the law by not being licensed to collect debts

write the press on this matter how can lawyers break the law and freeze accounts for debt collection if they are not license to collect on thoses debts yet along file suit and get judgements, we should all get togeter and file a class action on them.

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jdj, that is one outstanding piece of information. Thanks for your work on sharing this with us. Hopefully, Edwin sees this and gets it started. Or you, if possible, can get this going. Do realize that if you can meet the burden for taking a claim to "class", the names of other consumers who may be in same boat, will have to be disclosed during Discovery, so they can be aware of their rights in this matter.

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