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I Am Stressed Out!


Drkmac
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Hello everyone. Im 21 college student from CONNECTICUT. English is my 2nd language which I find very hard to master so pls forgive me if you notice errors in my writing. I will try my best to articulately write my situation as possible.

This is the situation.

I owed money from Capital one. I dont have any other copies of the statement except for one from June 2006 which states I owe $1,437.03

Months later WEST ASSET MANAGEMENT sent me a letter to collect the debt of $1,580. I spoke to their representative. I finally have the money during that time and I am willing to pay whatever it cost, no problem. We agreed over the phone that they will accept my payments in small payments automatically through my debit card. ($200/ every 2wk)

1st payment: September 28, 2006

last payment: January 28, 2007

for a total of $1,580

OK I have the debit card transaction history printed with a reference number which shows the *WEST ASSET MANGEMENT* statement. It cost me $30 to have it printed & sent to me. I thought everything is done, everything is cool, time to relax.

However, on July 2007, 2 months ago. LAW OFFICES HOWARD LEE SCHIFF, P.C. left voicemails at my house asking to call them back. I did and I told them to contact me by writing only. July 18, 2007 I received a letter from LAW OFFICES HOWARD which states I owe $321.95 from Capital One.

I replied with CREDIT INFO's DEBT VALIDATION LETTER on July 24, 2007(http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forms/sampleletter9.shtml)

asking to provide proof, calculation, documents, etc.

I had it certified, signature confirmed which cost me $6. I even videotaped how I inserted the DEBT VALID LETTER in an envelop at the post office to prove I sent the DEBT VALID LETTER REQUEST and not a piece of blank paper. I received their signature back so it's for sure they received my letter.

Finally, on August 10, 2007 I got a letter from LAW OFFICES HOWARD which contains nothing and no answers to my debt validation questions except for an offer. An offer that sounds bogus or maybe even violates the debt fair act. Here is the offer, (just part of the letter) I will quote it as how it was written.

"....we have been authorized to offer you a settlement of 75% of the balance due, IF RECEIVED AT OUR OFFICE BY SEPTEMBER 21, 2007. This is a substancial savings to you. This settlement program is valid if funds are received HERE by FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2007."

"By resolving this NOW the debt will be marked setteled and satisfied. Note that any PRIOR settlement arrangement is NOT included or affected in this offer."

With all the amount of work in college, I am baffled, stressed, and have no clue of what to do next. I've searched online on how to proceed but to be honest although I am 21 already I have no or little knowledge about the law. And due to my English deficiency I cannot understand government phrases. I stated above in CAPS that I am from CONNECTICUT. Does anyone here know if the law offices violated any law regarding debt collection issues in my state? Can I sue? Should I sue? Please help me. Any help would be highly appreciated. Thanks

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Hello everyone. Im 21 college student from CONNECTICUT. English is my 2nd language which I find very hard to master so pls forgive me if you notice errors in my writing. I will try my best to articulately write my situation as possible.

This is the situation.

I owed money from Capital one. I dont have any other copies of the statement except for one from June 2006 which states I owe $1,437.03

Months later LDG FINANCIAL service sent me a letter to collect the debt of $1,437.07 (Idk how it became .07 capital one statement says .03)

LDG FINANCIAL sent me a couple of collection letters and the last I received was on November 7, 2008 because I spoke to their representative that I finally have the money during that month and I am willing to pay whatever it cost, no problem. We agreed over the phone that they will accept my payments in 3 small payments.

1st payment: November 28, 2006 I paid $520 through LDG FINANCIAL's internet pay service called *ITSPAYMYBILL*

2nd payment: December 28, 2006 I paid $310 *ITSPAYMYBILL*

3rd payment: January 28, 2007 I paid $662.07 *ITSPAYMYBILL*

for a total of $1492.07 (there were fees for each transaction that's why it became $1,492.07 instead of $1,437.07)

OK I have the debit card transaction history printed with a reference number which shows the *ITSPAYMBILL* statement. It cost me $30 to have it printed & sent to me. I thought everything is done, everything is cool, time to relax.

However, on July 2007, 2 months ago. LAW OFFICES HOWARD LEE SCHIFF, P.C. left voicemails at my house asking to call them back. I did and I told them to contact me by writing only. July 18, 2007 I received a letter from LAW OFFICES HOWARD which states I owe $321.95 from Capital One.

I replied with CREDIT INFO's DEBT VALIDATION LETTER on July 24, 2007(http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forms/sampleletter9.shtml)

asking to provide proof, calculation, documents, etc.

I had it certified, signature confirmed which cost me $6. I even videotaped how I inserted the DEBT VALID LETTER in an envelop at the post office to prove I sent the DEBT VALID LETTER REQUEST and not a piece of blank paper. I received their signature back so it's for sure they received my letter.

Finally, on August 10, 2007 I got a letter from LAW OFFICES HOWARD which contains nothing and no answers to my debt validation questions except for an offer. An offer that sounds bogus or maybe even violates the debt fair act. Here is the offer, (just part of the letter) I will quote it as how it was written.

"....we have been authorized to offer you a settlement of 75% of the balance due, IF RECEIVED AT OUR OFFICE BY SEPTEMBER 21, 2007. This is a substancial savings to you. This settlement program is valid if funds are received HERE by FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2007."

"By resolving this NOW the debt will be marked setteled and satisfied. Note that any PRIOR settlement arrangement is NOT included or affected in this offer."

With all the amount of work in college, I am baffled, stressed, and have no clue of what to do next. I've searched online on how to proceed but to be honest although I am 21 already I have no or little knowledge about the law. And due to my English deficiency I cannot understand government phrases. For example, One recommendation is to check the "statue of ligitimation" I did, but unfortunately I didn't understand or have no idea what it is, or its purpose. I stated above in CAPS that I am from CONNECTICUT. Does anyone here know if the law offices violated any law regarding debt collection issues in my state? Can I sue? Should I sue? Please help me. Any help would be highly appreciated. Thanks

P.S. the law offices stopped calling my house which is the only action they've made so far after I sent the debt valid letter along with the request of no calling my house.

Hello,

Your English is perfect, and you should be proud of your self. I am new to this site, but i have been reading and navigating it a lot. That's what you should do, really. I guarantee you will learn a lot about debt , collection and credit: trust me on this.

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I suspect that what has happened is the first CA took their fee out of the money they sent to Crap 1, so you wind up owing Crap 1 a little more money. This is one of the reason why you should never pay a collection agency...they cannot be trusted.

At this point, I'd suggest you call Crap 1 to see where you stand. They will probably insist that you still owe them money, but, if you get them to agree that paying them settles the account once and for all, it may be worth doing.

(DO NOT deal with the second CA...they won't help).

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Im assuming Crap1 means Capital 1?

I will try to call Crap 1.

"I suspect that what has happened is the first CA took their fee out of the money they sent to Crap 1" <-----sorry I do not understand what that means. What fee?

Capital One's billing statement came on June 2006 with amount of $1,437.03

After that I never received billing statement again from Capital One. As mentioned above, the next "billing" came from LDG FINANCIAL COLLECTION AGENCY.

The only way it will make sense that I owe them $321.95 is if they added interest every month that I dont pay after JUNE 2006. But since they stopped sending me Billing Statements then Im guessing that my account has ended and I will only owe what was the last billing statement which is $1,437.03

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Im assuming Crap1 means Capital 1?
Correct.
"I suspect that what has happened is the first CA took their fee out of the money they sent to Crap 1" <-----sorry I do not understand what that means. What fee?
Collection agencies (CAs) get paid by the original creditor (OC) to hassle you and get you to cough up money. Usually their fee is on the order of 20-30% of what they collect. Unless you're very careful in who you pay, and what you agree to do, YOU wind up paying that fee.
Capital One's billing statement came on June 2006 with amount of $1,437.03

After that I never received billing statement again from Capital One. As mentioned above, the next "billing" came from LDG FINANCIAL COLLECTION AGENCY.

The only way it will make sense that I owe them $321.95 is if they added interest every month that I dont pay after JUNE 2006. But since they stopped sending me Billing Statements then Im guessing that my account has ended and I will only owe what was the last billing statement which is $1,437.03

It is indeed possible that Crap 1 continued to charge interest on the account. LDG would not have bothered to keep you updated on that. It is possilbe that's what the extra money is for...but, in effect, its the CAs charge to the OC for handling the account.
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Thanks for the explanation.

Since the Law Offices Howard Lee Schiff Collection agency didnt provide the documents, calculation, contract. that I had requested, didn't they violate the 30 day rule?

And what is up with their offer of me paying 75% of the balance. Is this a scam? a violation? trying to lure me into something?

I already did my part and settled with the collection agency by paying what I owed on the billing statement last year when I wasn't in College but now that I am in College hoping to enter a very competitive program after my pre-requesites. I feel the collection agency is wasting my time & playing games causing me stress which affects my studies that can possibly lead to a lower GPA. I'm supposed to be doing a research paper and yet I'm here doing research on this matter that made me sign up on this website today. CA has ignored my request so I must goto the post office and pay another $6 certified, signature confirmed. to send the letter again? Is there any lawsuit somehow? This is ridiculous.

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Since the latest CA sent an offer to settle without providing validation, that does indeed qualify as "continued collection without validation". There offer is also a sort of scam...you may not actually owe them anything.

The basis of your problem is...you paid the CA...not the OC. You have nothing in writing that says what the CA was going to do with the money. You have nothing in writing that says that by paying them, it satisfies the original debt.

While you could sue the latest CA for failure to validate before continued collection, it would take your time. With just that one single violation of the FDCPA, you might not win.

Talk to Crap 1. You might have to work your way up the food chain to find someone who will listen. You'll have to be persistent. If you're inclined to pay someone to settle this...settle with Crap 1. Paying the current CA will just prolong the agony.

(Incidently, there is no 30 day rule as far as the CA is concerned. YOU have 30 days to request validation...they can take as long as they like, as long as they cease collection activity in the meantime.)

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  • 1 month later...

Ok. I took ur advice.

I called Crap 1.

Before I can say a word or everytime I say a word they responded with "Howard lee is handling your ur account not us. We have no information for you"

I now got a letter from Superior Court Centralized Small Claims saying I must answer the claim and pay $321.95 by October 24

The paper included the statement balance that I owed which is $1580.

I paid that already through the other collection agency.

Should I call this Howard Lee Collections? Or Should I just write them a letter with my proof?

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Pay $321.95? To who? The court? You don't have to pay money to the court to answer a summons...are you sure what you got is actually from the court? You might want to check with them...

It seems like this might now be at the point where you need a lawyer of your own...check www.naca.net to see if there's one in your area that will help.

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Check out this link. It talks about a collection agency trying to get more money after an agreed amount has been paid. Connecticut is one the states that prohibits them from trying to collect more money at a later date. Do you still have all of your payment slips?

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/debt/CanCreditorSue4SettlementDifferences.shtml

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Hi.. Yes I have the transaction history printed out from my debit card account. I calculated it 10 times and it was paid in full amount.

I guess West Assett Management is trying to say they never received one of my payments.

Flycorture, So If Im from CT and If they are wrong about collecting money from me. Can I sue them?

Here are the pics I got from the mail yesterday.

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If they file suit against you, then you have them for false claim. However I would gather all letters and make sure that they have contacted me in a correct manner. Did the initial communication or 5 days after list oc name and address, tell you that you had 30 days to dispute blah blah? Once you sent the validation letter- did they continue to try to collect? ( check the dates on your letters and the content of letter) It might say something like detach this portion with your payment. I personally would not worry about it. Let them do whatever it is they are going to do. Dv and wait for a response. This will probably be when they make more violations. Keep us posted!

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I mailed the Validation Request on July 24th to Howard Lee Schiff. They responded with another collection letter on August 10 which had nothing to do with my request. Then finally they responded the Validation Request and I received it on Sept 25 along with another note that says it's $356. Wtf? From $321 to $356??? Oh and it was more than 30 days since I sent the first validation request, so I think they violated that.

Btw, I think they are suing me. I didn't see it on the back page until now. How can they sue me so quick? I just received their REPLY on September 25th with the proof that I had requested showing that I owe $321.95. below is the picture of the othe paper attached to the one I received 2 days ago.

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Ok. It looks to me that you do have violations. If you mailed the dv on 7/24 they probably got it on 7/28 at latest. First of all they filed their claim with the court on 8/20 which is a violation. Also they sent you another collection letter on 8/10 w/out validating the debt by request. They have to cease all collection activities ( calls, letters and court filings) until they validate. Also Make sure you respond to court summons - they'll try to get a default etc. Respond to the court stating that you don't owe money. Attach you payment slips. Also question the validation they sent you saying you owed when you have something that says otherwise. Make sure that you include violations in rsponse. They will back off and offer to pay.

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I first got their letter on July 18. and I sent the DV on July 24th. The return receipt came back to me saying Howard Lee Schiff received my certified letter on July 27th.

I will respond to the court letter and I will check the box that says, "I disagree with the claim because:"

Do I just respond and tell them I have proof? OR Do I become agressive and point out that Howard Lee Schiff made some violations? I've wasted almost less than $100 now for copying letters and requesting copies from my debit card account transaction history.

Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

WOW.

thanks to WILLING for providing the NACA link.

thanks to FLY for pointing out the violations.

I went to NACA website and found me a hungry lawyer that will eat the case.

We haven't gone to court and the collection agency is paying me already for $2k and asked permission to withdraw the case.

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