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CA counldn't validate, new CA a lawyer...now what?


Jookycola
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I've been fighting this debt from a JDB from the moment I joined this site. It's been ongoing. I DV'ed them certified mail and they never replied to my 30 day request to validate. I never heard from them ever but they DID manage to verify the debt with the CRA's.

They claim they sent me something but my uncle is a lawyer and said without proof of mailing they don't have a case that would stand up in court.

The issue is today I got a letter from a law office, a lawyer in fact. He claims he's now in charge of recovering the debt and I have 30 days to make payment...or else (not literally, but he is demanding payment in 30 days). Along with his threat letter he included a vague almost worthless printout called "debt verification" with my address, the name of the JDB, and the amount I owe $512.

That's it.

So I'm guessing since the CA couldn't validate they sold it to this douchebag then? Does that verification printout mean anything? Or is it just his way of trying to convince me he can validate the debt. Because it really doesn't say anything of any real importance that I can see. And I thought I read on this board somewhere, they really can't/won't sue for anything under $1000. But, I may have misunderstood that.

What should be my first course of action? since obviously this guy is going to want to play hard ball thinking that by being a lawyer I should be extra scared now. I'm not paying this debt, ever. It has not been validated, and I don't owe it. Should I just not waste his time and C&D him and tell him that or is it different with a law firm involved

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Who's the lawyer/law firm?

FYI... What constituents valid DV under the FDCPA is sometimes a hotly debated topic. It's not defined in the law itself, but there is a bit of case law out there that might help you.

However, being located in Michigan, I'd recommend that you take a different approach. Michigan has it's own, mini version of the FDCPA (side note: While federal law normally supersedes state law, the FDCPA specifically allows states to adopt more stringent consumer protections, see Sec. 216 of the FDCPA). The bad part about it is that you can only collect $50 -$150 in damages. The good part is that it *does* specify what is needed in a DV response. Among the items is this gem:

"Verification of the debt or any disputed portion of the debt shall include the number and amount of previously made payments..." [MCL 339.918(e)(2)]

Since most JDB's can barely figure out how much you supposedly owe, the odds of them producing this legally-required proof is pretty much nihl. The $50 doesn't mean much, because they'll spend a whole lot more on legal fees. I specifically cite that statute in all DV letters I send out.

Here's a great introduction to the FDCPA-like protections that Michigan residents have in their arsenal.

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I've been fighting this debt from a JDB from the moment I joined this site. It's been ongoing. I DV'ed them certified mail and they never replied to my 30 day request to validate. I never heard from them ever but they DID manage to verify the debt with the CRA's.

They claim they sent me something but my uncle is a lawyer and said without proof of mailing they don't have a case that would stand up in court.

I'm sure your uncle is a fine man and probably even a good lawyer but he's wrong about that one...CAs simply are held to that kind of standard.

The issue is today I got a letter from a law office, a lawyer in fact. He claims he's now in charge of recovering the debt and I have 30 days to make payment...or else (not literally, but he is demanding payment in 30 days). Along with his threat letter he included a vague almost worthless printout called "debt verification" with my address, the name of the JDB, and the amount I owe $512.

That's it.

So I'm guessing since the CA couldn't validate they sold it to this douchebag then? Does that verification printout mean anything? Or is it just his way of trying to convince me he can validate the debt. Because it really doesn't say anything of any real importance that I can see. And I thought I read on this board somewhere, they really can't/won't sue for anything under $1000. But, I may have misunderstood that.

What should be my first course of action? since obviously this guy is going to want to play hard ball thinking that by being a lawyer I should be extra scared now. I'm not paying this debt, ever. It has not been validated, and I don't owe it. Should I just not waste his time and C&D him and tell him that or is it different with a law firm involved

ShortBus gave some good advice but just because there is a Michigan version of the FDCPA doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't use both statutes.

Your first course of action should be a well-crafted Dispute/validation letter. Part of what you should ask for is the name and address of the original creditor as well as the name/address of the current creditor (you need to clear up exactly who does own this debt now) and include the fact the Michigan law stipulates that you be supplied with an accounting of all payments made on the account, etc.

How, when and/or if you get a reply will tell you what the next step will be.

It is true that creditors don't generally sue on small debts (although I wouldn't say $1,000 is the number)...but you can't rely on that...it depends on too many different factors; the amount owed is just one of them.

Good luck.

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