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CA attempting to collect on previously settled debt


mikedb
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Please help me.

Back in 1998 I was married and sent to Bosnia. Before I left, I gave my wife (ex-wife now) a power of attorney. Unfortunately, she used this to buy a car in both of our names. Shortly after returning from Bosnia, she and I divorced and she kept the car.

Shortly after divorcing, she stopped making payments on the car and the car was repossessed. A few years later (2004), a CA started sending me letters asking me to pay the remaining balance. I agreed to pay half of the balance at the time ($4000) to satisfy my responsibility of half the amount. I was still pretty young and irresponsible at the time, and failed to ask for any kind of written statement clearing my name from the account.

Since then, this has never appeared on any of my CRs and I've heard nothing about it since. I assumed this was settled.

Last week, I received a letter to my Dad's house from Cavalry Portfolio Services telling me that I am responsible for the remaining balance of $4000. I called them today, and they said that they do see the payment that I made back in 2004, but said that since there's no written proof that there was any sort of agreement, I am still responsible for the remainder.

I was able to negotiate down to giving them $2000 to satisfy the account completely, and they immediately faxed me a letter stating this, but I still can't help but to feel that it's really wrong that I should have to do this.

My question is, they told me that the account goes into "final disposition" at the end of this month where the attorney will report back to the OC with the available options for recovering this money. What can they do to me at this point? Since I don't have any proof that the payment I made in 2004 was agreed to release my name from the account, should I just accept the offer and prevent any potential problems that may come up after the final disposition?

My wife and I just bought a house a few months ago, and have worked very hard over the past 5 years to restore our credit. I really need some advice.

Thank you for reading my post.

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California STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS (IN YEARS)

Open Acct.: Reduced to writing-4

Open Acct.: No writing-2

Written Contract: 4

Domestic Judgment: 10 (renewable at 10)

Foreign Judgment: 10 (commencing with judgment debtor's commencement of CA. residence.)

Sounds very like a number of FDCPA breaches to me. "Final dispositon" "attorney reporting back"

FOAD would be my response. Then I would look at the possible FDCPA breaches.

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Wow - thanks for the quick response! I am supposed to call these people back today with my response, so this is very helpful.

How do I know which SOL applies to me though? I was in the military when the debt was incurred with my permanent residence being in Florida, but my duty station in Louisiana.

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Wow - thanks for the quick response! I am supposed to call these people back today with my response, so this is very helpful.

How do I know which SOL applies to me though? I was in the military when the debt was incurred with my permanent residence being in Florida, but my duty station in Louisiana.

Do NOT call them. Indeed do never discuss it with them on the phone. Deal with them in writing. You have no obligation to talk to them whatsoever.

Where is your residence now?

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California.

I'm a bit worried about not calling them back though, because if they do have any kind of ground to stand on, I feel like I may be missing an opportunity to just get this settled the less involved way (and perhaps less expensive). I spent a while on the phone with them earlier today trying to understand how I could still be responsible for this and at one point they mentioned that if I don't accept some kind of settlement offer now, it could end up being that I will have to pay the full amount later, along with any kind of additional fees that may be applied.

I got them to at least have their attorney send me a signed fax saying that if I pay them the $2000, the account will be fully and finally settled.

Of course, it's their job to make me feel like I need to get this settled, so I'm a bit conflicted, hence the forum posting and our subsequent conversation :)

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California.

I'm a bit worried about not calling them back though, because if they do have any kind of ground to stand on, I feel like I may be missing an opportunity to just get this settled the less involved way (and perhaps less expensive). I spent a while on the phone with them earlier today trying to understand how I could still be responsible for this and at one point they mentioned that if I don't accept some kind of settlement offer now, it could end up being that I will have to pay the full amount later, along with any kind of additional fees that may be applied.

I got them to at least have their attorney send me a signed fax saying that if I pay them the $2000, the account will be fully and finally settled.

Of course, it's their job to make me feel like I need to get this settled, so I'm a bit conflicted, hence the forum posting and our subsequent conversation :)

You got a fax from their attorney? How do you know? Are you SURE? Read it carefully. Is it on an attorneys letterhead? Is it signed by an actual real attorney that is in good standing? What fax number did it originate from? Does that fax number correlate to the fax number of the purported attorney? Assuming all is in order why do you feel the word of their attorney carries any more weight than the word of the guy who mops their floors? What does it not say? That is more important than what it does say in some cases. It may well be the end of it for them and their account. But is the end of it with a new CA if they sell the outstanding balance which is a new account? Oh and by the way any payment re sets the SOL clock. Are you happy to deal with this for the next 4 years?

I am confused as to why you would you think paying them $2,000 costs less than $0.00 :confused:

They will lie cheat and tell you that the tooth fairy is lurking under your bed ready to extract your wisdom teeth if you do not pay them right now. Why on earth do you beleive them?

If I called you and said you owe me $5,000 but if you send me $3,000 today that will be an end to it would you simply send me a check for $3,000? I am happy to have my attorney send you a fax stating that if you pay me $3,000 that will be an end to the matter. And I would mean it. After all I have just got you to pay me $3,000 I am not entitled to. I am happy as a pig in muck and laughing all the way to the bank.

First of all who is the original creditor? Who are the people contacting you now? What is their legal standing? How do you know they have any legal right to collect the debt? How do you know the debt has not been paid by another party? There are a lot of other similar questions that need to be answered. DO you expect them to be honest with you? If so I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn you may be interested in.

In order to obtain court judgements on most debts, collectors must sue in the judicial district where the consumer resides. From what you have told us it appears that the alleged debt is beyond the statue of limitations and therefore you can no longer be sued for it.

The fact that they can not sue does not mean they can not ask you nicely to pay. However it sounds to me like they are not asking politely at all. In fact it seems like there are several breaches of the FDCPA. If you really wish to preserve your credit then you need to attack this head on.

Send them a VOD letter if you are you unsure about the SOL or if you are sure it is beyond SOL send a FOAD letter. Also consider action under FDCPA.

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I'd recommend that you call a local lawyer and pick his/her brain. They'll almost always give you a brief consultation for free. I'm just worried about some of the advice in this thread is being conveyed with too much authority. The SOL may or may not be expired. Your moving around, divorce degree, previous payment, and even previous promises to pay can all have an affect on the SOL. Whether they're in the wrong or not, telling these guys to shove off might cause them to file suit against you. And even if the SOL has lapsed, it's an affirmative defense that still has be argued in front of a judge, not a get-out-of-court-free card.

You might have to end up paying it and then having to sue your ex for the money. Call a lawyer.

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Despite a "non-writing" statue of limitations, oral agreements are virtually worthless unless its recorded -- I can send you a fax saying we "agreed" to anything, but unless its signed by youi it amounts to zilch, especially since identity theft issues are of increasing concernt these days. If the last documented activity was in 2004, then the account is likely beyond the statute of limitations and thus uncollectable, and the above comment was correct in that attorney letterhead is just meant to intimidate, these guys will lie cheat and steal to get your money. The worst ones troll credit reports looking for bad debts and try to get you to send them money without any connection to the original creditor, just by getting your name and address and sending you threatening letters. Review the sample validation letters and send one to these guys, and threaten back with the wrath of God. Even if legitimate (doubtful) its not worth suing you for a few grand. Make sure you dispute anything that appears on your reports. And, by the way, where in California are you?

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