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Must Read if you had a Chase account.


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How could you use this to defend yourself?

Even if debt buyers purchase the requisite information directly from a bank, it may be flawed. Linda Almonte oversaw a team of advisers, analysts and managers at JPMorgan Chase last year, when the company was preparing the sale of 23,000 delinquent accounts, with a face value of $200 million. With the debt sold at roughly 13 cents on the dollar, the sale was supposed to net $26 million.

As the date of the sale approached, Ms. Almonte and her employees started to notice mistakes and inconsistencies in the accounts.

“We found that with about 5,000 accounts there were incorrect balances, incorrect addresses,” she said. “There were even cases where a consumer had won a judgment against Chase, but it was still part of the package being sold.”

Ms. Almonte flagged the defects with her manager, but he shrugged them off, she says, and he urged her and her colleagues to complete the deal in time for the company’s coming earnings report. Instead, she contacted senior legal counsel at the company. Within days, she was fired. She has since filed a wrongful termination suit against Chase.

A Chase spokesman declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.

The majority of lawsuits filed in debt collection cases go unanswered, which is why most end with default judgments — victories for creditors that allow them to use court officers or sheriffs to garnish wages or freeze bank accounts, among other remedies.

There is a persistent argument about why so few consumers respond in these cases. Consumers often know they owe the debt and conclude that fighting about it is pointless, said Barbara Sinsley, general counsel at DBA International, a trade group of debt buyers.

Lawyers for consumers, on the other hand, contend that few debtors ever learn about the legal action until it is too late, often because the process server charged with alerting them never actually delivered a notification. In those instances when a consumer hires a lawyer, the consumer often prevails.

“I’ve lost four and I’ve taken about 5,000 cases,” said Jerry Jarzombek, a consumer lawyer in Fort Worth. “If the case goes to trial, I say to the judge, ‘Your honor, imagine if someone came in here to give eyewitness testimony in a traffic accident case and they didn’t actually see the crash. They just read about it somewhere. Well, this is the same thing.’ The debt buyers don’t know anything about the debt. They just read about it.”

Every plaintiff’s lawyer and consumer advocate in this field has a theory about why there has been so much fury over mortgage paperwork abuses but so little about debt collections. The stakes in collections cases are smaller, and of course, debt buyers were never given a taxpayer bailout.

“But what people don’t realize,” said Daniel Edelman, a plaintiff’s lawyer in Chicago, “is that the mortgage issue and debt collections are intimately connected. The millions of default judgments out there — you better believe that’s one reason that homeowners can’t afford their homes.”

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Andrew Martin contributed reporting.

A version of this article appeared in print on November 1, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition.

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This is a very interesting read. As some readers know, I won a case against Chase back in May of this year. Chase is still reporting it, the CRA's are still verifying it, and when I called Chase about it a while back, they had no idea what I was talking about. They even asked me for a copy of my judgment papers.

I have just received all three answers from the CRA's regarding this alleged debit, they all still come back verified, and now my next step it to put my ducks in a row and contact a NACA attorney to go after Chase. This is a violation that they continue to report it even AFTER I won a judgment against them.

Long process, but maybe, just MAYBE I will get enough money to go on a vacation next year on Chase's tab!!

Keep your fingers crossed. Any advise in advance would be entertained.


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