spunk999

Do I have any Legal Recourse?

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Hi - I wrote 2 checks to a local gas station some time ago, and they were paid on the second re-deposit (they were returned the first time, and then paid 2 days later). Soon after that, some organization kept debiting my account $40 and causing my account to overdraw and I had all these fees - I had no idea who they were, so my bank coordinated me just opening a different account and closing that one.

I found out later that it was some collection agency called Cyber Collect that was debiting my account for a check fee - apparently, there was a notice at the gas station saying that I agree to those fees, but when I went back to the gas station, the notice is all the way at the back of the gas station behind a bunch of merchandise - definitely not visibly posted.

Now they have this in collections and I disputed it with the agency and they sent me a copy of my check with a note saying that the amount was for a fee.

What can I do? I actually paid about $350 in fees from overdrafts at my bank from them putting in $80 worth of charges every day until I froze that account - they never got the $80 because I never had it in there.

Any advice?

Thanks :)

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It appears they have no legal recourse at all. Under WI statute 943.245(4) they can not bring an action for a worthless check since it has been paid. I would say that as well since the sign was not clear and conspicuos, that any collection action may be an FDCPA violation.

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Thanks for citing that statute - yes, definitely this debt is invalid according to that - I sent them a letter to stop their collection efforts and if they do not respond within 30 days to my letter and I see that they are still reporting to the credit bureaus that I will file suit against them.

Thanks for the help!

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Sounds like a clear cut case of BANK FRAUD. I would run this past your state attorney general for a decision on that. also, if you can find a consumer attorney who will take this matter on a contingency basis( no cost up front to you), sue the heck out of these guys and also ask your attorney to consider a class action lawsuit. You can be assured, these guys have taken advantage of many others "similarly situated".

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You might have some recourse but probably not under the FDCPA...

If the checks were paid, and they debited your account after the fact and caused you to incur fees, you could sue in small claims for the amount of those fees.

**************

Also as posted above me, it may be bank fraud for attempting to debit after the checks cleared... file a complaint with the AG's office

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...and remember, Bank Fraud is a violation of CRIMINAL LAW, and as such, those who violate these laws could possibly face very heavy fines as well as imprisonment.....go for it, and good luck !

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There is an agency called Cyber Collect which is the one that caused me to incur all the bank fees. Then they I guess sold the debt to this other CA which is trying to collect a total of $120 (3 checks x $40). The debits began occuring about 2 weeks after all the checks cleared.

I was thinking that I would have a suit under either FCRA or FDCPA if after this letter where I informed them that they are trying to collect an illegal debt, they continue to attempt collections. Do you agree?

As far as Cyber Collect, I certainly will write to my Attorney General and file my own small claims against them to recover my fees - it is definitely in excess of $300 since I had bounced a couple of my real checks because of the overdraft and then had to pay other business's fees on top of that. It was right before Christmas too - it was all such terrible timing - wish I could get punitive damages too ...

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Though CyberCollect was the original agency that initiated the charges, Payliance now owns the debt. I sent a letter to Payliance letting them know that this is an illegal debt and I cited the statute above, and they responded back saying:

"The check payment terms offered by the merchant authorize us to re-present your checks plus the state assigned returned check fee electronically. It is out policy to notify you of this consequence for dishonored checks at the time of issue by placing notification decals in our client's places of business."

First of all, they obviously did not look at the date that they collected on the check or the statute that I sent them regarding the fees. Or how in the letter I described that there was no notification clearly posted (I just went over there and took pictures).

There are two agencies involved and I know the action to take against CyberCollect, but what do I do with Payliance? Can I file suit against them and for what exactly?

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