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CA Validation shows no proof


cali11
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I posted this in my other thread,but not sure if its being seen.

Ok so my wife has a collections, on her CR for $1,500.Its over a flute we rented back on 2-2005.I know its past SOL.We returned this flute in 2007 not long before this music store went out of business.The perosn who owend the store, claimed we never returned it & sent it to collentions for $900.So I sent a DV letter to the CA(which is a local CA)and they responded with a pay up notice.They have never contacted us b4.They would not fill out the form I sent with the DV letter asking to verify there claim.They did send me a contract from the music store.This contract has my wifes full name,SSI & DL number.Its not wrote in her hand writing and where it says Renter Signature its blank.Then it says Agent and its signed by a peron named Halley.We have no clue who she is?So Since she never signed the contract what proof do they have we owe this claim?What will the CRA do when they look into this?Could they have other stuff they didnt send us?Or do they have to share everthing they have with us aswell?Its like another peron filled it out with her info.Whats weird it says occupation- Dialysis tech.My wifes an RN and has never been a dialysis tech!

Thanks for any info given.

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Ok, you're not going to be happy about most of this... That check list you sent to the CA for them to validate isn't worth the cost of the ink it took to print it. None of what you requested is required for them to validate the debt. Per the FDCPA Verification of a debt involves nothing more than the debt collector confirming in writing that the amount being demanded is what the creditor is claiming is owed; the debt collector is not required to keep detailed files of the alleged debt.

So they verified the debt.

You have a couple of options here and all of them involve a little time and some paper trail.

Option one that sticks out at me is writing the Collection Agency back referencing first that you have checked with your attorney general's office and have found out that this debt is past the statute of Limitations in your state. Second you need to point out once again that this debt is not your wife's and reference their own proof by highlighting the section of the contract they provided you showing no debtors signature on it. I would threaten them with an FCRA and FDCPA violation law suit for purposely reporting information to the credit bureaus that they know is not accurate. Let them know you will not hesitate to file a suit against them for those violations unless they remove their negative tradelines immediately and permanantly from all three of your reports.

This should get their attention. If they ignore your letter. Follow up 15 days later with an Intent to sue letter referencing the FCRA violation and FDCPA violation.

If that doesn't work. Spend the $50 or so to file a law suit against them in your local district court. Serve them with a summons for the lawsuit with a registered paper server. They will contact you rather promptly after that I'm guessing. They have literally no incentive at all for fighting you in court. The immediate issue is the debt is beyond the statute of limitations. They can counter sue you but you just affirm beyond the SOL and that kills their case dead. Even if you lose your FDCPA violation lawsuit they still can't collect on that debt because it's beyond the SOL. They are in a lose lose situation no matter what and will not fight you in court just to keep the ability to report your debt to the credit bureaus for the next 18 months.

Option two is to file a dispute with all Three Credit bureaus. Wait and see what happens. If the debt comes back as validated immediately contact the bureaus and request their method of verification (MOV) which is your legal right. They should then provide you with the name and telephone number/mailing address of whoever the person at the CA was that validated the debt. Contact that person at the CA immediately right after and ask for whatever copies of statements they have or whatever proof they have that this is your debt. If they send you another copy of an unsigned rental agreement or tell you they have nothing and can't provide you with any proof (try and get it in writing). Immediately call the credit bureaus and demand they re-open a new investigation siting the person's name and telephone number or address at the collection agency as your new proof. You could even send them a photocopy of the unsigned contract as proof they did not properly verify the debt and thus should have their negative tradeline removed from your reports... You may have to send an ITS letter to the credit bureaus if they refuse still.

But again, this is all for a debt that is beyond the SOL and for a debt they can not prove you ever had because the OC is out of business and the only proof they have that there ever was a debt is an unsigned rental agreement... Thin as thin can be.

Edited by Hal Jordan
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Thanks Hal

I did a dispute with all 3 CRAs online.I wish I had done it by mail,from what others say.So what im wondering is if they send the CRAs the same thing.How can they "verify' with no signature?Cant wait to hear back from them.

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They don't give them anything.. here's the way the dispute process works..

You file a dispute online, telephone or through the mail. An employee at the credit bureau assigns a two digit code to your dispute. (Everything you wrote in your fancy letter never makes it to the OC.. it just gets broken down to a 2 digit code). That two digit code is then sent to the Creditor/Collection agency electronically.. Example.. John Smith XXX-XX-1234 disputes account number 123456 by your agency for 87 (87 = never late, 23 = not mine, 12 = inaccurate balance...etc)

The OC/CA is then supposed to verify that the information is either accurate or not accurate and responds with a "verified as accurate", "not accurate please delete" or "inaccurate dates/amounts here is corrected information" along with the employee's name and contact information.

There's a little more to it but that's pretty much it in a nut shell.

If the Credit Bureau does not receive a response within 30 days (for paid credit report, 45 days for a free credit report). They are supposed to delete the disputed tradeline entirely from your report. If they do receive a response and if it comes back as accurate they send you a verified letter/email saying as much. If it comes back "updated" they send you a free copy of an updated credit report showing the changes. If it comes back as inaccurate they send you a "deleted" notice and provide you with a free updated copy of your credit report showing this.

The FDCPA does not require more than this for the bureaus to validate a debt.

Now.. here is your recourse when a CRA won't do it's job by investigating and correcting or deleting inaccurate info, MOV (Method of Verification) is the next step available to you.

With MOV, you might have to actually sue the CRA, or at least threaten it. They don't seem to freely comply with this area of the law. FCRA § 611(a)(6) and (7). 15 USC 1681i

US Code

With a copy of the investigation results in hand (either mailed copy of the investigation report or printed copy of your online investigation report), call the CRA. Give them the reference number and ask them for the method of verification under FCRA Section 611(a). They might play dumb. I once had a lady from Transunion tell me they don't have to do anything more once the OC/CA verifies the item as legit.

Paper copies of EX and EQ contain a statement of your rights for MOV (in most states that is. Some have exceptions) This statement is from Experian "The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act states that you may request a description of how we verified the information, including the business name and address contacted and the telephone number if reasonably available"

Like I said eariler.. Typically the request for validation is broken down to a 2 digit code. There is a good chance the verifying CA/OC never included any information like name or telephone number to them when they verified. Sometimes, items like judgements or bankruptcies they use some 3rd party agency to verify the information. They may or may not admit this to you. Ask for the name, address and phone number of anyone contacted.

After requesting this from the Bureaus, Call the OC/CA and ask them about their records. If the person you speak with at the OC cannot doesn't have any records to support the inaccurate reporting, get their name and direct line. You might have to ask for a supervisor and get their name. May collection agencies have employees who are "ghosts" known only by a first name or a fake name. If they claim to have records, demand a copy of them under FACTA.

If you are sent records, review them and see whether they support the CRA's reporting. If they don't support the inaccurate reporting, call the CRA and tell them the OC has no records to support their reporting. Tell the CRA you want a new dispute. The new info for the dispute is the name and number of the person at the OC with whom you spoke.

If they refuse to open a dispute, tell them you will sue for willful non-compliance under FCRA § 616. Get their name and employee number or speak with a supervisor. If they still refuse, send the information via CMRRR along with an ITS letter.

If they open a dispute over the phone, get the new confirmation number. Make sure and write down the confirmation number, the time & date of your call, and the name of the rep at the CRA with whom you spoke. They might also be a "ghost" and you might have to ask for a supervisor to get a name.

Once the investigation is complete, if the inaccurate info remains, then send an ITS letter to the CRA. (Each CRA has their own legal department you will have to mail the ITS letter to) Give 'em 10 days, then either file suit yourself in small claims or contact a consumer lawyer and see about filing in federal court. naca.net or myfaircredit.com are two good sources of consumer lawyers for debt and credit issues.

Typically once they receive their summons in the mail they become very compliant and will delete the inaccurate information. If not. they can pay you for the FDCPA violation and they can get a court order from the judge to be ordered to remove the inaccurate information. Very rarely does it go that far.

Most of the time people do not know their rights or they simply fail to act on them out of apathy, indifference or fear they are getting in over their heads. The process sounds much more daunting than it really is. Always stand up for yourself..

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