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How should I respond to this letter from a law firm?


stressedout
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Hi there. It's me again, still stressing.

Got another letter today from a law firm collecting my grandmother's debt for another credit card. This is different from the 2 that she responded to with a Debt Validation letter (we used same format/sample provided in CreditInfoCenter site). So, instead of requesting for Debt Validation, should she just send a letter disputing debt and asking for cease and desist? Also, should I ask grandmother to sign the letter or should I sign it for her since I have POA. I am just nervous that if they get a hold of my name that they will start contacting me in the future for all her debts.

Letter states law firm letterhead, the client GE Capital Retail Bank, amount owed.

Body of letter:

Our client has placed the above debt with this office for collection. Accordingly, you must arrange payment with this office. Please make all checks and money orders payable to law firm's name and mail to this office address below. Please include your file number for proper identification and crediting. We accept most major credit cards. Credit Card payments may be made online at website.

Important Notice

Upon your written request within thrity (30) days, we will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor if its different from the current creditor.

You have thrity (30) days after the receipt of this notice to dispute the validity of this debt or any portion of it. If you do not dispute the validity of this debt within (30) days, we will assume the debt to be valid.

In any event, if you notify us in writing with the thirty(30) days period that the debt or any portion thereof is disputed, we will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of the judgement against you and a copy of such verification will be mailed to you by us.

At this time, no attorney with this firm has personally reviewed the particular circumstances of your account. However, if you fail to contact this office, our client may consider additional remedies to recover the balance due.

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Our client has placed the above debt with this office for collection. Accordingly, you must arrange payment with this office.

Won't spend a ton of time on this sentence since I know your grandmother is not interested in court, however, as weak of a violation as it might be, I'm thinking the word must could be a violation.

To the least sophisicated debtor it causes a sense of urgency that overshadows the 30 day validation notice and it also implies consequences of legal action (court) since it came from a law office.

Anyway to your question. I'd send them a dv letter maybe, but probably just chunk the letter. Your grandmother is 86, who cares if she owes some old credit card bills.

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Anyway to your question. I'd send them a dv letter maybe, but probably just chunk the letter. Your grandmother is 86, who cares if she owes some old credit card bills.

I was hoping you'd reply. Thanks Coltfan! One more week until my estimated delivery due date for my baby and she gets all these letters!!!

I still havnt done the C&D letter on the other card which replied to her dv.

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Our client has placed the above debt with this office for collection. Accordingly, you must arrange payment with this office.

Won't spend a ton of time on this sentence since I know your grandmother is not interested in court, however, as weak of a violation as it might be, I'm thinking the word must could be a violation.

Playing devil's advocate:

They can argue that "must" means that a debtor must deal with the collector instead of the debt owner that placed the debt with this collector.

I'm sure all collectors would like to say: You must pay your debts, in full, now!

I'd argue that one can only determine that this is valid by asking the debt owner if they placed the debt with this collector and refuse to deal with it directly.

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Playing devil's advocate:

They can argue that "must" means that a debtor must deal with the collector instead of the debt owner that placed the debt with this collector.

I'm sure all collectors would like to say: You must pay your debts, in full, now!

I'd argue that one can only determine that this is valid by asking the debt owner if they placed the debt with this collector and refuse to deal with it directly.

Yeah, I agree it would be a very weak case. I would never sue on just that but would counterclaim as possible leverage.

I just think using the work must in the initial letter is skating on thin ice. To the least sophisiciated debtor the word must could appear to be a legal requirement. Must arrange payment? Of course there is no must.

I would think, our client's desire is any payment arrangements go through this office. Or if they owe the debt, as we are now the owners of this account all payment arrangements need to go through this office.

Must? No

Need? That is actually true, used in the context of, our clients desire or since we own the account.

But I agree, it would be an easy one to throw out of lot of counter arguments.

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I have never signed any of the letters that I have sent out because I know these guys break the law consistently and I do not want my signature floating around out there. It could be a little overly cautious, but they have responded to me without it.

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A law firm that contacts you in any way other than a summons is a debt collector and is described as a debt collector in the language within the FCDPA and should be treated as such.

Send them a cease and desist letter and be done with it. Your grand mother is 86 and they have no means to force her to pay the bill.

Edited by BTO429
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