vientuzca

How do I dispute the validity of a debt validation?

Recommended Posts

So I received a letter from a collection agency last month regarding a t-mobile collection they are pursuing.

I wrote a letter to them saying:

"I hereby dispute the validity of the alleged debt and any portion thereof; thus hereby request verification of the alleged debt and any other relevant information. "

they replied back a few days later (while at the same time entering a summons at my local county courthouse) and just sent me a cover letter stating:

'the assignor's record show a balance of x.x.x on xx/2007 and as of the date of this letter you owe x.xx (more than twice) because of interest, late charges and other charges, etc.""

Not only did they not provide a detailed accounting of all these interest and fees but I dont feel they validated even the original debt, they just provided:

1. cover letter

2. a piece of paper drafted on microsoft word with the name of the original creditor (t-mobile), name, ssn, account #, date acct was opened and amount due (as of charge off). this paper does not have any official letter head from the original creditor

3. an assignment agreement between an older debt collector and themselves with no written reference whatsoever to the 'original tmobile account #", just a mention of a transfer of some 'accounts' identified as 'Pools xxx and xxxx'...

4. a bill of sale and assignment agreement between the original debt collector and these guys, once again, no specific mention of my debt

5. bill of sale and assignment - between the original debt collector and tmobile - once again no specific mention of my original tmobile account and alleged debt

6. a copy of tmobile's terms and conditions - which is not only not legible but it does not show a signature of mine

as mentioned, as soon as I responded to their letter, they swiftly went to court and filed a summons even while I was still trying to validate this debt, for which I received a response 7 days later after the suit was filed (per the date on the summons).

I called them today and talk to a 'manager' gal who was nicer than most collectors and made a 20% reduction settlement offer. I counter offered with a 40% settlement offer which she at first declined but eventually said would pass on to the higher up..

I am wanting to find out how should I proceed if my offer is declined. if I have any ammunition on my side to fight either before the court date or in court because of what I feel is a very ambiguous validation of this debt... any suggestions welcome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The threshold for validation is low...all they need to do is provide the name of the original creditor and the dollar amount of the debt...

As far as the summons, I'd focus on filing an answer with the court ASAP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with the requests you made is they are not back by law. You can demand whatever you want, but the other side can ignore you.

Actually, what you described as getting from them is a ton more than most receive. You got way more than the law requires. You received proper validation.

The rest of the stuff you requested you are probably entitled to most of it. However, that would be in the discovery phase of a lawsuit.

This appears to be a junk debt buyer you are dealing with. I would not even offer them 4%. I expect your offer will be accepted by them. They will probably counter to see if you will come up a little, but I would expect them to jump all over 40%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks guys,,, so I just found out tonite that this debt doesn't even appear in any of the three bureaus...

as mentioned previously, I called and offered to settle at the original amount of the debt (40% of the outstanding bal.)... now that I checked my credit reports, I am wondering if I should even give that much (even though I know it's a legit debt, but I doubt they can get any real proof of this debt or validate/give full accounting of their inflated fees and interest...even in the discovery phase, that is.

so, should I call them back and 'reveal' the fact that now I know this debt is not even showing, but then would I be giving them a heads up on this and alert them to file the debt to the bureaus before the court date?

should i withdraw my settlement offer, offer less or just go to court?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I would withdraw the offer, send a letter disputing the debt in it's entirity, and then sit back and see what happens. I know you've already disputed but I would dispute again just to make sure they don't to pull the old you did not respond to our validation with a dispute so it's assumed correct. A very weak argument but, generally speaking, JDB'S only have weak arguments.

I know it might be tough to just sit back but that is what I would do. If you want this done and gone you can of course settle.

You're correct about them no likely being able to ever prove the debt. It's your call, it all depends on your tolerance for some risk of being sued. Personally, a JDB would make my day if they sued me. Shoot, I even try to goad them into suing me. However, that is not an appealing option to others.

It's really up to you. You can pretty much get all the information about the process and junk debt buyers on this site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks coltsfan1972... would you know how much time/visits a lawsuit would involve for something under 5K?

also, are most courts that handle these suits allow for a jury trial?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thanks coltsfan1972... would you know how much time/visits a lawsuit would involve for something under 5K?

I'm not sure what you're asking. Do you mean how many times you would have to go to court if it did come to a lawsuit?

If that is your question, it all depends. For me I'll see you in court numerous times. However, that is because I'm asking for oral arguments for every possible reason under the sun. I'd try to get you in court every day if possible.

Generally speaking, there are a few pre-trial hearings, maybe a special motion hearing. You might go to court three times prior to trial, just depends.

also, are most courts that handle these suits allow for a jury trial?

Genrally speaking these type of cases are simply a matter of law and nothing for a jury to determine. If you're dealing with a junk debt buyer you will be arguing standing (or dang sure better be) so you will need a judge to rule on the issue of standing as a matter of law. A jury can't determine standing.

Also, a jury trial sounds good, but it is very complex. The jury instructions alone can be mind boggling. If you are suing the other side for FDCPA violations then you might want a jury trial. For a JDB suing you, you want a bench trial. Your going to beat a JDB using arguments that are a matter of law interpertation.

For example, I had a case, where I simply admitted I owed every penny claimed and went straight to the issue of standing. Since they could not prove standing, the fact if I owed the money or not was totally irrelevant. The case turned into a trial on only one single issue, standing. That is not the type of argument you make in front of a jury.

One of the attorney's on the board might correct me, but I don't think you're even entitled to a jury trial if the only issue(s) are matters of law, such as, standing and contract interpertation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again. well I received a call from them, and like you said, they got hungry and asked for a hundred dollars more, the original debt, that is.

I told them that I could only do a 1050 in a week and that was that. she said that I could do a 1000 by the end of the month and the remaining 200 by next month but that incurr a public record and would continue to go through the court stuff... I said that didnt make any sense, that if I settled I wanted the suit dismissed and she said it all depended on how soon I settled with them before our court date in 3 weeks.

Also, I did tell her (i think i shouldnt, but oh well) that this debt was not even on my credit reports, that they sent me an incomplete debt validation and that I was not sure why they would send me to court during my 30 day debt validation period.

Her response was that 1. they did not control if the original creditor posted the debt on the bureaus, 2. that so far they just have the 'chain of command' debt proof and that they would later purchase from the original creditor whatever proof they need to fight in court, and 3. that they had the right to file a suit even during the 30 day period and that if I had any more questions that she could let me talk to one of her attorneys...yeah right

anyways, i know i owe this debt, just not sure how risky it is to go to court and they being able to locate proof that I owe this debt to begin with... before we ended the call she told me to think about their final settlement offer and I also reminded her to have her 'person' (owner) reconsider my counteroffer ($140 less) which she had already told me earlier in the call that she wouldn't be bothering her guy for reconsideration!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only a letter which includes one of the following:

1)Proof that the collection company owns the debt/or has been assigned the debt,

2)Copies of statements from the original creditor

3)Copy of the original signed loan agreement or credit card application

is satisfactory.

If they haven't sent you satisfactory proof, and are still reporting this on your report, send a copy of your receipt for your registered mail, a copy of the first letter you sent and a statement that they have not complied with the FDCPA and are now in violation of the Act. Tell them they need to immediately remove the collection listing from your credit report or you are going to file a lawsuit because they are in violation of the FDCPA, section 809 (B).

Wait 15-20 days to hear back after this second letter to the collection agency. They will either remove it or not respond.

If they do provide a contract with a signature from the original creditor showing that you owe the debt, there is one more thing you can try: see if they are legally licensed to collect the debt in your state. Here is a good site to begin your search.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So I received a letter from a collection agency last month regarding a t-mobile collection they are pursuing.

I wrote a letter to them saying:

"I hereby dispute the validity of the alleged debt and any portion thereof; thus hereby request verification of the alleged debt and any other relevant information. "

they replied back a few days later (while at the same time entering a summons at my local county courthouse) and just sent me a cover letter stating:

'the assignor's record show a balance of x.x.x on xx/2007 and as of the date of this letter you owe x.xx (more than twice) because of interest, late charges and other charges, etc.""

Not only did they not provide a detailed accounting of all these interest and fees but I dont feel they validated even the original debt, they just provided:

1. cover letter

2. a piece of paper drafted on microsoft word with the name of the original creditor (t-mobile), name, ssn, account #, date acct was opened and amount due (as of charge off). this paper does not have any official letter head from the original creditor

3. an assignment agreement between an older debt collector and themselves with no written reference whatsoever to the 'original tmobile account #", just a mention of a transfer of some 'accounts' identified as 'Pools xxx and xxxx'...

4. a bill of sale and assignment agreement between the original debt collector and these guys, once again, no specific mention of my debt

5. bill of sale and assignment - between the original debt collector and tmobile - once again no specific mention of my original tmobile account and alleged debt

6. a copy of tmobile's terms and conditions - which is not only not legible but it does not show a signature of mine

as mentioned, as soon as I responded to their letter, they swiftly went to court and filed a summons even while I was still trying to validate this debt, for which I received a response 7 days later after the suit was filed (per the date on the summons).

I called them today and talk to a 'manager' gal who was nicer than most collectors and made a 20% reduction settlement offer. I counter offered with a 40% settlement offer which she at first declined but eventually said would pass on to the higher up..

I am wanting to find out how should I proceed if my offer is declined. if I have any ammunition on my side to fight either before the court date or in court because of what I feel is a very ambiguous validation of this debt... any suggestions welcome!

Note:Computer print outs are not satisfactory proof to validate a debt.

Here is a Sample Response letter to a validation letter from collection agency.

Dear Sir/madam,

"Your attempt to validate your claim is vague and insufficient and the documentation you submitted is vague and lacking competence.

Wet ink copies of statements or credit card application bearing my signature were NOT provided.

Proof of a contractual agreement with bearing my signature was NOT provide.

Your computer screen print outs submitted are vague, lack competence and are therefor unacceptable.

Your attempt to validate your claim is therefor unsatisfactory".

Sincerely

Your name

Next, send letter certified by Usps

If they summon you anyway, then answer the summons and complaint asap

tip, goto: summonsresponse .com

Note: Collection agency can not sue if debt has not been validated satisfactory.

A valid debt validation must include one of the folowing:

a: Proof that the collection company owns the debt/or has been assigned the debt,

b: Only Copies of statements from the original creditor

c: Wet ink copy of the original signed loan agreement or credit card application bearing Your signature

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Note:Computer print outs are not satisfactory proof to validate a debt.

Here is a Sample Response letter to a validation letter from collection agency.

Dear Sir/madam,

"Your attempt to validate your claim is vague and insufficient and the documentation you submitted is vague and lacking competence.

Wet ink copies of statements or credit card application bearing my signature were NOT provided.

Proof of a contractual agreement with bearing my signature was NOT provide.

Your computer screen print outs submitted are vague, lack competence and are therefor unacceptable.

Your attempt to validate your claim is therefor unsatisfactory".

Sincerely

Your name

Next, send letter certified by Usps

If they summon you anyway, then answer the summons and complaint asap

tip, goto: summonsresponse .com

Note: Collection agency can not sue if debt has not been validated satisfactory.

A valid debt validation must include one of the folowing:

a: Proof that the collection company owns the debt/or has been assigned the debt,

b: Only Copies of statements from the original creditor

c: Wet ink copy of the original signed loan agreement or credit card application bearing Your signature

OP,

Please ignore this advice. There is zero case law that supports anything in this post. However, the courts have ruled directly opposite of having to provide proof of assignment, copies of statements (wet or dry ink), and the signed loan agreement.

Shoot, the creditor, many times, can prevail in a lawsuit without ever providing a copy of the signed agreement.

OP,

You stated this, "Anyways, i know i owe this debt."That's fine and understand your wanting to pay what you owe. However, how do you know you owe them. While the advice above is poor and reckless, some of the items, espicially proof of ownership, should be obtained prior to settling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Note:Computer print outs are not satisfactory proof to validate a debt.

Here is a Sample Response letter to a validation letter from collection agency.

Dear Sir/madam,

"Your attempt to validate your claim is vague and insufficient and the documentation you submitted is vague and lacking competence.

Wet ink copies of statements or credit card application bearing my signature were NOT provided.

Proof of a contractual agreement with bearing my signature was NOT provide.

Your computer screen print outs submitted are vague, lack competence and are therefor unacceptable.

Your attempt to validate your claim is therefor unsatisfactory".

Sincerely

Your name

Next, send letter certified by Usps

If they summon you anyway, then answer the summons and complaint asap

tip, goto: summonsresponse .com

Note: Collection agency can not sue if debt has not been validated satisfactory.

A valid debt validation must include one of the folowing:

a: Proof that the collection company owns the debt/or has been assigned the debt,

b: Only Copies of statements from the original creditor

c: Wet ink copy of the original signed loan agreement or credit card application bearing Your signature

None of what you state in the letter is required by the FDCPA. In addition, unless you request validation within the first 30 days of a CA's contact with you, they don't have to validate at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this debt outside of the SOL? If so, then I think I would fight it. Also, if you do pay, make sure that they do not sell the debt to another JDB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks everyone (coltfan, bv80, hannibal) for responding. I still somewhat lost but not as lost as a couple days ago, thanks to you.

so, yesterday it didnt go very well with the JDB rep, they refused to settle on 1050 and were adamant on collecting at least the original bal $1189.

In the heat of the moment, (I know, I should have waited for your blessing :D ), after the phone call, I faxed a letter attn: to the guy that sent me the the chain of assignments, and this is what I wrote:

Acct # xxxx

Dear JDB,

I received your assignor’s records on 12/22/11 concerning this account and also a copy of the cardholder agreement; but neither of these documents made specific reference to my name and the alleged original creditor account number. Also, I verified all credit bureaus and this debt does not even appear on my records as of 1/17/2012.

I have also taken notice that JDB, LLC went ahead and served me and filed suit in my county while we were validating the debt in its entirety; which I still feel has not been fully validated due to the fact that the records I received from you did not provide clear proof that this debt belongs to me (signature, statements, etc.) and also the documentation provided did not show a full itemized accounting of the alleged debt and added interest, late charges and fees.

With all things considered, and due to both time, and monetary restraints, I am willing to permanently settle this alleged debt at $1050.00 which I can make available in the next 5 working days, as long as the outstanding court case is dismissed and no public records are entered for this account, and remove any other bureau records that I may not be aware of.

Please let me know at your earliest before the court date, and if agreed, please feel free to mail/e-mail me a signed settlement offer that I can also sign and mail back with payment.

Thank you,

Victim

-----------------------

I wish I would have added that I would also require as Coltfan said, to have them compromise that they would not sell this debt to other JDB and that I would still require full proof of ownership of this debt before settling...

What do you all think????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please answer these questions:

Do you know WHO you owe this debt to, for how much, and have the proof of this?

What would you do, after paying a supposed creditor, when another party comes calling and claims you owe THEM some amount for exactly the SAME debt, and when you argue that you already paid someone else, they say you were SCAMMED, and that you need to pay them the full amount immediately or you will be sued in court.

The proof of standing argument is NOT some gimmick to get out of paying a debt. It is an essential process to be absolutely certain you do not end up having to pay someone else to whom the debt is really owed to.

If you are sued in court by the real debt owner who can prove they do really own the debt, all the proof in the world that you paid someone else for it, even under a previous court judgment, does not mean diddly squat to this court handling the legitimate claim. While you can use the proof provided in the 2nd court to go back to the 1st court to vacate the 1st judgment, that money paid is gone and you'd have to sue the 1st plaintiff to get it back. THIS is why you, and everyone else who is sued, MUST demand proof of standing.

There's a huge amount of data transfers going on between JDBs. In many cases JDBs that have sold debts still try to collect on them. In other cases there are collectors who never owned debts that try to collect because they got the data somehow (legally or illegally). And these are companies that are very likely to have the most INSECURE computers, rich with the kinds of personal info that SCAMMERS love to exploit by pretending to be a CA and trying to get you to pay them (they have all the info so it must be valid, right? WRONG!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, thanks, below are my answers to your questions:

Please answer these questions:

Do you know WHO you owe this debt to, for how much, and have the proof of this?

A: Yes, I do know who I originally owe it to,,, should I contact them to find out who they sold it to?

What would you do, after paying a supposed creditor, when another party comes calling and claims you owe THEM some amount for exactly the SAME debt, and when you argue that you already paid someone else, they say you were SCAMMED, and that you need to pay them the full amount immediately or you will be sued in court.

A: I would probably just cry...

The proof of standing argument is NOT some gimmick to get out of paying a debt. It is an essential process to be absolutely certain you do not end up having to pay someone else to whom the debt is really owed to.

A: Thank you, what is the 'Standing Argument'?

If you are sued in court by the real debt owner who can prove they do really own the debt, all the proof in the world that you paid someone else for it, even under a previous court judgment, does not mean diddly squat to this court handling the legitimate claim. While you can use the proof provided in the 2nd court to go back to the 1st court to vacate the 1st judgment, that money paid is gone and you'd have to sue the 1st plaintiff to get it back. THIS is why you, and everyone else who is sued, MUST demand proof of standing.

A: Thanks. Is the 'Proof of Standing' the same as the 'Standing Argument'?

There's a huge amount of data transfers going on between JDBs. In many cases JDBs that have sold debts still try to collect on them. In other cases there are collectors who never owned debts that try to collect because they got the data somehow (legally or illegally). And these are companies that are very likely to have the most INSECURE computers, rich with the kinds of personal info that SCAMMERS love to exploit by pretending to be a CA and trying to get you to pay them (they have all the info so it must be valid, right? WRONG!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

also, do you guys/gals feel that by offering a settlement I am admitting to the debt or restarting the clock of the SOL for this debt?

Have they breached any laws because of them suing me while I was disputing this during the 30 day dispute period?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your making a HUGE mistake in dealing with these guys. Your getting ready to flush 1K down toilet and all your doing with letters to them is showing you are not going to fight them in court. If they were scared of you there is NO way they would be haggling over a few hundered bucks on a debt they probably paid one or two cents on the dollar for.

If you really want to know about standing it is the fourth post in this thread. And yes, as posted above it's not some gimmick. It's contract law and an element of proof.

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forums/there-lawyer-house/311576-detailed-discussion-affirmative-defenses-including-standing.html

In a year when another JDB is hounding you for this debt, crying won't help, get ready to keep bending over (I mean opening your checkbook), these guys are ruthless. What kind of people buy debt for a cent on the dollar from the most down on their luck and financially strapped and then sue with nothing more than a spreedsheet of b.s.

Flush your money if you wish, but at least go into the agreement with eyes wide open.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll try to find it but if somebody else can and post the link, it was yesterday. There was a poster that got a calls, ten minutes apart from two different junk debt buyers, both claiming to own the defaulted account and both demanding payment.

If another junk debt buyer that actually can prove legal ownership sues, even after you have paid somebody else, you can't use that as a defense. You will be told to pay the owner that can prove standing and sue the other party that defrauded you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coltfan, I understand that I might not have done the best... to be honest with you, I knew that as soon as I responded to them, I would be pretty much confirming where I lived which they used to file and summon me.

If I had told my wife about possibly someone coming over, I couldve avoided being served, and yes, I would have felt to have more leverage with handling with these thugs, but with the way things are, I am having trouble finding out the right answer...

I mean, I know I owe this, and WHAT IF I were to go to court and they in fact own the debt, and pay tmobile for additional proof, then what?

do you think they may also reconsider taking the 1000 and call it good, meaning, are they also fearing that if we go to court, as meek, dumb and misinformed as I am, they may feel that I may have a chance of winning, based on what I wrote on my 2nd dispute letter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
also, do you guys/gals feel that by offering a settlement I am admitting to the debt or restarting the clock of the SOL for this debt?

Have they breached any laws because of them suing me while I was disputing this during the 30 day dispute period?

The answer to your first question is, No, an offer to settle can not be used to argue that you have admitted to to the debt, nor to reset the SOL. (Think of all the big companies who get sued and actually reach a cash settlement then issue a press release that says "While still denying any wrongdoing, we are settling to put this behind us in the most cost effective manner.")

As for the second question, I'm not sure they have violated the law. You could file a cross-complaint, but don't hang your hat on this.

From what I'm seeing, you have not responded to the lawsuit. Once you have been sued, you MUST stop playing around with exchanging letters and phone calls and start operating within the confines of the lawsuit: File your Answer, then engage in Discovery. Down the road, if it looks like you'll lose, you could still negotiate a settlement.

Now, some more comments: Regarding all the things you asked for in your DV letter: other posters are correct; these things are not needed to fulfill the requirements of "debt verification" (not that there are any firm requirements). But I have a slightly different take on this: I too ask for similar things in my DV letter, because this is what I require to to make an educated determination as to how to proceed, whether it's negotiate or send a Cease and Desist letter. To blazes with whether or not they need to send it to satisfy the FDCPA.

Then, if they send back documents that look like they'd win in court, I can choose to pay or negotiate. If they send back documents that I feel are insufficient for my needs, I can either ignore them or tell them to Cease Communication. Then, if they choose to sue, I make them produce those documents in court.

That's where you should be focussing now: respond to the lawsuit and make them produce the documents in Discovery, and stop arguing about "proper validation" or whatever in extracurricular (extrajudicial?) letters.

Regards,

DH

Edited by debtorshusband

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll try to find it but if somebody else can and post the link, it was yesterday. There was a poster that got a calls, ten minutes apart from two different junk debt buyers, both claiming to own the defaulted account and both demanding payment.

I think you're referring to this thread:

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forums/there-lawyer-house/311622-case-dismissed-30-days-ago-now-two-jdbs-calling-about-same-debt.html

Regards,

DH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update: another rep called me back and said: we received your letter and we accept your offer but i have to take the payment over the phone right now!

I said no way, that i would bring the payment in person and that i would require the settlement letter to be explicit about dismissing the case, proving ownership of this debt, and compromiae not to sell this debt to another CA.

So i guess im gonna go to my bank a have them issue a cashiers check stipulating that upon signing and cashing/depositing it they agree to accept it as payment in full for xxx account #, etc.

I am also going to call t mobile and make sure these guys have ownership...anythig else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Update: another rep called me back and said: we received your letter and we accept your offer but i have to take the payment over the phone right now!

Translation- Uh Oh, that letter he sent shows he is snooping around and doing some research on us. We better do this real quick;

I would expect them to jump all over 40%.

before it all comes together and he tells us to go to hell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well guys, i called tmobile, they verified who they sold the account to, JDB #1, I called JDB#1 and confirmed they sold it to JDB#2... so I think I feel more reassured of making that settlement tomorrow in person and be done with it!

i went to my bank they cut me a cashiers check:

pay 1050.00 to the order of EVIL JDB

SETTLEMENT IN FULL FOR A. CONSUMER VICTIM

JDB ACT # 0000

TMOBILE ACT# 010101

thanks coltfan1972 el al for the brainstorming, another victim case solved!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.