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Accelerated Financial Solutions DV or Sue? (Long)


BigBoy2U
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I have been trying to decide what to do with Accelerated Financial Solutions LLC. This all started almost two weeks ago on 01/23/12 my 80 year old mother received a call from AFS asking if she knew me (they asked for me by my name) as they had “pre-legal documents” for me and that is was extremely important that they got a hold of me “before it was too late”. Poor old mom shut them down by telling them she had no idea who they were asking for. I could tell it really shook her up.

A quick note about me; I am 50 was self-employed got hurt and lost everything. I get social security disability so I don’t worry about judgments. I have no assets above the state allowed amounts. I advise every creditor of my income and assets and suggest they file a 1099, as I won’t ever be able to repay the debt. I owe around $450K and almost all of it just over a year away from the SOL kicking in. I have only one judgment from Amex for one of two accounts I had with them. A lot of creditors have gone the 1099 route. Many years ago I owned a repossession agency and did collections myself. I am very familiar with state and FDCPA laws. I do not hide from any creditors and have maintained the same mailing address and phone number since before I became insolvent. I keep files and logs for each account and respond to each collection agency/law firm as needed.

Needless to say I was shocked when mom told me she had received this call from “some legal or finance place” looking for me. They had no legitimate reason to call her and tell her I have a pending legal matter that needs my attention and they need to find me. My mom does not have caller ID so I had no idea who it was calling her. But 30 minutes later my phone rang and it was AFS calling me with “pre-legal” documents that I have to receive. I then asked if they had mailed me those documents and they said no. I asked what address they had on file for me and they asked me what my address was. I then said what address do you have on file for me? She then gave me my same address that I have used for last 10 years. I then asked who else they have called “looking” for me? She told me some old lady that didn’t know me and some guy named Joe. I then asked why they didn’t just call my home number first? She told me they were just going down the list of contacts they had. I again asked why didn’t you call me the debtor first? She didn’t provide an answer. I was told I had to respond to the “pre-legal” documents and to contact them once I received them or their attorney would review them and move forward.

So at this point I am thinking they did a summons and complaint but haven’t filed it and are wanting to get it served via USPS and get my response or see if they can get a default judgment.

So a week goes by and still no “documents” from them. I call them back on the 30th and I am told they mailed it out, to give it time it is coming from VA.

The next day in the mail I get a letter from AFS. Your typical collection style letter that in bold letters says “PRE-LEGAL DEMAND”. So the first thing I notice is there is no 30-day validation only the mini-miranda. Since this was the first and only contact with them it must include the validation clause. They even say this is the first contact I have had with them in the letter. Plus the letter gets convoluted over placement with an attorney, threatening me with more fees and threatening me with my credit score. Plus it sounds to me like they own the debt they way they talk about adding in more fees and the illegal way of reporting it so it won’t affect my credit score.

Now, I think this letter has multiple FDCPA along with state violations that I would like to get some opinions here. I will retype the whole letter; let me know what you guys think about the letter and my mom being called.

Date (this is the date on the letter) 12/20/2011 Account XXX Balance $XXXXXX

PRE-LEGAL DEMAND

Dear XXXXX XXXXXX

Recently, we received documentation in reference to your XXXXXX account referenced above. We are currently reviewing this account for placement with an Attorney licensed in the State of XX to use alternate methods to recover the above balance (the above balance may not include back interest, fees, etc.)

According to our records, there had been no recent contact in regards to this matter. In light of this, we would like to offer you an opportunity to resolve this matter voluntarily before a recommendation is made to pursue this account further through your State’s Court System.

If a lawsuit is filed against you and judgment is obtained, we will ask the court to add our cost of obtaining the judgment and recovering the monies owed to our company from you.

We understand that there are many unforeseen factors that can contribute to the delinquency of a debt. This is an attempt to resolve the above mentioned matter voluntarily and a copy of this document may be saved and placed in your file for use in the above mentioned litigation.

In many cases, these matters can be handled without any additional monies being added and in such a way that it does not impact your credit score any further.

Please remit the above mentioned balance to our office no later than 02/22/2012 and we will consider this matter closed and reflect a $0.00 balance. If you need assistance in regards to resolving this matter.

Please feel free to contact a representative toll free at XXXXXXXX

You may use the US Postal Service, our free Check By Phone System, or a valid credit card to resolve this matter.

Sincerely,

Joe Moron

Legal Department

Mini-Miranda (No 30-day notice)

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They are allowed to contact a 3rd party to try to locate you. However, even though they must identify themselves, they cannot reveal that their call is in relation to debt collection.

According to the FDCPA, they have 5 days after their 1st contact to send you the 30 day notice. If that hasn't happened, you've got a violation.

Check the original creditor's entry on your credit report. If the OC is reporting that the debt has been "sold/transferred" or "sold to another lender"...you're dealing with a debt buyer.

Is this a credit card debt, and is the debt within the SOL?

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Well as far as contacting a third party... are they allowed to contact a third party BEFORE they even try to contact me? By their own admission they started calling down a list of people before they even tried my own number or even mailed anything to my address.

Yes I am aware that their is a possible violation with the missing 30 day notice. However, I have read that in order to still preserve any legal rights under the "validation" time frame that I still have to DV the debt within the 30day period as per current case law?

Guess I will have to pay for a credit monitoring service and take a look again at my CR to see what it says about this debt.

This is from a line of credit (OD protection) on a checking account. Yes their is about a year left on the SOL.

I just realized that I had one business account with the bank and one personal account. Both I was responsible for. In looking back this all started over $300 and I had a $2500 line of credit and has grown to a whopping $3500 in less than four years since I don't know what account they are attempting to collect on. My states collection laws give me the right to a full and complete accounting of all charges. Would be interesting to see what account they are threatening me with more "fees" if I don't pay up.

I think the correct plan of action on this is to DV them, see if they will sue me and I can file a counter claim for multiple violations of the FDCPA and state law.

Edited by BigBoy2U
Correcting post
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Having "violations" and proving them are two different things - I would suggest that trying to sue could well wind up being more trouble than the potential reward. Further, given your financial/income situation, it also seems to me that going through the DV process would not accomplish anything for you.

Were it me, I'd write them, tell them your situation and not to contact you further and then ignore them.

If they sue...they sue; deal with that if/when it happens.

Just my opinion.

Edited by Robert_Nashville
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Well I pretty much agree. So far I have CD'd my way this far with only one lawsuit and several 1099's. The CD I send lays out my financial situation along with the fact I have no assets and I tell them to recommend to the owner of the debt that a 1099-C is in order and would give them the best resolve in the long run.

It was simply the fact that AFS seems to have a total disregard for the law and uses a lot of "pre-legal" references in both the letters and by phone. I have no way of knowing if they in fact do follow through or not. However this seems to toe the line of the "least sophisticated consumer" more so than any other dunning letter I have read. Along with the lack of validation language this almost seems like a pretty good case to proceed with. Not like I have a lot to lose.

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