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I read the starter, and got started...now what?


nomoney
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Okay, so I have been at this for about two months now - first let me say after the big D, I took all of the credit card debt, carry the other home and my current home note, and add to that a desire to blow cash - well there you have it - from 720 to 533 in the matter of 24 months...

So here is where I am at based on topics of discussion I have been reading about.

1 Worked with JPM to negotiate 50% - tried to push for 30%, but was told by OC that they do get a gauranteed 30% from an outside vendor. None the less, that one is reflecting as a charge off.

2. GE Retail - what a pain in the tush those folks are. 200 phone calls on an $80 balance that ballooned into a $256 dollar balance. I disputed charges, they added charges. None the less, they instantly settled at 40%.

So first question for these two - I have settled over the phone with OC (one of the posts by an admin said with CC that it was not necessary to send a letter until it goes to a CA - the GE Retail went to a third party vendor, both GE REtail and Integrity Financial Partners have green cards on my desk) - there were about 27 phone calls after the green card date - so I feel like I have a little leverage.

1. The GE Retail was a simple settlement, but they refuse to remove the trade line from my credit report. I am sending a letter threatening legal action for violation of the FDCPA - does anyone think this will work or will just make them cancel the agreement?

2. JP Chase was more than happy to settle at 50% (their original was 80, then 70, then 50) - and I have four payments them. I want to know if it does any good now to request a DV or to write a letter threatening legal action if the trade line is not removed. I know that I could have done the DV first, but I figured I would just try to reduce the dollar amount owed and pay it. Does a certified letter now do any good to try and get the bad mark removed?

3. Medical Collectors - these are the biggest PIA - I was able to negotiate one bill down, but once again, they refuse to remove the late payment - and these were for legitimate reasons. I am sending them a sob story, and copying their client (the hospital administrator) and hopefully this will help. Any thoughts? I paid this bill at about 80% of total.

4. Medical Collectors - West Coast Adjustors out of Washington - a piece of work these folks are - One bill was an insurance error, I have sent letters to the OC - but one, I dont know what it is for and have requested information. Should I send a DV letter to them (the threatening letter that I got from here makes me think that most firms will just sue and get a judgement)? Thoughts again? Also, I am in FL - the service was in WA - does that make a difference, or should I send the letters, get no response, and file in FL smalls claims court? One bill was processed through insurance, the other is the one I am questioning.

Long and short of it, just through disputes on the CR - the 533 that I started the year with is at 599 on experian just from disputes. The other bureaus I have not started with, but I imagine they will follow suit. I know 599 is not stellar, but it beats the crap out of the 533 I was carrying.

Some closing questions -

1. Who is the most effective person to serve for a Small Claims Court FDCPA violation - if I do GE Retail - I think it would be best to serve their secretary that hides down in the basement, and maybe they will miss the court date.

Thanks for all of the help folks - any direction that you might think will help a newbie work through this pile of crap I have created, feel free to respond. i get a little nervous about lawsuits and garnishments and judgments - but I do want to know the best way to leverage my brains against their leverage...

Thanks in advance for the help...

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1. The GE Retail was a simple settlement, but they refuse to remove the trade line from my credit report. I am sending a letter threatening legal action for violation of the FDCPA - does anyone think this will work or will just make them cancel the agreement?

Unless the agreement stated they would remove the TL, creditors are not required to remove an entry from your CR just because the debt is settled. As long as they're reporting accurately, the entry remains.

So first question for these two - I have settled over the phone with OC (one of the posts by an admin said with CC that it was not necessary to send a letter until it goes to a CA - the GE Retail went to a third party vendor, both GE REtail and Integrity Financial Partners have green cards on my desk) - there were about 27 phone calls after the green card date - so I feel like I have a little leverage.

What was in the letter you sent to each one?

2. JP Chase was more than happy to settle at 50% (their original was 80, then 70, then 50) - and I have four payments them. I want to know if it does any good now to request a DV or to write a letter threatening legal action if the trade line is not removed. I know that I could have done the DV first, but I figured I would just try to reduce the dollar amount owed and pay it. Does a certified letter now do any good to try and get the bad mark removed?

Original creditors like Chase are not bound by the FDCPA. They aren't required to respond to a DV.

1. Who is the most effective person to serve for a Small Claims Court FDCPA violation - if I do GE Retail - I think it would be best to serve their secretary that hides down in the basement, and maybe they will miss the court date.

Just as with Chae, GE Retail is an original creditor, so the FDCPA does not apply.

What I stated about having TL's deleted just because an account is settled applies to all of your creditors and CAs. They only have to report correctly.

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Thanks for the quick reply. I guess I should have phrased the question better -

I gather they don't have to remove the TL - but is there an effective approach to doing so - I figure letter beating them to death every two months might do the trick.

Here is the letter that goes out tomorrow Certified Mail:

Per our prior correspondence, I have contacted your billing operations and have settled my account. This letter confirms the closed and paid status to be noted on my credit report for settlement of XXXXXX. This payment is scheduled for 2/17/2012 per the terms of our agreement. During the discussion, it was noted with the collections department the repeated harassment by your outside collection agency concerning this debt. Although, I have in good faith, settled this account with your organization, I am requesting the following:

1. Prior to seeking damages for repeated violations of the FDCPA concerning 27 phone calls made to my work cellular phone by an autodialer after repeated communication revoking and rescinding all rights(sent via Certified Mail and accepted by both Integrity Financial Partners and GE Retail Bank), I would request that the trade line be deleted from my credit record.

2. I request that I be removed from all mailings, telephone solicitations and email solicitations by GE Capital Retail Bank, its affiliates, subs, and assigns. Further contact from your organization will constitute continued harassment.

None of us expect to end up in dire financial situations, and none of us expect to have to settle debts through this manner. What all of us should expect is the common decency of those that we conduct business with to not harass, stalk, degrade, and obfuscate the customers. The unfortunate reality is that both bad things happen, and bad practices only inflame the situation.

This letter serves as my agreement that all claims against GE Retail Bank relating to this Walmart account will be released upon my acceptance of the settlement, your acceptance of the terms above, and no further discussions, other than to confirm the above, regarding this matter.

The unfortunate situation is that not only did GE Money Bank lose a customer, Walmart lost a customer because of your unfair collections practices. In the end, XXXXX of purchases cost XXXXX over a period of 5 months, resulting in a net return to your bank of XX%. I am sure that return could have been greatly enhanced if your outside collections agency, Integrity Financial Partners, did not make over 200 phone calls on your behalf to collect this debt.

Respectfully,

The first letter I sent to both of them was the standard form letter to stop calling my work cellular - that is the way I am using FDCPA - they keep calling the work cell. They stopped, but not until 27 calls later.

Same question on Chase - is there any way to haggle into them removing the trade line. I guess I could have let it default, but to some degree I did feel obligated to pay something - even though they more than made their money on me, but there seems that there would be a way to letter beat them to submission.

Finally, on the Medical stuff, I am going to send a letter to the original care providers and to the CA - and see what good that does for me - maybe if I am clear enough and give enough info, perhaps that will work. I have this drafted to them:

Today, I worked with one of your collections agents on paying my XXXXXX bills that I recently found out had been sent to collections, and wanted to explain the difficult situation and the reasons behind my tardiness.

Two years ago my father was involved in a car accident that required the amputation of his leg, and greatly diminished his mental capacity. Prior to his accident, I traveled 95% of the time with work, but since have reduced my travel to 50% and spend the remaining time with him. Over the past two years, I have been dealing with a multitude of medical bills, his bankruptcy, the sale of his current home, and the move to his new home. I obviously went to the doctor during that time frame as well, but believed that all of my payments were current and up to date. Given the number of medical bills that I receive daily on his behalf, these were plain and simple, just missed.

I understand that I owed the money after I did some research, and I also understand that stupidity is not an excuse for not noticing or handling these sooner. What I am asking for is to remove the trade line from my credit report for the following reasons:

1. I frankly believed that they were associated with my father’s care. His name is XXXXXXX, my name is XXXXXXXXX. When you review 40 Statement of Benefits pages and bills a week, sometimes they get missed.

2. I typically pay the entire amount of my medical bill based on the estimate provided by the hospital, testing center, or my general practitioner. After 9 years with the same insurance plan, it is fairly easy to guess what the copay amounts are, and what the deductible amounts are.

I am asking for a break on these two items. I understand your business need, and I understand your desire to do the best work possible for your clients. I appreciate both of those items. I would kindly ask that you consider the circumstances of the situation, and act as you see fit. The removal of these items as collections is my goal, and not for the purpose of credit score, but because there is some legitimacy to the argument that I did not know of the bills – I knew of a stack of medical bills totaling well over $100,000 that I was managing for my father. Once again, I set the accounts up for payment on February 17, 2012, and hopefully will be able to put these items behind me. Thank you for your consideration.

Maybe it will work. Probably not. The letter is going to both the CA and the OC - the CA is a third party and does not own the recievable.

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First, can you prove the calls were made by an autodialer?

What did you say in the letter rescinding their right to call your cell?

Did they leave any messages on your cell?

I'm asking all this because, more than likely, you don't have an FDCPA claim. That would depend on whether or not they left messages, and what was stated or not stated in the messages.

You could, however, have a TCPA claim. BUT, you'd have to prove the calls were made by an autodialer.

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I did sve voice mails from the system, and recorded a conversation with a collections agent who said "our system is an automated dialer, that's why there is a pause sometimes, and that is why it hangs up sometimes".

Sorry for the confusion, I get mixed up between TCPA and FDCPA - I need to change the letter! I was told the best thing to do was get a TCPA violation, document it, and file in small claims court, then just wait it out and see if they show - I, like I said, dont want to sue, I just want to clear the record. Crap happens - bad things, and when you try to make them right, there are few opportunities. Most criminals dont get 7 years hard time!

I have a handy excel log on my desktop and home computer, and everytime the phone rang from one of the numbers (after the green card), I recorded the date and time. In some instances, I answered and requested that they do not call the number from an autodialer, and when able, I recorded them.

Thanks for correcting me - now to correct the letter!

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I did sve voice mails from the system, and recorded a conversation with a collections agent who said "our system is an automated dialer, that's why there is a pause sometimes, and that is why it hangs up sometimes".

Sorry for the confusion, I get mixed up between TCPA and FDCPA - I need to change the letter! I was told the best thing to do was get a TCPA violation, document it, and file in small claims court, then just wait it out and see if they show - I, like I said, dont want to sue, I just want to clear the record. Crap happens - bad things, and when you try to make them right, there are few opportunities. Most criminals dont get 7 years hard time!

I have a handy excel log on my desktop and home computer, and everytime the phone rang from one of the numbers (after the green card), I recorded the date and time. In some instances, I answered and requested that they do not call the number from an autodialer, and when able, I recorded them.

Thanks for correcting me - now to correct the letter!

Be careful using the conversation you recorded. You need to check the recording laws in your state AND in the state from which the call came. Some states are "one party" states. That means only one party has to know a recording is being made. That one party can be the person doing the recording. However, a few states are "two party" states. In that case, both parties have to know about the recording. Even if you are in a one party state, if the call came from a two party state and you didn't inform them you were recording the call, you can't use the recording.

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Good point..just found out the recordings in both States are two party...

I guess that does not mean I cannot ask them (if it goes that far) to prove that it was not..pretty weak. I amended the letter and just mention detailed call logs.

BV - thanks for the topics - reading through these posts for about two months, following the primer, and setting up the stuff - then deciding what advice is best - can be difficult. Add to that the threat of lawsuits, etc etc etc and it gets even more stressful.

On another note -

I looked over in the Medical Bills section, and did a few searches -

Today, I called my insurance company, and they held up a payment that eventually went to collections - West Coast Adjustors - really tough group to talk to, harrassing, the guy even hung up on me. None the less, the insurance paid and I was dealing with the OC. I sent the nice letter, is there any other recourse that I have, and if the OC sold the debt to the CA, they no longer have a claim or a right to show the trade line, correct - or incorrect - some guidance there would be nice.

Next question is medical as well (and unfortunately the same collector) - so today I call and ask who the OC was, he gave me the name, I asked for an account number and a contact - his response was "They dont want to work with you, you dont want to work with us, so I am hanging up" and promptly said "Goodbye.." -

So I sent a CCRRR to the entire executive team of the hospital explaining the situation, in hopes of trying to get someone to respond from the OC.

I dont mind paying the debts I ran up - or the medical bills I incurred, but it seems like with medical bills that they are like Florida Cockroaches - they crawl out from everything, you can never see all of them, and you take care of one and there are seven more. The Medical Bill post did teach me to start keeping a notebook of all of the Explanation of Benefits...

So what should I do next after the certified to the OC - should I send anything to the CA - the OC is not reporting , the CA is - any help would be appreciated.

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To be honest, I'm not sure how medical collections works, especially if an insurance company is involved. Hopefully, someone here on the boards can help with that.

Regarding their entry on your CR, it's the same as with any other creditor. If the OC (hospital) still owns the debt, they can report and update. If you pay, they should report it as paid or settled. If a CA was collecting for them, that CA has a right to report. If the CA stops collecting for them, their entry can remain on your CR, but they can't update anymore.

If the OC sells your debt, their entry can remain, but they must show a -0- balance and must stop updating. The JDB who buys the debt must show the same date of 1st delinquency as the OC. The balance may change because the JDB is allowed to add interest.

In the case of the medical debt you're dealing with right now, you need to find out if the hospital still owns it. Call the hospital and ask. Don't rely on a collector who says the OC doesn't want to deal with you. Honesty is not a collector's greatest attribute. If the hospital hasn't sold the debt, I'd try to deal directly with them.

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Minor victory...I found out that the OC is still the hospital, and sent their entire executive team a certified letter concerning my experience with their collections agents. The tapes are being pulled as we speak, and they agreed to pull the trade line and the collections effort from the record. I emailed them re-iterating the points they made, but those points are no good until I see it happen.

I guess the bad thing is that I already sent the CA a DV letter certified, but I guess it will be a moot point once (and if) the OC actually does what they say they are going to do. I have noo reason not to believe them.

It amazes me the amount of work it takes to work with a CA - and how obtuse and rude they can be, and get away with it.

From now on, no telephones for me - all paper - but still, it would be nice just to be able to deal with it outright - but I guess their livlihood depends on their ability to get us fired up, intimidated, ashamed, mentally overwhelmed - I guess they do not expect any form of response, or are at least willing to take the risk.

Thanks again BV - I will update on what is going on. As info, the text of my letter to the Exec Team is below, with all of the identifiers deleted.....

Here is the letter to the board:

Let me preface by saying that my experience in December 2010 through February 2011 with xxxxx and his staff was not only a life changing surgery for me, but the staff at the xxxxx campus, their demeanor, and their display of concern made the experience of my surgery an easy, albeit painful one. Out of the four facilities I visited in North Carolina, Florida, and Seattle, Swedish was a choice, not a requirement.

This letter is in regards to the recent contact I have made to your third party collections agency, West Coast xxxxx. Much like you, I lead a busy professional and personal life, and try to handle matters in the most efficient and productive way. In a recent review of my credit files, I noted a few collections items from this company, and called to inquire as to their origin.

XXXXXX) was assigned to my case, and in two conversations, I have essentially been humiliated, hung up on, refused answers to basic questions, and in general, treated with certainly less respect than I expected from your organization. In my continued search for answers, this letter is the only alternative that I have. I am not interested in throwing good money to bad, nor am I interested in legal parsing or law suits. I just want to find out what I owe, and work with the people that I owe.

My questions to Mr. XXXXXX were simple (responses in quotes are paraphrased):

1. Who is the original creditor? “XXXXX Physicians Division”

2. Do you have a number for them so I can discuss this matter? “They don’t want to work with you, and apparently you don’t want to work with me, so I am hanging up.”

3. What services were provided and how can I contact the original creditor? “I am going to send those to you like I said”, “Why don’t you just work with us, apparently you are not going to, so I am hanging up, goodbye”.

Before I could go any further, the remaining questions were:

4. Does XXXXXX own the receivable or is this related to the purchase of junk debt?

5. What services were provided, and where can I get detailed copies of the requested amounts and the itemized billing?

The responses were short, terse, and in a tone that would be in direct conflict to any reasonable business standard in a sub-par facility, let alone XXXXXX. I am not and have not disputed any of the charges, I am not and have not refused to pay. I simply have requested that I be allowed to discuss the matter with XXXXXX and determine the liability prior to paying the bill. In return, I receive a barrage of insults from a collections agent.

I have no desire to pay the approximately $XXX.00 that XXXXX is holding, and have absolutely no desire to work with an organization that uses strong arm and humiliating tactics to prove a point. The cost of my billable time and these certified letters more than equates to the sum above. It is, merely stated, a matter of principle to me that violates even the XXXXXXXX Human Resources Manual:

“Unacceptable disruptive conduct may include, but is not limited to, behavior such as:

1. Attacks (verbal, written or physical) leveled at an employee, student, volunteer, member of

the medical or allied health staff, patient or visitor which are personal, irrelevant or go

beyond the bounds of fair professional conduct.

2. Inappropriate comments (or illustrations) made in the patient medical record, or other written

documents regarding employees, students, volunteers, members of the medical or allied

health staff, patients, visitors, or Swedish Medical Center and its policies.

3. Non-constructive criticism addressed to its recipient in such a way as to intimidate,

undermine confidence, belittle or imply stupidity or incompetence.

4. Conduct that demeans the dignity of any person(s) or disrupts the orderly operation of the

medical center or that is inconsistent with the mission and values of Swedish Medical

Center.”

To make a long story short, I mentioned there were two marks from XXXXXXX on my credit report. I contacted XXXXX Clinic on the other, determined the issue, and payment was processed immediately for the balance by my insurance company. I have requested that XXXXXXX remove the trade line from my credit report, and I suspect, that with some professional discussions, they will encourage XXXXXXX to follow their wishes. It was easy. I found an error in Insurance Processing, called the insurance company, worked with the provider, and the bill was paid. There were no insults bandied about, no threatening responses, just a financial resolution to the problem.

All I was and am trying to do is the same with your organization, and I hope you, or one of your colleagues on the executive team can steer me in the right direction to determine the answers to the same questions above, restated:

1. Who is the original creditor?

2. What services were provided and how can I contact the original creditor?

3. Do you have a phone number where I can contact them and discuss this matter?

4. Does XXXXXX own the receivable or is this related to the purchase of junk debt?

5. What services were provided, and where can I get detailed itemized copies of the requested amounts?

I appreciate your time, and welcome any comments or responses you may have. I would like to resolve this matter so that I am not “skipping” on a debt, and so that XXXXXX can continue to provide the high level of service that I was accustomed to, until recently. I can be reached at XXXXXX or at the address in the first paragraph; however, this contact should only be made by a XXXXXXXX employee, not a third party collections agency. Once again, I would like to extend my thanks to Dr. XXXXXX and his team for the procedure they performed, and until now, would have highly recommended your facility to fellow former athletes who suffered from a similar medical condition as mine.

Respectfully,

Cc via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested:

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Well, turns out the client was none to happy after pulling the tapes from the collections calls- and turns out I did owe the money. So positive resolution, OC pulled the file, removed the TL and I made payment directly to them. I will check my CR in 30 days or so to confirm.

Next question- Florida Fair Collections Act has a anti-harrassment clause - and some re-aging etc took place with the account. As you can tell, I am a little pissed, and not vindictive, but more interested in sending a dose of medicine back the other way (not to mention that this crap has consumed the past week of my life for one TL that I had no knowledge of) -

The same collector was working both accounts - I want to file a case in SC for both collections actions - in Florida. I do not want to have to file in WA because that would be a pain in the butt for me.

Any advice on how and what to say in the statement? I have attached what I have so far (and I have attached the email string with the OC and dates of phone calls - I just dont want to put them here because of the sensitivity of the matter...)

Exhibit A – Complaint

XXXXXXX., a Washington Corporation, doing business as XXXXXXXXX Adjustors, Inc. has violated the Florida Fair Debt Collections act, and caused harm to me as follows:

1. Florida Fair Debt Collection Practices Act 559.565 Enforcement action against out-of-state consumer debt collector.--The remedies of this section are cumulative to other sanctions and enforcement provisions of this part for any violation by an out-of-state consumer debt collector, as defined in s. 559.55(8).

a. (2) Any person, whether or not exempt from registration under this part, who violates the provisions of s. 559.72 shall be subject to sanctions for such violations the same as any other consumer debt collector, including imposition of an administrative fine. The registration of a duly registered out-of-state consumer debt collector shall be subject to revocation or suspension in the same manner as the registration of any other registrant under this part.

On February 6, 2012, I was beginning my annual review of my credit report. On the credit report I noted several medical collections, and began researching the debt and attempting to remedy the situation. I contacted the Plaintiff’s office and was directed to Mr. Brian Phillips, a debt collector for the Plaintiffs company.

During the course of that call, I attempted to find out:

1. The original creditor

2. The dates of service

3. A request for an itemized and detailed bill listing the service.

During this contact, I was able to ascertain that the debt was owed to XXXXX Hospital; however, was subject to willfully abusive language, and inevitably was unable to get answers to the questions. I then called Mr. XXXXXXX again on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, to attempt to get further information on the debt, and to resolve the issue with the original creditors.

During this conversation, XXXXXXXX yelled at me during the call, made derogatory statements, and inevitably told me that “They (the original creditor) does not want to work with you, and you don’t want to work with us, so I am hanging on you right now. Goodbye.”

I proceeded to write a letter to the Executive Team at XXXXXXX Medical Group. I also contacted XXXXXXXX from XXXXXX Medical Center, and informed her of the issue and abuse that I suffered from the plaintiff. (The email correspondence is attached as well as copies of the certified letters).

XXXXXXXX forwarded my complaint to XXXXXXXX, the Business Manager for Swedish Medical Center. After further review, she instructed that:

a. All contact from West Coast Adjustors would cease.

b. Apologized for the treatment that I had received.

c. Requested that XXXXXXXX be removed from further collections actions for XXXXXXXX because of his behavior towards me.

I processed payment in full to XXXXXXXX Center. I attach all records and correspondence pertaining to this complaint for your review. XXXXXX did pull the recordings of the collections calls, reviewed the calls, and found the plaintiff to have subjected me to harassment.

For violation of Section 559.72 Part 8:

(8) Use profane, obscene, vulgar, or willfully abusive language in communicating with the debtor or any member of her or his family

I am requesting that the court award me $1,000 for the penalty and court costs associated with the filing of this claim, plus costs associated with preparing the documents, research, certified letters and personal time required to complete the lawsuit.

Furthermore, under the Fair Debt Collections Protection Act, XXXXXXXX, Inc. subjected my account to “re-aging”, erroneously reporting information to the major credit reporting agencies. After disputing the debt with the Credit Reporting Agencies, XXXXXXXX confirmed the trade line with the Credit Reporting Agencies as noted below:

These dates are not in conjunction with the dates of the original creditor, nor does the information reported match from reporting agency to reporting agency.

For this violation, I am seeking $1,000 in damages plus costs associated with this case.

Correspondence and evidence related to the case is attached.

So what do you think? It will set me back $175.00 to file, but in the interest of doing what is right - is there a chance in hell that this will send a message and maybe change their practices?

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Good job on getting the TLs removed.

Regarding the FDCPA, you can file in your own state. You don't have to file in the CAs state. I would recommend you contact an attorney. You have the FL Fair Debt Collections and the federal FDPCA. I don't know if you could file in a county or circuit court or if you'd have to file in a FL district court.

Contact NACA. Some of those attorneys work on a contingency basis. If you can't get any help there. Contact the lawyer referral service at the FL state bar. They'll provide the name of an attorney who'll give you a consultation either for free or for a reduced fee. Even if you don't want to hire him, he could still provide some valuable information.

National Association of Consumer Advocates | Consumer Protection Advocates and Attorneys - Help for Consumers

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