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Got this in the Mail. Is this a new tactic?


tropicaljo
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Oh, jeez, would you look at this! Yesterday I got a written communication in the mail from a company called “Credit Bureau Systems, Inc.” out of Paducah, KY. This is the first written communication I’ve gotten from them. It shows that the Creditor is “Various Creditors” and that I allegedly owe $259.00. It says:

This is an attempt to collect a debt. Information gained will be so used. (big font, bold, blue)

Please Do Not Ignore This Notification (bigger font, bold, black.)

It’s Important to You and Your Credit Score! (Plain font, Italic)

It is the policy of Credit Bureau Systems to report unpaid collections to consumer credit reporting bureaus when our letters and phone calls are being ignored. We will not report any account, however, for a period of at least thirty-days from the date of our initial written demand for payment was sent to you. The initial demand for payment that we sent you contained certain disclosures about your rights in connection with your debt(s).

This notice is being sent to you as a reminder that you have thirty-days from the date of our initial communications to dispute all or any portion of your account or accounts. If you fail to send written dispute of your account or accounts within the thirty-day period, we will assume that the debt is valid and continue our communications with you in order to recover the debts owed to our clients.

Due to a limitation in our printing and processing systems, the creditor listed above is shown as “Various Creditors”. To obtain the name or a list of the names and amounts owed to each of our clients, please call 1-800-XXX-XXXX.

Your payment would be appreciated. If payment in full is not possible, please call our office to discuss terms for payment!

_________

The above notification was the first written communication I’ve received from this company! I’ve gone thru my mail basket which has mail in it from as far back as Thanksgiving, and there is nothing from this company

Also, I’ve gone back thru my phone log and voicemail recordings, all the way back to June of last year, and this company has called exactly twice. They called and left a vm on 12/16/2011. I didn’t return that first call because I never return debt collection calls, especially first time callers. I figure if they are legitimate and have something to say to me, they’ll get around to sending me something formal in the mail.

Then they called again on 02/17/2011 and didn’t leave a voicemail. I had to Google that number to find out who had called, so why should I return that call when they didn’t bother to leave a message?

All-in-all, the threats and misrepresentation that I’ve been ignoring their calls and letters is deceptive to say the least, and the “various creditors” thing is just stupid.

Just thought I'd share this. Comments are welcomed! :)++

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I agree with 1stStep and Tom. Go ahead and DV. If they don't respond, reread this section of their letter:

"This notice is being sent to you as a reminder that you have thirty-days from the date of our initial communications to dispute all or any portion of your account or accounts. If you fail to send written dispute of your account or accounts within the thirty-day period, we will assume that the debt is valid and continue our communications with you in order to recover the debts owed to our clients."

They're reminding you about the 30 day validation period. That section implies that you're still within the 30 days window of their first communication. In my opinion, if you go ahead and DV, and they attempt collection again without responding to your DV, they've violated the FDCPA.

I also agree with Willing. The words "credit bureau" in their name could be a problem. BUT, they did state "It is the policy of Credit Bureau Systems to report unpaid collections to consumer credit reporting bureaus".

They could possibly use that statement as a defense showing that they are not a credit bureau. But, you are a "least sophisticated consumer", correct? :rolleyes:

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Good catch!

I think this letter smells of a 1692e violation - false and misleading statements to collect

Yes, especially since it also has this: "Please Do Not Ignore This Notification!

It’s Important to You and Your Credit Score!"

Could that be construed as a false threat? Ignoring the notice shouldn't have an impact on his credit score.

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That would be HER credit score, BigJT! ;) Sending a DV goes without saying, and I'll be at the post office in the morning to get it sent CMRRR. Under normal circumstances, I'd wait until the last 7 days of my 30 day dispute window to send the DV, but in this instance, it seems prudent to be prompt with my response.

And thank you all for agreeing that it smells totally false and misleading. While the threat to report to the CRA's if I don't respond is bad enough, I'm feeling like the bigger misrepresentation is that they imply that they've already sent an initial communication and numerous attempts to call me and I have "ignored" their efforts, when in fact this notice is the first written communication, and they've only called twice. As far as I know, I am by no means required by law to answer a telephone call from an 800 number that I don't recognize, nor am I required to waive my rights and return a collection call and subject myself to that kind of abuse. And that "Various Creditors" crud is just ridiculous! "Sure Mister, I'll just roll over and hand you this $259.00 cause you say "Various Creditors" claim I owe them money." And then there's that attempt to coerce me into calling them to get the "Various Creditors" actual names, when that should have been included in the notification in the first place. I've never seen a dun notice that didn't include the OC's name somewhere on it.

willingtocope... I've been trying to do some research on this company here and at another board and have only come across one very old thread that said basically the same thing you said... that it's a violation for them to have Credit Bureau in their name, but have not been able to locate anything more solid that is more recent than 2007. I will be looking into this until I find what I need, but any pointers from anyone on this board would sure be appreciated.

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While the threat to report to the CRA's if I don't respond is bad enough, I'm feeling like the bigger misrepresentation is that they imply that they've already sent an initial communication and numerous attempts to call me and I have "ignored" their efforts, when in fact this notice is the first written communication, and they've only called twice.

In keeping with the spirit of total b.s. I'd send the following.

This letter is in reference to your letter dated XXX reminding me of the 30 day period to demand validation. Thank you for the reminder and I would also like to remind you of the pending and timely DV letter that was sent to you upon my receipt of your initial communication.

I have yet to receive the validation which I have requested. Please forward this to me as soon as possible.

What are they going to do? Go to court and say there is no way you sent them a timely DV letter because this letter was actually the true initial communication. :D

On a side note, if they regularly report to the CRA and have a true part of their business that reports to the CRA, they are fine with the name of their agency. I was going to sue an agency with a similar name and there are multiple cases and some on the appeal level that have ruled no violation if they are a true credit reporting agency, which if they regularly report they are, by law, a CRA and can use the name.

I'd sue them so quick their head spins for the following:

1. Warning about you responding being important to your credit score. How in the world can they do anything other than speculate about your credit score. They don't work for the CRA and they do figure credit scores, they just provide info to the CRA.

It's been proven there are many times that paying an old debt can hurt your score. They are implying your credit score will somehow benefit if you call them and/or pay them.

2. Is this letter important to you? They say it is, is it? Do they have some secret chip planted in your brain where they know what is and is not important to you? They should have said, should be important to you, not is important to you. I have a funny feeling the letter is not important to you.

3. Call them to get the names of the creditor(s) due to printing limitations? What they run out of ink and paper? Even if you have a dozen other creditors with them it would take all of two lines to list. So now you need to call them to get info and your within the alleged 30 time frame to dispute?

I'm suing them for overshadowing as they are putting more emphasis on you calling them to find out information than writing to them. The FDCPA states your request must be in writing. Now they are telling you to call them, and that would not preserve your rights because if you disputed on the phone it would be a verbally of course and the FDCPA says in writing. Two, it leads the least sophisicated consumer confused and uncertain. It's an end run to throw the emphasis on you calling them as opposed to writing them.

In addition, it's deceptive. Of course it's easier to collect when you get a debtor on the phone, the collector has a chance to hound them verbally. Again it's putting more emphasis on you calling so they can get you on the phone and then brow beat you into paying right there on that call and again overshadowing your rights.

So with their logic, when you sue them for violations of the FDCPA, in your complaint, you can put violations of the FDCPA. If they want to know what the violations are, tell them to call you and you will go over it with them, but at this time you're running low on ink so it's violations to save paper and money. How quick would that get a failure to state a claim motion to dismiss being filed.

4. This gem "It is the policy of Credit Bureau Systems to report unpaid collections to consumer credit reporting bureaus when our letters and phone calls are being ignored."

So now they are putting a great sense of urgency on you getting in contact with them. That overshadows your validation period by rushing you. The least sophisicated would see it as a warning to get on the ball because the agency is getting mad about about being ignored. What if you want to use your whole 30 days.

5. "We will not report any account, however, for a period of at least thirty-days from the date of our initial written demand for payment was sent to you."

Confusing and making the least sophisicated uncertain. This statement implies that the 30 day window to dispute is from when they send you the initial communication. However, as you know you have 30 days upon receipt of the letter to dispute and demand validation.

They are using the threat of reporting to CRA within 30 days of the letter being sent in and effort to again rush you if you want to avoid the debt being reported. Assuming 5 days for mailing they are implying that your 30 day window to dispute is now 25 days.

Yes they can report within the 30 day window before you dispute if there is no pending DV out there. However, they are implying there is some correlation between the validation period and them reporting on your credit and that correlation just happens to be 30 days, the exact time frame one has to demand validation, only from the date you receive the letter, not the date they send the letter.

Very confusing to the least sophisicated. Even the sophisicated would come to the conclusion they are going to report at the end of the DV period and not just an internal 30 day waiting period. Therefore to avoid this you get 5 days less to exercise your DV right and they have started the clock on your 30 day time to demand validation the day they mailed the letter.

So now they want you too:

- call them to find out more info because they are running short on paper and ink.

- want to warn you this is going on your record in 30 days after the notice is sent, not received by you and that 30 days just by luck happens to be the same time frame for a timely DV to be sent, therefore, using the least sophisicated standard giving you 25 days to dispute.

- Rush you because you are "ignoring them" and need to get with it because all this ignoring you're doing is painting you into a corner.

- Know how this is going to affect your credit score.

- Know this letter is important to you.

- "The initial demand for payment that we sent you contained certain disclosures about your rights in connection with your debt(s)."

Debts, plural? So what is this an umbrella dunning letter and let's just throw every debt in there under this one dunning letter, but you want to find out about the debt(s) and who the creditors are?, you need to call us even though most protections are triggered by written communication only.

Also the initial notice of rights says unless you dispute the validity of this debt, not debts. So you can only dispute the validity the debt, but you need to call them to get info on the other debts, plural?

What an absolute confusing, threatening and full of overshadowing letter.

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This statement

"This notice is being sent to you as a reminder that you have thirty-days from the date of our initial communications to dispute all or any portion of your account or accounts."

Contradicts this statement

Unless you notify this office within thirty days after receipt of the notice

So what is the date, first you tell me 30 days upon receipt of your letter and now you remind me it's something different it's 30 days from the initial communication.

That violates this part of the FDCPA,

Any collection activities and communication during the 30-day period may not overshadow or be inconsistent with the disclosure of the consumer’s right to dispute the debt.

They gave you a solid time frame in their first letter and they followed that up by giving you a time frame that contridicts and is inconsistent in their 2nd letter.

Edited by Coltfan1972
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"This notice is being sent to you as a reminder that you have thirty-days from the date of our initial communications to dispute all or any portion of your account or accounts."

How can you have initial communications. By the definition of initial, having multiple initial communication is impossible. An initial communication is a singular communication, you can only have an initial something once.

In fact look at what the FDCPA says.

§ 809. Validation of debts 15USC 1692g

(a) Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer

They say communications, the FDCPA says communication.

Confused? I know I am.

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Coltfan, You crack me up!!! :ROFLMAO2:

I had my DV all written up and ready to send, then I read your suggested response! Now I'm gonna have to rethink my DV letter! I love that, "But I did respond, so where's my validation?"

As for confusing and misleading and overshadowing the least sophisticated consumer, yeah this whole notice is a real piece of work...

the initial communication(s) thing... sorry, I put an "s" in there at the end of communications that didn't belong. I was in a pretty big hurry when I typed the original post.

"This notice is being sent to you as a reminder that you have thirty-days from the date of our initial communicationto dispute all or any portion of your account or accounts."

The thing is that they never once mention the date that the alleged "initial communication" was sent, so how am I supposed to know when my 30 days are up? The whole notice smacks of deception and misrepresentations, plus as you pointed out, it is overshadows my 30 day dispute period and leaves me very confused about how long I have to dispute their claims.

Yeah, I think I need to rewrite my DV and add to it that I believe I need to file a lawsuit against them for their violations... 8-)

Thanks for my morning chuckle, Coltfan! What a great way to start my weekend!

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In keeping with the spirit of total b.s. I'd send the following.

What are they going to do? Go to court and say there is no way you sent them a timely DV letter because this letter was actually the true initial communication. :D

What an absolute confusing, threatening and full of overshadowing letter.

I'm going to have to agree with Colt here. (btw Colt, your responses are absolute genius, both in quality and humour!)

IMO it's all in how you *read* and interpret the letter.

This letter IS the initial communication. There is NO prior communication and there never was. It's just a ruse, a dirty trick to get you believe you *missed* some implied communication. Check the way it's written and rest of the trickery and tomfoolery in their letter.

This is misleading copy at it's absolute finest, or at it's worst, depending on which side of the poison pen you reside. I write for a living, so reading this made me laugh, so I was hoping someone else saw this for the farce it is.

Send the DV on this letter, definitely. And have some fun with them by writing the retorts suggested in this thread. They're hilarious.

Then sue their asses for all of it.

This thread has made my morning... :)

Edited by RockDaddy
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The number(s) they called me from isn't really relevant. If they are calling you over a non-existing debt and you've told them that on the phone and they keep calling, tell 'em in writing, dv them, and tell them to stop calling because it's inconvenient at all times to discuss personal financial issues over the telephone.

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