Jump to content

Help please with 2 different dunning letters from IC system


Hopeful1
 Share

Recommended Posts

I just opened my mail to find one of my baddies has been sold to a CA called IC system. The little I have found about them kinda scares me. Anyway, there are 2 Dunning letters for the same account (an old gas bill). One has the original amount, the second one has a notice on it saying that their office has been advised to increase the balance due to "additional charges being incurred" and is exactly twice the amount of the original bill. The original amount letter is dated Feb. 23 and the double is dated the 24. What do I do with these things? Do I have to DV both? Can they double it by law? I am worried about this one since it's my most recent and it's around $600-well, the original amount is and I'm concerned they might want to actually act if they can get double. Please help steer me in the right direction!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would send a DV and include a copies of both letters. Ask for validation and also ask for an explanation of the "additional charges". I'm not sure they're required to provide that information in a response to a DV, but I think it's better to go ahead and ask about it. It will be interesting to see those "additional charges".

Don't admit the debt is yours. Just state that you're requesting validation for XXXXX account number, etc.

Did IC Systems state they are the new owners or did they merely state they've been hired to collect?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Letter #1 for the original amount states "your delinquent debt has been turned over to this agency".

Letter #2 does not state this, but says the part about their office being advised to add the "other charges" and that the only way to stop collections on the account is to pay it in full. It also has the mini Miranda like the first one.

Something sounds really "off" to me that they would not give me a chance to respond before doubling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I guess my first DV letter ever will be to a fantastic sounding CA. I had intended do to this differently, but obviously this is the most timely situation at hand for me. And thanks again to you both!:)Now I'm nervous-don't wanna "f" this up!

Edited by Hopeful1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Letter #1 for the original amount states "your delinquent debt has been turned over to this agency".

Letter #2 does not state this, but says the part about their office being advised to add the "other charges" and that the only way to stop collections on the account is to pay it in full. It also has the mini Miranda like the first one.

Something sounds really "off" to me that they would not give me a chance to respond before doubling.

"Turned over to this agency" doesn't mean they've purchased the debt. They could have, but it could also mean they've simply been hired to attempt to collect the debt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do both letters have the statement that you have 30 days from receipt of the letter to request validation?

If they do, sue. I'm filing a federal suit in a few days against an agency that sent me two dunning letters. One on Feb 6 and one on Feb 7. However, they both said I have 30 days to dispute before they assume the debt is valid.

The second letter in inconsistant with the first letter and that my friend is overshadowing. The standard is if the least sophisicated consumer would be "uncertain" as to their rights after receiving the letter and you have to prove no intent to deceive. The beauty of strict liability.

Yes, they will claim bona fide error but that is an affirmative defense. That means there goes all their objections when you hit them with interrogatories and request for production of documents on how there business operates. It also means THEY have the burden to show they have measures in place to avoid such errors.

In your case it's even more confusing since they have increased the amounts, if that is not confusing or cause you to be uncertain, I don't know what does.

This of course is all irrelevant if they don't have the you have 30 days to dispute at the bottom of both letters. If they do have that language, hit the circus music and let the show begin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something's rotten in Denmark.

That wording is rather about the account being "turned over" to them. It wouldn't sound quite as bad if they used a thesaurus. Wonder what they're trying to do with the doubling and consecutively dated letters. (Other than get me to pay)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, they do both have the same 30 day notice on them. I'll try to scan and attach. Not sure where to start with this--do I still do the DV? I am so new to this that I'm not really sure if I have enough knowledge to pursue any lawsuits...I have not read enough about things such as "discovery" to feel like I could do this without representation. I've only been on here for about a month now, gearing up to get my reports straightened out and this has reared it's ugly head.

post-90579-13546104032_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alright even more questions...

Do I still DV them?

What violations does it appear have been committed?

Anyone know a cheap attorney near Hotlanta?

Does it matter that this is for an old utility in Pennsylvania?

Does it matter that this is the second CA to have the account?

Thanks to all of you. I think I would be vomiting with worry right now if it weren't for your kindness in responding.:notworthy:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure I see a violation. The 2nd letter says that their office was advised to increase the balance due to additional charges. They're letting you know what the OC told them. If they can show that they sent the first letter before they received the information from the OC, I don't see how the 2nd letter is overshadowing.

This is assuming they're working for the OC. That's what you need to find out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, stupid question: how do I determine this? Should I call or is this not advisable? The letters list the OC,but beyond that I don't know...

Check your credit report to see if the OC is reporting. If the debt's been sold, it should say sold or transferred. If the OC's not reporting, I'd speak to an attorney to see if you have a case in the first place. If you do have a case, he'd know if it matters whether or not IC is merely collecting for the OC or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BVO80,

You don't see violations because you're interperting the letters and figuring out what they mean. That is not the job of the consumer. The OP was told an amount that was due. The law is crystal clear, ANY letter in that 30 day time period to dispute shall not contridictate the original letter. Furthermore, no intent to contridicate, deceive or confuse has to be shown.

They are required to wait until after the 30 day dispute period to "amend" the amount. All of us that are the least sophisicated kid around here all the time about being the "least sophisicated consumer" but look at this thread, there is actual legit "confusion". The law is clear, if follow up letters in any way contridicate the first letter and cause the consumer (least sophisicated consumer) to be "uncertain," (that is the courts word, uncertain) it's overshadowing.

If you visit the collector boards that is why you will see a ton of them saying don't call or write the debtor within the 30 day period because just about anything can be a violation.

On a side note, I'd argue the fact they put in all caps if you're getting a tax refund to call us but keep the part about the right to demand validation in regular case is another overshadowing violation. They are drawing more attention to paying with your tax refund than to the fact you can dispute. Courts have ruled all bold or 12 point type for the payment and 8 point for the right to dispute is a violation. This is the same thing.

Sue their tails off OP. My case is not near as strong as yours and I'm on my way to federal in just a few more short days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hopeful,

You've got some of the best people on this forum advising you in this thread, so follow their advice. However, don't get hung-up on the idea of a lawsuit right now. You're not at that stage yet.

Here's what I'd suggest to do:

1. Pull your Credit Report. See if the OC is still the owner of the debt. If not it will be listed as a Charge Off or sold. If it's with a debt buyer now, proceed to the next step.

2. Write a DV letter. It can be a simple. There are lots of them on this site you can use as an example. It could be as simple as:

Dear Bad Guys,

I dispute this debt. Please validate it.

-Me

(obviously your letter would include pertinent information such as names, addresses and account number, etc...)

Aside from the legal discussion here of the FDCPA overshadowing violations, and the fact that these appear to be arguable, suable offenses that you *could* choose to pursue at a later time, you must do the first two above.

The only thing I question is whether or not telling the CA about the two letters and mentioning overshadowing would get them to actually *drop* the case entirely, based on the fact that an FDCPA violation will cost them $1000 if you chose to sue them versus what they're asking you for, as they then have to consider legal fees, court costs, etc and risk losing to you.

However, don't let the 2 different letters and dates, etc, worry you into *not* taking action. You're in good stead here on this board. People are helpful and there is help along every step of the way.

On a personal note: I came here not knowing a damn thing and by reading everything I could, I was able to beat back a JDB who had pursued legal action and had a court date. By what I learned here, I was able to write intelligent letters and get the lawyer for the JDB to throw in the towel on a $4500 debt. A nice win for someone with absolutely no experience in this.

Oh and before you start worrying about court, I believe that Colt in another thread mentioned that 95% of all cases settle without even going to trial.

You don't have to eat the entire elephant at once okay? Start with baby steps, but do the above as soon as you can.

-RD

Edited by RockDaddy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

the case entirely, based on the fact that an FDCPA violation will cost them $1000 if you chose to sue them

Defending an FDCPA suit costs a lot more than $1,000 - in fact my most recent vs <NDA> cost them $8,500 in legal fees plus the $1k to pay me (I sued pro per) - plus a $2,500 civil money penalty to the state of AZ for unlicensed activity.

Many CAs/JDBs do not and will not take the threat of a suit seriously...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Defending an FDCPA suit costs a lot more than $1,000 - in fact my most recent vs <NDA> cost them $8,500 in legal fees plus the $1k to pay me (I sued pro per) - plus a $2,500 civil money penalty to the state of AZ for unlicensed activity.

Many CAs/JDBs do not and will not take the threat of a suit seriously...

1stStep,

I actually meant the $1000 *just* for the actual FDCPA violation. You might have missed the extra bit on the end of my post:

I meant this:

an FDCPA violation will cost them $1000 if you chose to sue them

Plus this:

they then have to consider legal fees, court costs, etc and risk losing to you.>>

So FDCPA Violation $1000 + Legal Fees, Costs, Etc = Big Money for the JDB to shell out to sue someone.

Sorry if that wan't clear.

But yeah, agreed. Thanks for breaking it down into real numbers. I just didn't want the OP to worry about a lawsuit at this point, and was trying to point out why they'd likely settle rather than litigate. It's bloody expensive.

Good job on your pro se suit.

Did you ever get my PM message? :)

Edited by RockDaddy
Typo
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I did miss that - my Adderall hasn't quite kicked in yet...

Having had some experience with IC Systems, they do violate- comparing notes with another attorney in CO who called me, there were identical violations in letters going back several months from when I filed my suit.

Also, the unique thing about IC Systems was the Foti violations I got them on...if TCPA had been available now, I would have added those...

And I did get your PM...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again for the incredible help from everyone! I posted a question on a legal website about this and the attorney who answered me first said that the 30 days reset with the "corrected" second letter. Does that sound right? He also said that the ca could add fees depending on the agreement with the oc. This was for a gas utility. I don't recall anything about fees or a written agreement. If there's a way to find that out please advise.

I'll be working on that dv letter today-will post for opinions. Just to clarify-I only need to send one for both letters,right?

P.S. That doubled amount is just under $1200, so hopefully they won't file

Edited by Hopeful1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.