Jump to content

Fair Debt violation?


Recommended Posts

I live in Colorado. I received a notice from an attorney's office in July 2011, stating that I owed money to a credit card I don't ever believe I had. I responded to their request within 30 days--asking for validation. At the time, I was considered judgment proof due to long-term unemployment, so I also let them know that I had been advised that this was the case.

I got a notice afterwards that they would respond with validation. However, I did not hear anything from them until mid-February of 2012. When they did respond, it was with an unsigned copy of an agreement from 07/03/05-09/15/2006 plus a few bills that did not show how the debt was accumulated. The vast majority was for overdraft fees, but there was no indication of what was originally charged. The amount they say I owe is easily 3 times the amount listed on these bills. They also did not provide me with proof that they're a registered agent or authorized to collect. I don't believe they proved they're authorized by the original creditor to collect either since they just provided a copy of an agreement from the OC that I never signed.

I believed they violated fair debt collection practices, so I responded with a letter advising them of this belief along with my original letter and proof of receipt. I did this within 30 days of receiving their validation materials. Today, I got a letter saying they have satisfied their burden. They say the 30-day notice applies to the dispute rather than validation. Is this true? How should I respond to this notice?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the time, I was considered judgment proof due to long-term unemployment, so I also let them know that I had been advised that this was the case.

I would not do that. It's irrelevant, and trust me they know that anyway. You telling them that makes it appear you are scared to be sued and are hoping to scare them off.

I got a notice afterwards that they would respond with validation. However, I did not hear anything from them until mid-February of 2012.

No time limit on when they can respond, at least under the FDCPA and to the best of my knowledge, Texas has the only state law that requires an answer to a DV within 30 days.

When they did respond, it was with an unsigned copy of an agreement from 07/03/05-09/15/2006 plus a few bills that did not show how the debt was accumulated.

Pretty much standard DV when they even answer, maybe a little more than is usually sent to a debtor.

The vast majority was for overdraft fees, but there was no indication of what was originally charged.

It's debt DV not proof for court.

The amount they say I owe is easily 3 times the amount listed on these bills.

Normal, compounding interest most likely at around 30% or higher.

They also did not provide me with proof that they're a registered agent or authorized to collect.

A registered agent is a party that accepts service for a lawsuit and usually does not even work for the party you might sue. Also they don't have to prove they are authorized to collect as part of DV.

I don't believe they proved they're authorized by the original creditor to collect

Does not sound like it to me either.

I believed they violated fair debt collection practices

They did not by any stretch, based on the information you provided in this post.

I responded with a letter advising them of this belief along with my original letter and proof of receipt.

Sometimes the other side goes away with any dispute, even if it is 100% wrong as far as legal theory goes. However, I would make sure I was sure before I sent them other letters. Never a good idea to put something in writing that might come back to bite you.

Today, I got a letter saying they have satisfied their burden.

They are right.

They say the 30-day notice applies to the dispute rather than validation.

Basically what they told you was they have to respond within 30 days to a credit reporting dispute under the FCRA, which is correct.

Is this true?

Yes

How should I respond to this notice?

Depends. Is the attorney collecting for the credit card company, and if so who is the creditor. Or is the atty collecting on a debt they allegedly bought or for another party that allegedly bought the account.

In other words, are they alleging you owe the original creditor or somebody that has bought the debt.

Edited by Coltfan1972
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks. I think I was ill-advised. I was told they had to respond within 30 days with the validation and that partial validation was not sufficient.

The original creditor is a major credit card company (C------ O--). The collector is a law office.

Can I demand they prove that this debt isn't outside the statute of limitations? The "proof" they sent over shows a debt from 2006, which is 6 years ago--the limit for Colorado. Also, can I ask them to provide me with a copy of the contract showing they're authorized to act on behalf of the OC?

The original amount is pretty small. I wouldn't have any issues paying that small amount, just to get rid of this, but the amount they're asking for is totally outrageous--especially when I didn't have the card to begin with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can ask them for anything. However, I think they have pretty much made it clear they are not going to cooperate. They sent you a letter telling you they have met their burden.

In my opinion you're just asking for it if you start talking about the statute of limitations with them. That could trigger a lawsuit if they are just inside the limitations. Generally speaking, it's best to do nothing.

You sent DV and they provided that DV. The next move is their move. Time is your friend. Every day this drags out the better for you.

It's the reason a criminal atty will try to get a ton of delays in the trial. Nothing really bad, assuming their client is not in jail, can come of more time. Witnesses forget and die, evidence gets lost, bigger fish to fry come along, you get the picture.

Anyway, a statute of limitations defense (if your sued) is an affirmative defense. They don't have to prove it is within statute, you have to prove it is out of statute. You do that by discovery. Discovery is where you would get all their proof and all that other stuff you hit them up for in your DV letter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No time limit on when they can respond, at least under the FDCPA and to the best of my knowledge, Texas has the only state law that requires an answer to a DV within 30 days.

Coltfan,

I apologize for hijacking this thread, but I've seen others state this about Texas. Out of curiosity, I've been doing a little research, and I don't believe that's correct.

The TX statute is 392.202. Nothing in that statute mentions validation or verification. It refers to inaccuracies in the files or information of a credit bureau or 3rd party debt collectors files. It's about disputing inaccuracies. It doesn't appear to be about validation or verification. Here's part of the statute:

(B) Not later than the 30th day after the date a notice of inaccuracy is received, a third-party debt collector who initiates an investigation shall send a written statement to the individual:(1) denying the inaccuracy;(2) admitting the inaccuracy; or(3) stating that the third-party debt collector has not had sufficient time to complete an investigation of the inaccuracy.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FI/pdf/FI.392.pdf

I've even looked for case law regarding that statute and validation. So far, I've found nothing. Texas residents should contact an attorney familiar with that statute to find out if it's related to validation.

This is from the TX AG's website:

If you dispute an item in the file a debt collector has on you, you must give the debt collector written notice. The debt collector is not required by law to cease collection efforts if you merely call the debt collector about your dispute. Written dispute of the debt is best accomplished by sending your complaint to the debt collector by certified mail return receipt requested. Keep a copy of all correspondence you send to the debt collector. The debt collector has 30 days after receiving your written request to determine whether or not the disputed item is correct.

https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/debt_collection.shtml

Again, sorry for the hijacking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The debt collector has 30 days after receiving your written request to determine whether or not the disputed item is correct.

Yeah, we probably need to start a different thread. I'm sure some Texas posters could help us out.

However, quickly, above basically says 30 days to validate. That is what DV is, determining whether the information the collector has is correct. In other states they have as long as they want to determine, but in Texas they have to do it in 30 days. In my opinion, just another way of saying you have 30 days to validate.

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.