SalParadise

Asset responds to DV, I roflmao

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Quick recap:

WA atty rep'ing AALLC sent me a demand letter 4 weeks ago. I DV both the law firm and Asset. Today I get this response directly from Asset:

April 10, 2012

Re: (OC I've never held an account with)

OC Acct #: (number doesn't match an account I've ever had)

Current Balance: (Also incorrect--about 4k short)

Dear Sal Paradise:

Thank you for your request for further information regarding the above referenced account.

This account has been purchased by AALLC. The previous creditor indicated that the account was associated with the name (MY NAME), and a social security number of xxx-xx-(not the last 4 digits of my social).

If you still believe the information to be inaccurate, please provide an explanation as to why you believe it is inaccurate and provide any documentation you may have supporting your claim for our review.

If you have any questions regarding the matter, please contact this office.

Your account balance may be periodically increased due to the addition of accrued interest and other charges as provided in the agreement with the original creditor or as otherwise provided by state law.

(Mini-Miranda)

Sincerely,

(Rep Name)

(Phone Number)

Compliance Department

A debt collector and representative of AALLC

====

END LETTER

====

I nearly fell of the john as I read it (what, you don't grab the mail and hit the john when you come home from work?) If it isn't already obvious, they provided information for an account I've never heard of. The only information that was correct was my first and last name--everything else was false including social. I pulled my CRs two weeks ago (in addition to pulling it twice a year for the last four years), and this isn't a possible ID theft. The account info is completely incorrect. Of course not that that would matter as I sent them a DV letter that listed all of the CORRECT information (y'know, the actual account the atty is demanding be paid).

My guess is they copy/pasted information from some other account into my letter.

So, what's everyone take on this? I should mention that I also disputed their record with all three CRAs the same day I sent off the DV letter. As soon as the investigation concludes, I'll post the results. God, this is funny.

Edited by SalParadise

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You've disputed the account and given Asset the correct information. Asset was recently fined $2.5 million by the FTC for their practices. If they verify their entry with the CRAs, I'd get an attorney. In addition, I'd send a nice letter to the FTC that includes a copy of Asset's letters, your letter, and the notice from the CRAs that the account was verified.

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If they verify their entry with the CRAs, I'd get an attorney.

While waiting for the CRAs to finish the investigation, what if Asset's atty (or another CA they've assigned) calls or sends a dunning letter? Do you think given the circumstances that constitutes an FDCPA violation?

Excellent advise, btw. If they do come back as verified, I'll write more than a few letters. Speaking to technicalities, shouldn't asset have communicated this information through their firm they hired and originally contacted me?

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Would not be an FDCPA violation at this point, in my opinion. I usually would never recommend doing what a JDB says, but this time I would. I would send them a detailed dispute since they have the wrong person.

Why? To set up willful violations. You can't get punitive damages under the FDCPA, but I'm almost positive you can under the FCRA. However, even if you can't, the FCRA allows you to stack the violations, unlike the FDCPA.

They have provided you what is in their records. You need to now dispute the DV they sent you, and in my opinion, lay out a detailed dispute.

You don't want to get stuck with just a statutory FCRA min of $100.00 because you never followed back up with them.

This has the making of a nice lawsuit, but you need to really lay a foundation. The good news is, they will ignore you. You can lay your paper trail and give them enough rope to hang themselves each step of the way. Then you can slap down with a lawsuit and you have all the evidence to show their violations are willful.

I would also argue that could trigger some emotional distress under the FDCPA if they are in willful violation.

Send them a dispute and just stick right to the facts. Don't threaten a lawsuit or making a complaint. You are under zero obligation to inform them of the law or what the potential consequences could be for their violation(s).

That's what court is for. That is where you give them the ultimate lesson on the law and consequences of breaking the law.

  • Like 1

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Send them a dispute and just stick right to the facts.

I edited the original post as I just finished drafting a response:

Friday, April 13, 2012

ME

ADDRESS

CITY, ST ZIP

THEM

ADDRESS

CITY, ST ZIP

RE: Your letter dated April 10th, 2012

Dear Sir or Madam:

Today I received your above referenced letter which is in response to my letter requesting validation of an entry in my Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion credit report (attached). I’m writing to inform you that after reviewing your provided data, I continue to dispute this account for the following reasons:

• The previous creditor indicated, XXXXXX, is an entity with which I have never had a relationship.

• I have never had any financial account bearing the account number that ends in “XXXX”

• I do not recognize the stated current balance of $XXXX.xx

• I do not recognize the social security number that ends in XXXX

You have not provided any information that I requested in my original letter to you. It is because of this that I have no choice but to continue to dispute the alleged debt. I ask that you provide to me relevant and pertinent information that pertains specifically to me and my alleged account. Please do so as soon as possible as you are continuing to report inaccurate information to the credit reporting agencies and it is adversely affecting my ability to seek credit, apply for loans, and engage in other financial transactions.

Sincerely,

(Sig)

NAME

Edited by SalParadise
Jumped the gun.

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Also, I should mention that my DV to Asset's attorney was standard per FDCPA. My letter directly to Asset however specifically pertained to their entry on my CR (actual verbiage below):

This letter is being sent to you because of your QUESTIONABLE AND UNSUBSTANTIATED record reported in my Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion credit file. This action constitutes an unsubstantiated collection action pursuant to the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Pursuant to this act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (B), your record is disputed and validation is requested.

Also, I launched parallel disputes with all three CRAs when I sent this letter. So far, I haven't heard back from the CRAs.

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I'd throw in at the end of your letter that you are also experiencing significant stress and anxiety over this situation they have brought on you.

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Quick recap:

I sent them a DV letter that listed all of the CORRECT information (y'know, the actual account the atty is demanding be paid).

If they have the wrong info, I sure wouldn't correct it for them. Easy enough when you give it to them for them to revise it and come right back at you. I would just inform them that they are wrong and they need to do their own research. If the last four of the SS was wrong, how did they get it on your CR. They have to have that right to begin with if I understand it correctly.

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Should I attach my original DV letter? I'm thinking keep the verbiage in there, but remove the attachment and reference to it--I don't want to give them any additional opportunity to review the original letter and say, "Ooops, we responded with the wrong account info."

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No don't do their work for them. They have a copy of the letter. You are getting a different opinion from TomnTex. He does have a point. I would still do it how I suggested so I could set up willful violations. However, he does make a valid point. Always consider all options.

If they have the wrong person, then it's not going to matter if they doctor the evidence. In fact, it would be even better for you. That would just really nail them. However, in the short term they could argue they have enough evidence to support their claims.

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Sal, when did they first start reporting on your CRs?

Did they send you a letter stating they had placed an entry on your CRs?

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Sal, when did they first start reporting on your CRs?

Did they send you a letter stating they had placed an entry on your CRs?

11/2011 an all three. A WA-based law firm sent me a demand letter on 02/28/12 on behalf of Asset.

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Letter is on its way, CMRRR.

This process has also been very stressful and emotional and I’m tired of having to do all this legwork to get you to provide correct information. [:-)x

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11/2011 an all three. A WA-based law firm sent me a demand letter on 02/28/12 on behalf of Asset.

In January, 2012, the court in the FTC case issued an order stating that Asset must notify an individual when they place a negative entry on that person's CR. Their entry on your CR occurred before the order, so it probably wouldn't apply in your case. Crud. :(

Here's the link to the order. It was signed 1/30/2012. See if Asset has violated any of the conditions since that date.

http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0523133/120130assetconsent.pdf

Edited by BV80

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Hang on, I just noticed this in their CRA entries:

TU

Date Placed for collection: 11/29/2011

Date Updated: 03/25/2012

EQ

Date Opened: 11/2011

Date Reported: 02/2012

EX

Date opened: 11/2011

Reported Since: 01/2012

Date of Status: 01/2012

Last Reported: 02/2012

Could they be at odds with the federal order because of all this "reporting" and "updating"?

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Almost done reading the order and whoa, the court really went to town on these scumbags. There is some very relevant info that could pertain to my situation, specifically with what the order forces them to do when a consumer disputes the debt. To paraphrase: They have to conduct a reasonable investigation, and if they cannot properly validate, they must immediately and permanently cease all collection activity, and request the CRAs delete the entire record including any negative information. If I read this correctly, they are also are barred from selling, transferring, or assigning the debt to any entity other than the OC.

If they ignore my rebuttal of their information or tell me to piss off, they will have violated the order, which turns this particular little FCRA violation into a way huger deal.

As a sidebar: The unique thing about this is that it gives a consumer grounds to DV a debt directly with Asset, potentially before said consumer is even contacted by their CA/atty. This is huge. It in essence states that a JDB creating a record in your CR is itself a collection action. Could this ruling be used in directly DVing other JDBs?

I urge you to read through the order. It's pretty nuts.

Edited by SalParadise

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Another thing:

VIII. NOTICE REQUIREMENTS

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that:

A. For a period of five (5) years from the date of entry of this Decree, Defendant, whether acting directly or through any business entity, corporation, subsidiary, division, affiliate, agent, servant, officer, employee, or other device, in connection with acting as a "debt collector" in the collection of a "debt" from a "consumer," as those terms are defined in Section 803(6), (5), and (3), respectively, of the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6), (5), and (3), shall make the following disclosure clearly and prominently on each written collection communication that is sent to a

consumer for the purpose of collecting a debt:

Federal law prohibits certain methods of debt collection, and

requires that we treat you fairly. You can stop us from contacting

you by writing a letter to us that tells us to stop the contact or that

you refuse to pay the debt. Sending such a letter does not make the

debt go away if you owe it. Once we receive your letter, we may

not contact you again, except to let you know that there won't be

any more contact or that we intend to take a specific action.

If you have a complaint about the way we are collecting this debt,

please write to us at [current physical address], email us at [current

email address], or call us toll-free at [current phone number]

between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, Monday - Friday.

The Federal Trade Commission enforces the Fair Debt Collection

Practices Act (FDCPA). If you have a complaint about the way we

are collecting your debt, please contact the FTC online at

Federal Trade Commission., by phone at 1-877-FTC-HELP; or by mail at 600

Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

Asset's hired law firm did not include this verbiage in their letter. Is a law firm covered by Defendant, whether acting directly or through any business entity, corporation, subsidiary, division, affiliate, agent, servant, officer, employee, or other device, in connection with acting as a "debt collector" in the collection of a "debt" from a "consumer,"

Per the FDCPA, (and correct me if I'm wrong), a Law Firm that is not filing a suit but merely demanding payment be made on a debt on behalf of a JDB is considered a debt collector. I would go further and say that the law firm's mini-miranda in their letter is their own admission of being considered a debt collector per FDCPA.

Is this a violation of the order?

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I think this would all depend upon when they contacted you. Was the attorney's contact before or after 1/31/2012?

I don't think you could get them on the credit reporting because it appears they began reporting before the order was issued.

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The order stated "whether acting directly or through any business entity, corporation, subsidiary, division, affiliate, agent, servant, officer, employee, or other device, in connection with acting as a 'debt collector'".

It would appear to me they're acting as a debt collector through the attorney. In my opinion, the notice should have been included.

You won't be able to sue for a violation of the court order, but you have more evidence to include in a letter to the FTC and your AG.

As far as the FDCPA and FCRA violations are concerned, I'd do as Coltfan recommended. If they don't follow through on their end, you've got the grounds for a good lawsuit.

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As always, excellent insight BV. I'll update the thread when I get the investigation results back from the CRAs, and if/when I hear back from Asset or the law firm.

Until then, one last Q: When the time comes. would it be appropriate in my letter to the FTC & AG to CC the Consumer Protection Bureau? I recently read they will be taking over enforcement of debt collection issues sometime this year from the FTC. Also, CCing the prosecutor of Asset's case?

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As always, excellent insight BV. I'll update the thread when I get the investigation results back from the CRAs, and if/when I hear back from Asset or the law firm.

Until then, one last Q: When the time comes. would it be appropriate in my letter to the FTC & AG to CC the Consumer Protection Bureau? I recently read they will be taking over enforcement of debt collection issues sometime this year from the FTC. Also, CCing the prosecutor of Asset's case?

Personally, I'd wait to send the information to the Consumer Protection Bureau until after they officially take over debt collection issues. If you do it now, it could be lost by the time they take over. The FTC would forward the info to them, but getting the info again from you after they take over might be better.

I'd send a copy to the prosecutor. I don't know if he could do anything, but it can't hurt.

To everyone you write, I'd include a copies of everything. If a term in the order appears to be violated (such as the lack of the required notice on the lawyer's letter), I'd include that term in my letter and reference the document (lawyer's letter) that violated that term.

Edited by BV80

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I’ve got an update:

I have not heard back from Asset re my letter of response, but EQ has completed their investigation this morning. I launched a parallel dispute with all the CRAs when I sent out my original DV letter to Asset. Asset has verified the record on my EQ report.

Here's what it looks like from my end.

1. Sent DV to Asset.

2. Got my CMRR back in the mail several days later, launched CRA dispute with all 3 on that day.

3. Asset sends the aforementioned response to me, "validating" the wrong/someone else's account.

4. I send response letter to Asset, telling them I rebut their information and have no knowledge of any supplied data, continue to dispute the account, request the provide correct and relevant info, etc.

5. Get 2nd CMRR back on 04/17 from Asset.

6. EQ completes investigation and verifies Asset's entry today, 4/26.

Seems like an FDCPA violation, but my concern is what if they respond to my letter and actually provide the correct alleged debt info? Does that even matter now that they’ve verified with EQ (and presumably EX and TU)? As the least sophisticated consumer, I would assume that the info they provided to EQ during the investigation was the same incorrect/irrelevant info they gave to me for DV. Should I move forward with a complaint, or give Asset some more time to respond to my second letter?

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Do you have proof the account is not yours? If so, I would send that proof to the CRAs and to Asset. If you don't have proof, fine. You can't prove a negative.

While courts across the country may disagree about what constitutes a violation of the FDCPA and the FCRA, they pretty much agree on one thing: Try to resolve the issue outside of court. You've given Asset the opportunity to correct their TL. You've notified them more than once.

If you're not positive you've done everything you can do before filing suit, consult an attorney just to make sure. If I were in your shoes, I'd speak to an attorney. But that's because I might tend to be overly cautious...perhaps too cautious. He/She may have some suggestions. OR, the attorney may agree that you've done enough already.

You must do what makes you comfortable.

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I'm of the same mind. Cautious, thorough, and scrupulous attention is the name of my game, too. For now, I'm going to wait for EX and TU to complete their investigations. I'm also going to give Asset a 30-day window to respond to my second letter to them. Finally, I'm going to send a follow-up letter to the law firm stating I've heard no response and am closing my file. I may mention that their initial demand sent to me lacked the required verbiage stated in Asset's court order, jut to shake them up a bit.

Once the results come back from the other CRAs as positive, and if Asset ignores my second letter (or once again "verifies" the wrong account), I will probably consult an attorney with intent to file a federal suit.

Also, I'm working on an LVNV issue and have started a thread here http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forums/while-you-debt-validation-q/313599-dv-lvnv-dispute.html#post1163928 Would you be ever so kind to take a peek?

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