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To set up payment plan with CACH LLC/ Law firm of Allan C Smith before they sue?


dogdaysRover
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After my husband and I both lost our jobs in the same month, we were hit with a total financial crisis. Anyways long story short- About a year ago I tried to settle with Wells Fargo Credit Card for about 50% of the $5000.00 debt owed but they wouldn't budge! They countered with $3900.00. Eventually the debt was sold to CACH LLC and then the calls started from the Law office of Allan C Smith. They called numerous times a day, leaving me voice messages to contact their office. I called them once telling them to stop calling me and that I was currently on government assistance and there was no way I could pay the debt at the moment. That did not stop the calls, so I eventually changed my number. Then the letters started. The last letter I received from them dated March 1, 2012, had an interest amount added to the amount owed which I thought could not be added in the state of CA? The letter says:

"We have tried several attempts to resolve the above mentioned account by seeking your cooperation. This letter is to notify you of our intent to review this file and determine if we should recommend it be transferred to an attorney in or near your city to proceed with those legal remedies available, including filing suit if applicable. As per your contract you may be responsible for legal fees, court costs, judicial interest, and other fees incurred that you previously agreed to pay upon default. The interest reflected above is as of the date of this communication, contact the firm to ascertain the current amount."

My question is should I set up a payment plan or try to settle with them? And if I do, I have read this law firm never sends a letter of settled debt agreement or payment arrangement plan for proof. I fear if they do not send me an agreement letter, I am left with no choice but to wait until they sue me. But, I am currently still on government assistance, I just got a job but I am still well under the poverty line for a family of 4. I have no assets. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance!

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with nothing to lose fighting will make it better. It sounds like you have some violations of the FDCPA. So for now to preserve your rights I would not contact them. If they sue you you could answer the complaint get a fee waiver and drag it out. Cach will have a serious problem getting a witness and the documentation to sue.

fear not it seems as if you can do this.

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I agree with Seadragon.

You are in a great position to fight them.

If you fight and win you don't owe them anything. If you fight them hard enough they may offer you a settlement that you can afford. And if you fight them and lose they will not get paid as they can't garnish your unemployment.

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Thanks Seadragon and Public enemy for your advice. My fear is that they will sue when I do get back on my feet and have a stable income. I am wondering if I should contact them and reiterate the fact that I am on government assistance because they did not get that the first time and see what amount they would settle for (in writing of course). In all honesty I really do not want to go to through legal battles, I would not even know where to start once served! I have heard it can go either way depending on the judge's mood! But I have also heard CACH has a hard time getting their ducks in a row when it comes to court time. So I am still lost at this point. :-(

And yes there are some FDCPA violations:

---Ask you to pay interest, fees, or expenses that are not allowed by law

The collector can't add on any extra fees that your original credit or loan agreement doesn't allow. [15 USC 1692f] § 808(1) (they added $293.66 interest fee on top of the original amount owed)

---Call repeatedly or continuously

The FDCPA considers repeat calls as harassment. [15 USC 1692d] § 806(5) (called 2-3 times a day, called continuously after I told them to stop)

---Threaten action they cannot or will not take

Collectors can't threaten to sue or file charges against you, garnish wages, take property, cause job loss, or ruin your credit when the collector cannot or does not intend to take the action. [15 USC 1692e] § 807(5) (Not sure about this one, as the guy I spoke to did not really threaten he did say they are able to take me to court if this matter is not resolved immediately)

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If they don't sue you fairly soon I'm thinking you could definitely argue that they threatened an action they didn't intend to take. "This letter is to notify you of our intent to review this file and determine if we should recommend it be transferred to an attorney in or near your city to proceed with those legal remedies available, including filing suit if applicable." could certainly be interpreted by an unsophisticated consumer to mean that a lawsuit is imminent unless they respond in the way the JDB wants right now. If it comes to that, I would use it as a counterclaim. Hey, your Honor, I'm just a poor dumb hick it sure sounded to me like they were threatening me with a lawsuit if I didn't cave in to their demands ::devillaugh::

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CACH is one of the biggest bottom dwelling scum suckers. I wouldn't deal with them either. I personally would never pay a JDB until they have proven their case in court and obtained a judgment. Because they probably can't. And never talk to them on the phone. They are experienced at this, you aren't, so communicate only in writing, if at all.

Telling them to stop calling, as you have found, is ineffective. You must write them a letter directing them to Cease Communication with you. This letter has the force of law behind it, the FDCPA.

I couldn't find an Allan C. Smith who's licensed to practice law in California. You can look yourself on the California State Bar website. The State Bar of California

Their letter even says the case will have to be transferred to a lawyer in your area. Then, guess what, Allan C. Smith won't get paid. He only makes money if you send him some. So he would much rather prefer to harass you than send this case back. CACH has a whole stable of "lawyers" whose business consists of sending letters and making phone calls like those you've received to try to scare consumers with their "law degrees" into sending money.

Don't be afraid of a lawsuit. The forum members here can help. And the book Win Your Lawsuit by Judge Roderic Duncan is an invaluable source of information. Get it and start reading.

Good luck.

DH

Edited by debtorshusband
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I called them once telling them to stop calling me and that I was currently on government assistance and there was no way I could pay the debt at the moment. That did not stop the calls.

You need to put your request for no calls in writing. Here is the law, straight from the FDCPA.

CEASING COMMUNICATION. If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt.

"We have tried several attempts to resolve the above mentioned account by seeking your cooperation.

Translation- You refuse to do what we want you to do.

This letter is to notify you of our intent to review this file and determine if we should recommend it be transferred to an attorney in or near your city to proceed with those legal remedies available, including filing suit if applicable.

Translation (A) We are going to look at your account for about one second so we comply with the law since we stated an action we were going to take.

Translation (B) We might do something or we might not do something.

Gee, so you are telling us you might or might not do something. Is that like flipping a coin and saying it might come up heads or it might come up tails. Or how about it might rain tomorrow or it might not rain.

How about this, in the morning I'm going to review how I feel and I might go to work or I might call in sick.

As per your contract you may be responsible for legal fees, court costs, judicial interest, and other fees incurred that you previously agreed to pay upon default.

Translation- You might or might not have to pay fees.

Again, Gee, thanks for stating the obvious that I might or might not have to pay something.

The interest reflected above is as of the date of this communication.

Really? So it's not the interest that had accumulated as of six months ago or what it will be in six months from the date of your letter.

Contact the firm to ascertain the current amount."

Translation- Please, please just call us for any reason. We just need you on the phone with us, that way we can attempt to intimidate you into paying.

Overall translation of the letter- We might do something, we might not do something, but either way we are ticked off at you because you won't pay us. Call us !!! or we are going to have to send you some more letters that will clearly state the obvious.

My question is should I set up a payment plan or try to settle with them?

Should you? Only you can answer that. Would I or probably 100% of the regular posters on this site? A big hell no !!!

And if I do, I have read this law firm never sends a letter of settled debt agreement or payment arrangement plan for proof.

You need to be committed to a mental institution if you pay them or anybody without an iron clad agreement, in writing, clearly setting out the terms and conditions of the payment agreement.

I fear if they do not send me an agreement letter, I am left with no choice but to wait until they sue me.

Sure as hell beats agreeing to pay $250.00 a month, for a year, under the belief that will settle your account with them 100% in full, only to get sued the next month after making what you thought was your final payment.

Try telling the judge you had an agreement that $250.00 for twelve months was going to be settlement in full, but you don't have anything in writing. See how well that works out for you. And yes, these bottom feeders will bleed you dry just like that. Then just when you think you have done everything required to get them to leave you alone, they turn around and sue you, going back on everything they promised you. You are then left with nothing in writing.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance!

Send them a letter advising them it's inconvenient (use the word inconvenient) at anytime for you to receive phone calls. Then if you want to settle (which I would never do in a million years, but whatever works for you) demand before you pay them one cent, an iron clad agreement with every single duty for each party clearly spelled out.

If they say we don't do that? :thefinger:

If they say they will get the agreement to you but we need your first payment right now on this call? :thefinger:

If you agree verbally to certain terms and then when they send you the agreement it is different from what you agreed? :thefinger:

If they say we are a respectable firm and would be put out of business if we went back on our word, you can rest assured we will hold up our end of the agreement, we don't send letters or agreements? :thefinger:

If they say you will get an account settled in full letter, after your last payment and you need to now make your payment? :thefinger:

If they don't agree to settle this on your terms? :thefinger:

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Now is the time to NOT contact them and prepare an answer based on pleadings they have filed in your court.

You have to prepare to defend your case.

and know we will help.

you are not to hang your head but to lift your chin high and say "Are you talkin to me?"

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Now is the time to NOT contact them and prepare an answer based on pleadings they have filed in your court.

You have to prepare to defend your case.

and know we will help.

you are not to hang your head but to lift your chin high and say "Are you talkin to me?"

Sea,

According to the OP, they have not been sued yet. There is still the real possibility of FDCPA violations if the OP send a letter restricting phone calls.

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I will reiterate what the others have said: Do not pay them!

CACH is a slimy Junk Debt Buyer that paid pennies on the dollar for this ALLEGED (a word you need to start using) debt.

This is their modus operandi: they send the alleged account to an attorney out of your state. They call and send dunning letters. They use the attorney letterhead to scare you. If they don't get results, then they send the alleged account to an attorney who is licensed in your state. Who does sue you.

California has good consumer protection laws. And there are a lot of posters here from CA, including an attorney who is very helpful. These folks can help you beat CACH if they sue you.

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I am so thankful for all the responses I have received so far! I really appreciate all the advice everyone has given me! I think for the time being I will wait it out and even though I still fear being sued-- if it comes to that I have full faith that the people in this forum will be able to help me!

I guess if I start planning now, what would be my next course of action if I am going to be sued? What should I be prepared to have, or be prepared to do?

Thank you Everyone!!!!

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Read, read, read until your eyes bleed. Well, actually, you should probably stop before your eyes start to bleed.

You can go over to the "Is there a lawyer in the house?" forum and there are stickies on what to do if you're being sued, and on affirmative defenses.

And like I already said, get a copy of Win Your Lawsuit by Judge Roderic Duncan. It's California law, and I highly recommend it. Available at libraries, bookstores, or online from Nolo Press.

Look at court case paperwork online. If your county doesn't offer it, try the Alameda County Superior Court website. You can look at Complaints, Answers, Case Management Statements, Court orders, etc. If you have trouble locating the stuff, let us know.

Good luck.

DH

Edited by debtorshusband
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  • 3 months later...

I read one of the above comments that CACH normally first sends the case to a lawyer not in the state of residence. What if the first letter one receives is actually from a lawyer on behalf of CACH in the state one lives in? Does this mean immediate lawsuit?

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I read one of the above comments that CACH normally first sends the case to a lawyer not in the state of residence. What if the first letter one receives is actually from a lawyer on behalf of CACH in the state one lives in? Does this mean immediate lawsuit?

Please ask generic questions in your own threat, rather than hijack an old existing one just because it mentions some of the same things. Or at the least, ask in an active thread where more people are reading. But if you have a specific case, always start your own thread to avoid confusion.

But I'll answer here for now ...

Not necessarily. It could just mean they have more lawyers in more states. Read the wording of the threat. They are using weasel words[1]. Given that an actual threat to sue is a violation if they don't sue, they word it so that in the legal sense it is not really a threat to sue, yet will scare ordinary people into thinking they will. That does not mean they won't sue. But it means they don't want to commit to suing. This is common lowlife bottom feeder scumbag tactic, which CACH regularly does.

1. Weasel word - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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  • 5 weeks later...

Dogdaysrover - you are in the perfect position - no assets, income so low it cannot be garnished and FDCPA violations against you.

In the translated words of Marshal Petain in WW1 - "My left is caving in and my right is in danger. The situation is ideal - I ATTACK!!" You don't say how long it has been since your last payment but SOL in CA is 4 years and the Rosenthal act is a GREAT second layer of lawsuits against debt collectors beyond FDCPA. Maybe a couple of well placed lawsuits on your part will keep them distracted defending themselves until SOL for the debt expires....

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