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Last hurtle - DV Returned, next step...


ntenspy
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I appreciate any input on this problem. I searched the forums for answers about this and found some similar posts but, not the full story.

Background:

  • In 2002 I purchased a vehicle using a load aquired from a local credit union here in Ohio.
  • In 2003 I stopped making payments on the loan. Suffices to say I was not very smart back then and I couldn't afford it.
  • In 2004 the vehicle was repossessed.

Several CA's attempted collection on the vehicle loan. I count 3, and all of them went away with a DV. Last year was the last time I heard from a CA, any CA. I sent them a DV and never heard from them.. until last month.

This is an attorney acting as a CA for the OC (which is clearly stated). They did indeed send me validation of the debt.

Points of interest:

-The vehicle loan was on my CR under collections, for the Big 3, but, disappeared about a year and a half ago and has since not reappeared (I never disputed it, I was saving it for last).

Strategies:

SOL -- My first though was SOL has come and gone, the reposession occurred in late 2004; nearly 8 years ago. Looking on this sites listing of SOL , it stated 6 years for written contracts (in fact, for all types listed). Believing this to be to good to be true, I dug a bit deeper; it ends up that the SOL on written-contracts in Ohio is 15 years. Unless I am missing something here, this will not fly.

Response to DV -- Waiting nearly a year to reply to my DV seemed wrong so I looked up some information on the FCRA §611. Procedure in case of disputed accuracy. However, I may have my "act's" mixed up because the more I read it the more it seemed like this is when you dispute items on your CR and this is what the CRA is bound by, not the OC or CA.

So my first question would be; is there a time limit for CA's to reply to your DV? If so, what would that entail if they failed to do so?

OC never gave notice -- I also looked up some of the laws around repossession in the state of Ohio. It seems the OC was required to give notice to me before the reposession and to also let me know if they were going to dispose of the vehicle and how. This never ocurred. On this note, the amount the CA is looking for is the entire amount of the loan minus about a year of payments. Unless they are still sitting on that car, they should have informed me what they sold it for and I should only be responsible for the deficiency.

Can I request this information from the OC and if so, is this wise?

I am also considering hiring an attorney to help me with this, if so, should I do all that I can on my own until they serve me or should I just retain an attorney now and have them handle this all the way? On that topic, what type of attorney would I retain for this type of dispute?

Again, I can't thank this site and the good people of this forum enough. Any help with this matter is greatly appreciated!

Regards,

Phil in Ohio

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So my first question would be; is there a time limit for CA's to reply to your DV? If so, what would that entail if they failed to do so?

There is no time limit for a CA to reply to a DV. The only restriction is that they are not allowed to resume collection activities until they do reply. So, if a CA has resumed collection, even a year later, without ever responding to a DV request, they are in violation of the law. However, if the debt owner hires a new collection agency, then no violation has occurred; you have to DV the new CA. And the law you are looking for is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) 15 USC 1692. This site also has a copy.

Unless they are still sitting on that car, they should have informed me what they sold it for and I should only be responsible for the deficiency.

This is my understanding as well: they can only sue for the deficiency, the unpaid loan balance minus what they sold the vehicle for.

I am also considering hiring an attorney to help me with this,

Consulting an attorney is never a bad idea. Use the lawyer finder feature at National Association of Consumer Advocates | Consumer Protection Advocates and Attorneys - Help for Consumers to find a lawyer in your area who specialized in these types of cases.

Good luck.

DH

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How much money are we talking about. That will be key in deciding what you do next.

The amount on the collection notice is $22k and change. The original loan was for approximately $25k.

I appreciate the information DH.

Short of retaining a lawyer today, is there anything further I can do on my own to vet the OC and determine why they are requesting the remainder of the loan and not the deficiency? Or is this a scare tactic?

Thank you for your feedback.

Phil in Ohio

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