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Law office representing Portfolio Recovery Assoc


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OK - so I received a letter from a local law office here in Kansas and they are representing Portfolio Recovery Associates/HSBC Bank Nevada. It is just a letter saying "A claim has been placed in their hands for collection against you by PRA/HSBC". Goes on to state I have 30 days....

Below is a draft of what I intend to send back in regards to this letter - please know that the letter has absolutely NO Account # listed on it. Please let me know any problems or changes that this letter may require. I do intend to send it Certified with a Returned Receipt. My next steps will be dependent on how this law office responds.

My main questions are:

To include the part that they neglected to send me an Acct #. I am thinking it may show neglegence to prove I own this account if they never send me that information, so it may be better to not even bring that ommision up (On the other hand, it may show me as naive to not demand that info)

Should I leave the part about how to contact me at the bottom of the letter out, and stick to the debt verification aspect of it?

Thank you all for any assistance. Reading online I am pretty sure that I will be going to court on this as there are several people talking about PRA bringing suit against them, so I am trying to prepare as much as I can before being summoned.

Letter:

May 25, 2012

"Law office Name Address Here"

Re: Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC/HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A. – No Account # Referenced

To Whom It May Concern:

I am sending this letter to you in response to a notice I received from you on May 23, 2012. Be advised, this is not a refusal to pay, but a notice sent pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (B) that your claim is disputed and validation is requested.

I am formally requesting the following pieces of information:

• The signed contract or agreement with HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A.

• Documents detailing the Account Number in dispute, charges and payments to said account, from both NA HSBC and Portfolio, so that I can ascertain the amount of $4300, as indicated in the letter from "LAW OFFICE" dated May 16, 2012, is accurate. These documents shall include any interest or fees from either Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC or HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A.

• Document of the agreement between HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A. and Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC authorizing the collection of this alleged debt by Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC.

Furthermore, I am requesting that all correspondence involving this matter be made in writing. I expressly deny any requests to be contacted by phone, either at home or at work. This letter shall also serve as notice that no family member, acquaintance, neighbor, or other individual, barring any legal representation I should name at a later date, be contacted in regard to this matter as the only communication will be through writing to the address listed below.

"MY NAME/ADDRESS"

Edited by budbay1
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Your letter is actually very similar to the ones I used to send (on behalf of my wife). Many posters will soon jump in to tell you that it's too wordy, that they don't have to provide all that stuff to satisfy the FDCPA, etc. However, it is perfectly within your rights to ask for these things, there is just no legal weight you can bring to bear to get it. If they don't provide what you ask, you are basically at a stalemate until you take your next step - which could be to tell them that "since they failed to provide you with the information you require to resolve the matter, you are closing your files and they are not to contact you anymore."

Now for the actual text of the letter: I don't care much for "Be advised, this is not a refusal to pay, but a notice sent pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (B) that your claim is disputed and validation is requested."

I like to parrot back the wording from the FDCPA: "This letter is to inform you that I am exercising my rights as set forth in the FDCPA and in your letter, and am disputing this alleged debt, requesting verification of the alleged debt, and requesting the name and address of the original creditor."

I think the rest of your letter is fine, but you are about to get a lot of opposing opinions. After that, it's your call to make.

Good luck.

DH

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There are a lot of opinions about what to send. After spending 2 hours in a depo explaining why I wrote each line of my letter much like the one you sent in my first case, I have revised my strategy.

Current case law is very clear. If you notify them in writing that you dispute the debt, they must validate or stop all collection actions. So 1stSteps suggestion is the one most of the real fighters here will suggest. When they ignore (i.e. just file suit), you have an automatic violation.

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OK - so I amend my letter to be simple and to the point saying "I dispute the alleged debt and demand validation."? Can I ask why that is more beneficial than pointing out specific items?

Is all they will need to get me is a document from OC saying I owe the debt?

Once I am served (as I am sure I will be), is that when I ask for the additional documentation of how they came to the amount due, and original copy of the agreement, etc.

I want to formulate my defence long before I get into a time crunch with these people so am trying to get every angle covered as soon as possible.

Thanks

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All they have to provide for validation is the name of the OC and the amount. If the letter they sent shows the amount in addition to the fact that it was HSBC, they have already satisfied the validation part. I wouldn't send them anything, let them think you're ignoring them. Then when they get around to suing you, drop the big surprise on them and kick their butts in court. The less you let them find out about what you know, the better. They depend on people ignoring them for their defaults. A nice CIC ambush is appropriate. Edit your posts to remove any exact amounts, just round it off to an even number.

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OK - so I amend my letter to be simple and to the point saying "I dispute the alleged debt and demand validation."? Can I ask why that is more beneficial than pointing out specific items?

Is all they will need to get me is a document from OC saying I owe the debt?

Once I am served (as I am sure I will be), is that when I ask for the additional documentation of how they came to the amount due, and original copy of the agreement, etc.

I want to formulate my defence long before I get into a time crunch with these people so am trying to get every angle covered as soon as possible.

Thanks

It's not that a simple validation is more beneficial. It's just that it's all that's necessary. Some people think that if you request everything but the kitchen sink, you'll scare them off. That's not the case most of the time. They'll simply assume you copied a letter off the internet and that you have no idea about the FDCPA.

In addition, in this economy, why waste ink? :)

Start reading your court's Rules of Civil Procedure. Find out if discovery is allowed. Some lower courts don't permit it without permission from the court. If yours allows it, you would do so after answering the Complaint.

Edited by BV80
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Start reading your court's Rules of Civil Procedure. Find out if discovery is allowed. Some lower courts don't permit it without permission from the court. If yours allows it, you would do so after answering the Complaint.

I'm trying to figure that out, but want to make sure that I'm understanding correctly. From what I've found, in KS, amounts over $4,000 are not small claims (found this on KS legislature website, but I can't post a link because I'm new. It is: Kansas statute, Chapter 61, article 27 Small Claims Procedure) If this will not be a small claims matter, what exactly will this be called.

Also, I'm going to send my letter this afternoon as recommended - just deny and demand...

I will not be signing this letter, but I've seen some people say they put "Signature Intentionally Blank". Is that the appropriate thing to do, or just simply don't sign?

Any other tips before I print & mail this letter? Thanks again to everyone for their input!

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I'm trying to figure that out, but want to make sure that I'm understanding correctly. From what I've found, in KS, amounts over $4,000 are not small claims (found this on KS legislature website, but I can't post a link because I'm new. It is: Kansas statute, Chapter 61, article 27 Small Claims Procedure) If this will not be a small claims matter, what exactly will this be called.

Also, I'm going to send my letter this afternoon as recommended - just deny and demand...

I will not be signing this letter, but I've seen some people say they put "Signature Intentionally Blank". Is that the appropriate thing to do, or just simply don't sign?

Any other tips before I print & mail this letter? Thanks again to everyone for their input!

I never personally signed a DV. I simply printed my name via the keyboard.

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I have to disagree with legaleagle, which I do not do too often. Then often overlooked part of validation is the requirement for an address of the OC. Most JDBs will not provide it and the statute says they have to provide it 809(a)(5).

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Just got back from the federal courthouse filing an 12 page complaint against a collection agency. My letter was, "I refuse to pay this debt" that triggered all the protections of the FDCPA that I needed when they called and sent me more letters.

No need to explain the law to them. If they really need a law lesson, you can give it to them in federal court when you sue them, not threaten to sue them.

In 05 this was my DV letter to a junk debt buyer.

I dispute this debt and request debt validation.

in 08 over 2.5 years later they sent me a one page letter demanding payment again, I sued. That simple DV letter I had sent survived their motion to dismiss and was the lone violation in a lawsuit which they settled three days prior to trial.

So you do what you want but don't think you have to get fancy, but if you want to fine, but you don't have to.

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Then often overlooked part of validation is the requirement for an address of the OC.

You are entirely correct, KentWA, they should provide this information. I assumed that Port-A-Potty provided the address. The poster didn't say otherwise. (weak argument on my part, never assume anything, I know) At any rate, I'm not a big fan of validation because there are so many ways to weasel out of it. I'd rather have him concentrate on a defense which will make Portfolio wish they had picked on someone else.

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Thanks all for the direction. I sent a simple letter saying I dispute the debt and request verification.

Do they have 30 days from the post mark of the letter or receipt of it to reply with the information?

It's going to be a long weekend of research on my part so if more comes of this I will be better prepared. If more does come I hope I can get opinion/advice on how to handle appropriately from these boards.

Hope you all have great holiday weekends.

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So what do I do in the mean time since I won't know their response? Hope for best but plan for worst? Any guess as to what a typical response to the dv letter is as far as proceeding with suit or selling to another dc?

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So what do I do in the mean time since I won't know their response? Hope for best but plan for worst?

Exactly, hope they sue you so you can kick their a$$ all over the courtroom, but plan for them to drop a lawsuit if filed or not file one.

Losing is simply not an option. The only thing planning for the worst you should be doing, is planning to be their worst nightmare.

As far as the validation response, probably an old credit card statement or an affidavit of debt with the original creditors name and some fancy sounding lingo where when you cut to the chase the affidavit says, "We looked at our computer screen and it says you owe this."

Don't get too caught up in validation. There is really nothing to it. Really you are better off if they don't respond. That way if they ever come knocking again, like in my case, it's an automatic violation (generally speaking).

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Ok, but I really do have a feeling that there will be a response and suit or else why would the CA have gotten in contact with a law office from a town near mine? Like I mentioned, this is all new to me so I just don't want to be caught with my pants down should I need to appear in court. Once again I thank everyone for the assistance in navigating through this.

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Ok, but I really do have a feeling that there will be a response and suit or else why would the CA have gotten in contact with a law office from a town near mine?

So you would think like you are thinking now. Would you be this nervous if the firm had an atty licensed to practice in your state but was located in California?

I had something similar happen. I'm in Arkansas and the firm (with a licensed atty for Arkansas) was in Michigan. They did sue. The very first thing I did? Filed a routine motion and then asked for oral arguments on the motion. I was five miles from the courthouse and they were about 1000 miles away.

I knocked them right out of the game before they even got good and going because obviously they were not going to fly in from Michigan for a three minute motion.

I obviously don't have a crystal ball, but don't read too much into the location of who they hired, a lot of it is to get you to do what you are doing right now, think they are really serious now.

However, as posted above, they did sue me though, but I knocked them right out of the game and cost them money before they could even make their first b.s. bluff "final settlement offer"

Start researching who has the debt. Go to the courthouse and pull all the cases they have been a party, and look them over. Try to find the cases they lost or dropped (will be slim to none, so you will have to really look hard, 98% give up when sued) and then start getting you a game plan on how to defeat them.

What you don't want to do is nothing when you have all this time. Then six months later after served, come back to learn with 20 days to answer the lawsuit.

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Here is where you start:

KS Statutes: Ch 60 Article 2: Rules Of Civil Procedure

These are the court rules. It's rather easy to follow, because it goes in the same order as a lawsuit. This will tell you the procedure you must follow. The more professional looking your papers are, the more chance there is that they will dismiss. JDBs don't fight, unless it's a huge amount. It isn't in their business model.

This is the code:

Kansas Statutes (detailed index)

These are your state laws. Look for stuff related to business records and admissible evidence, that's how you beat a JDB.

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Update - sent out the DV letter last week, received the Green return card in the mail on 05/30/12 and today (06/01/12) I received a call at work and on mobile from CA (not from the lawyers office I sent the letter to, but their client). Anything I would need (can) do at this point, or just document that this happened and file it away?

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PRA often times cuts and runs as soon as they get a DV. Since they have your cell phone number I would send a follow up letter.

My employer does not allow personal calls at work, all other calls are inconvenient and I rescind any implied or express permission to call my cell phone.

Although the FCC in a moment of amazing stupidity gave CAs and JDBs permission to call cell phones if you gave the number to an OC, they also said a consumer can revoke that permission. After that it can cost them $500 per phone call if they are using an autodialer (most do) or recorded message.

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