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Can a collector email a validation


Ames
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Hi, I've searched this but did not find an answer, forgive me if it's an old question.

 

We had a person perform a professional service that spanned us personally and our businesses.  He screwed it up royally.  Cost us a ton from various sources (8K) and then billed us about 7K for the service.  That's about seven times what people normally charge.  We conciously decided not to pay knowing it would come up.  He has sicced the most vicious collector on us who gave me 3 days to pay with threats of credit reports and law suits.  I had asked for validation (not even knowing what it was in the context of credit) he emailed me something that was one page.  Same letter I rec'd via USPS.  I asked again.  He said he emailed it with a 7 page attachment, I did not get it.  He came to my house and left a handwritten note, no envelope in my mailbox (creepy).  So I researched and sent the cease and dissist letter along with a validiation letter.  I rec'd back something saying they had alredy validated (presumably the email I  never rec'd) and they cited Chaudbry v Gallerizzo and Stonehart v. Rosenthal and said they will not comply with my requests for "excessive validation" and put the creditor, amount owed (3K more than the debt), interest charges of $0 and Fees of $0 at the bottom of the letter.  Said they do not have provide validation after the 30 day period expires. 

 

Is an emailed document sufficient validation?  I don't have it. How can I prove I DON'T have something?  Can I get him for the dropping mail in my mailbox without an envelope?  Filed a compliant with the postmaster general.  But does it violate fair debt?

 

Many sincere thanks in advance.   

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If this is business debt, then you have ZERO protections under the FDCPA. Since you indicate that this is a mix of personal and business, then you have protection under the FDCPA.

 

As far as the note in the mail box, be sure to report that to the US Postal Inspectors - that's a violation of federal law. I bet a visit from the postal inspectors may make them think twice about some things.

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If you make a claim that they violated FDCPA as example they will probably counter that the debt is business and not personal, you'll need to be prepared to provide proof that it is a primarily personal account, that is going to make it a little more complicated but there is case law to back it up, you need to be sure that it has been addressed in your circuit.

 

this collector sounds ripe for a claim, he might be pushing it because he thinks he has cover with it having a business connection, record the calls, (if legal)  keep a detailed ledger

 

there are probably some other torts out there that you can look at regarding their charges, potential fraud, deceptive acts etc but I really think you need to try to speak to some attorneys with experience in those areas

 

there also is the potential complaint with the Attorney Generals office over their excessive charges, etc.

 

It seems that you do have options but like most of these issues it will require due diligence on your part to get everything documented and prepare for a potential suit

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YES, definitely report this to your local post office as soon as you can and they will get some Postal Inspectors involved.....

 

Something most people don't know is that the interior of a residential mailbox is considered Post Office property....I know it sounds wierd, but that's the honest truth...Doesn't matter who bought the box or put it up, the outside is whomever's, but the inside of it belongs to PO....As such, putting ANYTHING in a mailbox that has not been processed by a post office (unless it is outgoing mail) is a BIG no-no and will have attention given to it....As stated before, it's absolutely a federal offense and Postal Inspectors crawling up the tailpipe of the folks that did this will definitely not be pleasant for him/her....They stand a good chance at seeing jail time over it...

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To answer your question about whether or not it's legal to validate via email.  I would assume it is, but they're going to have to have proof that they sent and you received this email.  Which opens up another can of worms when it comes to documentation.  

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Thanks for the replies.  right now they are not referencing any of our company names on the letters, it's all going to personal names, I don't think they are connecting that it's a "business debt" at all.  Which I am happy about, I didn't realize it was a different type of debt.  All of the original bills went to our personal names, not our business names.  Oy.  Did not see this getting so complicated!  I mean, I did, just not this aspect.  The majority of the debt was for work done for us personally, not at all connected to our names (probably 70% was personal)

 

As for the email.  Do I write back (registered mail) and say that I never rec'd any validation?  A friend sent me another request for validation letter to send.  This is the part I'm really concerned about right now.  They are saying they validated a few weeks ago, I'm saying I never rec'd it.  I don't know how they can prove it, never rec'd it so I never opened it.  To them my clock is running out, to me it hasn't started bc they haven't validated.

 

Thanks.

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You have a slew of FDCPA violations, but your getting ready to demand DV right into receiving a summons.   DV is nothing and you are making it out like it's some silver bullet to save you.  Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.  The ultimate DV, many times, is contained in the body of a lawsuit. 

 

Generally speaking, unless it's just so over the top that it just shocks a court, they charged me too much is not a defense, if you agreed to the charges and now have buyers remorse. 

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You have a slew of FDCPA violations, but your getting ready to demand DV right into receiving a summons.   DV is nothing and you are making it out like it's some silver bullet to save you.  Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.  The ultimate DV, many times, is contained in the body of a lawsuit. 

 

Generally speaking, unless it's just so over the top that it just shocks a court, they charged me too much is not a defense, if you agreed to the charges and now have buyers remorse. 

 

It sounds like the OP is saying that they (the service providers) were incompetent and that their actions cost them to lose 8k and that this bill came after for 7k.

 

If the bill is over 7x the normal rate for the service and it is documentable I think its an issue, the OP refused to pay for an over charged service, the debt was disputed, If you hire someone for 10.00 and hour to mow your lawn and they bill you for 300 hours for a 3 hour job are you going to pay them 3K?

 

If you have a contract or agreement you have to look to the language of the contract, if not you have to look to the language of the licensing law if they are licensed by your state, there could be issues of fraud, or violations of the uniform commercial code, deeptive acts and practices, etc. You might have a tort and countersuit because their actions (incompetence) cost you an additional 7 or 8k that you should not have had to pay

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We don't have a contract.  We didn't know the fees up front.  It was a business connection, we had no idea the cost would be so much and for such horrible work.  And yes, we realize it was stupid.  It was the provider my husband's business partner used so we moved over to his services.  I have every one of the old bills.  There is nothing on any of the bills that fees can be added or anything at all about interest charges. 

 

I'm not thinking it's a silver bullet but the fact is:  the bill came in with a name I have never seen before.  I honestly had no idea who it was from until I saw the address.  The amount was $3,000 off from what I originally owed.   There is no explaination of anything.  I asked the collector why the amount was what it was and he talked in circles about how he knows his legal rights for adding fees and nothing was done illegally and he can do what his client wants him to do.  Basically no answer:  didn't answer if it was interest,or a fee.   I've seen nothing for these bills but have only been told there was an email sent.  I'm not trying to screw with him or stall, I'd like this to be done with due dilligence.  I'd rather not go to court, but I can't even offer him a settlement until I know what the fees are.  Am I being unreasonable?  If it helps any, they are in one state, I am in another. 

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Guest usctrojanalum

They don't need to prove they sent you DV, surprised I am the first one saying this out of all the experienced members here.  They just have to prove they have systems in place for mailing out letters.

 

As for an FDCPA violation, I would say probably.

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I will agree with my esteemed poster above - all they need to do is prove they have systems in place to mail such letters... however, there are other some gray areas here...

 

1. Addition of fees - may/may not be legit. Since it doesn't sound like there was a contract in place, they can pretty much do what ever they want.

 

2. Validating to an email - another gray area... one could make the argument that email does not offer the same level of security as regular mail...

 

You do have the violation for the handwritten letter in the mailbox. That does warrant a call to the US Postal Inspectors. You need to make a report.

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