coolchicka

Portfolio nightmare begins..

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I received a letter from Portfolio Recovery Associates yesterday.  It clearly states the OC (Walmart) and the amount owed by me ($1,055) and that my account has 'been selected for legal review with their Litigation Dept' but it 'has not been reviewed by a Litigation attorney' yet. It then says that I have until January 7 to make a payment via one of their their 3 proposed payment options (1-settle for about 70% of the balance, 2-pay in 6 installments, or 3-pay in 12 installments), or basically get sued.  I want to get rid of this debt by possibly settling for 1 lump sum, but being that this is holiday time, I just can't right now. However, the thought of a sheriff serving me papers to appear in court has me scared straight (and judging from the posts I've read on here about PRA, they will sue in a heartbeat)!!

 

I'm still within SOL.  I made the last payment in Dec 2011.

 

Being that they stated the OC and amount owed in the letter, would that would serve as a DV? 

 

What should I do next? Would counter-offering their settlement offer (option 1) by their January 7th date be a good way to hold them off on filing a judgement against me?

 

Any help is appreciated.  Thanks!

 

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Just send a DV letter anyway...preserve your rights, as at some point, they will violate and you can use that against them...

 

And - they are a long way off from a judgment - they have to sue and win first. That could take a year or more...

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Thanks for your quick reply!

 

If it gets reviewed by a litigation attorney, then isn't that the first part of suing process? I guess what I am really trying to say is...What can I do to let these folks know I want to pay my debt, but I just don't want to end up in court behind it (or get sued)? In addition to that, all while keeping in mind the whole notion of getting a reasonale settlement amount (since I know they bought this account for like pennies on the dollar from the OC).

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Not even... it's a complete bluff. In fact, if they wrote that to me, my reply would be to sue them if they don't sue me in say 30 days.

 

I had a debt collector tell me they were going to sue if I didn't pay up... after not seeing my name in the court records for 30 days, I sued them in Federal for a nice FDCPA violation. We're in settlement negotiations now...

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First off, send a DV anyways. That should buy you some time to get some funds together. In the mean time, do not bother talking to them on the phone. If you cannot pay right now, you cannot pay.

Lets say they do sue you? Then you file an answer, again to buy some time, and them negotiate a settlement while going through the court process. Many debts are settled on the courthouse steps before they get to trial and this would simply be another one.

Another thing you can do to gum up the works is to offer a counter-settlement, say 40%. They will probably refuse it but it starts the works and can mess up the computer process. I would not offer a counter-settlement until after they answer the DV.

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Thanks again for the responses!  I will send the DV letter out tomorrow.  If that comes back validated, then I'll counter-offer the 40% as suggested. 

 

You mentioned that they would probably refuse the counter-offer...any reason why?  Is 40% of a $1000 balance really that unreasonable in the world of debt settling?

 

Just was wondering because I have another CA hounding me..they offered me a 50% settlement on a $850 balance..again wanted a payment in 45 days (got this letter in Nov.).  I plan on taking this advice and sending a DV followed by counteroffers to them, too.

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When in Nov did you get that letter? You have 30 days from the day they received it in order to ask for validation

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When in Nov did you get that letter? You have 30 days from the day they received it in order to ask for validation

 

The other CA letter I was referring to was dated Nov. 16. They gave me 45 days to send a payment for their settlement offer or make payment arrangements.  I figured I had until Dec. 30 to give a reponse...in my case which will be a DV letter.

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The other CA letter I was referring to was dated Nov. 16. They gave me 45 days to send a payment for their settlement offer or make payment arrangements.  I figured I had until Dec. 30 to give a reponse...in my case which will be a DV letter.

 

No, it's 30 days from the day you received their letter.  I would send the DV letter, by certified mail, now.

 

I would also never pay a JDB anything.  You can learn to fight them here, on this site.

 

But, first, the timely DV letter is of most importance.  It (sent in the 30-day window) sets up your rights under the FDCPA.

 

If they violate the FDCPA, they will owe you money.  A common violation is continued collection activity without validating the debt.

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Just send a DV letter anyway...preserve your rights, as at some point, they will violate and you can use that against them...

 

And - they are a long way off from a judgment - they have to sue and win first. That could take a year or more...

You do not have to send a dv letter to preserve any right ,,,,,there is plenty of case law that states this, you NEVER loose any rights under the fdcpa. There is no language in the fdcpa that even suggests this.....

 

Here is the leading precedent for this

Spears vs Brennen

Brennan does not provide, nor have we found, any authority for the proposition that consumers may waive the protections of the FDCPA. To the contrary, several courts have addressed this very issue and determined that consumers may not waive their rights under the Act.

 

Blakemore v. Pekay, 895 F. Supp. 972, 983 (N.D. Ill. 1995),

the Illinois district court concluded that requiring an unsophisticated consumer to “exercise his rights under the FDCPA immediately or lose them is contrary to the basi[c] premise of the Act, which is to protect unsophisticated debtors from debt collectors who may use the legal system, about which the consumer has little knowledge, to bludgeon them into submission.

 

 

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Thanks for your quick reply!

 

If it gets reviewed by a litigation attorney, then isn't that the first part of suing process? I guess what I am really trying to say is...What can I do to let these folks know I want to pay my debt, but I just don't want to end up in court behind it (or get sued)? In addition to that, all while keeping in mind the whole notion of getting a reasonale settlement amount (since I know they bought this account for like pennies on the dollar from the OC).

simply make an offer and they will counter.

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No, it's 30 days from the day you received their letter.  I would send the DV letter, by certified mail, now.

 

I would also never pay a JDB anything.  You can learn to fight them here, on this site.

 

But, first, the timely DV letter is of most importance.  It (sent in the 30-day window) sets up your rights under the FDCPA.

 

If they violate the FDCPA, they will owe you money.  A common violation is continued collection activity without validating the debt.

You do not have to set up your rights under the fdcpa, you can never loose or waive them there is tons of case law that states this.

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As long as you respond to a DV within 30 days of that first communication that contain the 30 day validation notice, a DV can be important.  If you request validation, but they don't validate and continue collection efforts, that DV has preserved your right to sue for continued collection efforts.  I would also include that I dispute the debt.

 

If they are already reporting on your CR, they do not have to include in their entry that the debt is disputed.  However, If they are not reporting on your CR right now but begin reporting at a later date, then they must include in their entry that the debt is disputed.  If they don't do so, they violate the FDCPA, and your dispute in the DV has preserved your right to sue for that violation.

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I suppose one doesn't need to send a DV letter but after sending PRA one and then another in reply to their alleged validation response it has been over a year with no contact from them. YMMV

 

Any concerns over a process server knocking fades fast after the first one.

 

If PRA was silly enough to sue me I would make every effort to become their nightmare. A lot of the tools to make that happen are right here.

 

I have sent a DV letter and been sued quickly. I have failed to send a DV letter and been sued quickly. I have found no guarantees in this game.

 

Paying a JDB anything sound like too much money to me. They took a gamble and bought an alleged debt listed on a line in a spreadsheet with sketchy or no documentation for pennies on the dollar. I refuse to aid them in continuing their gambling addiction.

 

I can understand that some may just want the issue to go away rather than properly gear up for battle. Any settlement should be in writing before any checks are cut. I'd be afraid to do a multiple payment settlement deal with a JDB. Just call it a lack of trust.

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Rosenau v. Unifund Corp., 539 F.3d 218 (3d Cir. Pa. 2008)
A debt collection letter can be deceptive under the FDCPA even if it
only implies that it is from an attorney. Using the phrase "Legal
Department" could imply to the least sophisticated debtor that a lawyer
was involved in drafting or sending the letter

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Depending on the amount owed, I would file for arbitration with jams and see if that doesn't run them off. They won't like paying $500.00 an hour on a debt that cost them a few dollars.

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Thanks again for all the replies!  I finally got my DV letter together, which I will send out today. But first I would like to know if it sounds OK..If I am saying too much or not enough.

I've also seen other posts where a person's DV letter wasn't a good one--don't want to make that mistake!  Here's a snippet:

 

CA Name

CA Address

CA City, State, Zip

 

Re: Account Number XXXXXXX

 

Dear CA Representative,

 

I am writing in response to a notice received from you on November 2012 for the above mentioned account.  In accordance to the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), I request a validation of this debt from your company, which should say the following:

  1. The name, address, and phone number of the original creditor as well as statements for at least the last 12 months prior, for this particular account.

  2. A copy of the original signed agreement for my records.

  3. Proof that your company is authorized to collect on this debt on behalf of this creditor.

If your office fails to respond to this request in 30 days, this will be construed as a waiver of your claims against me.  Please note that this is a request for your company to provide me with  evidence and documentation that there is a legal obligation on my behalf.  Also be advised that this is not an acknowledgment of this debt.

 

Sincerely,

XXX

 

Thanks again for the comments!  I appreciate the help!

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Ummm, do not send that letter. It asks for too much. A legal DV is much less.

Here is a better letter:

Dear JDB,

I am in receipt of your letter dated xx-xx-xxxx. I dispute this debt and demand validation

 

Sincerely,

Credtior

This has the same effect.

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Ummm, do not send that letter. It asks for too much. A legal DV is much less.

Here is a better letter:

Dear JDB,

I am in receipt of your letter dated xx-xx-xxxx. I dispute this debt and demand validation

 

Sincerely,

Credtior

This has the same effect.

I had a feeling I maybe was being a little too wordy, but if you say this will work then I'll give a shot.  I guess the main points to get across are 1-'I dspute' and 2-'please validate'.

I'll make sure and update this post when I hear back from them.

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Hello all..

 

I've been gone for a while (christmas and new year's holidays), but I wanted to pick up where I left on this. To bring everyone up to speed... I went ahead and sent the shortened DV letter, to which they responded.  I then sent a settlement letter for 25% of the balance (balance is 1060..offered a settlement letter for  $265).  I sat and waited for them to reject my offer and give me a counter offer. They instead sent my account to an attorney! Now this letter basically says the same thing as the first letter I received (you are not being sued yet, but unless you respond you will be).  I don't want to be sued. But, it seems as if they are doing just what they said they would do...if I didn't pony up the funds, they would sue me..well now the account is with an actual law firm and I fear that will be coming next.

 

Anyone have any advice on this?

 

 

 

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Personal opinion ... the offer letter was a mistake.  Now they think that you think you do owe this.  They taste blood in the water.  They will want the full amount because they see you as a new victim.

 

If I had made these mistakes ... and earlier in my life I very well might have ... then now I would take some positions at appropriate times:

1.  I was willing to settle for a price less than it would cost me to deal with it, but once sued, that option is gone

2.  I believe I do not owe the debt because it is neither in my memory nor my current records.

Later during discovery I would:

3.  Demand proof of ownership of the debt by means of documents showing this particular debt, by account number, is sold to each buyer along the way, with signature of seller and buyer, and attestation the document is true without any robo-signing.

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Personal opinion ... the offer letter was a mistake.  Now they think that you think you do owe this.  They taste blood in the water.  They will want the full amount because they see you as a new victim.

 

If I had made these mistakes ... and earlier in my life I very well might have ... then now I would take some positions at appropriate times:

1.  I was willing to settle for a price less than it would cost me to deal with it, but once sued, that option is gone

2.  I believe I do not owe the debt because it is neither in my memory nor my current records.

Later during discovery I would:

3.  Demand proof of ownership of the debt by means of documents showing this particular debt, by account number, is sold to each buyer along the way, with signature of seller and buyer, and attestation the document is true without any robo-signing.

 

My thought are the same as yours. Never pay the JDBs anything because it only encourages them. 

I am afraid even if she tries to deal with them that they are going to sue anyway. I still say fight them because they may sue regardless. At least if she fights they may give in. Offering a settlement probaly only make things worse. 

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My thought are the same as yours. Never pay the JDBs anything because it only encourages them.

I am afraid even if she tries to deal with them that they are going to sue anyway. I still say fight them because they may sue regardless. At least if she fights they may give in. Offering a settlement probaly only make things worse.

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I thought offereing a settlement was the next step in dealing with a CA..after they vaidate (which they did). Now offering a settlement was mistake? I guess I'm confused...when is a 'good' time to settle?

At this time, I'm tempted to call these people up on the phone and set up some payments. I know these are two big no-no's (calling and payments), but I have been doing what I read on how to handle the CA's... avoiding all calls, sending letters...and that has gotten me nowhere! I don't know what else to do. I'd much rather take care of it that way than appearing in court!

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