melsplac3

Need help with debt validation advice

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I have been lurking around on this forum for a month or so, and have been trying to learn as much as I can. Frankly, it is all very confusing to me, and I am very intimidated by fighting anyone in court, but have not giving up on that option.

Let me start with a general background. I got a divorce about 5 years ago, and bought a house after the divorce. Had to use the credit cards for moving expenses and for repairs on the house (it was a foreclosure and everything that could go wrong, went wrong).

I realized about 2 years ago that I was getting into deep debt and was in trouble, so I closed all of my accounts (except for Discover). I then called the credit card companies and got on a payment plan with 2 of them. One (Target) would not work with me and would not lower the interest rate or put me on any kind of payment plan, but 2 of them did. I then paid on all of them for the past 2 years on time. About 8 months ago, my business took a nose dive. Sales pretty much dropped off overnight. I started robbing my savings account to pay these credit card bills. Well, about 5 months ago, all the savings were gone, so I had no options other that to stop paying these cards. I have 4 credit cards that I had to stop paying sometime in August of this year. So, it's only been about 4 months since my last payment to all of them.The total combined debt to all of them is around $25,000. I have been considering bankrupcy, but hate to do that for fear of having to sell my house. I have a house with a mortgage and a used car with no payments. Currently not behind on my other bills, because I stopped paying the credit cards. I do not have the funds to settle with the credit cards at all. I have nothing left other than my house and the car. BTW, I live in TN.

A couple weeks ago, one of my credit cards (Target National Bank), sent me a letter saying that they were going to place my account with a law firm for further collection efforts.

Today I get a letter from that said law firm (Patenaude & Felix) saying that I had 30 days to dispute the debt and recieve verification of the debt or they may just obtain a judgement and mail me a copy of the judgement.

Now, I am still getting bills from the original creditor (Target). Got one on the same day as I got this letter from the law firm, as a matter of fact. So, my question is, do I still go ahead and go through the process of debt validation when I'm pretty sure that Target has not charged the debt off yet? I mean, I'm still getting bills from the original creditors and it's only been 4 months. If I do validate with the law firm, I would say the chances are high that they would be able to validate everything that I ask of them. What do you think? Do I still send the validation letter?

I was thinking that they wouldn't threaten to sue for awhile, so I am kind of taken off guard here. Any advice on what I should do would be appreciated. Please understand that I am not the brightest bulb in the box, so don't follow along quite as quickly as others.

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Interesting situation you've got here.

 

A quick Google search for Patenaude & Felix yielded horror stories.

re: Even when customers paid their Target cards in FULL and closed their accounts, P&F still obtained judgements against them and attached bank accounts, etc.

 

P&F is in California. You should check your local court weekly to see if your name is on the docket.

If you don't show up and / or don't fight it, they'll obtain a judgement against you, and it's too late to do anything about it.

 

I'd pull my funds out of any bank that held them, so that they can't attach them.

 

What's the amount you owe Target btw? That'd be a good way to guage whether or not you'd get sued quickly.

And definitely send them a DV... it can't hurt you.

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Rockdaddy.

Do you mean close all my checking accounts etc...and pull all money out? So, it sounds like I am pretty screwed with these people? That's what I was afraid of.

 

And I owe them over $7000.00

 

The other 3 cards are still calling daily and have not charged them off. Those are Sears Mastercard ($7,300), Discover ($3,200), and Disney Visa ($4,800).

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I have another question.

 

Like I said before, I am self-employed and do all of my business online. I get paid through paypal. Now, I can close all of my checking accounts etc.., but can they levy my paypal account also?

 

Also, I currently get child support payments on a card, but had read somewhere that if I had child support direct deposited into my checking account, that they couldn't levy all of that account. Anyone heard of this?

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"I am very intimidated by fighting anyone in court"

 

We had a 82 year old lady,who knew nothing about fighting junk debt buyers win her case.Do you think she was intimidated? Hell yes she was.Once pointed in the right direction she was a winner.Never think you cant win,we have winners here almost everyday.

 

1.First they have to win the case in court and awarded a judgement against you to levy anything.

2.You can fight them and win,so they pay you.

3.To do this you will have to study the Tn rules of civil procedure,your local court rules,ask questions on the board here.We have plenty of folks from the great state of tennessee and other states who hate creditors and junk debt buyers.

4.If you want to fight them,we will need more information to help you, answer these questions,and let the games begin

 

Dont leave anything for them to get,If you mix money,Example your paypal deposits to your bank account and child support payments going in to the same account they can take.Open a new account for child support only.

 

http://www.tncourts.gov/courts/supreme-court/rules/rules-civil-procedure

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=breach+of+contract&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=4%2C43

search the internet,google scholar,search credit info center for cases in your state.When most people come here they know nothing about fighting creditors,two or three weeks later they are looking for someone to sue.

 

If you have not been sued yet no need to fill this out.

 

1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit?

2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit? (should be listed at the top of the complaint.)

3. How much are you being sued for?

4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff)

5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?)

6. How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door)

7. Was the service legal as required by your state?

Process Service Requirements by State - Summons Complaint

8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued?

9. What state and county do you live in?

10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations)

11. What is the SOL on the debt?

12. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? You can find this by calling the court or looking it up online (many states have this information posted - when you find the online court site, search by case number or your name).

13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?)

14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? Note: if you haven't sent a debt validation request, don't bother doing this now - it's too late.

15. How long do you have to respond to the suit? (This should be in your paperwork). If you don't respond to the lawsuit notice you will lose automatically. In 99% of the cases, they will require you to answer the summons, and each point they are claiming. We need to know what the "charges" are. Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit?


16. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affidavit? Statements from the OC? Contract? List anything else they attached as exhibits.

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 when sent a collection letter,send back a debt validation letter.

www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.shtm

 

Your Name
Your Address

Their Name
Their Address

Account number


Date


Dear _________________________,

This letter is in response to your letter dated ______________________, 2013 (copy enclosed).

I dispute this alleged account in its entirety.

As per the FDCPA, I have the right to request proper validation of the alleged debt.

All phone calls are inconvenient, so all communications need to be by mail.

Best Regards,

your name


 

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Rockdaddy.

Do you mean close all my checking accounts etc...and pull all money out? So, it sounds like I am pretty screwed with these people? That's what I was afraid of.

 

And I owe them over $7000.00

 

The other 3 cards are still calling daily and have not charged them off. Those are Sears Mastercard ($7,300), Discover ($3,200), and Disney Visa ($4,800).

 

 

  I mean close your current accounts.... or as Racecar suggested, do not MIX your funds.

 

There are two schools of thought going on here;

 

First - I agree that IF you can fight, you should fight.

 

I've done it and have won twice... however, I was just making comments on your other options based on the intimidation factor.

I can tell you this - there is a plethora of great information and lots of willing, knowlegeable people here to help you if you DO want to fight.

 

Second - yes, I meant you should close your current accounts.... or as Racecar suggested, at least do not co-mingle your funds.

(btw, I also do all of my business online using Paypal)

 

Can you 'Homestead' your house in TN? If so, bankruptcy might be an option... (as an absolute last resort). You're in over 25k...

 

I never have had to actually go into court when I've 'won'.  You'd be surprised at what a few intelligent letters and a couple of FDCPA violations can do for you.

 

At the very least, send a Validation letter like the one here to preserve your rights either way.

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Racecar thanks for all your info, but no I have not been sued yet. They are giving me 30 days to dispute the debt, and then I would assume they will sue.

 

Yes, I am willing to fight, but sorry to say, I am very scared of doing it. I was the one in high school that would take the F rather than stand up and do my report. I am horrible at public speaking, and have panic attacks. Which sucks real bad for me right now. But, I will suck it up if there is a chance that I can win, and more importantly, not get in any trouble.

 

It's just that the original creditor (Target Visa) is still sending me bills at the same time as I got this letter from the law offices. Which leads me to believe that they are passing info to each other. Because the letter says that Target National Bank is their client and they are initiating collections for them. I had been reading on here for awhile, and got the impression that this kind of letter didn't come for quite awhile. I just stopped paying them 4 months ago.

 

Rockdaddy

I have looked at the homestead exemptions in my state and do not understand it. Here it is.

 

 

Tennessee Homestead Exemption
Home Valuation tools

Almost every state provides protection for equity in the family home, and many states have increased the amount of protection in recent years. Seven states offer unlimited protection. Most states are not as generous.
New Federal Residency Requirement

Under the new bankruptcy law, you must be have lived in the state for at least 40 months (three years and four months) before you can claim any homestead protection greater than $146,450. (If your state's exemption offers less than this amount, the law is irrelevant to you.) The law is poorly worded but seems to say that if you move from one home to another in the same state, you can claim that state's homestead protection.

IF you are moving to another state, OR you moved to Tennessee within in the last two years, click here.

    TN Exemptions
    $5,000; $7,500 for joint owners; $25,000 if at least one dependent is a minor child. (if 62 or older, 12,500 if single; $20,000 if married; $25,000 if spouse is also 62 or older)
    Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-302
    Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-301
    In re Hogue, 286 S.W.3d 890 (S.Ct.Tenn 2009)
    2–15 year lease
    Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-303
    Property held as tenancy by the entirety may be exempt against debts owed by only one spouse In re Arango, 136 B.R. 740 aff'd, 992 F.2d 611 (6th Cir. 1993)
    In re Arango, 136 B.R. 740 (Bankr.E.D.Tenn. 1992)
    In re Arango, 992 F.2d 611 (6th Cir. 1993)
    In re Arwood, 289 B.R. 889 (Bankr.E.D.Tenn. 2003)
    Spouse or child of deceased owner may claim homestead exemption
    Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-301

 

To me it looks as if I can only exempt $5,000. Well even the crapiest house is worth more than that. So, hopefully, that's not what it means.

 

As for my paypal account, that is the one I am terrified of losing. If I don't have that, I lose my entire income. I have been transferring money from my paypal account into my checking account. But since I have read up on the internet, I stopped that now. But I am worried that they will freeze that account. From what I can tell from what I've been reading, they can't take my child support. And now the state puts the child support on a debit card. You can't add money to the card, so it's all child support on the card. So, I'm pretty sure they can't bother it.

 

This week I am going to go close my childrens savings accounts, and my 2 savings (grand total of about $150) Pitiful huh?  Should I close all my accounts? What I'm afraid of is that they will see me closing my accounts as hiding money from them. And I'll get in trouble for fraud.

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O.K. guys, I just did a free credit report and found out that Target has not charged off this debt. Let me tell you the way this letter is worded and make sure I'm not jumping the gun on sending the validation letter to them. Here is what it says.

 

Please be advised that the above-referenced debt has been assigned to this firm to initiate collection efforts regarding your delinquent outstanding balance to our client. Because of interest, late charges, and other charges the amount due on the day you pay may be greater. Please call our office to get an exact payoff amount. In the event that an adjustment is necessary after we receive your payment, we will inform you prior to depositing your payment. If you wish to avoid further collection activity, please contact us at ******

 

Unless you notify this office within 30 days after receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid. If you notify this office in writing within 30 days from receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgement and mail you a copy of such judgement or verification. If you request this office in writing within 30 days after receiving this notice this office will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.

 

This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.

 

Signed them

 

So, now I know for sure that it has not been charged off, so do I still send the letter? Thanks for all of your help!

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As for my paypal account, that is the one I am terrified of losing. If I don't have that, I lose my entire income. I have been transferring money from my paypal account into my checking account. But since I have read up on the internet, I stopped that now. But I am worried that they will freeze that account. From what I can tell from what I've been reading, they can't take my child support. And now the state puts the child support on a debit card. You can't add money to the card, so it's all child support on the card. So, I'm pretty sure they can't bother it.

Then how are you getting your PayPal money out?

 

This week I am going to go close my childrens savings accounts, and my 2 savings (grand total of about $150) Pitiful huh?  Should I close all my accounts? What I'm afraid of is that they will see me closing my accounts as hiding money from them. And I'll get in trouble for fraud.

Closing an account is not fraud, even if you are doing bankruptcy.  It's fraud when you tell others that you did not close it.  Bankruptcy has specific rules for handling money, but even there is a safe harbor of keeping the trustee informed (if you had been ordered to turn the money over, then you have to do that, and taking it out of the account is usually how it is done).

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Then how are you getting your PayPal money out?

 

Right now, I am just getting cash back when I go to the store and just deal in cash. And some of my bills accept debit cards, so I just use the Paypal card online to pay those. But for those that I can't pay online, I get the cash and then send a money order.

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Then how are you getting your PayPal money out?

 

Right now, I am just getting cash back when I go to the store and just deal in cash. And some of my bills accept debit cards, so I just use the Paypal card online to pay those. But for those that I can't pay online, I get the cash and then send a money order.

 

Check out PayPal Pre-Paid debt. You can create a temporary "debit card" number as often and as many times as you want. Make one each month, pay the bills. When they all clear void the card, Repeat.

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The firm out of CA representing Target is not going to sue you in a Tennessee General Sessions Court.  As a matter of fact, simply by contacting you, they are violating Tennessee law and by extension, the FDCPA.

 

I'd like to talk to these people . . . we sue out of state debt collection "law firms" sometimes.  They have to have a license to collect in Tennessee and there is a reason for that.

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