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Law firm validated debt (kind of), but also sent someone else's. Now what?


nightwolf21
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Here's the situation. My wife received a collection letter from a law firm a couple of months ago out of the blue. Then she received a settlement letter.

I sent them a pay for delete letter to try and get them to remove the collection from her credit report if we paid but also didn't admit to the debt.

What they did was send back validation instead. I guess they didn't even bother reading my letter and just assumed it was for debt validation.

 

They sent a copy of a hospital bill from April 2008, however it doesn't show how they came up with the collection amount that they are wanting. Even the hospital bill shows at the bottom "please pay this amount" and shows $0.00. All it shows is several hospital charges, but no where does it say she owes the amount the collection agency is collecting on.

My wife had insurance during the time the hospital saw her, but didn't have the insurance any longer a few weeks after so she figures it was paid for by the insurance company, but doesn't remember.

 

So what do I do now? Do I send another letter to them saying this doesn't show suficent validation?

The SOL in Florida is 5 years so the sol is just around the corner.

 

There's also something else. We received a debt validation for someone else along with ours.

It has the person name, address, etc.. on it. and is also a hospital bill from the same hospital. This person and debt is not on my wifes credit report so I believe they accidently put their validation in my wifes envelope and sent it. The dates are from the same year, but not the same months. There is no SS# on it for the person, but does list their DOB.

Do I have them on a violation because of this?

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They validated, unfortunately.  

 

Have you disputed this collection with the CRAs?  If their records are as unorganized as they sound, you might get lucky and get a deletion.  

 

I don't understand how they validated just because they sent a copy of a bill. The collection amount is no where on the bill. How did they even come up with the amount? There is no mathematical proof my wife even owes this debt.

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I would send that letter to the other people, tell them about our site and also inform them that the JDB or OC violated their rights sending their personal info to a third party. Let them know they can sue. Get an attorney and have a ball.

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I would send that letter to the other people, tell them about our site and also inform them that the JDB or OC violated their rights sending their personal info to a third party. Let them know they can sue. Get an attorney and have a ball.

 

Thats a good idea. I'm thinking about sending them a letter stating that what they sent isnt sufficient proof regardless if it is. I want to know how they came up with the amount that they say is owed. Even the bill balance shows $0.00 under pay this amount. I'm wondering if I should tell them about me receiving the other persons debt validation letter as well. Maybe it would work in my favor saying I caught you in a violation or something.

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It may not be sufficient proof, but they validated.  The bar for debt validation is quite low.  

 

If you want to take them to court to get them to prove what they are reporting, that is your only recourse.  But doable!

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They validated, unfortunately.  

 

Have you disputed this collection with the CRAs?  If their records are as unorganized as they sound, you might get lucky and get a deletion.  

So you are saying that the firm validated this bill.  I guess I'm confused also.  It appears to me that the process of debt validation is nothing more than you disputing the debt but are answering to their first claim.  So asking for proof that they now own the debt, how they arrived at the total including fees is not items they have to answer.  

 

So I could setup shop find a bundle of old bills from whomever and send these vague claims that it would be up to the the debtor to either pay up or take their chances in court.  Most debtors don't want to face court and the debt collectors are hoping they won't show so the court will rule in favor of the debtor.

 

I'm sorry but I as a consumer and debtor had a bunch of these bogus claims that could end up as garnishments and or lose of job (the company I retired from had a policy that if you had more than 2 garnishments you were kicking turds down the road).  The FDCPA and court system is failing in their attempt to help the beleaguered debtor.

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"Debt Validation" or verification is almost of no value if they send you the minimum legally required info.  It appears the lawmakers were just trying to address the fact that debt collectors might be making things up (it happens ... a lot ... but not by all debt collectors) or they might be sending letters without any connection to a debt account file.

 

The information they are required to provide is NOT "court grade evidence".  So don't expect proof.  Most debt collections want you to pay without them having to provide proof.  They assume you already know you own money.  Most people pay without knowing if it is right or wrong.

 

The value of doing a DV is to give them a little bit of rope to hang themselves with.  If they don't respond, or fail to meet the very trivial requirement, then you got them on an FDCPA violation if they continue to try to collect ... if you are prepared to sue them to get it.

 

The court system is there NOT to "help" anyone.  It is there to resolve civil disputes.  Well, that's the theory.  If you want "help" in the law at a level better than what we have now, go to Congress and ask them to change things.

 

The company you retired from may be in violation of some laws in some states.

 

It does appear the law firm in your case met the trivial validation requirement.  Once this matter gets to the court, THEN you can demand they PROVE that you owe this debt, and owe that amount, by operating within the court process that formalizes such demands via discovery.  Then you make motions to ask the court to decide in specific directions based on actions of parties (failure to answer, for example), and the evidence provided by both parties.  Your arguments are in the motions.  Most cases never get to a witness stand unless the pre-trial procedures do not resolve it.

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Debt validation is a powerful tool because you can get a deletion from your credit report or it suppresses reporting.  It can also make the debt collector go away.  

 

The bar for debt validation is low, but if the collections firm doesn't bother to validate, you know they have very little to go one.  It's always worth it to debt validate.  

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My wife is calling the insurance company she had at the time to see if in fact they paid the bill 100%. According to the bill the debt collector sent the balance is $0.00 except for the stamp they put on it saying current balance is reflecting on collections notice which is why the question comes up with how they came up with it.

If we can get proof it was paid by the insurance company she can mail a copy and demand they remove the collections.

I highly doubt they'd sue over $490 (although I know some do)....not to mention the sol kicks in soon so even if they tried they still wouldn't get anything.

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Guest usctrojanalum

 

There's also something else. We received a debt validation for someone else along with ours.

It has the person name, address, etc.. on it. and is also a hospital bill from the same hospital. This person and debt is not on my wifes credit report so I believe they accidently put their validation in my wifes envelope and sent it. The dates are from the same year, but not the same months. There is no SS# on it for the person, but does list their DOB.

Do I have them on a violation because of this?

 

Nope. Not much third party could do either. Classic bonafide error defense.

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Nope. Not much third party could do either. Classic bonafide error defense.

 

What I do for bonafide errors in general is notify the debt collector that they have made a bonafide error and now is the time to correct it.

 

"Your bonafide error became an intentional misrepresentation, perhaps even fraud, after you failed to correct it once notified about it."

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In "Shimek v. Weissman, Nowack, " ( 11th Cir. 2004), the 11th cir held it was not a 1692g violation for a debt collector to file a lien on Shimek's home over the non-payment of $260 in homeowner dues at the same time it sent him a demand letter, even if Shimek did not first have the opportunity to dispute or verify the debt.  The court further held that there was no duty on the debt collector to prevent the Clerk of the Court from recording the lien after verification had been requested.

 

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=4281288182303178321&q=ditty+v+checkrite+1692g&hl=en&lr=lang_en&as_sdt=80003

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