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creonxxx

Oxford Law, LLC Demands full payment on 10 yr old debt!!

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Hey guys it's been a while since I've posted here.  The information here is invaluable.  I'm one of those lucky consumers that continues to face harassment over very old debt.  I've applied all the suggestions here with success.  From November 2012 to this week I've had no calls, hard inquirys, or letters.  I didn't even get that threatened 1099-C from Dynamic Recovery Solution :-) However, this afternoon after a calm from all that storm in 2012  I get a letter from Oxford Law LLC.  I've already done my basic google runs to see who I'm dealing with.  Another bottom feeder for a bottom feeder.  In this case their client they are collecting for is ESM Enterprises.  The original Creditor is Shell for a total of a little over 700.00. 

 

The letter reads " This is a demand for full payment because you have had ample time to pay your debt."  Next it babbles on about making arrangements for payment then concludes by saying , "At this time, no attorney with this firm has personally reviewed the particular circumstances of your account"   The bold lettering comes next with the standard request for validation of debt on my part within 30 days etc...

 

Facts about me and this debt.   I am in the state of California.   No payment has been made on this debt since it entered collections.  At the time of entering collections the amount was slightly over 450.00.    I have in a safety deposit box the card as well as the first letter from a collection agency in regard to this account.  The last payment was in July of 2003.  I also saved two  bills from Shell processing center requesting payment with late fee's applied for the months of Aug and Sept 2003  prior to the account going to collections.  First collections letter is dated in October 2003.   There are 6 months of additional collections bills after this which have also been saved. . At the time I may have hit a huge rough patch financially but before going into credit card collections I organized all my credit cards so I'd have an account reference number, the actual amount at the time it went to collections and a date when payment stopped should i ever be taken to court.  This has served me well.  10 years ago I never dreamed it would all still be haunting me.  I was never taken to court for this or any past due credit card debt in the last 10 years although for some stupid reason the last year I've been hounded and threatened more than any other time.

 

Questions: Can this company or the client they are working for take legal action successfully using the original processing centers state which would be Iowa?  The card itself was issued by Citibank located in South Dakota which wouldn't concern me as their SOL is 6 years.  Iowa's SOL on the other hand is 10 years.  I'd be puzzled by that but I want to make sure.  In the worst case situation if they could win this adopting the processing centers state  I'm real close to that 10 years with this card.

 

Notes about this collection agency.. 1.  The name oxford LAW doesn't scare me.  2.  The bold demand bounces of me like teflon.  3.  I do know my rights  My only concern is which SOL applies for this card.

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They may try a choice of law, but I doubt it. As you know CA has a four year SOL, so, you should be good. I would snd them a Dispute and tell tem that they are trying to collect on a time barred debt, that you have all the evidence should they try and proceed. Let them know that you will sue them in a heart beat. Hopefulyy that will take care of it.

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They may try a choice of law, but I doubt it. As you know CA has a four year SOL, so, you should be good. I would snd them a Dispute and tell tem that they are trying to collect on a time barred debt, that you have all the evidence should they try and proceed. Let them know that you will sue them in a heart beat. Hopefulyy that will take care of it.

 

I was planning on a much simpler response.  NO!  And request valid proof of debt.   Puts the ball in their court to show any proof period and to lay the foundation for how old they say the debt really is.    I like to allow the liars to clearly lie  :)  

 

The choice of law issue is a head scratcher for me considering I'm a life time resident of California while the card was issued from another state ( SD) and billing for the card was processed in another ( IA) .  I'd imagine if the court allowed choice of law it would be california but if not  they'd go by card issuing state which in this case would also  be past the SOL  Over all I'm still leaning on california SOL with this.  I can remember the last time I got a call about this card was in 2011 from a C.A. in Florida.  When I pointed out how old it was I never heard from them again. 

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First - VOD them with the standard Dispute and All Telephoine Calls are Inconvenient clauses. This will prevent them from taking any collection action until the Validate. That should buy you some more time.

 

Let's assume they can use the Iowe SOL (which I doubt). I believe that if any SOL applies other than CA it would have to do with a Nexus in that State - which sould make it SD. If a creditor could willy-nilly chose a State to collect from and import its SOL from it would choose Kentucky which is 15 years. Just processing payments and bills in a location simply wouldn't cut the mustard.

 

After they Validate I would tell them to FOAD and see what comes next. They may have NO media with which to prove a debt exists, and California's Rosenthal Act gives you additional protections above and beyond FDCPA.

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First off, the choice of law provision must be in the contract that you agreed to before it can be used. The plaintiff or defendant cannot simply walk into court and say I use this state's laws regarding limitations or any other procedure. The presumption is that if not stated in the contract, the laws of the court where the action is filed (usually the defendants because that is where the action has to be filed for juridstiction) is the law that governs the case. The choice of law provisions usually are for allowing the plaintiff to use either their SOL Laws or that of the defendant, whichever is beneficial to the plaintiff. However, even with that, there are only two choices, the legal nexus of the plaintiff or the legal nexus of the defendant. The plaintiff, even with a choice of law provision, cannot nit willy choose which law to work under at the detriment of the other party and without the other party knowing. That is called forum shopping and is frowned upon by the courts.

In this case, if there is a choice of law provision in the contract, it would either allow South Dakota law (nexus of the plaintiff) or California law (nexus of the defendant) which means the SOL would be max of 6 years. Either way, this debt is SOL. However, the contract that governs this debt is the one in force in 2003, not the one in force today. You did not agree to any other contract after the first date of default and hence, they cannot force any terms on you that did not exist at the time you defaulted. That is why the contract is requested in discovery. Choice of Law provision is a response to some of the stuff that people who fight, including those on this board, have done and is a more recent phenomenon and so I am betting that the contract governing your case does not have such a thing.

You could send a DV just to look into the issue. They might or they might not reply. If they don't reply, you have stopped them. If they do reply or you want to just stop this right away, send them a refusal to pay the debt letter.

Now realize that these people can ask you politely to pay the debt for the rest of your life. That is the extent of their power however. Anything else is a violation of the law. You might have to go to court once or twice to enforce the law but after that, you will be put into a "They Sue Collectors" database known as webrecon and for the most part, the collections will stop (you have a few idiots who do not look at the database or ignore its results).

Also, regardless of the SOL of the debt, collections has become a tougher business, especially for out of statute debt, thanks to the recession which caused people to not have any income or any disposable income as well as boards like this which are teaching people their rights and how to protect them. You are going to find that these collections efforts come in waves as the debts is sold to the next person for less and less and less. For the debt that is the subject of this current discussion, I would be surprised if the company paid more than $5 for it. If they were to collect the full debt from everyone, their gross profit margin would be 99% but even if they collect 10% of these debt, the gross profit margin is 9% which is healthy for a business like this. That is why they do it.

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I won't go into the SOL issue as others have more than adequately covered that.

 

One thing no one has mentioned is by law they are required to tell you the debt is beyond the SOL and they cannot sue and cannot report it to the CRAs.  You may have a violation you can sue them for.  

 

I would show the letter to a consumer law attorney.  If there are violation(s) they typically take the case on contingency because recovering attorney fees are part of the FDCPA law(s) when bottom feeders break them.  

 

Just sending you the letter is not a violation.  As was said, they can continue to politely try and collect on the debt for eternity and it is legal.  They just have to disclose it is beyond the SOL so you know all your rights.  Until you send them a FOAD letter telling them not to contact you anymore regarding the debt they can continue to call and/or write you about paying it.

 

Absent suing them I would send a refusal to pay/FOAD letter and be done with them.

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One thing no one has mentioned is by law they are required to tell you the debt is beyond the SOL and they cannot sue and cannot report it to the CRAs.  You may have a violation you can sue them for.

 

As far as I know, the FDCPA makes no such requirement.

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I won't go into the SOL issue as others have more than adequately covered that.

 

One thing no one has mentioned is by law they are required to tell you the debt is beyond the SOL and they cannot sue and cannot report it to the CRAs.  You may have a violation you can sue them for.  

 

I would show the letter to a consumer law attorney.  If there are violation(s) they typically take the case on contingency because recovering attorney fees are part of the FDCPA law(s) when bottom feeders break them.  

 

Just sending you the letter is not a violation.  As was said, they can continue to politely try and collect on the debt for eternity and it is legal.  They just have to disclose it is beyond the SOL so you know all your rights.  Until you send them a FOAD letter telling them not to contact you anymore regarding the debt they can continue to call and/or write you about paying it.

 

Absent suing them I would send a refusal to pay/FOAD letter and be done with them.

 

 

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/01/asset.shtm

 

The FTC has required that Asset Acceptance notify debtors that if their debts are time barred, but it has not required that of anyone else.

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I should also add that the FTC was investigating the debt buyer RJM for collecting on time-barred debts.   The FTC was concerned that RJM's letters to consumers might give them the false impression that the consumer could be sued for the debt.  The FTC closed its inquiry after it noted that RJM added a disclosure to its letters to remove any such false impression.

 

http://www.ftc.gov/os/closings/staff/120827rjmclosingletter.pdf

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The order only applies to Asset Acceptance as a part of the settlement for more serious violations of law regarding out of statute debt. This does not apply to all debt collectors. The letter itself is probably not a violation but if the OP sends a C&D or refusal letter and they continue, or if the OP sends a DV letter and they continue, or if the OP is sued, then they probably broke the law.

Again, they are always allowed to ask nicely if you want to pay and the OP can tell them if they want to or not.

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http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/01/asset.shtm

 

The FTC has required that Asset Acceptance notify debtors that if their debts are time barred, but it has not required that of anyone else.

 

Convergent also includes this notice on its letters.  While Asset may be the only one required right now, other bottom feeders are adopting it.

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It went very wrong for a law firm when it knowingly sued on at time barred debt.  The plaintff, who was disabled, was awarded $250K in actual damages.  The court also held that the Admissions sent to the plaintiff by the law firm violated the FDCPA because the law firm knew they were false.

 

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=16771198243543575615&q=mccollough+v.+johnson+rodenburg+%26+lauinger&hl=en&as_sdt=2,1&as_vis=1

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Just hand them hanging rope until there is no more opportunity to do that, then send them the bucket of sand and hammer.  Send plastic ones ... you don't want them to hurt themselves :-)

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Thanks for all the great information and advice on how to deal with this.   Sending the rope by certified letter in the morning.  I'll let you know if there are any hiccups. 

 

Whocares,  that is some great information about that whole choice of law provision.  You pretty much answered my concern in that area. 

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