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Portfolio in Florida


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I have been battling with Portfolio Recovery for almost a year for an account that they bought from Bank Of America.

 

Unfortunately I did not research my options until recently thinking that I would be able to take care of this issue.  I have not sent them any payments but tried to negotiate a settlement as of today for pennies on the dollar.

 

The original debt is for $5480, I have been through a very bad divorce, had to relocate due to issues with my ex and have been unemployed since December 2011.  I do not have any income and get only a small amount of help to survive from my family and given a place to stay.  Jobs are scarce to none and I have virtually no assets.

 

I have been talking to Portfolio whenever they call, I know big mistake, and they have not been to bad.  I lay it out to them every time that I cannot pay the debt and they come up with very "creative" advice.  I did get a settlement from my divorce and either paid off most of the debt or made settlement arrangements.  I still have two that have not moved any further when I told them of my situation.

 

I just found that they have filled a complaint through a local attorney but I have not received anything concerning this yet.  I found the information on line with the clerks office.

 

I called them again today as a good faith effort to settle this and made a small offer of $200 which they refused and told me that this may turn into a court case and that they would continue the calls and see if they could do anything else.  I left it at that.

 

I did not request a DV nor have I probably handled this correctly in the past.

 

Any advice as to handling this mounting situation is greatly appreciated.  I have become completely overwhelmed with this.  I am planning on remarrying in the very near future but this is not my future husbands responsibility and I do not want to jeopardize his credit.

 

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Go to the court, they normally close at 5 pm, copy the case # and take it with you, and ask for a copy of the complaint, so we get to know what their cause of action is, it will be breach of contract, account stated or both, we can help, just get the info.

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They e-filed the request for summons and I checked on the attorney listed.  She is out of VA so by the conversations I have had with them in the past I am guessing it will be certified mail or personally served any day.  If not by Monday I will go to the court then and get it.

 

 

My concern is also how will my marriage effect all of this?

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Garden Gnome,

 

Thanks for the info.  I did see that but being overly cautious I just needed some input on my interpretation.  We are not going to have any shared accounts until I can clear everything up.  We are going ahead and getting married tomorrow and he is being very supportive, but we are checking on as much as possible prior to making any moves.

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If you do a checking account or put any asset in the name of both of you, they can't freeze your checking and or put a lien on the asset, even if you lose the case, that is highly unlikely if you read study and ask questions here. Florida is not a community state, so any debt you incur is yours.

 

I did a quick google search and come up with these:

http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/in-florida--to-collect-on-a-judgement--can-a-credi-308781.html

 

 

If you got no income, and no assets, just fight them you got nothing to lose, they won't be able to collect a penny from you regardless.

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My husband just purchased the house last Monday, we got married on Wednesday and the little buggers called again today with all kinds of demands on how I should handle my finances :yahoo:

 

They just do not listen.  After their latest antics, I informed the young lady on the phone I would be sending them correspondence by mail.  She informed me I would be getting the suit paperwork.  They have been holding off apparently.  I have been keeping an eye out with the clerks office of their progress and I also checked on numerous others that were filed the same period and after.  Only two of us have not been served as of yet.  We must be the broke ones with no assets.

 

So I will be composing the letter for only written communication today, I was informed they will still be calling even though they are filing suit until they receive the letter.

 

I am keeping detailed notes of all calls at this point, better late than never.  Also I will not be answering any more of their calls.

 

My husband is retired and gets his income from the Navy retirement, SS and State of VA pension.  As I understand, they cannot touch this anyway.

 

I am going to hang tight and let them send me the summons and then I will answer and also send my demand letter.  Is this advisable?

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It's fine, you don't have sewer service in Florida, if you don't sign the summons then they can't serve you, they could but is more complicated and they got to prove they couldn't serve you first.

 

As for the letter, send it cmrr (certified mail return receipt requested).

 

Also the FDCPA does not specify you can stop them from calling, but not from sending you letters. You only got the C&D option or refuse to pay, that's the same. It does provide to direct them that phone calls at such time are inconvenient, and therefore some on this board will tell you, you can do "all phone calls are inconvenient", also that might not hold in court if you sue/countersue them, as others members have pointed out, there's no case law one way or another. So your best bet is to do a full cease and desist or a refuse to pay letter, they are the same thing under the law.

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I believe what I will do for the time being is "ask" them to longer call or just not answer when they do.  The only reason for this is to get them to put some of their wonderful advice in writing.  I am thinking I will ride this out and see where they take it.  After all, what can they get out of me?  I do not have anything left.  I am not going on any joint accounts with my husband right now, we spoke with the Credit Union and they agreed that the JDB cannot take his income if I get a judgment against me.  And if they where to freeze the account it is just a few days to get it cleared up, but why have the problem.  It can be worked around. 

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Stop talking to the creditors they will not help you all they want is your money and could care less about the situation your in.

Start reading the florida rules of civil procedure and learn how to defend the coming lawsuit.

http://www.floridabar.org/tfb/TFBLegalRes.nsf/

http://www.nclc.org/unreported-decisions.html go here and read the florida cases this will help you learn what the plaintiff must have to win its case against you.

Don't let them scare you they use the fear factor a lot to get you to pay when they are owed nothing.

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  • 8 months later...

So Portfolio finally had me served an Alias Summons with a 20 day response time.  I am not sure how to proceed from here with them.  They have taken their time with this.  They have filed a civil suit, complaint, affidavit signed by their firm, copy of statement account from them, copy of statement from Bank of America, and Bill of Sale and Assignment of Loans from Bank of America.  Any suggestions on how to proceed with them

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1. Who is the named plaintiff in the suit? 
Portfolio Recovery Associates
2. What is the name of the law firm handling the suit?
C. Wonder Chantel Attorney for Portfolio Recovery Associates
3. How much are you being sued for?
$5,479.85 plus interest and costs
4. Who is the original creditor? (if not the Plaintiff)
Bank of America
5. How do you know you are being sued? (You were served, right?)
Served with Alias Summons
6. How were you served? (Mail, In person, Notice on door)
Process Server
7. Was the service legal as required by your state?
Yes
8. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued?
Telephone and USPS
9. What state and county do you live in?
Florida Hillsborough County
10. When is the last time you paid on this account? (looking to establish if you are outside of the statute of limitations)
June 30, 2012 (per Bank of America)
11. What is the SOL on the debt? To find out:
4
12. What is the status of your case? Suit served? Motions filed? You can find this by a) 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).
Open, 20 day alias summons issued.  States that Each defendant is required to serve written defenses to the complaint or petition on Plaintiff’s attorney, whose name and address is listed within 20 days after service of this summons on that defendant, exclusive of the day or service, and to file the original of the defenses with the clerk of this court either before service on the Plaintiff’s attorney or immediately thereafter.  If a Defendant fails to do so, a default will be entered against that defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint or petition.
13. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?)
No
14. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed?
No
15. How long do you have to respond to the suit?
20 Days
16. What evidence did they send with the summons?

Alias Summons, Civil Cover Sheet, Complaint, Affidavit State of California Signed by Portfolio Employee, Statement of Acct from Portfolio, Exhibit C Bill of Sale and Assignment of Loans from Bank of America,  Last Statement of Mine from Bank of America, Original Summons that was not served, Request for Division Assignment. Request for Issuance of Summons-County Civil

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Is the amount of the alleged debt accurate to the best of your knowledge? Did Portfolio add interest or fees?

 

As you begin formulating your Answer, please keep the following in mind as a strategy for Portfolio. They routinely violate the FDCPA and TCPA (Telephone Communication Practices Act).  If you can prove violations, a counterclaim will help you.  Please familiarize yourself with the FDCPA (link at the top of this page) and the Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act.  Read through this Florida statute to see if any violations have occurred in their dealings with you:  http://www.forthepeople.com/media/pdf/fccpa.pdf

 

With all the phone calls from them, were any to your cell phone, and did you ever give them your cell phone number, or consent to call?  If they harassed you by phone, under certain circumstances, you may claim violations of the TCPA. Portfolio Recovery is vulnerable on this issue, and currently being sued in a large nationwide class action: http://www.law360.com/articles/500011/debt-collection-co-to-face-tcpa-suit-over-unit-s-calls

 

I'm concerned over your phone communications with them, which they may consider consent. However, its worth reviewing who called who in the beginning, how many times, and how many voice mails they may have left you (and if you saved any).

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Thanks Determined1 I will check into these points.

 

They did contact me by cell phone which they apparently got from BofA and in the meantime I have received a letter about a class action suit concerning BofA contacting their customers on their cell phone numbers.  They also found the number of where I have been living by the address and called that number also.  The contacted me first.  It was usually a weekly call, I never avoided them.  I was behind with my payments with the original creditor due to unemployment and my divorce, payed them in June and they wrote the account off in July.  They said I was not "far enough behind to make another arrangement with them".  Then Portfolio bought it.

 

They never left a voice mail.

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  • 3 months later...

I received a packet from Portfolio today, they have filed a Verified Motion For Summary Judgement.  What can I do to put a stop to them?  I had filed by answer to their complaint a few months ago and they have filed this with the court. 

 

Where do I go from here?  I would like to put a stop to them.  Any suggestions?

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