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Being Sued by Bank of America in Maryland


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Hi,

I've been reading a lot here and need some advice. I started getting letters in the email from lawyers and debt settlement companies telling me they will help me in my lawsuit with B of A. I called one of them to see what they charge and they said a court date was already set in mid September pending on when I get served. It's been a month and I haven't heard anything yet. So maybe stupid but I called to find out who has the debt and it us TrakAmerica. I called them but no one answered.

I just want to work out a payment plan which is what the lawyer would do for a $475 fee. I would like to settle this on my own. Is this possible? I owe just under $4000. Would they accept a payment plan without going to court? I really can't take off work on the day they said but it is now less than 30 days away so does that mean the date would move?

I feel like I'm going crazy. The whole reason I'm in this mess is because my employer kept paying us late and then stopped paying all together and then I lost my job. I'm slowly getting back on my feet and I just want to move on from my debt.

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Is Trakamerica a debt buyer or a collector for Bank of America?  If you want to pay them why pay a lawyer $475?

You have to receive a summons with their claim and evidence before you have to go to court.

I believe TrakAmerica is a collector for B of A. The lawyer's office I called made it sound like I wouldn't be able to work out a settlement on my own. Thanks for the reply. I'm finally getting back on my feet from this whole mess with my last job and I'm trying to repair my credit.

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The lawyer's office I called made it sound like I wouldn't be able to work out a settlement on my own.

 

Of course he did. He wants to get paid, too. 

 

Plenty of lawyers also tell people here that they have no chance of winning a case defending themselves. Enough said?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Is it normal that I still have not been served? The lawyer I originally talked to that wanted to help me said she looked up my case and the court date was Sept 13 pending when I was served.

One more question, if I plan to work out a payment plan/settle this should I wait to be served or try to contact them now?

Thanks.

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Is Trakamerica a debt buyer or a collector for Bank of America?  If you want to pay them why pay a lawyer $475?

You have to receive a summons with their claim and evidence before you have to go to court.

From what I can tell, TrakAmerica is a collector both for OCs and JDBs.

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I would get a free credit report and see if BOA has charged off your account. If so you have a JDB trying to sue you. Also go online to maryland justice court and put in your name where it says find a case. It will give you the info on when they filed the suit. There can be no court date if they have not even served you. My JDB took almost 4 months to serve me. They finally did it by mail.

 

If it is a JDB we can help you beat it . But before trying to settle with anyone find out who is really suing you. It also would help if you filled out the questions in the pinned section on the front page. That way we have a lettle info with which to guide you.

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I just received a notice yesterday that my debt was transferred to a different office and have 30 days to disbute the debt. Not sure if the other lawyer office was using a scare tactic. I did see that BofA has charged off my account on my credit report and there is a file against someone with my name or the same name in a different county than I was originally told by the lawyer I called to help me. So not sure what all this means. This file that I found is dated June but I didn't receive any "helpful" notices till mid-July. Those notices to help have seemed to stop too.

I have called BoA and they gave me TrakAmerica's number and said my account has been transferred to legal.

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Ok , So if they charged it off, transferred to legal means where they are going to , or did sell it off to a JDB.  So the lawyer to represent JDB might have changed. You need to send Debt validation (disputing debt) to the atty's office. Send it  CMRRR so you have a record. Also everything you send you keep so when you win you can recoup your costs.

 

There is a section in here on debt validation. Keep it simple I'll try to dig up the letter I sent. It basically says you are disputing the debt entirely and are asking them for proof of it.  You have 30 days to send it and they have in my state 30 to reply. After that then they will try to serve you.

You will get thru this. Glad you found the site early!!!  It sure helps

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Ok , So if they charged it off, transferred to legal means where they are going to , or did sell it off to a JDB.  So the lawyer to represent JDB might have changed.

 

Not necessarily so.

 

'Charged off' is a term used by creditors to indicate that they have written the debt off as uncollectible.

 

'Transferred to legal' could mean an in house collection attempt or that they have 'assigned' the debt to an outside legal team for collection.

 

Neither term indicates that they have 'sold', or will sell the debt to a debt buyer.

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Everything becomes more defined once the Complaint is served. It sounds to me, too, that this has been sold to a junk debt buyer, not one, but now for a second time, since now a new organization is calling. To me, your chances of beating this case just got stronger, now that this new group calling is twice removed from BoA, the original creditor (OC).

And you know, its funny, this whole thing about debt validation. Validating debt is touted as such a mandatory step when dealing with collectors, and FDCPA law implies that its advantageous to the consumer, since the law says that collectors must stop collection efforts until they've responded to the consumer in writing that their debt has been 'validated'. But do they? We're dealing with an industry that is entirely underhanded, and integrity isn't a high value. I'm certain the collector's internal clock keeps spinning toward filing day, if that’s the route they’re determined to go. So a low level collection agency employee opens up their internet access to the major three credit reporting agencies, enters a SS and up pops Haleymom's info regarding BoA. Yep, it says right here, principle account amount is $4,000.00.....plus the collection agency's added inflated fees, the daily churning interest fees at x% of principle balance, then the filing fees, attorney fees…..Dear Ms. Haleysmom, You now owe us $17,784.32.

I think validating debt instead only serves to strengthen the JDBs intention to file: You asked for debt validation from us, we sent you a document with a figure owed, and then we never heard anything else from you within our 30 day timeline. Your silence means confirmation to the amount owed, yet you're refusing to pay. Why give them any ammunition? Why encourage any interaction that become detrimental events where you slip up and they use your words/actions against you? To fight this, you'll have to think strategically. There is no law that penalizes the defendant for not asking for validation. It's a non-issue. The paperwork as ‘supporting documentation’ included with the Complaint becomes their debt validation. You’ll discover their paperwork is very, very porous and easily challenged.

Instead of Debt Validation, the consumer needs to be asking for proof of debt OWNERSHIP. Haleysmom is aware of a balance due. These JDBs need to be proving unequivocally to consumers that they are now the real party in interest and by whom the debt is now OWNED. Ask them to prove THAT, and they fail. Haleysmom, this is where you win. This is where you won't be paying $4,000.00 plus this, that, etc. These junk debt buyers aka 'collection co.s' don't have any legitimate documents that will stand up in court that proves they own your debt. They most likely DO own your debt. But they can't prove it. Yes, its a legal technicality, but its a technicality their own industry protocols provides for us. The trick for us is to expose this flaw--that has no legal solution-- while in litigation. Once they're aware that you know they have no case, the case ends.

You've already been served your first helping of debt fraud in this matter, and its source is stunning. The helpful lawyer told you that you wouldn't be able to settle your debt on your own (false) and that your court date was 9/13,though you hadn't yet been served. Fair Debt Credit Reporting and Practices Act (FDCPA) violation--Misrepresenting the legal status of a debt. All of us here know that no court date is assigned until after the defendant files their Answer to the Plaintiff's Complaint. That can't possibly happen until you've been served, and you have 20-30 days from then to file, depending on your jurisdiction. Only the court clerk assigns court dates. The lawyer assumes correctly how little consumers are familiar with legal processes and has just exploited this with you. She should be sanctioned. This upcoming fictitional court date was a rouse to motivate you to act quickly and begin dealing by agreeing to their fees/payment plan. This becomes helpful to Group #2, as well. Their goal is receiving your payments, rather than having to prove their case. Like TrakAmerica, Grp 2 may decide pursuing you after non-payment isn't worthwhile after all, and may choose instead to sell your account to a third group later, which only compounds your success in winning, the more your debt travels down the line.

That you've already confirmed by your credit report that the BoA debt has indeed been charged off is an important definition. That someone at BoA told you the account has been sent to 'legal' is, although maybe materially correct, it is ambiguous. Sent to in-house legal? Why are other, outside entities calling? Has BoA hired them to collect, and the entities will earn a percentage of the collected amount? Or has the account been sold, first to TrakAmerica, and now to the second group, and these entities are now assignees of BoA? Its not important to provide these answers to me, but these are the type of critical thinking steps for you to aquaint yourself with this very fraudulent industry, and the types of associations within groups.

The Complaint that has yet to reach you will define all of these items. I respect your interest in wanting to address this and begin a payment plan and eventually be rid of it, but I think you should wait until you've been served to determine that step. See what the paperwork included is, and then decide if challenging the suit is something you'd like to undertake. There are plenty of smart people here that are happy to help, plus there are resources here to guide you through this, as well as other places online. In the meantime, until you decide, don't incriminate yourself by admitting this debt to anyone on the phone. Don't prove their case for them. That you may be dealing with the second of two junk debt buyers, their job of convincing any judge that they own your debt and are now legally able to collect your debt just got a whole lot more difficult for them to prove, than if you were only dealing with BoA's in-house legal dept.

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You can look it up online or if you do go to the courthouse you can see the complaint and everything they are planning to use against you. Then you are a step ahead in planning your response.   I think Debt Validation lets them know you know the process and will not roll over. It also gives you more time if you are close to SOL.  True you are not admitting anything if you do not ask for it.  But it gives you a little time to start thinking on how to proceed with your case.

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http://www.law.umaryland.edu/faculty/profiles/faculty.html?facultynum=065

 

Prof. Peter Holland of the Univ of MD Law School runs a Consumer Protection Clinic at the law school on behalf of debtors.  I think the service is free or at a reduced fee for if you are a MD resident and if you quality.  His email address is included in the link.  You may wish to contact him if you want to fight this case, or if you think you have a claim against Trak America.

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