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To DV or not to DV?


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Okay, I'm confused.  Do you suggest dv'ing or not?  I received a letter from same JDB being represented by a different law firm that sued me in the past and dismissed at the last minute prior to trial.  Do I dv them or assume that since the last time around they didn't have what they needed to win in court that they still don't and not sweat it too much until I receive my summons?

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Thank you for your quick reply.  The lengthy letter on this and other websites seem overkill knowing that they don't have to do most of what is indicated in the letter.  Would you further recommend using it anyway or going with something more simple like 'this is in dispute and please validate that I have legal obligation to you or your client'.

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You can play around with the words, but what @BV80 posted above is the most I would write. 

 

 "I dispute this and require validation".

 

Sometimes sending a DV letter will trigger a lawsuit because they are trying to locate someone. In your case they already know where you live, so the DV Letter shouldn't matter. They will make the decision to sue regardless. Sending the DV will just protect your rights going forward.

 

Send it CMRR through the USPS. Have someone witness you put it in the envelope and mail it. That way you have a witness if they ever press the issue in future litigation. Some even go as far as recording everything from writing the letter to dropping it in the box. 

 

Study up on the FDCPA and document any violations. Keep all letters and envelopes they send you. Keep any messages they leave you in a secure device. You may not need any of this, but it will come in handy in the future if they sue you. Sending the DV letter will put you on the right track. 

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First, LOVE your name Art!  Cracked me up! 

 

Thanks for the input.   I've typed up the letter but I am wondering if I should sign it.  My previous experience suggests that they might try to cut and paste my signature into bogus documents they create should this go to court.  Am I worrying for nothing or should I send it unsigned?

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@RyanEX

 

That's been a topic of debate.  The FDCPA makes no mention of a "partial" C&D, so some CAs might not want to take any chances and could construe no phone calls to mean a complete C&D.   In any case, when you request validation, they can't contact you period until the debt is validated.  

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The DV requests I've sent in the past were simple.  Be sure to include the CA's account number in your header. 

 

RE:  Account No. xxxxxxxxxxxx

 

I dispute the above referenced account and request validation. 

 

This is absolutely all that is required to dispute the debt.  Because the FDCPA requires them to do so when you ask, I also state that I want them to provide me with the name and address of the original creditor.

 

In regards to the "partial C&D", I always notify them that it is not convenient to receive phone calls at any time regarding the matter and to direct any future communications to the address in the letterhead.  This makes it clear I'm anticipating future communications from them (i.e. their response to your DV) and they are welcome to send it to my address.  Some people even put in there "no part of this letter shall be construed as a cease and desist notice" to make it extra clear.  IME, the CAs are either stupid cautious or completely careless; they have their canned reaction (or non-reaction) to any letter they get from an alleged debtor and the wording of the letter is irrelevant.

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@Harry Seaward

 

There is a GA case regarding a limited C&D.

 

Bakewell v. FEDERAL FINANCIAL GROUP, INC., Dist. Court, ND Georgia 2007:

 

"Plaintiff has not provided and the court is not aware of any case law which allows a debtor through section 1692c© to limit the type of communications made by a debt collector."

 

The point is whether the CA will honor the wishes of the consumer and only contact him by mail or if the CA won't take any chances and will cease communication all together.

 

Like I said, they can't contact you period until they validate.  Why limit the type of communication in a DV letter?  If they're going to violate before validating, let them violate.

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@BV80

@Harry Seaward

 

There is a GA case regarding a limited C&D.

 

Bakewell v. FEDERAL FINANCIAL GROUP, INC., Dist. Court, ND Georgia 2007:

 

"Plaintiff has not provided and the court is not aware of any case law which allows a debtor through section 1692c© to limit the type of communications made by a debt collector."

 

The point is whether the CA will honor the wishes of the consumer and only contact him by mail or if the CA won't take any chances and will cease communication all together.

 

Like I said, they can't contact you period until they validate.  Why limit the type of communication in a DV letter?  If they're going to violate before validating, let them violate.

 

I didn't make it very clear, but I differentiate my notification from a C&D (limited or otherwise) because of the section of the FDCPA I'm triggering by the language I use.

 

§1692c(a)

"... a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt—
    (1) at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer."

 

Austin v. Great Lakes Collection Bureau, Inc., 834 F. Supp. 557 (D. Conn. 1993). Continued telephone calls to the consumer at her place of employment, after the collector had been asked to cease such calls because they inconvenienced the consumer, violated § 1692c(a)(1).
 

For me, telephone calls from a debt collector are not convenient at any time, either before or after they validate.  If I make this known in the DV, they can't legally call me even after they validate.  Because I'm leaving the door wide open on all other communication methods (I give them unconditional permission to contact me by mail, in fact), my letter cannot reasonably be mistaken as a C&D.

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Honestly, I know that "all phone calls are inconvient" is a common phrase that people include in DV letters, but I don't know of any court decesions or FTC rulings that intrepret "at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer" that way.

 

Also, the FDCPA does say, they even if you do tell them to "cease and desist" they are entitled to one more "communication" to tell you what their intentions are.

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Honestly, I know that "all phone calls are inconvient" is a common phrase that people include in DV letters, but I don't know of any court decesions or FTC rulings that intrepret "at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer" that way.

 

Also, the FDCPA does say, they even if you do tell them to "cease and desist" they are entitled to one more "communication" to tell you what their intentions are.

In the Federal case I posted the consumer merely told the CA that she was "upset about calls to place of employment [and] hung-up".  She didn't even use the word "inconvenient" and the court ruled in her favor on her §1692c(a) "inconvenient" claims.  I can think of no reason why outright telling them phone calls at any time are inconvenient would be viewed any differently.

 

 

There was a case a while back where a CA tried to argue that using the phone for debt collection was paramount to the CAs ability to do it's job.  The court rejected the argument and said something to the effect that a CA is not entitled to use the phone to collect.  I can't remember if it was an "inconvenient" argument or "harassment".  I'll see if I can find it.... 

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  • 10 months later...

Came across this thread and wanted to share my experiences with debt validation over the past year.

 

A year ago I had quite a few CC debts out there that were still within the SOL for legal action. Since last summer I have DV'd every JDB that has sent me a communication. In response to most of them I have received an acknowledgement letter stating that my DV request was received and if I had any documentation (fraud reports, etc) that would support my disputes - I have not responded to those.

 

In a few cases I never heard from the JDB again, nor have I heard from any new JDB regarding the corresponding account. One JDB had the OC send me the validation, but after that I never heard from the JDB again. One JBD responded "after an investigation we have decided to delete your account and any associated trade lines from your credit report." Early in the year another JDB bought up two accounts > along with a regular DV letter I also sent them validation requests per California's new code, 1788.52c. One investigation is "ongoing", the other resulted in a deletion letter similar to above.

 

So far this year, the bulk of the CC debts I walked away from have gone past the SOL. I was really quite surprised since these where the highest balance accounts I had out there. And whereas my phone was pretty active a year ago with phone calls from collection agents, it has been pretty quiet this year. I have just a few accounts left with (relative to the others) small balances. In my experience, DVing everything that has come my way has been a good thing. Some have different opinions on whether or not to DV, and I can't disagree with their logic; it is, after all, impossible for me to know whether or not my approach has contributed to these JDBs declining to bring up anymore lawsuits against me.

 

One thing I can say for sure is that having a quiet phone has been very, very nice. In the past,  "those calls" would give a pit in my stomach and the stress would take quite some time to subside. It's been good to not have that anymore.

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It seems like everyone in this forum is on favor of DV'ing.

I must have read on some other online page that sending a DV to JDB, makes them file suit sooner or gather stronger evidence to prove their case.

 

I do not know where i read that but those members that i respect the most on here favor DV'ing early on.

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There are some in the CIC who prefer not to DV. I believe the proximity of the SOL date sometimes plays a part in that preference.

 

I have read (here) that some JDBs, when deciding whether or not to file suit, will take into account whether or not they feel they can find that person in order to serve the initial summons. IIRC, some of those who prefer not to DV feel that a DV letter, being a response to a mailed communication, can serve as confirmation of that physical (or mailing) address and could increase the chances of a lawsuit. For the record, I have been using a P.O. Box for some time and my physical address is very likely not on anyone's radar. I have been living there a few years and have never used it for anything. If a DV letter could possibly serve as a defacto confirmation of a serviceable address, I think my particular situation would be an exception.

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