Lostboy38

Another Midland Case via Stillman in Michigan

Recommended Posts

I've received a "verification of the debt in question" letter from the Stillman Law Offices.

In the letter I received: A signed contract from Jan. 23, 2006, with my signature and SSN on it.

                                    4 months of billing statements from Feb 2011 to May 2011 with nothing but late fees and interest listed on them.

 

This is my reply to their letter.

 

Dear Ms. Wyman;

 

This letter is in response to your correspondence of December 26, 2013. Pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, § 809(B), 15 USC 1692g, please provide ALL of the information to validate the above-referenced alleged debt.

This is NOT a request for “verification” or proof of my mailing address, but a request for VALIDATION made pursuant to the above named Title and Section and Fair Credit Reporting Act § 611 (a)(1)(A) [15 U.S.C. § 1681i].

I respectfully request that your offices provide me with competent evidence that I have any legal obligation to pay you.

Please provide me with the following:

1)      Provide proof of what the money you say I owe to you is for;

2)      Explain and show how you calculated what you say I owe;

3)      Provide me with copies of any papers that show I agreed to pay what you say I owe;

4)      Provide a verification or copy of any judgment if applicable;

5)      Identify the original creditor;

6)      Prove the Statute of Limitations has not expired on this account;

7)      Provide proof that you are licensed to collect in the state of Michigan; and

8)      Provide proof of your license numbers and Registered Agent.

 

At this time I will also inform you that if your offices have reported invalidated information to any of the three major Credit Bureau’s (Equifax, Experian or Trans Union) this action might constitute fraud under both Federal and State Laws. Due to this fact, if any negative mark is found on any of my credit reports by your company or the company that you represent I will not hesitate in bringing legal action against you for the following:

1)      Violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act;

2)      Violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act;

3)      Defamation of Character

 

If your offices are able to provide the proper documentation as requested, I will require at least 30 days to investigate this information and during such time all collection activity must cease and desist. Also during this validation period, if any action is taken which could be considered detrimental to any of my credit reports, I will not hesitate in bringing suit on against you. This includes any listing any information to a credit reporting repository that could be inaccurate or invalidated or verifying an account as accurate when in fact there is no provided proof that it is.

 

Pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act § 611 (a)(5)(A) [15 U.S.C. § 1681i], should your offices fail to respond to this validation request within 30 days from the date of your receipt, all references to this account must be deleted and completely removed from my credit file and a copy of such deletion request shall be sent to me immediately. It would be advisable that you assure that your records are in order before I am forced to take legal action.

 

This is an attempt to correct your records; any information obtained shall be used for that purpose. Your cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated. Please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned via the USPS at the address listed above should you have any questions or concerns.

 

Very truly yours,

 

 

Lostboy38

 

 

P.S.  Ms. Wyman, you failed to sign the cover letter dated December 26, 2013 bringing into question the validity of your notice.  I assume that it is an over sight and you will provide me with a signed copy as soon as possible.  Failure to supply a signed copy within 10 days will be taken to mean that this is a JDB chasers illegal means of threatening an innocent consumer.

 

Any advice?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They did validate the debt. They are do not have to provide all the information you are requesting in the letter you plan on sending. Where your possible FDCPA violation comes into play is that the debt is paid off and the amount they are claiming is due. I would write back to them that this debt has been paid in full. 

 

Further, there is $900 between the original debt and the amount they claim is owed. 

 

Call the attorney I PMed you yesterday and discuss it with him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They did validate the debt. They are do not have to provide all the information you are requesting in the letter you plan on sending. Where your possible FDCPA violation comes into play is that the debt is paid off and the amount they are claiming is due. I would write back to them that this debt has been paid in full. 

 

Further, there is $900 between the original debt and the amount they claim is owed. 

 

Call the attorney I PMed you yesterday and discuss it with him.

Of course they did not validate or verify the debt. They cannot and will not do so.

 

They very likely met most of the minimal requirements of the FDCPA regarding a DV letter. Unless, something like the the name of the OC was originally requested and they did not provide it.

 

We need to understand that FDCPA verification/validation, as defined in ours district's stare decisis, is not the same definition as one might find in the dictionary.

 

While I don't do laundry list DV letters or template letters I would be very unlikely to draft a DV letter/waste postage based on the useless and minimalistic requirements of the FDCPA. I am not planning on suing for an FDCPA violation. I am gathering intel, preserving my rights, etc.

 

Targeting a specific issue in my reply, as suggested by BMC, is something I would likely do.

 

Discussing with an attorney also sounds like a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, how about this?

 

Attn: Ms. Dawn Wyman, Paralegal

 

Dear Ms. Wyman;

 

This letter is in response to your correspondence of December 26, 2013.

 

To the best of my knowledge and belief, this debt was paid in full in the first quarter of 2007 when I received my federal tax return. 

 

I did not use the credit card after that time and never authorized anyone to use it.

 

This is an attempt to correct your records; any information obtained shall be used for that purpose. Your cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated. Please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned via the USPS at the address listed above should you have any questions or concerns.

 

Very truly yours,

 

 

Lostboy38

 

 

P.S.  Ms. Wyman, you failed to sign the cover letter dated December 26, 2013 bringing into question the validity of your notice.  I assume that it is an over sight and you will provide me with a signed copy as soon as possible.

 

Should I drop the P.S.?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, They only have to supply you with the name of the current owner, the original creditor and the account number of the original creditor with an amount claimed that is due.

 

What you are getting into is standing and they only have to disclose that information if they take legal action to collect. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't they have to send me something showing where Midland purchased the debt and are entitled to collect on it?

I have not seen that in the FDCPA or supporting case law. So lacking state law, I would say not likely.

Of course that would not prevent me from asking for it. I want what I want and I rarely get it without asking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, Michigan is a little different and I always tend to include this paragraph in any DV letter I send:

 

Be aware that the Michigan Occupational Code Act 299 Section 339.918 (2) specifically states that:

"(2) If the consumer notifies the collection agency in writing, within 30 days after receiving the written notice, that the debt, or any portion of the debt, is disputed, collection of the debt or any disputed portion of the debt shall cease until the collection agency obtains verification of the debt and a copy of the verification or judgment is mailed to the consumer by the collection agency. Verification of the debt or any disputed portion of the debt shall include the number and amount of previously made payments and the name and address of the original creditor, or a copy of the judgment against the debtor."

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This case, Alexander v. Blackhawk Recovery and Investigations,  (E.D. Mich. 2010), references the Mich. Occupational Code Act.

 

 

, Blackhawk's argument that plaintiff's state law claim should be dismissed has no merit. In any event, it appears that Alexander has stated a claim under Michigan's Occupational Code, specifically § 339.918 because Blackhawk failed to provide the requisite written communication to Alexander. See Mich. Comp. Laws § 339.918(1). Specifically, Blackhawk was required to send Alexander written correspondence within five days of its first contact with him. Id. The correspondence was to include information as to the amount of the debt owed, the date the communication was sent to the debtor, the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed, and that the consumer has thirty days to dispute the debt, otherwise the debt is assumed to be valid. Id. Therefore, Alexander has stated a claim under the MichiganOccupational Code.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.