WhipItGood

DV Clarification Requested

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Hi All,

I have been a long time copius reader, but this is my first post. I appreciate any help you are able to offer! What I'm here about: ~15K.

 

 

2013 Cap One charged off a consumer credit card account. "Charged off as bad debt, Canceled by credit grantor"

 

same month 2013, I heard from United Collections. I DV'd them and never heard another word.

 

Cap One continued to report the charge off through June 2014. Then, it just vanished off my report. Why? And should they have been able to report it since the sold in, and it was unvalidated by the JDB?

 

then for 1 yr 5 months: Nothing, Nada, no contact from anyone.

 

Fast forward to September 2014. Got a letter from a CA posing (but not stating) as a law firm out of state, contacting me on behalf of their client, which made them act like they were lawyers.

 

I DV'd them, and also researched the CA to find out that they are in fact one and the same as their client -and have a bunch of aliases that I can surmise, all entities with the same CEOs. The calls stopped, no DV produced.

 

About a month later, good ole Law Firm stepped in. They said that they were attys contacting me on behalf of their  client . (Notice it is the same client as as the last CA).  Calls started routinely, including robo-calls that left messages merely telling me to call a number (documented and saved).

 

The letter did state that no actual atty had reviewed the case. I DV'd them, and confirmed receipt.  I only received one call after my letter had been certified as delivered, about 4 hrs later.

 

Now, in the meantime, while my DV letter was on the way to MJ, I got a call from AMO Reco.veries out of Norcross, GA. No message. ???

 

 

At this point, and I do think that the CA law firm will attempt to sue, I am confused about who actually owns the debt. These are my first questions:

 

1) Did Cap One sell the debt to multiple JDB?

2) How/why did the debt get from UCB to CA #1?

3) How did the debt then, legally and technically speaking, from CA #1 to CA #2?

4) Is it a violation of FDCPA for CA #1 to not validate, but then ask CA#2 to pounce on me by mail and by phone, when they failed to validate? I mean, CA#1 and what they name their client to be are one and the same. So technically CA #2 were acting on behalf of CA#1 -who failed to validate, and therefore should ostensibly ceased collection activity.

5) How do you figure the charge off just vanished from my CR last summer? Will it come back?

6) On a 15K debt, how much do you figure Cap One sold it to the JDB for?

7) I also wonder how much tax credit they got for writing it off as bad debt? (Just curious -feels as if they are all double dipping....)

8) I noticed that the original amount owed by United was about $500 HIGHER than what CA#1/CA#2 say I owe. Weird. Any insight?

 

Any other words of wisdom?

 

Thank you so much, and Whip It Good!

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At this point, and I do think that M&J will attempt to sue, I am confused about who actually owns the debt. These are my first questions:

 

1) Did Citi sell the debt to multiple JDB?

2) How/why did the debt get from UCB to P&C?

3) How did the debt then, legally and technically speaking, from P&C to M&J?

4) Is it a violation of FDCPA for P&C to not validate, but then ask M&J to pounce on me by mail and by phone, when they failed to validate? I mean, P&C and PCA are one and the same. So technically M&J were acting on behalf of P&C -who failed to validate, and therefore should ostensibly ceased collection activity.

5) How do you figure the charge off just vanished from my CR last summer? Will it come back?

6) On a 15K debt, how much do you figure Citi sold it to the JDB for?

7) I also wonder how much tax credit they got for writing it off as bad debt? (Just curious -feels as if they are all double dipping....)

8) I noticed that the original amount owed by United was about $500 HIGHER than what P&C/M&J say I owe. Weird. Any insight?

 

Any other words of wisdom?

 

Thank you so much, and Whip It Good!

 

1)  Possibly.  You won't know until you are sued or someone responds to DV.

2)  Sale?  Assignment?  Who knows and why doesn't matter.

3)  Junk debt buyers sell off portfolios of bad debt to each other.

4)  Unless you can pierce the corporate veil and prove that:  no right now it is not a violation.

5)  This is something that creditors do when they are preparing to sue.  It eliminates counter claims for violations.  Yes, it could come back.

6)   Pennies on the dollar but they can legally try to collect on the entire amount you owe.  

7)  They got the amount you owed them at the time they wrote it off.  

8)  One of them could have tacked on collection fees or interest they were not entitled to.  Who knows.

 

I would be studying up because the statute of limitations in OR is 6 years on CC debt which means if you defaulted in 2012 they have until 2018 to sue you and for a debt that large they will pursue it.  In the mean time DV anyone who contacts you and if you are served I would seriously consider hiring a consumer attorney to defend it given that amount they are going after.

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@WhipItGood

 

1.  Cap1 could not sell the account to multiple JDBs. 

 

2.  Cap1 could have hired UCB to collect.   UCB could then have returned the account back to Citi and Citi then sold it to PCA..   Or Citi sold it to UCB and UCB sold it to to the current JDB.

Debts may be sold multiple times. 

 

3.  Debt collection law firms don't usually buy debts.  They just collect and/or sue for OCs or JDBs. 

 

4.  A debt collector does not have to validate if they choose to stop collection efforts.  When the first law firm didn't validate, they may have returned the account back to the JDB who then may have hired the 2nd law firm.

 

5.  Who knows?

 

6.  There's no way to know that.

 

7.  They cannot "double dip".  Any amount they receive for the debt has to be reported as profit.

 

8.  The amount claimed by United may have included their own collection fees while the 2 law firms may not have included anything extra.

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Thank you for your replies, you have cleared up some questions I have been noodling over. I am certain this will rear its ugly head again soon. I don't have money to hire an atty, so I will have to rough it alone. Lingering troubled thought about question #4.

 

4) Is it a violation of FDCPA for CA#1  to not validate, but then ask CA#2 to pounce on me by mail and by phone, when they failed to validate? I mean, CA#1 and the JDB are one and the same. So technically CA#2 were acting on behalf of CA#1 -who failed to validate, and therefore should ostensibly ceased collection activity.

 

CA#1 = JDB  If CA#1 is acting on behalf of a client, then they are representing that client. I asked CA#1 for DV, and they failed to produce. Which means, does it not, that their client failed to produce, right? So how can that, "client" just go to another debt collection company and try again, when they failed to validate the first time? Both CA#2 and CA#1 represent this JDB client. "Client" JDB ultimately failed to produce validation thus far, it seems to reason that it needs to put up or shut up.  Are they going to try finding a 3rd debt collector, when they failed to validate the first 2 times? It feels like a sneaky loophole that avoids accountability with FDCPA.

 

It just feels like the client JDB is still the JDB client, asking for the money, but just getting a different person to harass on the phone.  And how can I pierce the, "corporate veil?" -is that a matter of proving that the board of directors are the same, and that the books are combined? (??)

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Got to keep the players straight.  You got the OC (now gone), then a CA, then a JDB, then another CA...etc.

 

You DV CAs...

 

If P&C and PCA are incorporated as separate companies (quite likely) then one can represent the other, even if they're owned by the same guy...

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I received a letter from CA#2 in response to my DV letter. It had a cover sheet that listed the OC as a bank I have never heard of. Then, they attached two statements from the another bank. This is the info they sent:

 

OC: Name of a bank I never heard of "fka" another bank I never did business with

OC Acct #:

Contract Date:

Charge off Date:

Last Pay Date:

Enclosed documents:

Current Balance:

 

Does this satisfy their burden to validate? What will their next step be? Does it matter that they listed a bank that I never did business with as the OC.

Thanks!

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@WhipItGood

 

"Calls started routinely from M&J, including robo-calls that left messages merely telling me to call a number (documented and saved)"

 

You definitely need to keep those calls for a lawyer to review.  M&J is a debt collection law firm, and for them to contact you without meaningful disclosure, i.e., the "mini-miranda," is a violation of 15 USC 1692d(6) and 1692e(11).  It could be the basis of a FDCPA countersuit by you.

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@WhipItGood

 

OC: Name of a bank I never heard of "fka" another bank I never did business with

O Acct #:

Contract Date:

Charge off Date:

Last Pay Date:

Enclosed documents: correct documents enclosed

Current Balance:

 

 

Did the statements show any charges or payments that you recognized?

 

Is the bank (either by its original name or by it new name) reporting on your credit report?

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Thanks Debtzapper.

 

@BV80 -The statements were sort of recognizable.

 

 

The thing that I find to be perplexing is that CA#2 law firm listed on their letter to me a bank (with a FKA name as well) that I never heard of, and it is inaccurate.  They are no way the original creditor! So the made a mistake naming the OC.

 

Also, I was reading up on Oregon Debt Collection laws, and it clearly states (ORS 697.005 - 697.115) "person shall not operate as a collection agency in this state unless the person registers with the Department of Consumer and Business Services under ORS 697.031 and maintains the registration in accordance with that section." Nobody is licensed.

 

 

The only loophole they may be trying to take advantage of is that they are technically a law firm.

(b )“Collection agency” does not include:

(D) An attorney-at-law rendering services in the performance of the duties of an attorney-at-law.

 

Except they are indeed a collection company!  On their very own letterhead, they stated, "This communication is from a debt collector and is an attempt to collect a debt."   -It did NOT say, "This letter is from attorneys rendering services for our JDB client."

 

Therefore, seems to me that this CA#2 qualifies as a collection agency. I could file a complaint with the Division, and they could be subject to steep fines.  What does anyone think?

 

Maybe I should keep that under my belt for later. I fully expect them to sue me. Maybe these facts will come in handy. Or, perhaps I should preempt any filing by sending a complaint...

 

Reference to Oregon statutes:

https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/lawsstatutes/2013ors697.html

http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/rules/oars_400/oar_441/441_810.html

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@BV80

 

I understand that they are registered with the Oregon Secretary of State as a business in OR. But, they are NOT licensed with the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and therefore should not operate as a collection agency in this state, according to ORS 697.015.

 

Here is the link to conduct a search for licensed agencies: http://www4.cbs.state.or.us/ex/all/mylicsearch/index.cfm?fuseaction=main.show_main&group_id=20&profession_id=22&profession_sub_id=22000&profession_name=Collection%20Agencies

 

The Devil lurks in the details. Check it out, would love some input. Thanks!

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Were the robo-calls you received and saved sent to your cell phone or a home phone (land line/VOIP)?  How many of those calls have you saved and/or documented?  If the calls were to your cell phone, I would suggest you pull your phone bills and find all of the incoming calls from their number to give you a better accuracy of number of calls.

 

If PRA is not licenses as a debt collector as legally required in your state, that MAY be an FDCPA violaion.  However, any FDCPA violation will only net you a maximum of $1,000.  Even if you have multiple FDCPA violations, your max is $1k.  That is not enough to offset the $15k or so they claim you owe, so if you pursue this, they would likely just counter sue you for the $15k.

 

If this were me, I would be cautious about any debt collector saying they are from Norcross, GA, because recently a CA was shut down there and brought up on criminal charges for collecting on completely fake debts to the tune of several millions of dollars.

 

This bank that they listed on their validation which you never heard of, do you see this bank name anywhere else such as on any credit reports or other collection letters?  There may also be a violation here, although they may get away with claming bonified error and then, there is the issue of $1k max as I previously stated.

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The name of the unknown bank is only listed on their DV response. Nowhere else, I had never heard of it before. As for the licensing, I was thinking a better strategy would be to just sit and wait. And, if they want to file suit being unlicensed and stand in front of a judge to say I owe for a debt to an OC I never heard of...this would also make them look bad, n'est-ce pas? I mean, why not keep their errors and misdeeds to myself, then smack them down with it in court. I have much to learn...

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The name of the unknown bank is only listed on their DV response. Nowhere else, I had never heard of it before. The correct OC stopped reporting June 2014. As for the licensing, I was thinking a better strategy would be to just sit and wait, then if they do sue me, bring up the fact that they are unlicensed as per state law as a grounds for dismissal. And, if they want to file suit and stand in front of a judge to say I owe for a debt to an OC I never heard of...this would also make them look bad, n'est-ce pas? I mean, why not keep their errors and misdeeds to myself, then smack them down with it in court. I have much to learn...

 

@WhipItGood

 

I see what you meant about a CA being required to be registered with the Department of Consumer and Business Services.

 

You want to make sure that a JDB who allegedly owns an account and is not collecting for someone is considered a debt collector in your state.   In your statutes, I didn't anything about JDB's being excluded from the law, but I'd contact an attorney to make sure.  It's better to be safe than sorry.

 

Another thing:  Debt collection law firms are debt collectors under the FDCPA, but ask an attorney if the fact that they are attorneys excludes them from being registered.  If they have to be registered, you may have 2 separate FDCPA claims which would be $2000 instead of $1000.  However, you might not be able to counterclaim against the law firm if you were sued because they wouldn't be a party to a lawsuit filed by the plaintiff.   An action against them might have to be completely separate and would have nothing to do with the plaintiff.

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Thanks @ BV80.

 

The more I hear, the more confusing it gets. You wrote " You want to make sure that a JDB who allegedly owns an account and is not collecting for someone is considered a debt collector in your state."

 

The statement is confusing to me. the JDB  is not listed as licensed in OR. But, a company with the same CEOs is CA#1.

 

CA#1 contacted me on behalf of their client JDB. They did not respond to DV, but then client sent it to CA#2 which, even though they are a law firm, they are definitely a collections agency, and JDB. This can be established, I think. But for fancy background footwork I can't unveil (yet). There is no named correlation btwn CA#1 and CA#2.

 

How can I find out who actually owns this alleged debt?

How were you able to glean that CA#2 is a debt collector under FDCPA?

 

I am not interested really in suing anyone or countersuing anyone (at least not yet!). But, I am thinking that my possibly grounds for a suit could help to get their case thrown out , w prejudice. 1) The Robocalls, 2) The licensing issue-neither atty or client are licensed, 3) The fact that they listed an incorrect OC, and did not provide contact information for them.

 

Just thinking about it rationally, I can't imagine any judge would accept such sloppy case work from any atty. I appreciate any and all thoughts and ideas. Also any thoughts about next steps. Part of me feels like just contacting them and offering a settlement...But not for an alleged debt to a bank I never heard of.

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@WhipItGood

 

How can I find out who actually owns this alleged debt?

 

 

Any collection letter should name the current creditor.  A JDB can be a current creditor.

 

How were you able to glean that M&J is a debt collector under FDCPA?

 

 

The FDCPA used to contain an exclusion for attorneys, but was removed through legislation.

 

The Supreme Court has determined that "the term `debt collector' in the [FDCPA] applies to a lawyer who `regularly,' through litigation, tries to collect consumer debts." Heintz v. Jenkins, 514 U.S. 291, 292, 115 S.Ct. 1489, 131 L.Ed.2d 395 (1995).

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Okay, looking at the first letter from CA#2 law firm, I see that current creditor is listed as teh JDB 'client.'. Thanks.  Does anyone think there are action steps I need to be taking at this time, or just give them a little more rope...? Should I be disputing the DV they sent, given it was erroneous, or just leave it alone and not draw attention? Thanks:-)

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@WhipItGood

 

Oh, that's right!  

 

If it were me, I might send another letter stating that I dispute the alleged debt and, based upon the information provided, did not have that account and do not owe the debt.

 

The only reason for doing so would be in case they sue you and provide that same information in court.  You could show that you definitely disputed what they claim.

 

Hopefully, some others will chime in here.

 

In regard to possible FDCPA violations, the SOL for those violations is one year.  

 

Have you checked to see if you would have a private right of action for their failure to be registered as collection agencies?  

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The name of the listed OC that I got from CA#2 is [edited]The former taking over the latter earlier this year, I read. I have had no affiliation with either bank, so they they essentially in no way validated what they say I owe their client...Again, let it go, or attempt to correct their records, only to allow them the chance to correct it before filing suit...? Seems showing up in court with sloppy info would be disadvantageous to them. ?

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@WhipItGood

 

Seems showing up in court with sloppy info would be disadvantageous to them. ?

 

 

Agreed.   As I stated, the only reason I'd send another letter is just to confirm that I disputed their information, but it's not absolutely necessary.

 

In regard to the account, could you have had a store credit card that was issued by GE/Synchrony?   The issuer (GE or Synchrony) is not always the name on the card.

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@WhipItGood

 

Oh, that's right!  

 

If it were me, I might send another letter stating that I dispute the alleged debt and, based upon the information provided, did not have that account and do not owe the debt.

 

The only reason for doing so would be in case they sue you and provide that same information in court.  You could show that you definitely disputed what they claim.

 

Hopefully, some others will chime in here.

 

In regard to possible FDCPA violations, the SOL for those violations is one year.  

 

Have you checked to see if you would have a private right of action for their failure to be registered as collection agencies?  

I stated in my 1st and only DV letter that I disputed the debt. Isn't saying that once enough? I mean, they came back with faulty info, so do I have some obligation to say I dispute the debt again?

 

I have not done too much research with the department of consumer and business services, but vaguely recall it is a matter of me reporting them, and the Director of the Division of Corporate Finances and Securities would contact them directly and fine them. I have no real interest now to sue for violations. But, then I read OAR 441-810-0140, and wonder if this means I would have a private right of action. So, without speaking to them on the phone and asking questions, especially if collection attys are exempt from ORS 697.015-697.115, I won't know for sure. I do know this:

 

697.015 Registration requirement. A person shall not operate as a collection agency in this state unless the person (which means, person, enitity, corporation, firm or partnership) registers with the Department of Consumer and Business Services under ORS 697.031 and maintains the registration in accordance with that section. [1981 c.85 §3; 1995 c.622 §2]

 

697.031 Lists some pretty serious contact information requirements, including, "Any assumed names or business names used by the collection agency." (I corss checked the full licensee database for any and all assumed aliases I know of for PCA and even M&J -found nothing).

 

And finally... here is something I found to be interesting:

 

441-810-0260

Compliance with Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

A collection agency that is subject to and in compliance with the requirements of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Public Law 95-109, 15 U.S.C. 1692 et seq.) shall also be considered to be in compliance with the requirements of OAR 441-810-0200 through 441-810-0250.

 

But what does that mean? That they need to be in compliance with this OR Adminsitrative Rule, or by default ARE in compliance? tricky wording, legal minds needed!

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