TheStruggleIsReal

Labor Trade & Collection

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So, first off, let me thank everyone here for the great resource that you provide as I've been trying to get my credit back into the 700's after having a few issues.

I did some labor trading with a dentist for labor around 9 years ago when I worked for my old boss doing IT and received a bill shortly after getting the work done in which I was told by the dentist to ignore and that it would never go to collections. I have NEVER signed for anything with this dental office at all but out of the blue I get a $900 collections notice almost 9 years later. This same dentist has now sold his original practice by himself and is in business with another dentist with a different company name.

I disputed it with Transunion who just said it was verified with no information past that. I didn't have access to the resource flow chart that I found on this website so my question is should I send a DV notice via certified mail to owner of the debt (C? If so, directly to the original dentist correct? If they don't have anything signed by me and only send back a copy of the bill is that sufficient enough or should I work further down the flowchart?

Thank you in advance for your help! :)

 

EDIT: I should probably specify that I received no notices ahead of time nor phone calls that this would be placed into collections; It just randomly appeared on my credit reports.

IHateTheCreditSystem.PNG

Edited by TheStruggleIsReal
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I would send a letter stating that the dental work took place nine years ago with the prior owner and it is well past the time frame for reporting regardless of when they got the account and that as a result of their FDCPA violation and FCRA violation with illegal re-aging of the account I have pursued a complaint with the CFPB as well as will be discussing litigation with a consumer attorney.  The FDCPA violation (misrepresenting the debt) is worth $1000 plus attorney fees.  If you can prove damages i.e. higher interest rate or denied credit because of the trade line you can claim those as well.  Then I would ask how they would like to settle this matter.  

My guess is they delete very quickly.  Go to the CFPB website and open the complaint before you send the letter to the CA CMRR.  If they don't respond then sue them.

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I don't know what "flow chart" you are referring to, but it sounds like nothing I would base my decisions on.  There is no basis in law to send a DV letter without first getting a collection letter from someone.

All I would do is send another letter to the CRA (TransUnion) asking for them to provide the method used to verify AND for the name, address and phone number of the person who verified this account.

You don't even really need to send the MOV letter, as you already have an FDCPA and an FCRA violation against this collection agency for verifying a debt that is well beyond the 7 year reporting period.  You can simply talk to a few consumer attorneys who do FDCPA cases and see if they will take the case for you.  You can end up with not only this removed from your reports, but a $1,000 check in your pocket too.

 

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Thank you Clydesmom, that's the route I'm going to take.

Cheese, the flow chart I'm seeing is here:

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/rebuild/debt-validation-workflow-large.shtml

They have put this on all three of my CR agencies - Equifax is close to the thirty day window of them not saying anything back so I have a feeling that one will get deleted but Transunion almost immediately shut down my dispute (I think it was three days after I filed it).

Are there any particular lawyers that around the forums (I know advertising isn't allowed by the rules I saw) but I figured someone would have a recommendation. Is it possible they'll (or any lawyer in this field) would work the case until it's resolved pro-bono? (The reason I ask this is because the credit charge on my account is $814 and I'm assuming lawyer fees would be much higher, but I guess that's what these collection agencies depend on). I'm already paying for a lawyer for my fiance's divorce being reopened from years ago so I'm getting drained from that (her less than intelligent ex refused to sign the papers and then went after her a few years after saying he didn't know about them...that's another nightmare and story).

If the lawyer is the best route at this point for their blatant abuse then that'll be the route I will take (and I thought that it was suspicious that they could just open an account like this years later).

Thank you again! I'm new to this and this has been wonderful, I'm glad to have a resource to stop what seems like a huge scam to me.

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34 minutes ago, fisthardcheese said:

You can simply talk to a few consumer attorneys who do FDCPA cases and see if they will take the case for you.  You can end up with not only this removed from your reports, but a $1,000 check in your pocket too.

Absolutely. If this alleged debt is in fact 9 years old, and this debt collector is furnishing the above information to TransUnion, you have a very strong 1692e(8) claim.

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11 minutes ago, TheStruggleIsReal said:

I'm assuming lawyer fees would be much higher,

For this type of case, you shouldn't have to pay anything up front. If you can't find a consumer attorney who will advance costs and fees, keep looking.

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Fantastic, I feel like my faith has been restored a bit in lawyers then. I always assume the worst with them when it comes to payments and such. I'll start looking  - stupid question: does the state matter in which they are licensed/located to do practices? This particular debt was in LA and I live in DE currently.

I've learned one lesson from all of this, everything gets scanned now and on paper or there won't be a deal anymore.

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Go to www.consumeradvocates.org that is the link to NACA attorneys who generally specialize in this area of the law.

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The other replies are correct.  Both the FDCPA and the FCRA allow for attorneys fees to be collected from the other side when you win your case against a debt collector. This is why attorneys who do this type of work will generally not charge you up front and simply collect from the other side.   It appears they have violated both of those statues and both hold a $1,000 statutory damages amount - so technically you can actually walk away from this with $2,000 in your pocket.

If the website provided above does not have more than the one attorney for your state, try just doing a google search for "FDCPA & Delaware".   It is possible there may be attorneys in a neighboring state who are also licensed to practice in DE that you may be able to find.

When I am looking for an attorney on cases like this, I always want to talk to as many as I can since you will likely run into a couple who are either just too busy or who will say it's not a strong enough case (which can simply mean not enough money in it for them)... but eventually you are likely to find one to help you out.  If not, report back and I will tell you how to slam the CRAs in arbitration to force them to remove this from your credit reports. ;)

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Technically, you could walk away from this with more than $2000 in your pocket, because while FDCPA is $1000 no matter how many times they violate, FCRA  is per violation.  Three entries on your credit reports means three separate violations.  However, the only way you can take private action is to dispute  these entries through the credit bureaus.  You mentioned that you did that,so after the results from each bureau come back, if they all three verify, you might be in luck for more.  FCRA allows $1000 per violation if I remember correctly.

Wheels up,

Stick

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Note that in order to claim statutory damages under the FCRA, one must allege (and prove, if necessary) that the party willfully violated the Act.   If only negligence is shown, there must be actual damages.

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4 hours ago, BV80 said:

Note that in order to claim statutory damages under the FCRA, one must allege (and prove, if necessary) that the party willfully violated the Act.   If only negligence is shown, there must be actual damages.

This is true, but an attorney should be able to argue that a CA holding a 9 year old debt who then places a new TL is acting pretty willfully.  This is not like they missed the SOL for reporting by a couple months in a negligent way.  On top of being 24 months beyond the reporting period, they received a dispute from the CRA and then essentially said "yep, it's good".  I say it's pretty willful.  I also bet they  would not want to leave it up to a judge to determine if it is or not too.

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Just to update everyone: I've started calling but I'm hopeful for a particular lawyer whom I called and immediately jumped at the chance to do it (the paralegal was, I have to wait on the lawyer to call me back tomorrow), the rest couldn't do it because they were mainly bankruptcy lawyers (but specifically had CR and Collections on their profiles). 

All information you guys have provided is simply amazing and I appreciate it very much.

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Another update: The lawyer wants to go after them but needs me to write them first to make sure they won't take it off so I can get it in writing that they are refusing to take it off even after seeing that it is not only an invalid collection, but way past the SOL (regardless of violations) - and I'm assuming this is the verification of the FCRA statutory claim that BV80 referenced.

I'm assuming they'll file here in DE which means that the lawyer for CBOFLA will apparently have to come up to fight it I'm assuming (and more than likely won't) so the judgement will be automatically awarded to us.

The flip side is that I write them and they take it off all three CR agencies, so I still win either way I guess. Having the money in my pocket would be nice (especially to teach someone a lesson about skirting the law) but if they take it off my CR I guess I should just be happy with that.

Does this sound right to everyone? 

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47 minutes ago, TheStruggleIsReal said:

Another update: The lawyer wants to go after them but needs me to write them first to make sure they won't take it off so I can get it in writing that they are refusing to take it off even after seeing that it is not only an invalid collection, but way past the SOL (regardless of violations) - and I'm assuming this is the verification of the FCRA statutory claim that BV80 referenced.

I'm assuming they'll file here in DE which means that the lawyer for CBOFLA will apparently have to come up to fight it I'm assuming (and more than likely won't) so the judgement will be automatically awarded to us.

The flip side is that I write them and they take it off all three CR agencies, so I still win either way I guess. Having the money in my pocket would be nice (especially to teach someone a lesson about skirting the law) but if they take it off my CR I guess I should just be happy with that.

Does this sound right to everyone? 

Yes, the attorney wants you to write the letter directly to them so that if they don't act or ignore the letter he will then have a much stronger argument that they acted willfully in violation of the law.  It is a good strategy.

Even if they remove the TL from your reports after getting your letter, they would still have the FDCPA violation, because that is strict liability, meaning they can't "undo" what has already been done (providing false information regarding the debt to the CRAs).  If they remove the TLs, I would still ask the attorney about going after them for the FDCPA violation.  It won't net as much money in damages, but it's a little something for your troubles.

If your attorney files suit, they will simply hire a local DE attorney to represent them.  But I am 98% certain they will not want to go to court over a relatively small claim.  They will want to settle and cut their losses and minimally as possible.

Good luck!  Let us know how it goes.

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That makes perfect sense; I think the Attorney wants to go after them either way. I imagine they will have as hard of a time finding a lawyer to take this on as I did up here. :)

I'll keep everyone up to date for sure, this seems like it'll end up being a score one for the little guys in this country.

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They will get an insurance defense law firm to handle it, and they will likely settle pretty quickly. 

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