TacticalBacon

Southwest Credit reply almost a year later

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So here's my situation.  Back in 2015 I was contacted by one JDB claiming that I owed about $700 in an old cable debt to a service provider I didn't have.  I sent a debt validation and never heard anything more from them and assumed that they must have realized they had the wrong person. In March of 2016 I get a letter from Southwest Credit. Same account numbers as the other JDB letter (I saved the original) but the amount is no where near what the other company was asking for. I'm talking about half as much. So again I sent for validation and again I didn't hear anything back and nothing was showing on my credit so I figured I was done with them. Or so I thought.

 

On friday I got a letter from Southwest containing the "information I requested" 10 months ago. Enclosed are what appear to be monthly statements from the cable provider they claim I owe to the address I currently live in from about 5 years ago. But there's some skeevy stuff with them. #1 the amounts listed on the statements don't match up anywhere with either amount either agency was saying that I owed. #2 the "Payment Due By" line just has "DUE NOW" instead of an actual date. and the real kicker #3 I did not have an account with this cable provider at this address.

 

Of course now when I look it is on my credit report. So now I'm a little irritated. I have already been in touch with my actual service provider, and they have been very helpful in helping me get copies of my statements showing that they were the ones who were providing me the services claimed by the JDB at the time in question. My only problem is that I'm not quiet sure how best to tell Southwest this debt is fraudulent and to go pound sand. Do I call them out that no where on their forms does it show where they got the number quoted? Or do I send them the copies of my legitimate service bills showing there's no way that there was any service provided as they claim?  Not to mention that 10 months is a little outside the standard 30 day response time.

 

Thanks to anyone who can help me figure out my next move from here.

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@BV80 I had service with this provider at a college apartment across the state back in 2000. My service with them was canceled because I moved back to my parents house and didn't need to transfer the account. I've been in my current residence (own the home) since 2005 and had this other provider the whole time. The statements provided by Southwest say they are for service to this address from 3 months in 2013 and increase every month going up to $800 dollars and even include a statement for  "price adjustment for your package" because their prices changed.

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1 minute ago, TacticalBacon said:

@BV80 I had service with this provider at a college apartment across the state back in 2000. My service with them was canceled because I moved back to my parents house and didn't need to transfer the account. I've been in my current residence (own the home) since 2005 and had this other provider the whole time. The statements provided by Southwest say they are for service to this address from 3 months in 2013 and increase every month going up to $800 dollars and even include a statement for  "price adjustment for your package" because their prices changed.

I'd send them a letter stating that you've lived at your current address for x amount of years and have never had service with that provider.   Then, if you choose, you can tell them to cease and desist all contact.

BTW, a debt collector does not have to respond within 30 days after receiving a DV request.  The 30-day time limit is the amount of time consumers have to request validation after receiving the first (initial) communication from a debt collector.  Once a consumer sends a timely DV request, the collection agency can take as long as it chooses to respond to the request.  It just can't attempt collection until it validates.  In fact, a collection agency doesn't have to validate at all if it ceases collection activity.

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@BV80 should I include any of the statements or anything from my actual service provider showing that they were the ones who had my business at the time? Or just hold onto those for now in case Southwest tries to continue this?

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1 minute ago, TacticalBacon said:

@BV80 should I include any of the statements or anything from my actual service provider showing that they were the ones who had my business at the time? Or just hold onto those for now in case Southwest tries to continue this?

That's up to you.  Whatever you do, make a copy of the letter for yourself.  Send another copy of the letter (and anything you enclose) by certified mail, return receipt requested.  

If you include a demand to cease and desist contact, Southwest can contact you one more time to tell you what they're going to do, but they cannot demand payment.   If they demand payment, they violate the FDCPA. 

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@BV80 Thank you very much! I'll start working on a reply now. Hopefully I won't be hearing back from them.  One last question though, should I notify the credit bureaus that I dispute it, or wait for now to see if the agency removes it?

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1 minute ago, TacticalBacon said:

@BV80 Thank you very much! I'll start working on a reply now. Hopefully I won't be hearing back from them.  One last question though, should I notify the credit bureaus that I dispute it, or wait for now to see if the agency removes it?

I would dispute it with the credit reporting agencies.

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My experience with lower tier JDBs like this are that writing letters (other than your initial dispute) are pointless and fall on deaf ears.

What I WOULD do is dispute with the credit agencies to get it off my credit report.  When sending a dispute, I would always do it in writing CMRRR and not online.  As @BV80 said, scan a copy of every letter before you send it and keep those copies safe.   I would make my dispute very short and simple.  I would identify the account as it appears on my credit report, including the account number with the X's, etc. and I would say "This is not my account".  It doesn't need to be any more complicated or wordy than that.

Let us know the outcome of your disputes.

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Understand that the threshold for debt validation is so low that they probably met it. Also, as others have said, they can take as long as they want to validate the debt.
 

Also, this is probably a bottom feeder type JDB. This means they are not beyond manufacturing statements to try to collect on the debt. It sounds like they are also trying to poison your credit report. These organizations by these debts so cheap that even if 10% of the people pay, they make money.

I would follow a hybird of the advice given here though. I would first send the JDB a cease and desist letter. No need to send your information from the cable company (and I would rather not considering this could end up in court, let them not see it coming). Just a brief letter stating that you have researched the matter further based on their information and determined that the account is not your account and to cease and desist collection. At that point, the can either take you to court or set the matter aside. Most likely, they will move on. As others have said, keep a copy of the letter for your records and send it CMRRR green card style.

I would also dispute with the CRA. Again, do it as a letter CMRRR and all the rest. That may be where you will have to fight because you can bet the JDB will verify the information and the CRA will accept their word above your evidence unless you fight them tooth and nail.

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Your proper response really depends on your goals here.  Here's what I mean..

First, you can do what BV80 has suggested.  It is correct advice, and BV has tons of great advice on this forum.  But it is not your only option.  Are you looking to make this just go away?  Looking to clear your credit report?  Or looking to put a stop to illegal debt collection issues and make them pay you for your time if they have violated the laws?  That's up to you.

What's been suggested here will put you in a place where you have covered your bases if you choose to pursue any Fair Credit Reporting Act violations that may occur.  But there may or may not already be violations now.  For example, you noted that they are reporting on your credit reports.  When did they start that reporting?  Some states have viewed credit reporting as "collection activity", and if they started that reporting before they sent out your DV response, then that could be a violation of FDCPA--again, depending on what your state's courts have said about that being collection activity or not.

Whocares has some good info for you too, but I disagree on one thing.  If you do not notify this debt collector of your actual cable service at that time, you really do not gain anything.  I say this because there's a potential that in order to clear your credit report, you will possibly end up furnishing a copy to the CRA anyways.  Again, this comes down to what your desired outcome is.  Remember that simply saying to the JDB, "it is not my debt" is not sufficient to put an end to this.  Lots of people say that.  Many of them say it while knowing that it really is their debt.  A lot of debt collectors are trained to expect that everything that comes out of a consumer's mouth is a lie.  So, if you simply tell them that it is not yours, and provide nothing to back that up, you are essentially setting yourself up for this to continue getting kicked down the road to the next collector...and the next...and so on.  ESPECIALLY if they actually did fabricate this supposed account. 

If I were in your shoes, I would probably send this debt collector a copy of the proof.  If you simply say, "it's not mine", they will simply say, "we validated, so yes it is".   And you will not really be surprising them if you end up going to court anyways, really, because you have to disclose to them through discovery prior to hearing date anyways.  You are not creating a violation unless you SHOW them that they are in error and they choose to move forward anyways.  So, by not showing them that proof, you are actually allowing them to continue pretending that it's a valid debt.  If you provide the proof to them, and they then decide to sell it, you could potentially have a cause of action against them for committing fraud and violating the FDCPA--and possibly your state's UFTPA or other state laws too.  They are not permitted to misrepresent the amount, character or status of any debt.  So, if they sell that "debt" off to another JDB, they are misrepresenting the fact that this is a bogus debt.  They usually sell these debts with a disclosure to the buyer that they make no warranties or representations of any kind as to the collectability of the debts they are selling, but they are still committing fraud on YOU by causing this clearly bogus debt to remain in circulation.  And, since they sell the debts, they clearly do it to gain some kind of $$$ to either profit or offset their loss--at your expense.  It's not enough to say "hey, we said we make no representations about if the debt is collectible or not".....if they have reason to KNOW that it's not, then selling it is fraud.  Bottom line is, if you cannot show that they knew for certain that something was wrong, in many cases, you have no cause of action against them.  This is because you cannot prove right now where this alleged debt came from.  If you could prove that a particular JDB fabricated it, that would be different.  In a situation like this, I tend to give them one shot to make it right.  I did this with a JDB some years ago.  I provided the evidence to them that I had, showing that their claims had some serious flaws.  It took an intent to sue letter from a local attorney before they wised up and settled the issue.  I gave them one opportunity to tell the truth by providing them with enough evidence to prove that they were lying.  They decided not to take that seriously.  Then they ended up paying me for that lack of honesty.  But if I had never sent them proof of anything, it would have been pointless.  As long as they meet the practically nonexistent validation requirements, they are permitted to assume that the debt is valid. 

The one problem I see with just "making this go away" is what you've already experienced---you DV'ed one debt collector....who then simply sold it off to another.  If you simply cease and desist these guys and they are not willing to sue for that amount, they will simply sell it off to another, and you start all over again.  But, if you take action to put a stop to this entire supposed debt now, then that makes it harder for that debt to keep getting sold over and over again. 

I'd also consider contacting the company that they claimed you had service with--if a debt collector fabricated papers, that service provider would probably not even know.  And, if the service provider does know, then that could put you one step closer to clearing this whole mess up for good.  Find out for certain if the service provider is claiming you had that service at that time, or not.  It lets you know who the true focus of your efforts needs to be.  If the provider claims that you had the service, then you're not dealing with a debt collector--at least not yet--that has broken any laws.  And definitely dispute this in writing with the credit bureaus--because in order to have any right to action on the FCRA, you first have to do that.  Dispute it as "not my account", and see what they come back with. 

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The debt can be sold off regardless of what the OP does unless there is an agreement that the debt not be sold off. That is what these organizations do. I am surprised that this one kept the debt 10 months to DV. Makes me wonder what they are really up to. That is why I suggest to send a cease and desist. It forces the JDB to decide if they want to pursue the debt in court or sell it off to the next sucker.

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31 minutes ago, WhoCares1000 said:

The debt can be sold off regardless of what the OP does unless there is an agreement that the debt not be sold off. That is what these organizations do. I am surprised that this one kept the debt 10 months to DV. Makes me wonder what they are really up to. That is why I suggest to send a cease and desist. It forces the JDB to decide if they want to pursue the debt in court or sell it off to the next sucker.

Not exactly, if it is shown that the debt is not legitimate, then the JDB does commit fraud if they try to sell it.  As long as that JDB knows--receives proof that it's bogus--they are not permitted to do anything that considers the debt to be legit.  The key is that they must know that it's bogus.  This is not a debt collection specific issue--it's general law.  If any entity "sells" something which is either not legitimate, or they have no legal right to sell it, it's fraud.  Most folks do not bother trying to do anything about this, but it is nonetheless fraud.  Despite the disclosure "without recourse" language of the bills of sale that they use, they are still selling something that they know does not even exist, and that is absolutely fraud.  The question has always been proving it....and in this case, the OP looks to be able to do that.  They might try to argue that the buyer--another JDB--has the right to action, but their intentionally dishonest action still affects the consumer, and causes harassment without legitimate purpose.

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7 minutes ago, kraftykrab said:

They might try to argue that the buyer--another JDB--has the right to action, but their intentionally dishonest action still affects the consumer, and causes harassment without legitimate purpose.

It might be actionable by a non-debtor under another law but not under the FDCPA unless there's actual harassment.    Sending a dunning letter is not considered harassment by the courts.  Most parts of the FDCPA require that one must be a "consumer" as defined by the Act in order to have standing to sue which means the person being contacted must be the debtor.

1692d and certain parts of 1692e and f would apply to non-debtors.

 

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9 hours ago, fisthardcheese said:

My experience with lower tier JDBs like this are that writing letters (other than your initial dispute) are pointless and fall on deaf ears.

What I WOULD do is dispute with the credit agencies to get it off my credit report.  When sending a dispute, I would always do it in writing CMRRR and not online.  As @BV80 said, scan a copy of every letter before you send it and keep those copies safe.   I would make my dispute very short and simple.  I would identify the account as it appears on my credit report, including the account number with the X's, etc. and I would say "This is not my account".  It doesn't need to be any more complicated or wordy than that.

Let us know the outcome of your disputes.

My reason for suggesting a C&D is to prevent the CA from contacting the OP again unless it wants to violate the FDCPA.  

Also, in this situation,  sending proof with the C& D that the debt is not the OP's could strengthen an FCRA claim in the event the CA verifies the TL. 

I am editing the above "bolded" sentence.   While the OP could demand a C&D, it's not a fact in all Circuit Courts of Appeals that a non-debtor has a private right of action under 1692c (sending a C&D).

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24 minutes ago, BV80 said:

It might be actionable by a non-debtor under another law but not under the FDCPA unless there's actual harassment.    Sending a dunning letter is not considered harassment by the courts.  Most parts of the FDCPA require that one must be a "consumer" as defined by the Act in order to have standing to sue which means the person being contacted must be the debtor.

1692d and certain parts of 1692e and f would apply to non-debtors.

 

To an extent, I agree--which is why I mentioned that this is not a debt collection law issue, but a general law issue.  Also, a dunning letter is not considered harassment--as long as it is relating to a legitimate debt.  A dunning letter is asking someone to pay a debt that's owed...when no debt is owed, that letter cannot be anything but harassment.  There is no law in this country, at any level, that makes it legal for any debt collector to attempt to collect a debt that it knows does not even exist.  And under those circumstances, my argument would be that it IS harassment to send a dunning letter when the sender has every reason to know that there is no actual debt.  It's an attempt to steal from someone, really.  Which is why I mentioned fraud.  At the same time, it's 100% reasonable to assume that by selling a "debt" to another JDB, this current debt collector would reasonably assume that the buyer of this debt would send dunning letters.  That means that this debt collector, if it learns or sees proof that this is a bogus debt, causes the consumer to be subjected to further false debt collection efforts.  They dont have to be the ones actually sending the letters--if they sell it, it's very reasonable to assume that the buyer will indeed try to collect.  And so, they subject this consumer to needless and even fraudulent debt collection efforts, possible credit reporting, etc etc.  I know that many laws do require actual injury and not just potential injury, but each state is different there. 

 

My argument would simply be that this JDB would be liable if it intentionally sells a fake debt, knowing or having reason to know it is indeed fake, because their actions cause this possibility of debt collection to continue without legit purpose.  Think about FDCPA's mention of "harass, abuse, or annoy".  The obvious purpose of debt collection efforts is to collect money--but when there's no actual debt attached to those efforts, then there are only two possible intentions once the JDB knows it's not legit--to harass, and to steal.  Today, we have debt collectors being held liable for what their debt collection attorneys do, so it's really not as much of a stretch in my mind to consider this as well.  I know the buyer of the "debt" would have their own cause of action, but that's between the two bottom feeders. 

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@kraftykrab

I agree that it would have to be a general law issue because it would not survive under the FDCPA.   In regard to general law, it would have to survive under Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins (Supreme Court, 2016). 

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2 hours ago, kraftykrab said:

I say this because there's a potential that in order to clear your credit report, you will possibly end up furnishing a copy to the CRA anyways.

I disagree.  A dispute of "not my account" to the CRA puts the burden on the furnisher to prove the account is accurate.  Any verification of this account after a CRA dispute gives an immediate cause of action under FCRA.  No extra paperwork required.

2 hours ago, kraftykrab said:

You are not creating a violation unless you SHOW them that they are in error and they choose to move forward anyways.  So, by not showing them that proof, you are actually allowing them to continue pretending that it's a valid debt. 

Absolutely incorrect.  An FCRA violation would occur if the CRA verifies the dispute. Period.  Sending the debt collector  any information is not required, nor does it change the right of action status.  All this does is confuse people and create extra work and expense.  A simple dispute is clear and easy to accomplish and will either achieve the results of removal from credit reports or create  a right of action if OP wishes to sue.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, fisthardcheese said:

Absolutely incorrect.  An FCRA violation would occur if the CRA verifies the dispute. Period.  Sending the debt collector  any information is not required, nor does it change the right of action status.  All this does is confuse people and create extra work and expense.  A simple dispute is clear and easy to accomplish and will either achieve the results of removal from credit reports or create  a right of action if OP wishes to sue.

I previously told the OP that sending documentation to the CA is up to him.   However, it might help the OP to do so.  If AFTER receiving the OP's documentation, the  CA verified the TL on the OP's credit report, it would show a willful violation (vs. negligence) under 1681n of the FCRA which would allow for statutory damages.

A negligent violation under the FCRA requires actual damages.

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55 minutes ago, fisthardcheese said:

I disagree.  A dispute of "not my account" to the CRA puts the burden on the furnisher to prove the account is accurate.  Any verification of this account after a CRA dispute gives an immediate cause of action under FCRA.  No extra paperwork required.

Absolutely incorrect.  An FCRA violation would occur if the CRA verifies the dispute. Period.  Sending the debt collector  any information is not required, nor does it change the right of action status.  All this does is confuse people and create extra work and expense.  A simple dispute is clear and easy to accomplish and will either achieve the results of removal from credit reports or create  a right of action if OP wishes to sue.

 

 

I 100% disagree, because you cannot know at this time if this "account" was faked, and if so, who faked it.  Was it simple error?  Was it intentionally faked?  If so, by whom?  Remember this now--there's a third party reporting on a credit report.  What if the OC made a mistake and billed the OP for those 3 months?  What if that same OC passed this debt along to the JDBs?  The JDB would not be out of line in relying on the records furnished by the OC in most jurisdictions.  Therefore, if you merely dispute with the CRAs, and that JDB truly believes it is acting in good faith, then that JDB has violated no law.  Also, you are forgetting that for some odd reason, the CRAs sometimes do not even notify the furnisher of the dispute, and declare it verified by means of previously published info.  This is why threatening the CRAs with arbitration and sending a MOV letter sometimes gets results--because if the CRAs did everything according to the law, they would have nothing to worry about.  Their actions, however, tell a different tale, in that many people have used the MOV letter to get CRAs to remove tradelines in dispute, and sometimes even, to get paid a settlement from that CRA. 

You cannot assume that one thing is the same as the other.  If that JDB is reporting what the OC provided, then it has not broken the law.  There must be some reasonable way for that JDB to suspect that there is error, and if you do not provide anything more than "it's not mine", and that JDB has what the OC provided, they are NOT in the wrong for believing the OC's documents.  They have to have some way to know that there's an error.  That's why the dispute process was created.  Also, there's a perception that seems to be prevalent that consumers do not need to provide any proof---and while in many instances I agree with that, when this kind of proof exists, there's no reason not to provide it.  Think about this--if you sue a JDB for violating these laws, and you lose....aren't you then subject to paying their legal fees?  That means we definitely want to make SURE that such an error is known and documented, and that there's no way possible for the JDB not to have known.  Anything less than that, and you have not proven that the JDB did wrong.  The jey here is that the JDB had to KNOW of the error.  Also, the JDB will insist this, and courts have agreed---if it's determined that the error lies with the OC, then the JDB cannot be held liable, and you will have sued the wrong party...which means you will be paying that wrong party's legal costs of defending your lawsuit.  The law, at most, requires a JDB to look to the original creditor for the information.  There is zero requirement within these laws for the JDB to investigate beyond the OC's records in the course of verifying or validating.  That means, if the error is with the OC, the JDB will still have lived up to its obligations under either FDCPA or FCRA, and the consumer will lose this lawsuit. 

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1 hour ago, BV80 said:

I previously told the OP that sending documentation to the CA is up to him.   However, it might help the OP to do so.  If AFTER receiving the OP's documentation, the  CA verified the TL on the OP's credit report, it would show a willful violation (vs. negligence) under 1681n of the FCRA which would allow for statutory damages.

A negligent violation under the FCRA requires actual damages.

Agreed. 

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3 hours ago, kraftykrab said:

I 100% disagree, because you cannot know at this time if this "account" was faked, and if so, who faked it.  Was it simple error?  Was it intentionally faked?  If so, by whom?  Remember this now--there's a third party reporting on a credit report.  What if the OC made a mistake and billed the OP for those 3 months?  What if that same OC passed this debt along to the JDBs?  The JDB would not be out of line in relying on the records furnished by the OC in most jurisdictions.  Therefore, if you merely dispute with the CRAs, and that JDB truly believes it is acting in good faith, then that JDB has violated no law.  Also, you are forgetting that for some odd reason, the CRAs sometimes do not even notify the furnisher of the dispute, and declare it verified by means of previously published info.  This is why threatening the CRAs with arbitration and sending a MOV letter sometimes gets results--because if the CRAs did everything according to the law, they would have nothing to worry about.  Their actions, however, tell a different tale, in that many people have used the MOV letter to get CRAs to remove tradelines in dispute, and sometimes even, to get paid a settlement from that CRA. 

You cannot assume that one thing is the same as the other.  If that JDB is reporting what the OC provided, then it has not broken the law.  There must be some reasonable way for that JDB to suspect that there is error, and if you do not provide anything more than "it's not mine", and that JDB has what the OC provided, they are NOT in the wrong for believing the OC's documents.  They have to have some way to know that there's an error.  That's why the dispute process was created.  Also, there's a perception that seems to be prevalent that consumers do not need to provide any proof---and while in many instances I agree with that, when this kind of proof exists, there's no reason not to provide it.  Think about this--if you sue a JDB for violating these laws, and you lose....aren't you then subject to paying their legal fees?  That means we definitely want to make SURE that such an error is known and documented, and that there's no way possible for the JDB not to have known.  Anything less than that, and you have not proven that the JDB did wrong.  The jey here is that the JDB had to KNOW of the error.  Also, the JDB will insist this, and courts have agreed---if it's determined that the error lies with the OC, then the JDB cannot be held liable, and you will have sued the wrong party...which means you will be paying that wrong party's legal costs of defending your lawsuit.  The law, at most, requires a JDB to look to the original creditor for the information.  There is zero requirement within these laws for the JDB to investigate beyond the OC's records in the course of verifying or validating.  That means, if the error is with the OC, the JDB will still have lived up to its obligations under either FDCPA or FCRA, and the consumer will lose this lawsuit. 

Disagreeing doesn't change the law.  FDCPA is strict liability. It makes absolutely no difference if the JDB was duped by an OC (very far fetched).  Op disputed the debt with the JDB already.  That was the point the JDB had a duty under federal law to validate the debt.  They did so with inaccurate information, and the minute they sent those "statements" and another demand for payment to the OP they were in violation of the FDCPA.  They don't get a do-over, so sending more letters is meaningless.

As far as the FCRA goes, once the CRA verified incorrect information, the JDB is in violation of the FCRA.  There is no strict liability, so it is curable.  However, until discovery commenced in a lawsuit, Op is under no obligation to "prove" anything to the JDB. It is THEIR responsibility to properly investigate the dispute in the first place.

I have experience dealing with these exact issues and they all played out exactly as I described because that is the law.  These are also the steps that attorneys I have worked with used.  There has never been a large guessing game or concerns that the JDB got "bad information" from someone else.  That is not the consumer's problem, that is for the JDB to sort out.

4 hours ago, BV80 said:

I previously told the OP that sending documentation to the CA is up to him.   However, it might help the OP to do so.  If AFTER receiving the OP's documentation, the  CA verified the TL on the OP's credit report, it would show a willful violation (vs. negligence) under 1681n of the FCRA which would allow for statutory damages.

A negligent violation under the FCRA requires actual damages.

I understand the reasoning on bolstering a "wilful" claim.  However, under case law, wilful is not a high threshold to meet.  Case law makes the fact that 2 disputes (the FDCPA & FCRA disputes) were both supposedly "investigated" by the JDB resulted in bogus information being "verified", a viable wilful claim.

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1 hour ago, fisthardcheese said:

Disagreeing doesn't change the law.  FDCPA is strict liability. It makes absolutely no difference if the JDB was duped by an OC (very far fetched).  Op disputed the debt with the JDB already.  That was the point the JDB had a duty under federal law to validate the debt.  They did so with inaccurate information, and the minute they sent those "statements" and another demand for payment to the OP they were in violation of the FDCPA.  They don't get a do-over, so sending more letters is meaningless.

As far as the FCRA goes, once the CRA verified incorrect information, the JDB is in violation of the FCRA.  There is no strict liability, so it is curable.  However, until discovery commenced in a lawsuit, Op is under no obligation to "prove" anything to the JDB. It is THEIR responsibility to properly investigate the dispute in the first place.

I have experience dealing with these exact issues and they all played out exactly as I described because that is the law.  These are also the steps that attorneys I have worked with used.  There has never been a large guessing game or concerns that the JDB got "bad information" from someone else.  That is not the consumer's problem, that is for the JDB to sort out.

I understand the reasoning on bolstering a "wilful" claim.  However, under case law, wilful is not a high threshold to meet.  Case law makes the fact that 2 disputes (the FDCPA & FCRA disputes) were both supposedly "investigated" by the JDB resulted in bogus information being "verified", a viable wilful claim.

I'm sorry, but that just is not the case.  Ever heard of 'bona fide error'?  The US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has:

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=5852817705853973194&q=FDCPA+bona+fide+error&hl=en&as_sdt=8000006

In this case, AMEX improperly coded a collection account before sending it to its debt collector, ACB.  ACB relied upon AMEX's information, and made a collection phone call to the consumer that turned out to be improper.  The court noted the following:

Quote

We are also unpersuaded by Lewis's argument that the district court erred in entering judgment as a matter of law against him on his FDCPA claim because ACB had contacted him on July 8, 1994, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692c. Contrary to Lewis's position, we believe that ACB has established beyond dispute that its actions meet the requirements of the bona fide error defense.

In order to prove a bona fide errordefense, a collector must show that the "violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such error." 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(c). ACB has done just that.

If anything, this case presents even stronger evidence to support the bona fideerror defense than the evidence we found sufficient in Smith v. Transworld Systems, Inc., 953 F.2d 1025, 1031 (6th Cir.1992). In Smith, this court found that a collection letter mailed shortly after receiving the consumer's cease-communication letter constituted a bona fide error. In support of its defense, the defendant in Smith introduced an employee's procedural manual and two employee affidavits, which showed that the error was at most a clerical error. ACB in this case is not even responsible for committing a clerical error; it was Amex, and not ACB, that made the critical coding error before the file was returned to ACB.

 

That federal court not only found that the debt collector was not the party that committed the actual error, and was thus not liable at all, they also found that the bona fide error defense is sufficiently met when the debt collector can show that the error was truly inadvertent, and that there are reasonable procedures in place to prevent such errors. In this case, the debt collector could have simply relied upon the OC's information, which is exactly the same as the case I just linked.  You can say or believe whatever you wish about that, but the truth is this---you simply do not know where the error lies.  If anything, we do know that the current JDB did NOT falsify such things, because there was a different JDB trying to collect this same account before the current one.  And the 6th Circuit is not the only court to see this point:

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3928774407677620154&q=FDCPA+bona+fide+error&hl=en&as_sdt=8000006

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Pursuant to § 1692k(c)'s bona fide error defense, a debt collector is not liable for its violations of the FDCPA if 1177*1177 "the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such error." 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(c).

Logically, if a debt collector reasonably relies on the debt reported by the creditor, the debt collector will not be liable for any errors. On the other hand, the bona fide error defense will not shield a debt collector whose reliance on the creditor's representation is unreasonable or who represents to the consumer a debt amount that is different from the creditor's report.

Once again, if JDB relies upon OC information, it is NOT violating the law unless that reliance is deemed unreasonable.  Our courts seem to understand that a JDB's best source of info for a particular debt is the original creditor for that debt.  Another well known case is Smith v. TransWorld Systems, 6th Circuit, 1992, in which the court ruled that the JDB was not liable because it relied upon information from the original creditor.  You told me that disagreeing does not change the law....well, here are examples of how that law is operated.  Clearly, what I posted is valid.  You are obviously free to disagree, but the case law speaks for itself.  And as I mentioned, we do not know at this time what exactly took place here, where these records came from.  And, until we do, you cannot make the assumptions you're trying to make.  It just does not work.  There are LOTS of cases from several jurisdictions that line up like this.  Ever heard of Heintz v. Jenkins?  This is a well known case in which it was ruled that debt collection attorneys are subject to FDCPA.  The case was remanded back to the district court.  The district court found in favor of attorney Heintz, ruling that bona fide error applied, and this decision was upheld on appeal.  The 8th Circuit, in Wilhelm v. Credico, found that bona fide error sufficiently existed and affirmed in favor of the debt collector, who made internal clerical errors.  With all respect to you, and that's considerable in here, this is what the courts are ruling, this is the case law.  It's not just my disagreeing with you.  It's what the whole country's courts are ruling.

Finally, you cannot assign blame at this time to the JDB for validating and if/when it verifies the CRA disputes.  This is because the standard they have to meet to do both is so pitifully low that you know better than that.  Tell us, what is the accepted standard for a debt collector to validate?  As long as they can show that their info came from OC records, and some courts dont even go that far, they are in the clear.  Can you point to ANY case law or statute that requires a JDB to look further than to the OC's records when verifying or validating?  If so, please post it here.

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Here's the SCOTUS take on the matter:

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=10408914555667566662&q=FDCPA+"bona+fide+error"&hl=en&as_sdt=4,60

 

The Act also states that none of its provisions imposing liability shall apply to "any act done or omitted in good faith in conformity with any advisory opinion of the [Federal Trade] Commission." § 1692k(e).

The FTC Wollman letter makes it clear that proper debt validation contains information obtained from the original creditor.  Therefore, a JDB relying on info from that original creditor is not in violation of the law.

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Hey guys! First I want to say thank you for all the discussion in this thread. You guys gave me a lot to  consider.  Here's an update on what's been going on.

 

So I sent in my response maintaining that I still dispute their claim and included the documents from my current provider as my supporting documentation as to why. I also checked my credit score and found that their reporting had been removed. I thought they were giving up, until yesterday. Yesterday I received a one page response to them that basically amounts to hearsay. I can't decide if I should be laughing or pissed off by this.

Now instead of "Original Creditor", they have the service provider listed as "Client".  In addition the name has been changed slightly from the name listed on the original documents.  Googling this new name produces zero results so I can't even verify if it's a legitimate branch of the original provider. This is literally all it says

Quote

 

"Southwest Credit has received your dispute and forwarded it to "REDACTED NAME" for investigation upon completion, "REDACTED" provided the following response:  The customer's dispute that the account must not be valid as they had another provider is not valid. There is not enough evidence to conclude that the customer requested the account be disconnected. Service was delivered until the account was closed for nonpayment. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office"

 

No documentation. No copy of the alleged response from whoever they claim they contacted or affidavit from the supposed provider of the statement. Not even any attempts to provide proof that any service was delivered. Just that paragraph on their own letter head. Also all grammar errors are theirs, not mine.

As I said, it currently hits me back and forth between laughing that they think I'm just going to throw up my hands and go "Oh darn! I was hoping you wouldn't contact them but I guess the jig is up! Here's my  money!"  to angry that there are probably people out there who fall for that kind of crap.  Needless to day I'm not about to take their word for it. But I need a day or two to settle myself before I respond.  Also I'm not quite sure how to respond. It feels like they're just jerking my chain with this. Is this something that could be considered a violation?

Very curious to hear what you guys think about this.

 

 

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