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Should I send a debt validation letter/answer the phone?


he_who_is_poor
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I've been getting called everyday by this CA Northstar Location Services. I used to live in NY a couple of years ago and moved to MO/KS.

There are 2 possible debts that they have but I don't know which one.

I'm just not sure how to handle this. Send a letter or answer the phone?

I'm trying to proactively take care of these/get them off my record. It sucks that they won't help my score(as far as I'm aware) and I think they also won't go away for a while(unless you get PFD-unlikely/rare).

I'm just trying to prevent another court event. But I haven't received a letter or seen anything reported on my credit report by Northstar(at least through credit karma). They have called me in the past, a long time ago. Recently started to call me hardcore(everyday if not more than once a day).

I'm concerned thinking I could be sued out of state eg. in NY and perhaps have been receiving letters there at an old address but I have no idea about them. I'm inclined to think I need to be properly served.

Should I send a debt validation letter or is that a bad idea? I have been reading threads, if they sent me a letter that letter should have the information to validate it.

I'm not sure if by me sending the letter that makes me accept this debt or something though as I mentioned it's still within SOL.

Just reading the DV myths page

Quote

In the event that a consumer has never received a collection letter from a collection agency

That's my thing, I haven't seen a letter form this company. But they could have sent some in NY.

Quote

Requesting validation could be considered consent to allow the debt collector to contact the consumer strictly for the purpose of validating the debt.

Regardless, assuming the debt is legit as I have others that have not been addressed. Just need to figure out how to act upon this, probably by sending that debt validation letter or answering the call.

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Some will tell you it is improper to be sued in NY if you no longer live there.  I don't know, since I don't know if the alleged default was while you were living in NY.  For example, a friend of mine in a different state had to fly back to court to deal with a foreclosure of his property in that state, even after he had moved to a different state.

As for me, once I was sued in small claims in Kings County, and never new about it.  They got a default judgment against me, and seized my bank account when I was living in New York County.  I didn't know about getting the judgment vacated, etc. back then.  

 

So your problem in a nutshell -- on one hand, if they sue you in NY state while you no longer live there, that is an improper suit.  The judgment can be vacated.  They would have to domesticate the judgment to collect.

 

However, they may wind up freezing your bank account.  Also, a judgment against you would show up on your records, making buying a home or getting a job in certain fields difficult.  

Since you want to get this taken care of, hiding from them is probably a very bad idea.  It would be impossible to do a PFD that way.  

That means, you need to let them know your real address.  Next time they call, get an address from them for which you can write them.  Then send the DV letter.  That way you will know which account, and you can deal with it accordingly.

 

Not only that, but between the time they recieve the DV letter and when they validate the debt, they are not permitted to contact you.  FDCPA violation if they do.  

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I forgot to add --

 

Some places will NEVER do a PFD.   I am quite serious about this.  

Last year I wrote to a JDB.  I told them the debt was close to SOL, and they could never collect a penny on it.  They had the choice between a PFD, getting the entire balance, or getting nothing and leaving it on the credit reports.  

They didn't even reply.  They were so dead set against a PFD they refused to even answer my request.  

Debt is past SOL now, so now way will they ever get a penny.  

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Guest usctrojanalum

Whether or not you can be sued in NY is a fact specific inquiry.  If you opened the account or defaulted on the account while you were in NY, the court will have jurisdiction to hear the matter.  They would have to properly serve you at your current address under NY service of process rules. Not always easy.

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1 hour ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

That means, you need to let them know your real address.  Next time they call, get an address from them for which you can write them.  Then send the DV letter.  That way you will know which account, and you can deal with it accordingly.

I can't just trust an address on their website right?

I'm not great at these phone calls, I'm just afraid of saying something bad/dumb that would make me inadvertently admit/something bad happens.

I would literally answer thinking they'd ask "is this so and so..." then I'm like "Can I get your address..."? haha I know seems straight forward what to say.

9 minutes ago, usctrojanalum said:

If you opened the account or defaulted on the account while you were in NY, the court will have jurisdiction to hear the matter.  They would have to properly serve you at your current address under NY service of process rules. Not always easy.

I don't understand, I haven't lived in NY for 2-3 years. Guess I should look that up "NY service of process rules"

Thank you both for the responses

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Guest usctrojanalum

A court can obtain jurisdiction over where a person lives, or where a cause of action accrued.  If you breached a credit card agreement in NY, but later moved out of state.  NY courts still have a power to hear that cause of action.

An easier example to digest is say you live in Montana, but you rent a car in NY while on vacation and smash into someone negligently.  The injured driver can sue you in NY since the cause of action of negligence accrued in NY.

Same concept applies, if you breached a contract or signed a contract in NY, the NY courts can handle the dispute. 

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5 minutes ago, usctrojanalum said:

A court can obtain jurisdiction over where a person lives, or where a cause of action accrued.  If you breached a credit card agreement in NY, but later moved out of state.  NY courts still have a power to hear that cause of action.

An easier example to digest is say you live in Montana, but you rent a car in NY while on vacation and smash into someone negligently.  The injured driver can sue you in NY since the cause of action of negligence accrued in NY.

Same concept applies, if you breached a contract or signed a contract in NY, the NY courts can handle the dispute. 

Man that sucks to hear. I definitely could not afford to go back to NY for a lawsuit hmm... so I should actually answer that call and somehow safely ask for their address.

Scary to think I'm on the brink/have already been garnished about other debts that I heard nothing about so far.

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Even if they don't properly serve you under NY state law, if they tell the judge they did, and if there is nobody around to dispute the fact, the judge will still make a default ruling against you.

This could be a publication summons, for example.  Your fault for not checking every issue of every NY newspaper -- print edition.  

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2 minutes ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

Even if they don't properly serve you under NY state law, if they tell the judge they did, and if there is nobody around to dispute the fact, the judge will still make a default ruling against you.

This could be a publication summons, for example.  Your fault for not checking every issue of every NY newspaper -- print edition.  

What about reporting to a CRA does that have to happen? Not sure if I used the right acronym like to show up in Credit Karma.

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1 minute ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

I believe Northstar is just a collections place, not a debt buyer - we used to get contacted by them trying to collect debts other companies owned. Just ignore them.

 

Yeah in some posts here I read, someone said they're a "passive collections..." and I had been called by them briefly in the past.

I'm still concerned as I have 2 debts that are kind of floating/out there. I think it's BofA and USAA(I know this sucks I defaulted on this, great company) but yeah at one point few years back my life kind of imploded. All the cards were relatively low limits but yeah... I was dumb.

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24 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:
 

You're doing the right thing. Clean up what you can and be prepared if you get sued. We had quite a few accounts held by the same companies - they sued on a few and just kept sending letters on the rest until they faded away past SOL.

 

I hate to ask this question but should I send a DV or just let it pass? I don't know... In one thread I was reading this person's debt turned out to be real. 2007 though man... that's a while back.

Oh right I get the difference or at least notice it regarding CA vs. JDB. Nothing in CR no letters ever received.

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1 hour ago, he_who_is_poor said:

What about reporting to a CRA does that have to happen? Not sure if I used the right acronym like to show up in Credit Karma.

No.

First off, it this is a collection agency, they will most likely NOT report the debt.  The OC, or whomever owns the debt, will report the debt or not report it.  

Second, there is no requirement that they must report the debt.  For example, Verizon will generally not report debts to collection agencies, then they sell them to JDBs who do report to collection agencies.  

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26 minutes ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

No.

First off, it this is a collection agency, they will most likely NOT report the debt.  The OC, or whomever owns the debt, will report the debt or not report it.  

Second, there is no requirement that they must report the debt.  For example, Verizon will generally not report debts to collection agencies, then they sell them to JDBs who do report to collection agencies.  

So... I guess I wait? Although... the second line "...or not report it..."

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No.  Them not calling you today does NOT mean automatic lawsuit.  

 

It could mean you aren't on today's call list.

It could mean they gave up on you and the OC will send it to a different CA.  This takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

It could mean they gave up on you and the OC will sell it to a JDB.  This takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

It could mean they sent it back to the OC, and the OC will send it to a law firm.  This takes, well, you get it. 

 

It might be a very good idea to make sure that any mail from your old address gets forwarded to you.  

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7 minutes ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

No.  Them not calling you today does NOT mean automatic lawsuit.  

 

It could mean you aren't on today's call list.

It could mean they gave up on you and the OC will send it to a different CA.  This takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

It could mean they gave up on you and the OC will sell it to a JDB.  This takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

It could mean they sent it back to the OC, and the OC will send it to a law firm.  This takes, well, you get it. 

 

It might be a very good idea to make sure that any mail from your old address gets forwarded to you.  

I did forward for a while when I first moved.

I actually just got called so nvm about that. Hmm...

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