williams4

Being sued Unifund

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11 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

There is no such thing as a partial cease and desist under the FDCPA.  

I apologize for my ignorance on this topic, but I have been referring to the “letter in writing no more phone calls” as a cease and desist letter. I am just now realizing that what I sent isn’t actually considered an actual “cease & desist”  The part about no more calls was in my debt validation letter to unifund. And in it I put I am asking in writing no more phone calls made from your office. If your office continues to make communication through telephone it will be considered harassment and I will have no choice but to file suit. All future communication must be made by mail. (I had copied this from an online example when I typed my letter). But regardless, I was reading the fdcpa laws and it doesn’t seem like this would be a fdcpa violation. 

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This case is so interesting.

One the one hand, their frivolity claim (one which I think every plaintiff should use at start of every arbitration) is essentially about the fact that everyone involved knows that it's a legitimate defaulted debt, where collection is sought by rightful owner, and arbitration is being used solely as a loop-hole to gain leverage via cost structure.

On the other hand, Unifund's insistence on seeing only one AAA case, where there are two, and sending documentation for wrong case and in response to wrong accounts seems like it will be a problem for them. If everything has been explained, in writing, as you say, then I can't see what their argument will be, other than they, themselves, treated the arbitration in a frivolous manner.

 

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54 minutes ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

This case is so interesting.

One the one hand, their frivolity claim (one which I think every plaintiff should use at start of every arbitration) is essentially about the fact that everyone involved knows that it's a legitimate defaulted debt, where collection is sought by rightful owner, and arbitration is being used solely as a loop-hole to gain leverage via cost structure.

On the other hand, Unifund's insistence on seeing only one AAA case, where there are two, and sending documentation for wrong case and in response to wrong accounts seems like it will be a problem for them. If everything has been explained, in writing, as you say, then I can't see what their argument will be, other than they, themselves, treated the arbitration in a frivolous manner.

 

Not only sending response to the wrong account, but sending exhibits for BOTH accounts to this one claim.  Their response says look, here is her asking for info she already had and we sent it to her again (both of these clearly showing the 3K account and statements from 3K account) then goes on to say this is a frivolous claim because look at all this overwhelming evidence that she had everything, which are all the exhibits from the 22K account in court.  So had she simply looked and read the documents she was submitting into evidence, she would have realized her argument doesn't make sense.  So that is why I am not really worried about this specific "frivolous" claim she is stated.  Because the evidence doesn't even add up.  Which I am hoping her mistake of mixing documents from two accounts in her argument on one account with help my objection to combining these cases. 

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I wouldn't worry about the frivolous claim, since every arbitration we advocate here, is by it's very mature, frivolous. I think the recent Amex case is a good example - defendant did it just to raise costs, Amex knew it and pointed it out repeatedly - including not wanting to pay for appeal - yet arbiter didn't see that it rose to that level. I'm saying that it is a sensible strategy for a plaintiff to bring it up early and often, so that the arbiter is constantly aware of a defendants attempts to prolong an open and shut case.

This one is different, and Unifund has some explaining to do - unless they have been in direct contact with AAA and expect this to be a single case.

 

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3 hours ago, williams4 said:

The part about no more calls was in my debt validation letter to unifund. And in it I put I am asking in writing no more phone calls made from your office. If your office continues to make communication through telephone it will be considered harassment and I will have no choice but to file suit. All future communication must be made by mail.

The wording is similar but the not the same as what I stated.  This statement you sent can also be seen as a partial cease and desist even if those exact words are not used.

3 hours ago, williams4 said:

I had copied this from an online example when I typed my letter

Sadly most letters found on the internet as samples are riddled with errors like this.  All using one does is tell them you can cut and paste from the internet and don't know the laws.

3 hours ago, williams4 said:

I was reading the fdcpa laws and it doesn’t seem like this would be a fdcpa violation. 

Correct.

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On 4/10/2019 at 2:43 PM, Goody_Ouchless said:

Except that they have paid are prepared to proceed with in-house counsel. This one, to me, feels more like an OC case. I think they have done the math and are comfortable coming out ahead - especially if folks realize that they will follow. Bringing up frivolity at the beginning was a smart play, as any nonsense will be brought immediately to arbiter's attention.

Hard disagree.  They paid the $3k filing fee (very likely under the belief they can get it back as part of a judgement).  They have already balked at paying another bill (the $3k filing fee in the OTHER case, mistakenly thinking it was for the same case).  How much more balking do you think will happen once they get the $5k bill just before the initial phone hearing?  They don't even know this one is coming and AAA will not proceed with the case until they pay it.

Bringing up frivolity at the begining has been the SOP for every attorney since we started using arbitration.  Every single one of my cases have had this argument.  It is part of their cut and paste response.  Not only that, but the timing of that claim is largely irrelevant.  Bringing up now in their counter claim or asking for it at the hearing makes no difference.  So far, this all sounds very standard to me and absolutely no different than anything I have experienced myself in arbitration.

On 4/10/2019 at 2:53 PM, williams4 said:

The frivolity has me stumped.  Unifund brought the claim against me in court and I chose arbitration as a means to resolve this claim.  I am confused how they can say it is a frivolous claim if they are the ones that initiated the claim (in court) ?

This would be your argument against their Frivolity claim, yet.  And, as I said, this is just a standard claim they make every time.

On 4/10/2019 at 2:13 PM, williams4 said:

Then AAA sent their email saying I paid my filing fee on this court ordered arbitration case and unifund now needs to pay theirs.  Unifund asked why she was receiving another bill when it had been paid.  AAA said they are two different claims, and the court ordered claim still needs to be paid.

This sounds like very good evidence to counter any type of "bonafide error" excuse.  It was clearly laid out in writing to both parties by AAA.

I think you are sitting in a good position here.  I would make the objections to the joinder of the cases as I previously suggested.  In your objection, I would lay out the timeline and even remind AAA that they clearly reminded Unifund in their letter (or email) dated XXX that the Court Orderd AAA case is a separate case that has not yet had the filing fees paid and that Unifund should not be allowed to take it upon themselves to present evidence from THAT case in this separate and distinct AAA case.

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1 hour ago, fisthardcheese said:

 

I think you are sitting in a good position here.  I would make the objections to the joinder of the cases as I previously suggested.  In your objection, I would lay out the timeline and even remind AAA that they clearly reminded Unifund in their letter (or email) dated XXX that the Court Orderd AAA case is a separate case that has not yet had the filing fees paid and that Unifund should not be allowed to take it upon themselves to present evidence from THAT case in this separate and distinct AAA case.

I sent my objections early today with the suggestions you previously stated (just now seeing this about the timeline thing, so that is not included)  The initial hearing is scheduled for this Monday so I am anxious to see what unifund has to say as well as the arbiter.  I am hoping with how messed up their answer was (referencing documents on one account and saying frivolous by showing documents on the other) it will help my objection to combine cases. Its so confusing and makes no sense at all. If she had looked at the documents she was submitting, she would have easily noticed the error. 

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11 hours ago, fisthardcheese said:

This sounds like very good evidence to counter any type of "bonafide error" excuse.  It was clearly laid out in writing to both parties by AAA.

 

Say she brings this up at our hearing and the arbiter chooses to keep these cases separate.  Should I still bring up that she was notified many times that there were two cases and the court ordered case still needed to be paid, or do I just leave and considered done? Obviously if she mentions it and the arbiter doesn't make a decision right away or says they can be combined I will bring this up.  The reason I ask is I don't want to sound like a "tattle tale" but at the same time I feel things like this might help my case as it proceeds.  She is notorious for playing the "I didn't know" in the court case and I can see this is probably going to carry over to our arbitration case.  I wish I would have brought up in my objections the fact that she did not send me the answer to point out she was not following AAA rules.  The letter from AAA stated Respondent  has 14 days to send an answer states it must be sent to other party. Even in my emails asking for these documents, I pointed out that according to the AAA rules, all parties should receive any documents sent.  And she still didn't respond or acknowledge anything.  Finally AAA stepped in and sent them to me and I asked for my 14 days to respond since this was the first time seeing them.  So even though I still finally received the documents and was still given my 14 days to respond, I feel like bringing up everything she does wrong will show she continues to play the "I didn't know" even though she clearly knew.  It would also help my defense if she tries to say something about me trying to drag this case out.  Which she did in court.  She missed the MTC hearing and when we finally had the hearing said "it's been this long and she still hasn't paid...) even though it was clearly her fault it had been drug out because she failed to appear to the first hearing.  I am just trying to prepare myself for any bs she tries throwing at me, but like I said, don't want to sound "tattle tale" and like I am being petty about things.  (To clarify, pointing out the things she does wrong and the arbiter makes a decision in my favor)

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15 hours ago, fisthardcheese said:

This sounds like very good evidence to counter any type of "bonafide error" excuse.  It was clearly laid out in writing to both parties by AAA.

 

And I just noticed she sent her email to AAA on March 4 asking if they received the documents and exhibits yet that she mailed on February 27? They said no they haven't received anything yet.  (her deadline for an answer was March 7)  I just noticed on the "answer" she dated the letter March 6.  So unless she "post dates" her papers, these weren't even in the mail yet.  Why she mailed them instead of emailing them like we do for EVERYTHING else in this case is beyond me.  Other than more reason to believe she was purposely not wanting me to see her answer.  It's just little things like this that really irk me!

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1 hour ago, williams4 said:

It's just little things like this that really irk me!

Don't lose sight of the fact they are vexed at having to go through all of this for debt that they know is legally owed. I'm sure they are saying similar things, in-house.

 

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1 hour ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

Wish we could all listen in on Monday!!!

 

And talk for me! LOL.  So I have been putting lots of thought into this, and I know this seems crazy and far fetched, but as I am putting all the "weird" things that have went on with this case I am starting to think I am not even dealing with the same attorney.  I know it sounds crazy and out there.  BUT with how confusing and twisted everything is getting, it kind of makes sense.  I could be totally crazy and disillusional and obviously have no proof, but just has me wondering.

1. The person on the phone at our first hearing in court sounded different than the second.  Both claimed to be the same attorney.  The first thing I told my husband is how strange the second conference update was because the lady sounded perky and the first talked very slow talking and drug out her words.  (I understand different moods different days) but it was very strange in the difference.  And when the judge said at the first hearing, so you are in Cincinnati, correct? She said no I am located in Maryland.  (which by this point was on January 2019) I thought it was weird she lived in Maryland and Unifund is in Cincinnati and the address to everything is sent to Cincinnati. (but I know this is common too to have a headquarters and stuff, so didn't think too much of it)

2. The case in court got weird around November.  We were waiting on my MTC hearing and they filed Motion for Summary Judgement, which was strange.  Not strange enough to think much of it other than lawyer type stuff.  But I noticed today (because I was looking into everything with this crazy idea I have) All the papers she submitted before November had her signature on them.  From November on she started to use the cut and paste thing to put her signature on all the documents. (she could of just changed the way she signed things) But then I went on our state case file thing and noticed all the cases for Unifund prior to November are filed by this lawyer, November on, another attorney. (still obviously not proof she is not the one responding to all this AAA stuff)

3. Before she paid AAA she sent a message asking if the hearing had to be in person or could you telephone in.  Which I originally thought, well they don't want to have to pay for costs to travel.  But today I notice the signature line on that email had the full name, address, company all that and she said Sincerely.  All the other emails since that first email do not have that signature on them and are signed Thanks.  (obviously once again, no solid proof or anything, just strange)

Anyway, I know this seems very far fetched and obviously I don't have any solid proof of anything (and I know I am wasting my time even putting thought into this) but this would explain all the crazy, weird stuff with this case if it was in fact not the same attorney and someone that is pretty much "finishing off" what the first left.   EVERYTHING got weird in November.  November marks when the responses she sent didn't make sense, the signatures on her documents changed... It would also explain the mixing up of her answer and not noticing it.  Everything.  I just keep thinking, I don't understand how she has all this so mixed up because I know and have seen all the information and communication.  And I know she has to be a smart person! But this case has me scratching my head thinking what is she talking about and doing? Or also, this could just be paralegals getting the info together for her and maybe the attorney simply not reviewing before submitting things.  Which would make more sense than my other theory. LOL

 

 

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4 hours ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

Don't lose sight of the fact they are vexed at having to go through all of this for debt that they know is legally owed. I'm sure they are saying similar things, in-house.

 

I am still not convinced they legally own my debt is the problem.  I have the right to know for certain they own my debt before I fork over any money to them.

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1 hour ago, williams4 said:

I have the right to know for certain they own my debt before I fork over any money to them.

What more do you need? Unless I missed something, what they've provided would convince nearly any court in the land.

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1 hour ago, williams4 said:

I am still not convinced they legally own my debt is the problem.  I have the right to know for certain they own my debt before I fork over any money to them.

The CFPB consent order that ordered Citibank to put in there agreement when they sell a debt that the debt buyer cannot resell that debt (this was put in place to prevent selling the same debt over and over)  There is a chance Citibank didn't follow the consent order.  Not sure what Citibank would gain by not following the consent order other than another hefty fine from the CFPB.  

CFPB Consent order to Citibank states All debt sale contracts and agreements Citibank enters into must prohit the Debt Buyer from reselling any Account included in the debt sale, except to the extent of Citibank repurchasing account.

CFPB Consent order to Portfolio Recovery Associates states this:

Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB has the authority to take action against institutions or individuals engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices or that otherwise violate federal consumer financial laws. Under the terms of the CFPB orders released today, Encore and Portfolio Recovery Associates are required to:

  • Stop reselling debts: The companies are prohibited from reselling the debts they buy to other debt collectors. This will protect consumers from the potential harm that results when debt collectors continue to sell and resell debts that may be inaccurate or lack the business records and information needed to collect them.

I realize Pilot (not Portfolio) bought the debt from Citibank. But Citibank was told to put this in ALL debt sale contracts and agreements.  I just copied the consent order for Portfolio just to show why CFPB had them put this in there.  So if Citi had this in their agreement with Pilot and Pilot turns around and sold it, when the agreement said they can't, I don't see how Unifund legally owns it.  Pilot would still own it, not Unifund.  But like I said before, I won't know until I have them provide that document.

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Not saying Unifund is at fault.  But they need to go back to Pilot if this is the case.  Why would CFPB have them put this in their agreement if it doesn't hold any value?  And what would be the point of terms and agreements if they can still do what the terms and agreement said they can't, and it still be considered a legal sale? It doesn't make sense to me.  If I stole a car and sold it to someone and the buyer was under the impression I have full ownership of that car then later cops come and say that's a stolen car.  The person that bought it can't say well I paid for it, it's mine.  And the person that bought the car from me would probably want to see the title to see if I truly own the car. 

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Also, not saying I am right and interpreting all this correctly.  Just saying there is enough doubt in MY head from all this information that I feel is worth questioning before just forking over the money.  I know people said I am wrong on here but I want to hear for sure I am wrong, by Unifund proving they own it and the arbiter agreeing. (not that I don't value everyone's opinion on here! Everyone on here is very smart and extremely helpful!!)  And burden falls on Unifund to prove they legally own my account.

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31 minutes ago, williams4 said:

Also, not saying I am right and interpreting all this correctly.  Just saying there is enough doubt in MY head from all this information that I feel is worth questioning before just forking over the money.  I know people said I am wrong on here but I want to hear for sure I am wrong, by Unifund proving they own it and the arbiter agreeing. (not that I don't value everyone's opinion on here! Everyone on here is very smart and extremely helpful!!)  And burden falls on Unifund to prove they legally own my account.

Have you ever showed us a copy of the bill(s) of sale?

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6 minutes ago, BV80 said:

Have you ever showed us a copy of the bill(s) of sale?

No because we still haven’t got far enough for me to ask for it from unifund. That’s why until I see them, I am not convinced they own my account. 

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On 9/5/2018 at 8:11 AM, williams4 said:

The bill of sale they sent shows it was sold twice.

What account was the above for?

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3 minutes ago, BV80 said:

What account was the above for?

Which I assume will have the same sequence of buying/selling for the one in arbitration. But I haven’t received anything at all on the account in arbitration to show ownership other than a few credit card statements they sent. 

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1 hour ago, williams4 said:

The CFPB consent order that ordered Citibank to put in there agreement when they sell a debt that the debt buyer cannot resell that debt

This is a really weak basis for challenging  debt ownership. If the debt was sold contrary to the cfpb consent order, it does not mean unifund does not own the debt. The cfpb has exclusive enforcement over this order, meaning if it was violated, it would be solely up to the cfpb to investigate and issue penalties where appropriate.

( did we talk about this in this thread before? It sounds familiar.)

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You could definitely be on to something about a change in November. We had a stretch where Project Managers kept getting changed at work, to the point where three projects with the same client would be handled by two Project Managers, both of whom were new to the effort. This resulted in some of what you have seen, where someone may have taken over your file and the last lawyer left it an incomplete mess. Multiply that by the 100 other messed up cases they inherited, and yours may not be the only disaster. If that's the case, they may just bail on the whole thing - especially if they can't get the their fees reassigned to the 22K case.

Again, what a circus.

(And @Harry Seaward and I of the same mindset on debt ownership. These are, in most cases, publicly traded companies doing business with the same. The only other theory to their legal ownership is that they have an army of people digging through dumpsters and photoshopping documents together. Only in the movies...)

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Harry Seaward said:

This is a really weak basis for challenging  debt ownership. If the debt was sold contrary to the cfpb consent order, it does not mean unifund does not own the debt. The cfpb has exclusive enforcement over this order, meaning if it was violated, it would be solely up to the cfpb to investigate and issue penalties where appropriate.

( did we talk about this in this thread before? It sounds familiar.)

But what I am saying is IF it’s actually in the terms and agreement of the debt sale. My basis on why I am asking for a copy of the terms and condition of the debt sale when we are actually in arbitration is because I have reason to believe, since citi has a consent order, that this is in there. If they provide the terms and conditions and it is not in there, I understand I have no grounds to say they don’t own it. But until I ask them for this, I have no clue if it is or isn’t. And I am not going to just assume it is not in the terms and agreement. But if it IS in there and it’s in there “just because cfpb told them to put it in there” I don’t understand why the sell of that debt would be legal. 

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