February 12, 2009

Tosh’s Free Credit Report

Hello Paul,

I recently got a free copy of my credit report as we are in the process of purchasing a home and found a few items to be inaccurate. 

I disputed those items and today got a phone call from one of the collection agencies to see if they could “help me”. 

This particular debt (of which I had no clue of why I would owe any monies) was for an apartment complex that we lived in about 5 years ago.  When I spoke with the gentleman he told me this was for cleaning the apartment and a reletting fee. 

I assured the man that when we left that complex we were in good standing (ie. my family members had come and helped us move and clean the apt., we had the carpet cleaned and I gave my 30 day notice, we actually moved out earlier than anticipated Feb.2 instead of Feb.28, mind you our rent was paid up, we owed them nothing and they even had the apt. paid and could have rented it out and gotten more money for the rest of the month) and that the info he had was incorrect.

He of course asked me to provide paperwork of the last walk through and the 30 day notice, to which I replied “that was 5 or 6 years ago, we left the place in good standing why would I still have any of that paperwork?!?”. 

I am thinking this is something I will be fighting with these people over.  I asked this guy if he had anything documenting the apartment was a mess or that I had violated our lease contract, such as oh I don’t know pictures, documentation, etc and he told me that as I have stated it was quite a while ago and more than likely these things have been archived and that he wasn’t going to provide me with any of it. 

I guess I’m trying to find out how I can go about taking care of this.  He said I have to provide proof but isn’t it suppose to be the other way around?!?!?

Thanks in advance for any responses!

Sincerely,
Tosh (more…)

January 27, 2009

Yes

Filed under: FDCPA

China again,

Does the FDCPA also award attorney’s fees and costs for violations?

January 26, 2009

Does China Have Debt Collectors?

Filed under: FDCPA

What does the FDCPA cover? Do all lenders or people who try to collect money have to conform to the FDCPA?

China (more…)

January 24, 2009

What Part of Cease Communication Don’t You Understand?

Filed under: FDCPA

Hello Paul,

Thanks for all that you do. I sent a Cease and Desist letter for a 15 year old debt that is way out of the SOL, done this in the past. This time they sold it to another company and after they recieved the C and D they replied in a letter stating “Pursuant to your request, $$$$$$ has ceased phone communication at this time; however for your convenience we will continue sending billing statements and other correspondence as required unless otherwise requested.”

Isnt that a violation do they not understand what a C and D means?

James (more…)

January 17, 2009

Debt Collectors Leave Messages To Their Peril

Filed under: FCCPA,FDCPA,Florida

FDCPA and Mini-FDCPA Pre-recorded MessagesI’ll be the first to admit that debt collectors have it rough these days.  While there would seem to be a plethora of past due debts, at the same time, the economy is in bad shape and many people simply can not pay.  So, the collection agencies and junk debt buyers of the world are becoming more aggressive with their collection tactics.  Fortunately for the Broken Credit Bloggers we have the FDCPA and for those in Florida there’s also the FCCPA (many other states also have a mini-FDCPA such as Florida’s FCCPA).  Let’s take a look at an order denying the debt collector’s motion to dismiss in a recent Florida debt collection case.

In Berg v. Merchants we see that debt collectors have another stumbling block when it comes to answering machines.  If the consumer hears the message, then they have to read the mini Miranda, otherwise trouble with 1692e(11) which makes the following a violation:

“The failure to disclose in the initial written communication with the consumer and, in addition, if the initial communication with the consumer is oral, in that initial oral communication, that the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose, and the failure to disclose in subsequent communications that the communication is from a debt collector, except that this paragraph shall not apply to a formal pleading made in connection with a legal action.”

And they also have to comply with 1692d(6) which makes the following a violation:

“Except as provided in section 804, the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller’s identity.”

Now here’s the kicker.  In addition to always complying with the above two, debt collectors are prohibited from violating 1692c(b) which states:

“COMMUNICATION WITH THIRD PARTIES.  Except as provided in section 804, without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector, or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, or as reasonably necessary to effectuate a postjudgment judicial remedy, a debt collector may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than a consumer, his attorney, a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector.”

The question then, is how does a debt collector comply with all three of the above when the debt collector has reason to believe there are other people living in the house with the consumer (spouse seems to be an exception)? 

Berg v. Merchants Association Collection Division, Inc. No. 08-cv-60660-WPD (S.D. Fla. Oct. 31, 2008)

Something tells me that debt collector pre-recorded messages are going to go the way of the Dodo; however in the meantime, some consumers will be compensated nicely through damage awards from FDCPA (and other state mini-FDCPA such as the FCCPA for Floridians) violations that result from the inevitable answering machine message that is overhead. 

This author is not an attorney and this information should not be considered legal advice.  Please consult an attorney for legal advice.

January 12, 2009

Debt Collection Student Loans

Filed under: FDCPA,Student Loan

My question is about student loans. If you find that the student loan collection agency–like Sallie Mae–violated the FDCRA do they have to pay per violation? It’s a $1,000 per violation, right?

Jansen (more…)

January 10, 2009

Dana’s Story

Dana Fixed Her Credit & Buys a Home!Mine is twofold: Testimonial and attempt to stump the experts!

First, the testimonial. My credit score was doomed until I stumbled upon this site about 10 months ago. I used the abundant advice on this site and have repaired my credit so much so that I’m well within reach of approval for a mortgage to purchase my first home!! The pay for deletes, references to consumer rights using exact verbiage, and the ever helpful green cards, have been a credit-saver. I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH!

Now, for the question. I had a vehicle on my report for about $12,000 that went into default back in February of 2002. It was repossessed, but wasn’t reported as such. Additionally, GMAC reported the debt twice on my report, with 2 different account numbers, for different amounts, AND they were not reporting the payments I was making on the account. It simply read that the account was seriously delinquent. It goes without saying it wasn’t difficult to get it removed from my credit file since even I didn’t know what account was valid, and GMAC couldn’t verify (sounded like a failure on their part records wise). Also, the statute of limitations shown on my credit report showed the debt would be removed in October of 2008 anyway. So, it is gone.

This past week I received a letter from a collection agency for the full amount of this account attempting to settle for less than the amount owed. Up until now I’d never received a letter from any collection agency regarding this account. I’ve scoured BrokenCredit.com for answers on what to do in this case, but I can’t find anything. I’d like to send the collection agency a letter citing what my rights are and their wrongful collection practices (if they’re wrong at all).

Even more on this issue is the IRS. I received a letter from them back in September stating I would have to pay taxes on the full amount of the debt because GMAC has reported it as income to me. So, I am also paying the IRS. I stopped making payments to GMAC once I received this letter. I sent a letter to dispute this with the IRS along with copies of my payments to GMAC (how can I owe taxes for income on a debt that I’m still paying on?), but the IRS still says I owe taxes on the amount. I don’t want to mess with the IRS!

Can the collection agency really collect on this debt? And am I really up against the wall with the IRS on this?

Oh…if I may add…today, while sending off my final letters and proof to the credit reporting agencies, my local post office informed me of a new way of receiving proof of receipt without the need for the green card. The clerk said to send via Certified mail. On the receipt is the tracking number. Within 3 days of mailing check the tracking number on the USPS website and simply print out the signature. I tried this with one of the past letters I mailed and sure enough! There was the address, date and time of delivery, and the printed name and signature of the recipient. She assured me it was just as good as the green card. Saved me about 20 bucks today! This should be enough…right???

Dana (more…)

January 5, 2009

Report My Mortgage Payment as Disputed & Not Late!

I just filed a lawsuit against my lender for fraud and 10 other actions including sold note and I would like to know what law governs mortgage servicers to report my payment as disputed and not late since I am not behind in payments, the servicer and lender is countrywide.

Tim (more…)

Dispute Followed By Questionnaire

Hi Paul.

First of all I want to say thank you for the blog. The seminar has helped me a lot.

A few months ago I found some inaccuracies on my credit report. I disputed the issues, all came back unverified except for one from a CA named Midland Credit Management (a.k.a. MCM). they claimed I owed over a thousand dollars to a company that I had never even heard of.

Following the CRAs telling me that the debt came back verified (after the dispute, MCM increased the balance owed by 20 dollars), I sent a debt validation letter CMRRR to MCM (One week after they received the letter they increased the balance owed by another 30 dollars). Once I received the green card back, I sent a request for reinvestigation to all three CRAs with a copy of the green card and the debt validation letter .

Today I received correspondence from MCM and it was not a debt validation, but instead a request that I send them a copy of any documentation that I may have that supports my “dispute”(even though in my letter, I fully stated that it was a request for debt validation), including “cancelled checks, paid letters, police reports, or any other documentation”.

It seems weird to me that I asked them to validate the debt and their response was to ask me to validate the debt (I don’t have that information since I never dealt with the original creditor). To me it seems like they realized that they have the wrong person and they don’t want to admit it (I checked the white pages and there are 40 other people with my full first name, middle initial and last name in my state).

Anyway I don’t think that sending me a debt validation letter in response to my debt validation letter is fully legal. What do you think? Any ideas on what my next step should be?

Tim (more…)

December 16, 2008

Reichert v. National Credit Systems, Inc.

Filed under: FDCPA

Consumers win again as another chink in the armor of the debt collectors is exposed.  The debt collectors are having a tougher time these days hiding behind the bona fide error defense.  Here’s a recent descision in Reichert v. National Credit Systems, Inc. 531 F.3d 1002 (9th Cir, 2008):

“If the bona fide error defense is to have any meaning in the context of a strict liability statute, then a showing of “procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such error” must require more than a mere assertion to that effect.  The procedures themselves must be explained, along with the manner in which they were adapted to avoid the error.  See Wilhelm, 519 F.3d at 421.  Only then is the mistake entitled to be treated as one made in good faith.  Because NCS submitted only a conclusory declaration stating that it maintained procedures, we hold that it failed to establish a bona fide error defense under the FDCPA.”

This author is not an attorney and this information should not be considered legal advice.  Please consult an attorney for legal advice.

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