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Dealing with a shady debt collector

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  • Dealing with a shady debt collector

    Recently I was contacted by a collector regarding a past due bill that was not filed under our Ch13. It was a "final notice" saying I need to pay by a certain date or I'd be taken to court. I called and told them I'd send $100 and then figure out my budget and make monthly payments.

    After about a week I called several times and left messages, but never got a call back. Now 2 months later I get another "final notice" saying I agreed to make monthly payments but never followed through. I called again and got a guy on the phone. I explained the communication problem, but he was very pushy saying I'd be taken to court if I didn't start paying right away.

    So I asked some questions about the original amount, late fees, interest. Then I asked for copies of whatever documents he had. Thats when it got bad. He said I was playing games with him and I'd be sorry if we went to court and I'd end up paying all the extra court costs.

    So I did some internet research and found the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. After reading through it, I believe they have violated some of the rules. They contacted me right around the Pennsylvania 4 year statute of limitations, but I'm not sure if they went over it. Their 1st letter didn't inform me of my rights under the FDCPA. They didn't inform me of my right to dispute the debt. They also sent more than 1 "final notice".

    So what do I do now? Should I tell them what I know about their unfair practices? Am I supposed to report them to law enforcement? I don't have a lawyer anymore since I did a voluntary dismissal and I don't want to have to pay for one. Help, please.
    Last edited by AngelinaCat; 07-22-2013, 12:59 PM. Reason: make the post easier to read.

  • #2
    Crap!! I just read the sticky about zombie debt. I think I screwed myself by sending that $100 payment.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by em96 View Post
      Crap!! I just read the sticky about zombie debt. I think I screwed myself by sending that $100 payment.
      I hate to say it, but you did. SOL is out the door.

      You can pursue FDCPA pro se, but it's not particularly easy and it will take a lot of time researching. Have you sent a demand for validation?
      Chapter 7, above median, no asset. Discharged with no UST involvement.

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      • #4
        I asked over the phone for copies of all his info. He actually called today to find out what exactly I want because he claims he has many documents for my case and some of them may have gotten mixed up with his other cases. I told him to send me anything with my name or my wife's name on it. It sounds like he's just stalling or trying to play some kind of game. I'm really pissed because I fell for his trap and I don't think there's anything I can do. I need to repay the debt anyway, but I hate dealing with a crooked collector.

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        • #5
          Its been over a week since I asked for info from this guy and I haven't gotten anything. The business address is a PO box only 5 or 6 miles away. I can't imagine why it would take this long. I know I owe the debt. I'm worried about them not following the law. I think my next step is to ask for their info in writing instead of a phone call. If anyone has any advice or can share their experience, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

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          • #6
            A demand for validation letter should be in writing. They will have 30 days to respond. Send it CMRRR or else it can't be proven that you sent it, if you're really thinking of pursing FDCPA/FCRA violations.

            Talking to debt collectors on the phone is not recommended. I suggest you read more about DV letters.
            Chapter 7, above median, no asset. Discharged with no UST involvement.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TXskyblue View Post
              I hate to say it, but you did. SOL is out the door.
              Maybe, maybe not. It depends on state law. It could be that if the deliquency was not completely cured by the payment, then the SOL continues to run. As far as the agreement to make payments, often when that restarts an SOL, the agreement has to be in writing.
              Last edited by LadyInTheRed; 06-02-2013, 02:09 PM.
              LadyInTheRed is in the black!
              Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
              $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

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              • #8
                In some states, a partial payment can reset the SOL, but in most states, that is not the case. For example, here in Arizona, the SOL begins to run upon initial default, and the mere act of making a payment which does not bring the account current does not reset the SOL.

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                • #9
                  So the collector sent me something in the mail. I got a copy of the original contract between us and the original creditor for paying off the debt. The collector also sent a list of the account activity. The last payment to the creditor was Feb 2009. I was then contacted by the collector and sent a partial payment in Jan 2013. I did not receive any proof of any agreement between the collector and creditor. So I guess I need to write the collector and demand that. The collector also added a $6.11 fee for a certified letter which was not certified. Everything came from regular 1st class mail from the USPS. So I must now wait for proof that he is authorized to collect on this account, right? And if they can't prove they are allowed to collect on this debt, then my latest partial payment should not reset the 4 year SOL, right?

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                  • #10
                    I received a certified letter from USPS. The collection agency has filed a civil action suit against me. I still haven't received all the validation I asked for. The court date is only a month from now. I called the court house to notify them I'll be defending against the suit. That is what the instructions said on the notice. Now I need to prepare. Can anyone offer any advice or refer me to someone. I cannot afford an attorney. But I believe the collection agency has violated several rules under the FDCPA.

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                    • #11
                      Have you looked into your state's laws on the statute of limitations? You need to consult with an attorney. An initial consultation should be pretty inexpensive. Here's info on getting a referral in PA: http://www.pabar.org/public/membership/lrsblurb.asp
                      LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                      Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                      $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How big is this debt?
                        LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                        Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                        $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the link. Debt is around $1000

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