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"Notice of intent to begin investigation" from debt collector. Advice needed on next steps to be taken

Orange Park, FL |
Filed under: Sued for debt

i received a phone call from a debt collect for the amount of 17000 for a past due tuition and fees. during the phone call he made it clear that this was a formality and they were just going to do an administrative garnishment or other legal means to get the money. i was not informed that he was a debt collector during this call. I told him i would call back after i figured things out.The second phone call did not go well i called to tell him i could not pay as i could not afford it. At this point I had researched that he was a debt collector and asked him what his job was. twice he told me "I am an employee at this firm" He got agitated with me and told me to pay 1000+ a month or 12000 now. DC hung up. a few days later i received a letter stating "notice of Intent to begin investigation"

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Although we don't have all of the facts here, it sounds like the collector may be violating several provisions of the FDCPA. Find an attorney that handles those matters and fight back.

This is general advice based on limited interaction in an online forum. The reply does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You are strongly advised to seek the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction after you have presented them with all of the facts.

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Posted

If this person was a debt collector then you probably have a pretty solid case under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act. Debt collectors are required to identify themselves and notify you that they are debt collectors attempting to collect a debt.

While a FDCPA lawsuit may get you a little money and get the debt collectors off your back for a while, it will not address the underlying debt. $17k is a lot of money and it would be worth consulting a bankruptcy attorney especially if you have other debts. So long as you did not sign any promissory notes for the past due tuition it not likely a student loan and would be dischargeable in bankruptcy.

The information provided here is intended to help you be an informed legal consumer and is not a substitute for representation by an attorney.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

I am not trying to skate on the debt, in fact the complete opposite. I would love to work on it with them but right now i can only offer a $100 a month and even that is really stressing my budget. I do not want to file for bankruptcy as we have future plans that would be greatly affected by that. I am not really looking at suing either. I just don't know where to go from here. I don't feel comfortable approaching them again as I may make the situation worse. Also should I ask for debt validation or show them a layout of my fiances. I am not sure how to make the situation better as the collector is hostile and aggravated. I am including in this comment the exact letter I received This was sent on letter head on the 18 June 2013 Creditor: XXXXX Total due: $17112.84 NOTICE OF INTENTION TO BEGIN INVESTIGATION Apparently you have chosen to ignore our previous request for payment of this claim. we are now recommending an investigation into you employment, bank accounts, automobile, and any real or personal property you may own. If the investigation indicates that you are able to pay this obligation, we will give this information to your creditor and proceed with collection activity. If you wish to avoid this, send the balance in full to this office immediately. This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose. This communication is from a debt collector. XXXX XXXX XXXX Now this is the first and only time he has expressly admitted to being a debt collector. I also feel so how very threatned by this letter. any advice would be amazing. Thank you for your time.

Maxim Christopher Zawojski

Maxim Christopher Zawojski

Posted

My advice to you was file bankruptcy or sue them under the FDCPA. I didn't suggest that lightly and bankruptcy is not "skating" on a debt. If you cannot afford to pay, this obligation is going to make your life miserable and damage your ability to get credit. A $100 a month on a debt that size will not even cover interest. Making payments of that size will only serve to restart the statute of limitations with each payment. If that is all you can afford then that is what we call an unsustainable debt. Unless it happens to be federal student loan, which you said it is not, you have no right to affordable payment plan. They can demand whatever they want and if you can't pay them you will eventually be sued and your paycheck will be garnished or your bank account levied. Bankruptcy will have less impact on your future plans than carrying around $17k in collections or having a judgment on your history. As far as the FDCPA goes, it is a privately enforced statute, meaning that the legislature intended it to being enforced by private parties bringing lawsuits rather than leaving it up to a governmental agency. This means that if private parties like you don't bring lawsuits, debt collectors can do whatever they want. You already said you don't feel comfortable talking to them and feel threatened by their letter. What else do you want? An FDCPA can bring a lawsuit against them at no cost to you and without significant involvement from you. The fact of the matter is that they most likely broke the law. If you don't want your $1,000 in statutory damages you can donate it to charity.

Posted

You very possibly have an actionable claim under Florida's Consumer Collections Practices Act. I highly suggest contacting an attorney to assist you with your case. I personally have experience handling numerous different violations of the FCCPA. Please contact me directly if you'd like to discuss pursuing a claim against this business for these unsavory and illegal actions.

This answer is intended to be used for general purposes only; it does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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