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Fair Debt Collect Act Violation, what now?

Milton-freewater, OR |

In 2002 I became disabled & was unable to pay a credit card debt. The company refused to negotiate so I contacted an attorney. She supposedly resolved the matter.

The company sold the "debt". In the last 2 years I received 3 letters. They did not state any amount. For the last 2 years I've received at least 2 calls a day.. (shows on my calIer ID).
I told them the first company sold them the account fraudently--it was 9 yrs ago. The person got very aggressive so I told her not to call again. I got another call & gave him my attorney's name.. Yet he stated that the debt has been "renewed", meaning "started over" (?), and that I now owe twice as much. I never acknowledged a debt.

If they can be fined, how can this be done? I live in another state.What if it goes against my credit rating?

The first woman tried to challenge me to "dispute" the debt.I told her i wasn't going to do that because the matter had already been resolved & it was 9 years ago. I repeated that the "account" should not even have been sold to them. She got angry & demanded of me what I was going to do. I stated that I wasn't going to do anything. She hung up on me. I told the second caller that I had been disputing charges on the account but the credit card defaulted it. My other credit company then defaulted on me, raising their interest rate from 4.9% to 21%. I don't think this should be fair, because my payments were current & had nothing to do with the other company. This should not be allowed! I finally got back a good credit rating and now this first company is threatening my credit rating again.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

You need to speak to a local consumer law attorney who handles FDCPA violations ASAP. You should be prepared to provide the attorney everything you have on this debt and the collection efforts. There is only a 1 year statute of limitations on FDCPA violations.

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8 comments

Asker

Posted

I didn't record any of the conversations but they definitely were within the last year, plus one of the letters. I have told this company a long time ago that this account was "resolved". An attorney will cost me, and the only proof I have is one letter. The original attorney who handled the case wrote to the credit card companies. I think they should have forwarded the information to the collection agency. Can they "start the clock" again? Thank you for responding!

Andrea L Crawford

Andrea L Crawford

Posted

The FDCPA was written to protect people with little to no money. Thus, it states if a violation is proven that your attorney's fees will be covered by the debt collector. The fees and costs are something to discuss with the attorney in your free consultation. Additionally, there are several FDCPA attorneys who will take cases like yours based on the sworn affidavit of the the client regarding the conversations. Most of the collectors will have a recording of the conversation, which if not provided when asked before a lawsuit is filed, is available through discovery. Finally, I am not completely sure what the debt collector was talking about when it said it started the clock again. However, if it was referring to the statute of limitations, only a payment or in some states a promise to pay, can re-start that clock. Debt collectors cannot restart it on their own. The other thing I can think of that the debt collector could be talking about is a judgment. In a lot of states a judgment is renewable within ten years of the date it is issued. Has the collector ever told you it has a judgment against you?

Andrea L Crawford

Andrea L Crawford

Posted

You might also consider contacting your old attorney to get more details on how the debt was "resolved".

Asker

Posted

There has be no judgement of any kind. The attorney stated that I am judgement proof. The last letter I received from this company was dated Jult 11, 2012. There is a part that states: "Because of the age of your debt, we will not sue you for it and we will not report it to any credit reporting agency." So I consider what they are doing is pure harassment, especially since I told them not to contact me again...and I also gave them the name and number of the attorney who originally handled the case. I told the woman that if they had done their homework they would not have even bought the account, and Capital One should not have even sold it to them. She didn't like that one bit, obviously. But I still got another call after that. I have copies of the letters from the attorney.

Asker

Posted

Should I just ignore "Portfolio Recovery" from now on? Or perhaps I should play their cat and mouse game and continue to document their communications. Ironically, their statement has a cute little "motto" that states: "We're giving debt collection a good name".

Andrea L Crawford

Andrea L Crawford

Posted

Definitely document any and all communication attempts. If they are calling a cell phone with an auto-dialer or leaving pre-recorded messages after you have requested that they stop calling you, there also might be a TCPA violation, which comes with a $500 - 1500 per call price tag. Document calls and get in touch with a local consumer law attorney.

Asker

Posted

That is most helpful information. You get and A+++ Most of the calls are hang-up calls (computer generated) because I screen all my calls via my answering maching. However, the company's name still shows up. they also use many different phone numbers, I guess because some people block them. I have not requested that they stop calling in writing, but have done so on the phone conversations. It would probably be hard to collect any money from them though. In the last conversation the caller "challenged" me to a 3 way conversation with the original attorney who handled the case. A few years back I had talked to her and she wasn't too happy that they were harassing me. I told the guy [quote] "She's going to be pissed off when she hears about this". lol That apparantly didn't deter him but I was tired of the mind games so I finally said: "I'm DONE. Talk to my attorney". That definitely means that they are aware that an attorney was involved, and by what you indicate, it means they should not be calling me. Not that I would persue monetary damages, but it would be nice. It all started with Capitol One, who basically destroyed my life and my credit rating. I ended up in a psychiatric hospital because of this. I WANTED to take responsibility for my bills but they made it impossible. I even went to cDebt Counselling and they told me not to pay. A+++ I WANTED to pay them. Ha. If they did call her, I would like to have been a fly on the wall.

Asker

Posted

no it's not a cell phone. I refuse to own one of those things.

Posted

Your situation involves possible FDCPA and Oregon's Unlawful Debt Collection Practices Act (UDCPA).

First, the collector must send you a written Validation Notice (demand letter) that shows the amount owed. Second, if you tell the collector that you are represented, they cannot contact you except through your lawyer.

Oregon has a 6 year statute of limitations on credit card debt, so if it has been over 6 years after your last payment, the debt will be past the statute of limitations. They can still attempt to collect, but they can't sue you over the debt unless you renew the statutory period by making a payment.

First thing I would do is to call your attorney and find out from him if he received a letter of release. Sending a copy of that letter will usually make them stop. Second, if your attorney is not familiar with the FDCPA or UDCPA, I would call a consumer lawyer. Third, check your credit report to see if you have any negative marks from the collector. If so, you can contact your Credit Reporting Agency and dispute the negative info. Finally, don't be afraid to dispute the debt if it is not correct. Be sure to dispute in writing within 30 days of the validation notice.

And yes, there is a one year statute of limitations on both FDCPA and UDCPA claims.

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Asker

Posted

The letter I received dated July 11, 2012 claims that I owe over $10,000. The original amount was approx. $5,000, of which $2,000 I was disputing. The U-haul Company charged my credit card $464.00 for eqyipment that I didn't use, and all my attempts to resolve this got nowhere. Second, "Enterprise Car Rentals" charged my credit card $1500 on the rental of a car that I had for a week. I had spilled coffee on the front seat, and they claimed that they had to replace the upholstery! They also kept some of my personal property that was in the car when they came to pick it up! As I tried to retrieve my belongings, one of the guys jumped in the car and took off, nearly knocking me to the ground. I also tried to resolve this with the Enterprise Main Office and got nowhere. It seems that once a business has your credit card number they can make any charges they want. Capital One told me to "take it up with the vendor", which had me running in circle with them and the "vendors" for months. I would suggest that people stay out of Kitsap County, WA. The shipyard dumped toxic stuff in the surrounding water for decades and this is where my nighmare began. It is now almost 11 years and I am still being haunted by it.

Asker

Posted

excuse typos

Asker

Posted

not only that, the Kitsap County Sheriff assaulted me in front of the UHaul (3 witnesses) and I nearly died. (suffocated) Stay out of Kitsap County!!!

Young Walgenkim

Young Walgenkim

Posted

You may have a claim against the debt collector. It may help to call a consumer attorney in your area. NACA is a good source to find consumer attorneys: http://naca.net/find-attorney

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