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  1. #1
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    Jun 2008
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    Default Debt Collector Seeking an Unknown Debt

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: california

    I received a bill from Asset Acceptance LLC to collect debt from Bally Total Fitness. However i never received any bill from them. And now they are asking to collect money from me and its affecting my credit. So what should I do? What's the process of settling this. And how should I argue this if I believe it's Bally's mistake?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Debt Collector - Unknown Debt

    Quote Quoting idunknow
    View Post
    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: california

    I received a bill from Asset Acceptance LLC to collect debt from Bally Total Fitness. However i never received any bill from them. And now they are asking to collect money from me and its affecting my credit. So what should I do? What's the process of settling this. And how should I argue this if I believe it's Bally's mistake?
    You didn't need to receive a bill directly from Bally's - that was separate from your original contract - in order for them to turn the debt over to a 3rd party. The process is to contact the debt collector and make payment arrangements immediately.

    What is the mistake that you'd like to argue? You didn't say that you didn't owe - only that you hadn't received a bill from Bally's.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: Debt Collector - Unknown Debt

    Send a dispute letter to the debt collector and ask for verification of the debt. they are required to get proof from the creditor and send it to you.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Debt Collector - Unknown Debt

    Proof is too strong a word. The creditor's verification of the debt often seems to be, "Yes, they're the debtor, and yes, that's the amount of their balance."
    Quote Quoting FDCPA Sec. 809(b)
    If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within
    the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector. Collection activities and communications that do not otherwise violate this title may continue during the 30-day period referred to in subsection (a) unless the consumer has notified the debt collector in writing that the debt, or any portion of the debt, is disputed or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor. Any collection activities and communication during the 30-day period may not overshadow or be inconsistent with the disclosure of the consumer’s right to dispute the debt or request the name and address of the original creditor.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2008
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    853

    Default Re: Debt Collector Seeking an Unknown Debt

    Actually, that is not true. There is quite a bit of caselaw on what validation is and is not:

    GUERRERO v RJM ACQUISITIONS The only information disclosed in the letter was the date that the account was opened, the date that the last payment was posted, the name and social security number listed on the account, and the current balance. The letter did not indicate the amount or basis of the charges underlying the current balance, nor did it indicate the dates on which such charges were incurred.

    Stonehart v. Rosenthal(S.D.N.Y. Aug. 13, 2001). The letter also failed to indicate whether interest was factored into the current balance, and, if so, at what rate and for what time period. Particularly in this case, where Defendant added interest at a rate different from the original, contractual rate for Plaintiff's account, the limited information provided in the June 14, 2002 letter was insufficient to verify the alleged debt.

    Fields v Wilber (7th Cir 2004) debt collectors must still clearly and fairly communicate information about the amount of the debt to debtors. This includes how the total amount due was determined if the demand for payment includes add-on expenses like attorneys’ fees or collection costs.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Debt Collector Seeking an Unknown Debt

    You're (deliberately?) missing my point. Whether or not detail is provided as to how the balance is reached, it still boils down to "Yes, they're the debtor, and yes, that's the amount of their balance."

  7. #7
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    Jul 2008
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    853

    Default Re: Debt Collector Seeking an Unknown Debt

    True, but a simple printout from the CA's records are not sufficient. Note that proof does not require copies of contracts or any such nonsense, but what is required is what the unsophisticated debtor would understand to show that the collector is authorized to collect, that the CA has the correct debtor, and that the amount being collected is the correct amount.

    A simple letter stating that is not sufficient, unless the validation from the creditor shows more than a name and a balance. There was a CA a few years ago that was claiming that such a letter was sufficient, and citing a portion of Chaudhry v Gallerizzo as authority. The cases I posted show that the CA in that case was mistaken. Again, read the cite from the Guerrero case and see what I mean. That letter provided more than what you were stating, and the court still didn't think it was enough.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2006
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    Ohio
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    Default Re: Debt Collector Seeking an Unknown Debt

    OP never said the debt wasn't his. He simply said that he didn't receive a bill from Bally's prior to the debt being turned over to collections. Now, it did ask a question about what to do if Bally made a mistake, but didn't describe the mistake they supposedly made.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: Debt Collector Seeking an Unknown Debt

    If you provide proper citations, and links when available, it's more likely that people will read the cases you cite. If you don't provide proper citations, you make it difficult both to determine the relevance of your cases to a given jurisdiction and to track them down.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    853

    Default Re: Debt Collector Seeking an Unknown Debt

    It doesn't matter if the debt is yours or not. The CA is still required to follow the FDCPA. Even if the debt IS yours, you still have the right to confirm that the CA is collecting the correct amount.

    The FDCPA was designed to protect consumers from the abusive and incorrect practices that CA's were and are using to collect debts.

    Sorry about not providing links. Many of the relevant cases are stored as PDFs on my laptop, and I do not always have access to the Lexis database.

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