Sunday, January 1, 2017

My 3 R's For Disputing 3rd Party Debt Collections

Before I get to my article, I would like to request that if you find my information helpful and would like to make a donation, please make a contribution to my very good friend from high school and through the years.  

He is a veteran who has fallen on very hard times, has injuries that cause him to be in constant pain, and his loyal and deeply loved dog, Hampster, is getting old and ill. He needs some financial support, and prayer is always appreciated.  He has a gofundme page. If you feel led to help, please go to his page. Thank you so much for caring.  https://www.gofundme.com/wqxsjfj8

Now to my article on My 3 R's:

Although I have several articles on this blog dealing with how to fight back against debt collectors, I still get a lot of emails and calls asking for assistance with collections whether it is how to demand validation, how to follow up, is what they got validation, etc.  I don't have time to write letters for everyone that calls and emails me for help.  I can't do that as it wouldn't be fair to my clients that hire me to help.  But, for those of you DIYers, I'll try to answer some questions here and give guidance to help you have more success.

In the credit repair world, we all used to want clients with a bunch of collections to remove.  They were always the easiest derogatory item to address and see success on. But times have changed.  Collection "accounts" are not always easy to remove anymore.  Quite the opposite. These companies have become obstinate, stubborn, still liars, but just defiant really.  They don't validate yet they refuse to remove their slander from reports as quickly as they should.  Some just flat out ignore you or refuse to remove unless you sic the big dogs on them or launch a lawsuit against them.  So I understand the frustration.  Hopefully the following information will help you get even better results.

Let's discuss my 3 R's you need to ALWAYS do with these thugs.  This means you do them with the first correspondence you get from them (Dunning Letter), every response you get from them when you have done a bureau dispute, and every response you get from validation demands and follow up letters you send to them.

1.  RESPOND

You absolutely ALWAYS need to respond to them.  If it's a 30 day initial period in which you can dispute their claim then do it within 30 days. Tell them you are exercising your right to dispute their alleged claim and are demanding validation.  If it is a response from a bureau dispute that says something to the effect of  "We received your dispute from a CRA and have investigated and our records are accurate and blah, blah, blah - we're marking it as disputed" you need to respond. 

If it is in response to a demand for validation and they do not tell you that they are removing it and closing the file, you need to respond. If it is a response to your follow up letter or your response letter, you need to respond. YOU ALWAYS NEED TO RESPOND! If it is a letter claiming that they can't determine the nature of your dispute or that it is frivolous, you need to respond.

2. REJECT

You always need to reject their claim that they validated or verified something.  You always need to reject that their records are accurate. You need to tell them that they failed to send what you requested which means they failed to validate.

Some generic letter saying they investigated and their records are accurate is not validation nor anything close to validation.  It is an unsubstantiated and reckless claim that amounts only to hearsay. They are liars. Are you going to take their word for it without any proof?  I sure wouldn't.

Sending a long detailed medical bill from the original medical facility is not validation. It is a list of services and charges from someone other than them.  That needs to be accompanied by a contract between you and the collection company with your signature and their representative's signature on it.  If they include the admitting form with your signature saying you'll be responsible, well, that was between you and the medical facility, not you and the collection company.

Even if you checked the box that they could share your information and that they might forward it to a collection company, unless the company that is trying to collect is specifically named in the original contract, you are not liable to them.  You have the right to choose who you decide to do business with. It's contract law. Without a contract showing you agreed to do business specifically with that company, they have nothing and you owe them nothing.  Reject that claim!

Sending old billing statements from a credit card company is the same thing. Its not validation. Where is the recorded assignment from the original creditor to them?  How much did they pay for your information? Notice I did not say your debt.  They did NOT purchase any debt. They purchased your information and it usually comes on an excel spreadsheet accompanied by a few of the final billing statements around the time the original account was charged off.  They are missing a big piece of the documentation though.  Where is the contract showing that you agreed to do business with them specifically?  Reject that claim!  Without a valid, bilateral contract (2 signatures, 1 from each party), they do not have a valid claim and they don't have validation.

Whatever a 3rd party collector sends you, no matter if it's a whole stack of stuff, it is NOT validation.  They MUST be able to produce a contract between their collection company and you. That is the vital document that establishes a claim and seals validation. They don't have it! REJECT, REJECT, REJECT THEIR CLAIM.

3. REFUSE

Every contact they make with you telling you that you owe something is an offer to contract with you. Refuse to contract with them.  Tell them you do not do business with collection companies and you don't pay companies that you don't owe. You're not going to start now and you refuse to contract with them.  

Why would you agree to pay someone that you don't owe and that can't prove they have any valid business agreement in place with you? I wouldn't.  Refuse their demand, refuse to contract with them. Again, everything is contract law.  In fact, when they claim they have a valid contract because they purchased the account with all rights of assignment and interest, you need to reject that immediately and throw 73 AmJur 2nd, sections 90 and 93 in their face.  This is Supreme Court case law!  

73 AmJur 2nd, Sections 90 and 93 state that they cannot substitute onto a contract unless they have an interest to protect.  That means that they have to be clearly and specifically named on the original contract to have an interest to protect.  Further, it states that they are a "Stranger to the transaction" and a "mere volunteer."  It is saying that you don't owe them.  They do not qualify for subrogation, which is substitution, under the Doctrine of Subrogation.  They are not qualified.  Don't go and agree to pay them anything. Instead, be very clear and Refuse to Contract with them.

3rd party collectors have no valid claim against you.  They have no contract with you. They cannot truly validate their claim. They have no interest to protect. They didn't buy any debt from any company, they only bought account information about you without your knowledge and without your consent and definitely without any business agreement in place requested by you.  That is the only way that they can substitute onto a contract they have no interest to protect, is by you requesting their assistance to pay off the alleged debt and you would then agree to be responsible to them. CONTRACT LAW!  It is what you have protecting you.

So, always respond, always reject their claims of owing them something and false claims of validation/verification, and always refuse to contract with them.  

If you are tired of dealing with these liars, thieves, scum sucking, extortionists called 3rd party collectors and debt buyers and are tired of the back and forth fight you have to stay on top of, I would love to assist you in the fight.  My partner and I have been at this successfully for 50 years combined.  In fact, this month I am celebrating my 30th year in the industry. I love the fight and am passionate about helping others get rid of the bad credit that is holding them back.  I get tons of emails about how my assistance has helped people get jobs, buy homes, cars, and start over.  I would love the opportunity to help you too!