Sunday, January 1, 2017

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

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!

If you have found this blog helpful to you, please consider donating as a sign of your appreciation for information I have freely given to you.  The "Donate" button is on the right side bar.  Thank you for your generosity.

17 comments:

  1. Hello Shannon,
    I just wanted to THANK YOU and wish you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR. I am an avid fan and have fixed some issues with my credit because of this blog. I have told my family and friends about it. If you ever decide to sell a "How-To" book - sign me up!
    Thank You once again!
    Rose

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  2. I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you writing this blog! It has helped me understand how to start disputing the derogatory reports on my credit files and also understand why I have the right to do it. I know all this info is going to help me a lot fixing my credit! Also this weekend I will most definitely make a donation to your friends GoFundme page as soon as I get paid! Thank's Again you are a true blessing!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the compliments Rhonda and you are very welcome. I hope to hear back that you've got good results with your credit repair. Thank you also for helping my friend.

      Delete
    2. Hello
      Do you have a email I can contact you directly.

      Delete
    3. Yes, it is:

      futurefico @ gmail dot com

      I have to break it up like that because I don't allow links in my comments.

      You should be able to see it up at the top right hand side of the blog (maybe not with phones though)

      Delete
  3. Hello Shannon,
    I was wondering if you could help me in the next step of removing a fraudulent collections account from my credit report. I have successfully removed the account from both transunion and experian by dispute over the phone. I waited two months to see if experian would follow and update. Since then I have already disputed the collection online twice with experian both coming back updated. I now know that disputing online is a mistake. I was wondering should I now send a validation letter to the agency and a dispute letter to experian( I can no longer dispute it online also). This account first appeared in June 2016.
    P.S - this collection account was previously on my account from another agency. I disputed all beaurus as fraud. I believe they just sold it to another agency after it was removed from all my reports.
    Any help is greatly appreciated?

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    Replies
    1. You are correct that you need to send a demand for validation to this new company. You can tell them that the company they bought it from violated the FDCPA because they sold an account that they never validated. You can also tell them that they are also violating the FDCPA because they had an obligation to notify you within 5 days of initiating collection activity and they never bothered to send you the required notice and advisement that you have a right to dispute the information.

      They need to remove this from your credit report until they fully validate and that might be rather difficult because it is fraudulent.

      As far as disputing with the credit bureaus, you need to put it in writing and mail it certified to them.

      Please everyone - STOP DISPUTING ONLINE! One time might be okay but they don't give you enough reasons for the dispute and they cut you off after 2 supposed investigations. You just don't have the room on there to dispute effectively and say what you want to say or give the reasons why you are disputing that are more appropriate.

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  4. Hi. Do you have any sample letters for when disputing with the bureaus? Also how do I contact you - I am looking to hire someone to help get a judgment off of my credit report. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Susan,

      If you look at my last 2 posts, they tell you how to set up and write bureau disputes. The last one was in March of last year and the previous one was from December 2015. (I didn't write much last year - lol). They are titled How to write bureau disputes part 1 and part 2.

      To hire us to remove the judgment, contact me at the email above - futurefico at gmail dot com. It's at the top on the right hand side of the blog.

      Delete
  5. Wow Shannon!! As always, you and the information you provide are absolutely PRICELESS!! Thank you soooooo much!!

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  6. Btw...I did make a donation to your friend. His service to our country is greatly appreciated.

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  7. Hi Shannon,

    Thank you kindly for giving the world this amazing resource!
    I understand why online disputes aren't a good idea but what about faxing disputes/letters to credit bureaus?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Hannah,

      Thank you for the kind words. I have no problem with faxing disputes to the bureaus. The problem is with the online disputing. One of the main things is that you are limited to a few choices for the reason of the dispute and limited to 100 characters I think. They might not be offering the best reason for your dispute and you might want to describe your dispute that won't fit with the online option.

      Also, many times I have seen that the items either get verified way too fast or if they get deleted it is only temporary. You want that hard copy report that they mail to you so when it says something is deleted, you can send a copy of that as proof that it was deleted and they are violating the law by putting it back on.

      So, put your disputes in writing and mail them or fax them but try to avoid disputing derogatory accounts online. Save that to remove addresses and inquiries and things like that.

      Delete
  8. Shannon,
    I have a charge off/collection that has never had a payment made on it on and is reporting on all 3 CBs. I tried to request validation with them, and they sent back a online contract from the original company. They have been reporting every month that I am late, however it has never been validated and is closed. How can I fight this? The CA is Ad Astra.

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    1. HI Collinsmom,
      You say there's never been a payment made. Are you talking about the collection or both the collection and the charge off? What is the date of the first delinquency on the charge off, or if no payment made on that, last purchase? I don't know what state you are in or your statute of limitations but if it's old enough, you might want to send them a Cease & Desist.

      In response to what they sent you though, I would probably tell them: Thank you for sending paperwork that proves you were not on any original contract and you have no interest to protect. 73 AmJur 2nd, Sections 90 and 93 are clear that you are a Stranger to the Transaction, a mere volunteer, and you don't qualify for subrogation.

      You did not validate this alleged account. Even the CFPB requires the foundational documents such as a valid contract between YOUR COMPANY SPECIFICALLY and me, signed by both parties, showing I agreed to do business with you and a full accounting of the alleged account from origination to this present date, clearly showing ALL deposits, charges, credits, debits, fees, interest, insurance payoffs, tax credits, and any other event that affected the alleged account and what each was specifically for, and the date on which each event occurred.

      Since you claim to have purchased this alleged account, or claim to be the owner of the alleged account, then you need to be aware that the court ruled in Coppola v. Arrow Financial Services, that you are also required to tell me how much you paid for the alleged account and show proof that you aren't lying. IF you had an interest to protect in the alleged original account, then the amount you paid for it is the maximum that you are entitled to claim is owed to you.

      Please also provide me with documented proof that you are licensed to do business in my state and that this alleged account is not outside the statute of limitations.

      You failed to send me every single one of these items and these are all necessary in order to make the claim that this accusation against me is validated or verified. Also, since you have not validated as requested, the FDCPA requires you to cease all collection activity. This means that you need to get your slander off of my credit reports immediately as that is a form of collection activity. You are not allowed to furnish or verify or conduct collection activity through any other means as well until this is validated. Failing to comply with federal laws gives me the right to take legal action against you.

      My patience with you is running short. Validate or cease your collection activity and credit reporting of this false claim or risk legal action.

      That's the letter that I would probably write, or something similar. Hope this helps.

      Delete

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