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Established Member
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Registered: ‎10-20-2010
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Turned in CA to the State today

[ Edited ]

At the beginning of the month I started receiving calls, then got a letter from a CA I had never heard of. The collection was for an old debt from 9 years ago. It was your typical "give us half the money in two weeks and we'll call it good" letter. Yesterday I got the 2nd letter from them (still receiving phone calls of course). The 2nd letter was dated 3/1/2012, the same date as the first letter I received, however this one was the "Final Notice!!". Because I haven't responded to their repeated attempts at settling this debt, they have exhausted all their means of collection (the letter actually said this). They also stated that if I send them money by the end of the month there will be no interest or penalties assessed. Of course the amount owed on the 2nd letter is higher than the first, so obviously they already assessed penalties and interest. $50 worth in two weeks. The original debt is in SOL and dropped off my CR a couple of years ago so I'm not too worried about this new guy. I did however do a quick check with my State consumer credit bureau and can't find any license information on this company. The State of Maine requires that all CAs be licensed before attempting to collect debts and they are very aggressive with dealing with those who try and cheat. Not only do they issue cease and desist orders, but they assess fines and penalties to cover the costs of the investigation. They have a handy online complaint form so I filled it out and faxed in both letters. We'll see if this CA gets a taste of his own medicine when he starts getting nice letters from the State.

 

The CA is P.N. Financial & Associates out of Skokie IL.. run by Mod Cut. I assume its not the guy with the band unless times are tough. Their letters have different letterheads and looked like they could have been cooked up in a high school computer class in about 5 minutes. Come to think of it, your typical high schooler probably would have done a better job. Don't take this posting to mean I have no intention of paying the original lender if things change for me. I'm merely posting this to show that using your local consumer collection agencies can be a big help sometimes.

Valued Contributor
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Re: Turned in CA to the State today

I would love to hear an update on this as things progress...

 

Epic Contributor
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Re: Turned in CA to the State today

Curious.... did they ever, at least, send you a timely dunning notice within 5 days of their initial communication?

If not, a section 809(a) violation.....

Did you ever send them a DV?

If so, and either without dunning notice, or within 30 days of dunning notice, a possible 809(b) cease collection violation for any subsquent calls......

 

If either of those occured, you might also consider shooting out a complaint of FDCPA violation to the FTC.  Another source of nasty-grams for the debt collector to address.

 

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Re: Turned in CA to the State today

I subscribe to any thread that Robert post in. This guy is invaluable.

5/2012: 560 credit scores across the board and $500 secured CC
12/2014: 750+ scores across the board and $80k in revolving credit

Get those baddies removed!!!
Established Member
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Re: Turned in CA to the State today

Just an update, although there is not much to report.

 

I haven't heard back from the State yet in regards to my complaint. I did receive another "Final Notice" two days ago. This one is a copy of the first one he sent with updated dates and amounts. He's charging about $50 every two weeks. I am going to send a DV letter. Its a few days past the initial 30 days, but seeing he never even put in the line stating I had 30 days to verify, I'll just claim ignorance.

 

I did find some troubling information yesterday. As I am hoping to be purchasing a modular home this summer (thanks to myFico) I was doing a quick review of my current deed as I have a few property tax liens from the last 12 years and I wanted to make sure they were all discharged. I came across one record just listed as "Court". Upon examining the notice I see that its a "Writ of Execution" from this very creditor. Its from 2005, which was a time when I pretty much had my head in the sand as far as creditors go. I don't even remember being sued, but as it was a valid debt I probably just didn't go figuring that they would rule against me anyway. Obviously the same goes for the writ as I've never seen it before. I probably have a copy around here somewhere if they sent it certified mail. If my guess is correct, and I have a copy, the envelope is probably unopened.

 

This throws a wrench into the works. As the O.C. has a judgment, The SOL is now 20 years, not the 7 I thought it was. Even before the 20 years is up they can apply to the court to have it extended if I've read my statutes correctly. I'll have to get with the O.C. and see if I can get a settlement. It's been over 8 years so I would think they might settle for less than the 50% this current CA is trying to settle for. I will not deal with this guy who's been sending the letters as I honestly don't know if he can legally collect in the State of Maine. I'll wait until I can talk with the AG on that one. One item I did notice. State law limits the amount of interest a creditor can charge on a judgment. For a judgment rendered in 2005 that limit is set to 11%. If my math is correct, this current CA is charging about 18%. I don't know why the OC never acted on the Writ they received. They could have attached my wages but as far as I know they never attempted that. I was working back then so I wasn't collecting unemployment or other protected income sources. I'm debating if I should just contact the OC (Citifinancial) or the law office that filed the judgment. The law office is from Maine anyway.

 

One other oddity in this saga. The address this CA is using for me has a #R at the end of my street address. I don't live in an apartment so I assumed he was just adding a code to track where the letters were sent. Two days ago I got a settled dispute letter from TU on another matter. The TU letter came addressed to my address, plus Apt. #R. The same day I got the dispute resolution (successful BTW) I also got another letter from TU explaining the dispute I filed didn't match any address they had on file. They wanted me to send them copies of 2 forms of ID so they could verify my address. This letter doesn't have the strange #R code on the address line, it just has my correct address. As I received the settlement letter I was just going to ignore the address verification one. I have never used Apt. #R or any other #R in my address.

 

In the mean time I need to get to the court and file a "Notice of Exemption" and a "Dismissal of Lien" on my house as it falls under homestead protections. I'm hoping that the dismissal will actually remove it from the deed, although its not listed as a lien, just "court".

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Re: Turned in CA to the State today

Update to my update:

 

I just got off the phone with the State AG's office. They sent a letter to the CA stating they were in violation of state law and to basically leave me alone. They normally send a copy to the complainant but for some reason I didn't get one. They are sending me a copy today. They gave them until this Friday to respond.

 

I asked about sending them a DV letter, to which he stated I would probably just save the postage and wait until their time limit passes. As they didn't meet the FDCPA standards by omitting the 30 day validation line, he believes I don't need to worry about the time limit anyway.

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Re: Turned in CA to the State today

Jeeper44 - wow.   So to summarize....

 

1.  CA is unlicensed in MA.

2.  State has sent a bad CA letter to them.

3.  You are receiving a copy of the same letter (mailed 04/04/2012) and you must respond by Friday (04/06/2012).

4.  You are not sending the DV letter at this time, as the matter may be mute.

5.  There is a lien on your property titled "Court" which may be related to the debt the CA is trying to collect.

6.  The debt the CA is trying to collect may be a judgement from the OC.

7.  You are going to file to have the lien dismissed since your property is protected by the homestead act.

 

Did I get that right?

 

I'd still love to hear updates on this!  :smileyhappy:

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Re: Turned in CA to the State today


IOBA wrote:

Jeeper44 - wow.   So to summarize....

 

1.  CA is unlicensed in MA.

2.  State has sent a bad CA letter to them.

3.  You are receiving a copy of the same letter (mailed 04/04/2012) and you must respond by Friday (04/06/2012).

4.  You are not sending the DV letter at this time, as the matter may be mute.

5.  There is a lien on your property titled "Court" which may be related to the debt the CA is trying to collect.

6.  The debt the CA is trying to collect may be a judgment from the OC.

7.  You are going to file to have the lien dismissed since your property is protected by the homestead act.

 

Did I get that right?

 

I'd still love to hear updates on this!  :smileyhappy:


Most of it is correct.

 

1. Its ME, not MA but close enough

3. The CA has until tomorrow (4/6) to respond to the cease and desist letter the state sent them. The one I'm getting is simply for my records.

7. Homestead exemption under state law. Homestead Act is a tax break I believe :smileyhappy:

 

Its my understanding after talking with the AGs office yesterday that the letter they sent out informed them that their actions were illegal under state law because they are not licensed. They can get  a license if they wish, but until they do they must stop all collections in this state or face prosecution. As I received a 3rd letter from them a week after they were sent the cease and desist order it will be interesting to see what happens. I suspect it would be tough to show they sent the 3rd letter after receiving the state's letter as all these letters the CA sends are dated March 1st. The postmark on the last letter is March 30th though, a full 7 days after the state sent their notice.

 

As far as the judgment, I don't think the CA even knows about it. This all took place 7 years ago, the Writ of Execution had a time limit on it of 3 years. In Maine the SOL on judgments is 20 years so they can still collect but I suspect they would have to go back to the court and try to get another writ if they wanted to do a garnishment or anything like that. I do plan on settling with CitiFinancial on this matter, just not with this idiot CA. Maine does have some decent exemptions to liens and pretty much everything I own would fall under this, except 25% of my pay if they went that route. Its old enough I'm hoping to find someone intelligent enough at Citi to get a settlement arranged.

 

I've never disputed the debt in this matter. I thought it was under SOL when I started this journey until I found that record on my deed a couple days ago. Either way, the main point was that a CA that was not following the law (state and federal) which is a big surprise. Just want to let them know I won't be pushed around. Also gives other people here the idea to check with their state resources on collections. Our AGs office has an entire division for consumer protections and seems to be very aggressive when it comes to rogue CAs.

Valued Contributor
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Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Turned in CA to the State today

LOL - did I mention I typed that before coffee?  I still havne't had coffee.  

 

Thank you for correcting my mistakes.   

 

My grandma use to write the date she received something the mail, "Received 04/05/2012" and staple the envelope to the letter.  It saved her bacon a few times.  Companies claiming one thing and her proof of another.

 

Mailing out something seven days after the letter was sent to them is an iffy one.  They could claim that they had not "seen" it yet.   Just keep your letter and envelope.

 

Let us know!

Established Member
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Registered: ‎10-20-2010
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Re: Turned in CA to the State today

[ Edited ]

Just thought I would throw out an update in case anyone cares. Its been about 10 months since this debacle started and its still going on.

 

When we last visited this story, the State had sent a cease and desist order and I hadn't heard anymore except one letter from the CA. Since that time, I've gotten about 4 more letters, spread out over a few months. The latest was sent on Dec. 31, 2012. Verifying with the State's license registry, they still aren't licensed to collect in Maine.

 

As I'm still hoping to build a new house this spring, I really need this Writ cleaned up from my deed so I decided to visit an attorney to get the lien removed per the homestead exemption. I found an attorney who advertises that they specialize in bankruptcies and collections matters. I went to see them a couple of weeks ago and explained the situation. I could tell they were disappointed when they realized that I was not bankrupt.

 

To summarize what I got out of the meeting: I should have filed the exemption on the lien when it was first filed, even though I didn't know about the exemption. Even though the CA isn't licensed in Maine, and I have serious reservations about their whole legitimacy, and they've violated FDCPA at least once, I should just pay them if I want things to go away. My conclusions: this attorney is a moron and I need to find another one. It was pretty obvious that he wanted to collect his bankruptcy fee with as little actual work as possible.

 

After the meeting, I Googled P.N. Financial (the CA, who has numerous mentions on this board), which I should have done when this started. It turns out this company is facing a lot of lawsuits, including one from the Illinois Attorney General who is attempting to close them down for multiple FDCPA violations. The lawsuit was filed a year ago, but I haven't seen any type of follow up from the State on the matter. I also discovered that on previous occasions, they have obtained debt information on people and they just send out collections letters. A lot of times, these are debts that people have already paid. I guess if you send out enough letters, you'll get a few people who just send them money in hopes they will go away. Others might have idiot attorneys who actually advise their clients to send them money. Since the beginning I've had serious doubts about the legality of this company in regards to my debt. The internet search just reinforces my doubts. There are news stories from Illinois about their scams.

 

I went ahead and sent a DV letter a couple of weeks ago. It was a pretty standard letter based on ones on this site, but did include the line about verifying they are licensed to collect in my State. I also stated in the letter that any further contact must be in writing only. I got the signature card back a few days ago. Although its been months since this started, none of the letters they sent me state that I have 30 days to verify the debt (as required in the FDCPA Section 809(a)) so I'm considering that an open invitation to verify the debt whenever I choose. I am interested in what documentation they might send me, if any. I suspect they won't have any to send. I'll have to update my complaint with the State AG's office to show they ignored the letter they sent out last year. I also filed a complaint with the FTC for the FDCPA violations.

 

I still have to deal with the original debt and lien. I'm not sure if I should contact CitiFinancial, the OC, or the law office that filed the lien and handled the judgment. I'm hoping to come to a settlement agreement but with a judgment in place they could simply demand payment in full and there's not much I could do about it. Its been years since I heard from either, so I don't even know if they would even want to pursue it. I'm trying to find another attorney who might be willing to do a little bit of work. Amazing how hard it seems to find quality people anymore. I emailed another consumer law attorney last week, but they haven't even responded to my query.

 

I'm including a link to a Chicago news story about P. N. Financial from this past October. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/04/16/chicago-woman-says-she-was-ripped-off-by-debt-settlement-firm...

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