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Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
0

Double dipping!

My friend's credit report shows 24 negatives.  Upon close scrutiny, we discovered that Emporia Credit Services Inc. and Hudson Law Offices have the same address, are both reporting the same two debts (duplicates), both are reporting the exact same information to include DOFD & assignment date.

 

This is a FCRA violation, yes?

 

What would be the best way to address the company?  The goal is to have them delete all 4 entries from the credit report.

 

More information on the debt - 

Creditor name - Augusta Health Care

Amount owed - $1,115

DOFD - 09/2004

Date assigned to CA - 05/2006

Date last updated to CR - 11/2008

 

Creditor name - Augusta Health Care

Amount owed - $202

DOFD - 09/2004

Date assigned to CA - 03/2006

Date last updated to CR - 11/2008

 

She also has one more debt on the CR listed once under Emporia.

 

Creditor name - Augusta Health Care

Amount owed - $29 (original debt), $1410 (what they reported this month to CA that they want now!)

DOFD - 08/2004

Date assigned to CA - 09/2004

Date last updated to CR - 12/2010

 

No, she does not have the money to pay them.  The earliest she could start making payments would be 02/2011.

 

1)  Should she approach them for deletion of the duplicate files?

2)  Should she leave it alone?  It should delete from her credit report in either Sept or Oct 2011.

3) VA state SOL is 6 years I believe.

 

Thanks for the input!  Hearing advice from others will help her make a decision on what to do.   She will eventually pay them, but doesn't want to invite trouble if it's not needed.  :smileyhappy:

Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
0

Re: Double dipping!

PS -

 

1.  Has anyone dealt with either entity name - Emporia or Hudson Law Offices?

 

2.  Does anyone have an idea why they are inflating the $29 fee to a bloated $1410, but not adding any interest or fees to the other two balances?

Established Member
RammaCredit
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎07-14-2010
0

Re: Double dipping!

I would just dispute all of them with no knowlege of collection acct, or fraudulent collection..technically only one account is yours.and then I would send VOD's for each of the accounts to  the name and address listed for each account on your credit report  to the agency while the investigation is going  on with the CRA's. this will work to either remove or at least get the double dipping under control. Equifax will be the hardest so make sure you do the VOD.


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Moderator Emeritus
llecs
Posts: 32,869
Registered: ‎08-04-2007
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Re: Double dipping!

IOBA, IMO, they appear to be reporting correctly. It looks like 4 different debts and aren't duplicated.

 

Even if they are the same debt, SOL would be my biggest concern. Make sure she has the $$$ to PIF before doing anything. Even if it were 100% for sure two or more are duplicated, disputing it will lead to increased collection activity. Judging by the CA's name, it's a small town and the chances of being sued there might be better than elsewhere.

Mega Contributor
RobertEG
Posts: 18,475
Registered: ‎03-19-2007
0

Re: Double dipping!

I dont see improper reporting.

Apparently there is an OC  account # 1 with Augusta Health care

         DOFD on this OC account of 9/2004

         then a referral/sale to a debt collector in 5/2006, with a debt, as of that date, of $1,115

         then four years, six months of accruing interest on the upaid debt.

         Debt unpaid,so  interest accrual. is proper, as with any unpaid debt.

Then there is apparently an OC  account # 2   with Augusta Health care

         DOFD on this OC account of 9/2004

         then a referral/sale to a debt collector in 3/2006, with a debt, as of that date, of $202

         then four years, six months of accruing interest on the upaid debt.

Then there is apparently an OC  account # 3   with Augusta Health careso a

         DOFD on this OC account of 8/2004

         then a referral/sale to a debt collector in 5/2006, with a debt, as of that date, of $20

         then four years, six months of accruing interest on the upaid debt.

 

I dont see any duplicatilon.

Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
0

Re: Double dipping!

Sorry if this was not as clear as it could be.  On her credit report, it reads

 

CA - Emporia

Creditor name - Augusta Health Care

Amount owed - $1,115

DOFD - 09/2004

Date assigned to CA - 05/2006

Date last updated to CR - 11/2008

 

CA - Hudson Law Offices

Creditor name - Augusta Health Care

Amount owed - $1,115

DOFD - 09/2004

Date assigned to CA - 05/2006

Date last updated to CR - 11/2008

 

CA - Emporia

Creditor name - Augusta Health Care

Amount owed - $202

DOFD - 09/2004

Date assigned to CA - 03/2006

Date last updated to CR - 11/2008

 

CA - Hudson Law Offices

Creditor name - Augusta Health Care

Amount owed - $202

DOFD - 09/2004

Date assigned to CA - 03/2006

Date last updated to CR - 11/2008

 

CA - Emporia 

Creditor name - Augusta Health Care

Amount owed - $29 (original debt), $1410 (what they reported this month to CA that they want now!)

DOFD - 08/2004

Date assigned to CA - 09/2004

Date last updated to CR - 12/2010

 

 

There are a total of three legit debts.

 

Emporia lists all 3 of them.

 

Hudson Law Offices -- which has the exact same address as Emporia -- is listing two of the debts as well.  ALL of the information is exactly the same for the two debts that BOTH Emporia and Hudson Law Offices are reporting.

 

It appears that Emporia and Hudson Law Offices are the same business (same exact address on the credit report).   BOTH agencies are reporting the SAME two debts.  

 

The question is -- isn't that illegal??

 

***

 

She can dispute them, but she probably really and truly owes them the money.   She does not have the money to pay them at all.   She can set them up with a $5 a month payment plan -- which she may approach them on.   She won't approach the company until she has a strategy to deal with the same company reporting twice under two company names.

 

***

 

Any clue why Emporia is stating the original debt is $29 and they now what $1410 for that debt?  The debt is from 2004.  All three debts are from 2004 and past the SOL in VA.   State law says collection interest can not exceed 6% annually.  No way the balance has naturally inflated to $1410 with the legal interest.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
0

Re: Double dipping!

Robert, please see above post....

 

I dont see improper reporting.

 

Apparently there is an OC  account # 1 with Augusta Health care  ** OC is NOT reporting the debt - just two different CA's with the same address.  

         DOFD on this OC account of 9/2004

         then a referral/sale to a debt collector in 5/2006, with a debt, as of that date, of $1,115

         then four years, six months of accruing interest on the upaid debt.

         Debt unpaid,so  interest accrual. is proper, as with any unpaid debt.  ** There is not interest accruing on this debt.   The original balance was $1,115 and that is the amount showing as unpaid.


Then there is apparently an OC  account # 2   with Augusta Health care  ** Same notes as above.  OC not reporting, no interest has been added to this debt.  Two CA's reporting this debt, but they appear to be the same CA as they have the same address and are reporting exactly the same information!

         DOFD on this OC account of 9/2004

         then a referral/sale to a debt collector in 3/2006, with a debt, as of that date, of $202

         then four years, six months of accruing interest on the upaid debt.

 

Then there is apparently an OC  account # 3   with Augusta Health careso a

         DOFD on this OC account of 8/2004

         then a referral/sale to a debt collector in 5/2006, with a debt, as of that date, of $29 

         then four years, six months of accruing interest on the upaid debt. **Four years, six months of interest at the legal rate of 6% annually could not possible add up to $1381 in interest.   That is literally at $25 fee per month, every month for 54 months.  But why add so much in "fees" to the balance of the smallest of the three debts?  The two larger ones ($202, $1,115)  don't have any interest added to them.

 

I dont see any duplicatilon.  ** The duplication is Emporia is Hudson Law Offices (same address, acquired the debt the same month/year, and report exactly the same on the CR).  So Emporia lists both debts.  Hudson lists the same exact debts as well.  Since Emporia IS Hudson, they both are reporting the same information, isn't that a violation???

 

Sorry for the confusion.  I was trying to keep things simple and I realize I didn't convey  the information as well as I could.  (dang it!)

 

I hope this helps!  If not, ask again, and I will try again, in a different way.

Mega Contributor
RobertEG
Posts: 18,475
Registered: ‎03-19-2007
0

Re: Double dipping!

[ Edited ]

If the inference is that two parties sharing the same correspondence address are then, necesarily, the same legal party under the law, then..... what legal basis for such an assumption?

to pursue that  line requrires an attorney.

But that is not what I see that they have asserted.  They assert separate legal status as a debt collector.

There is no statutory prohibition that I am aware of  for muttiple debt collectors to report their own, authororized activities to a CRA, and to have both reported as accurate collection activity on their part.

 

Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
0

Re: Double dipping!

Ok....but if the two businesses are really the SAME business, and they are both reporting the same debt, at the same time, isn't that illegal?

 

Only one CA can be collecting on a debt at a time, I believe.  

 

My "problem" with the situation is that -

 

* the two "companies" are really one company

* BOTH are claiming and reporting that they are owed the money

* to an outsider looking at the report, it appears to be two different debts, to the same OC, for the exact same amount (the reality is it is one debt, to one company).

 

She will start making payments to pay off the debt in Feb 2011.  She definitely owes the money, but not 2x over to two different companies that are really one company.

 

I am sorry this is soooo confusing!

 

It's kinda like you borrowing money from Grandma.   Then your mom comes to you and says pay up now!  And tells everyone you owe her/grandma $1114!   At the same time, your dad pulls you aside and says pay up now!  And tells everyone you owe him/grandma $1114!   Now "everyone" thinks you have two debts and shame on you for owing both mom/grandma AND dad/grandma.   Really, you owe grandma the money.   But you look so bad because two other people are claiming you owe money...

 

And you really want to say, "Hey, I owe grandma the money, but dad is collecting for her.  I have no idea why mom butted in, but she needs to butt out!  It's dad's mom that gets paid.  And I will pay it back."

 

Make sense?

 

Again, I am sorry this is confusing.

Mega Contributor
RobertEG
Posts: 18,475
Registered: ‎03-19-2007
0

Re: Double dipping!

[ Edited ]

 

Yes,only one debt collector can legally be assigned to continue active  debt collection activity at one time, acting on behalf of the OC, who still owns the debt.

But that is not the same as credit reporting authority.

Dual reportng of an amount owed on a debt is not the same as dual assertion of ownership of a debt.

Let's say that the OC assigns debt collection authority to debt collector 1, who then reports their authorized collection activities to the CRA by posting of CA1 to the consumer CR. Debt collector reporting is NOT necessarily a statement of debt owed to them (while it might be, if they purchased the debt). It will only be, if the OC still owns the debt,  just a statement of the amount of debt they are authorixzed to collect on behalf of the OC.

Then the OC terminates collection authority to debt collector 1, and re-assigns it to debt collector 2.  Then debt collector 2 can legally post a new  CA2 to the consumer credit file.  There is no provision of either the FCRA or the FDCPA that then requires debt collector 1 to then delete their accurate prior reporrting of their CA1.  So there is no provision of statue or rule that prohibits more than one debt collector from posting to a consumer credit file, or any requirement that the later posting by a new debt collector mandates deletion of prior reporting done by a prior debt collector. 

Yes, I agree that debt collector 1 must, in such an event,  update their collection amount balance on CA1 to $0 once their collection authority is terminated, and cease future collection activities.  But deletion of their accurate, prior reporting of their CA1 itself is not required.  Just a collection balance amount status update to reflect $0.  FICO does not score this simple status update, and the CA can remain.   Some debt collectors may simply delete their prior CA once removed from collection authority, but are not required to do so.

I think there is some confusion about what is reported as a balance due under an OC account vs. a debt collector CA account as being a reporting of debt owed.

As for debt collectors, it is not necesarilly a reporrting of anything owed to them. 

When an OC reports a balance owed, yes, they own the debt, so the balance reported by an OC is of debt owed to them.

However, when a debt collector reports to a CRA, there is one single reporting balance code  they report under, which is the same code, regardless of whether the own the debt, or are just reporting the amount authorized to them to collect.  If the OC still owns the debt, than the same amount will show twice in your CR.  Once under the OC account, as debt owed to the OC, and then under CA1 as the amount of debt they are authorized to collect. 

 

To assert that one single debt collector is fraudulently posting dual CAs to your credit file by using different names when they are in fact the same debt collector is a serious allegation of legal fraud.  I would not make this assumption lightly, and would not rely on the fact that they have the same correspondencce address as legal proof of separate identity.  To pursue such an assertion requires investigation by competent legal counsel.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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