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New here and I have a question

Regular Contributor

New here and I have a question

Hi all!  I'm hoping that someone here will be able to help me out or at least point me in the direction I need to go.  My husband and I are having a problem regarding credit damage due to his previous marriage.
We pulled his credit report a couple of months ago and were shocked to see a repossession on a vehicle that his ex was to take financial responsibility of per the divorce decree.  This repo is showing up on his credit 3 times now.  The original creditor, the 1st company to buy the debt and now a new company that is attempting to collect.  I sent the new company a letter and have talked with them over the phone.  Because my husband and his ex are listed jointly on the note they are trying to get us to pay the $10k.  They say our only recourse is to pay the debt and then sue the ex in court for the money we are out.  Hello, we don't have 10k just lying around to pay this debt off.
If I send in a copy of the divorce decree stating that the ex is financially responsible for the debt to the credit reporting agencies will this help our situation?  Is there anyway at all that I can avoid talking to the collection agency and go straight thru to the original creditor?  What can I do..what should I do first?
Also during the divorce their home was foreclosed on.  Per the decree each was to assume 1/2 the debt of 92k.  On his report he is showing the full 92k...I am naive in the ways of credit but shouldn't that amount only be around 46k?  Not that it's any better.
Any help would be so appreciated!
911 Operators....America's Lifeline!
Message 1 of 16
Established Contributor

Re: New here and I have a question

Woo- Been there, done that.
The only thing your DH can do regarding the credit file is to note with the CRAs that item(s) was/were responsibilty of ex and write goodwill letters in hopes that some human with a sliver of sympathy will help. Highly doubtful on a mortgage.
On joint accounts, BOTH parties are responsible for the FULL amount, not each for half. In otherwords, if your DH paid half of the defaulted auto loan, believe me - they would continue to hound him for the balance. And legally he is responsible for the entire amount. Like I said - been there. Fortunately, after the auto company talked to MY ex, they knew they would HAVE to sue him, so they did settle for half. Thanks new my new DH, it was taken care of. Still on my report as a paid collection, though, and will be for about three more years...
" I like to live as a poor man, with a lot of money." - Pablo Picasso (who was a jerk.)
Message 2 of 16
Senior Contributor

Re: New here and I have a question

Despite what the divorce decree says, it is not binding on creditors as they were not a party to the decree.
On the repo vehicle for which the CA wants $10K, I would DV them. Your husband may or may not be liable for it.
On the foreclosure, your only recourse is likely to sue your husband's ex.
I would add a mention about community property states. They are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Both spouses are equally responsible for individual credit accounts--before and after divorce.
If you ever divorce in a community property state, press your soon to be ex and your attorney to have the divorce decree stipulate closing all accounts and either sell or individually refi the financed vehicles and homes. Probably a good idea if you aren't in a community property state.

Message Edited by Noah_Bodie on 07-01-2007 12:11 AM
Message 3 of 16
Regular Contributor

Re: New here and I have a question

Thanks for the replies...I read the post about DV the CA wanting 10k.  I did send them a letter and this is a copy of the text

Dear Sirs,

I am in receipt of your letter attempting to collect this debt. The date of the letter is 04-10-07 and I am within my 30 days of contact to request further information regarding the account. Please send original creditor information and information regarding the property that was financed as I have no record of the debt. If there is no response from you within 30 days I will assume the debt is invalid and therefore no other collections should be attempted and whatever negative information that has been reported to credit reporting agencies should be removed

They didn't reply by letter with any information instead they started calling try to find my husband.  They called our apartment complex office, his former employer and his current employer.  I'm kicking myself because Ididn't send the letter CMRR.  Can I resend the letter CMRR requesting the information again?





911 Operators....America's Lifeline!
Message 4 of 16
Senior Contributor

Re: New here and I have a question

Your letter clearly constitutes a DV letter. There is nothing in the statutes about the specific language, but yours is fine IMHO.
Did you save a copy of the letter? If so, keep it and file it.
Did you write it in MS Word or something and save an electronic copy? If so, burn a CD with the file on it. Copy it to a 3.5" floppy. Copy it to the CD and floppy so the original date remains intact. File those.
Yes, you can send another DV letter. Under law, DV letters beyond 30 days of initial contact with the CA can legally be ignored by the CA. However, it's been the experience of many to send a DV letter anyway.
If they have validation, they will often gleefully send it along even though they aren't required to do anything. The message they are sending is, "If you go to court, we can prove you owe this debt so pay up."
If they don't validation, because it ain't yours, some CAs still stop calling you but leave the collection on your CRs. Is the collection still showing on your CRs? If so, send another DV letter, send it CMRRR, save the CM receipt, USPS receipt (has the CM # on it), a copy of your letter, and the RRR green card when it comes back. On your letter, put a reference line at the top with the CM #.
USPS CERTIFIED MAIL xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx
Your legal recourse is to sue the CA for a violation of the FDCPA §809(b). However, there is a cheaper alternative you can try.
Send your DV letter like I described, and when the RRR green card comes back photocopy everything. When you photocopy, put the letter on the front, and photocopy the CM receipt, RRR green card, and USPS receive to the back. Single sheet of paper with your DV on the front and proof on the back. Cuts down on mailing expenses if you can minimize the number of sheets you have to send. Send a dispute letter to the CRAs still showing the collection. Tell 'em you sent a debt validation letter in accordance with FDCPA §809(b) to the CA, but the CA has not complied by either validating the collection or deleting it from your credit report.
45 days after your RRR green card comes back, if the collection is still there on your CRs, repeat the process. Like I said, you can sue for a FDCPA violation, and a lot of consumer lawyers are interested in such cases. You can also file in small claims court by yourself. But this method requires only a bit of time, patience and persistence.
Message 5 of 16
Frequent Contributor

Re: New here and I have a question

You can also get the CA's to stop calling you b y writing a letter requesting to be contacted via mnail only. This is completely legal and part of the Fair credit and reporting act. That way you will have every communication in writing. Sorry to hear about your dilemma. Good luck.
Message 6 of 16
Senior Contributor

Re: New here and I have a question

cfstr1 wrote:
You can also get the CA's to stop calling you b y writing a letter requesting to be contacted via mnail only. This is completely legal and part of the Fair credit and reporting act. That way you will have every communication in writing.

Nothing in FCRA or FDCPA that requires them to write only. They can still call.
There's no such thing as a limited C&D. If you tell them to C&D, they will stop calling and writing, and if you are still under the SOL you have all but assured they will sue. Even if you're out from under the SOL, they might still sue.
For me personally, I almost never C&D anything. Anyone who's thinking about C&D, feel free to ask me what I would do. I'll tell you what I would do in your circumstances, and you can weigh the pros and cons for yourself.
All that said, if you want to reduce the likelihood that a CA will call you, then try this. Either in a DV letter, or any written correspondence, say, "My employer does not permit personal calls at work, and all calls to my home are recorded. Please communicate with me only in writing."
Again, they don't have to honor your request. You could just as well ask for McDonalds coupons with every letter they send you or request a date with Franka Potente before you'll consider paying them.
However, lets break it down bit by bit.
"My employer does not permit personal calls at work"
This part is enforceable under §805(a)(3).
... a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt ... at the consumer's place of employment if the debt collector knows or has reason to know that the consumer's employer prohibits the consumer from receiving such communication.
If you communicate this to them via CMRRR, then their behinds are nailed if they call you at work.
"all calls to my home are recorded"
A softer hammer, but a hammer nonetheless. Whether you record or not, CAs know they get into lots of trouble when consumers record them and catch them in violations. With either an allegation of police abuse, or the allegation of a crime witnessed by police officers, videotape is golden. With CAs, audiotape is golden.
"Please communicate with me only in writing"
Gives them an out to pursue the desirable behavior.
Message 7 of 16
Regular Contributor

Re: New here and I have a question

First of all..thanks to everyone that has responded!  I am learning so much from this forum and all the contributors.
I will go ahead and send another DV to this CA.  With a CMRRR.  Even though they acknowledged that they received the first DV~ by phone, not in writing ~ this doesn't mean that they have validated the debt.   I should receive something in writing, correct?  During this "validation" period they are to not call or attempt to collect the debt ~true?  So in actuality I shouldn't be receiving any phone calls from them at this time  ~I'm getting at least 3 calls a week that I let the machine pick up and my husband just told me that he's been getting several messages a week at work.  So are they in violation??  The original DV is saved in a Word Document file and I will be burning a copy to disk for future reference.  Should I make the new DV to the attention of the guy that's been harrassing us?
Ok, say I don't receive anything back in writing in the alloted time frame and calls continue... is that the time to take the matter to our attorney?  Or is sending the information and proof of my DV attempt to the credit bureaus enough? And if they are unable to validate and this CA is removed from the CR's then what course do we have to remove the baddie from the original creditor HSBC Auto?
The HSBC Auto is suppose to drop off in Aug 2010.  The loan was bought by Thornton Financial in Jan 2006 (reaged?) and is scheduled to drop off in April 2009.  The CA for Thornton is Synergetic Communications.  Why do they have different drop off dates?
This all gets so confusing!  Can we just get a do over?Woman Wink
I'm not so much really worried about the foreclosure ~ three more years on the CR.  I checked my husbands EQ Fico and he's at 589.  When we first started shopping around for homes...just to see where we stand we were told that 589 was his middle score.  I'm fixin to type out a bunch of DV's for other accounts (small medical bills) and hopefully I can get some of this stuff deleted.  He doesn't have any credit cards ~ never has had any! The only positive items on his credit are Ford Motor Credit paid off in full with no lates and that utilities are paid on time.  We've applied for a Shell Card and one with CCCU.  Hopefully I can get some open accounts and show solid payment history to help get his numbers up.  Then we work on my credit ~ which is even scary than his!
I know y'all are probably sick of the questions but to save from having to start a new's another one for ya!
Toyota Motor Credit ~this is still DH's credit
Repossession Dec 2000
Date Opened 05/2000
Date of last Status 02-2001
30 days as of 10/00,09/00,07/00
60 days as of 11/00
No drop off date listed for this debt
but the loan was purchased by another lender
Date of last Status 09-2006
Account schedule to drop off 06-2007
My husband went to court on this matter in 2003 I believe ~ they were trying to get a judgement.  He has never heard another word from them or was served any paperwork.  He was a police officer in the county where they tried to get the judgement..he was easy to find ~yet nothing.  Now he's afraid that while we are trying to get everything straightened out this is going to jump up and bite him in the butt.
Should both of these drop off now?
Are we close to having this one drop off?  The dates confuse me.  Should this one be gone in 2009? Or can we get it off now?
Bank One
Date Opened  01/99
Reported since 02-99
Date of Status 08-02
Last Reported 08/02
Status - Paid, Closed/Current, was past due 60 days
60 days as of 12-00
30 days as of 09/01,08/01,07/01,11-00
911 Operators....America's Lifeline!
Message 8 of 16
Senior Contributor

Re: New here and I have a question

Yes, when you timely DV, they have to either validate in writing or cease collection efforts--including calls, letters, lawsuits and CRA reporting.


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.


If you still have the original letter the CA sent you, check §809(a) to see whether that letter complies with items (1) thru (5).


Read the Cass letter. Specifically Roman Numeral two (II).


Any communication after they received your DV letter, if it ain't validation, is a violation. I believe there is caselaw that a CA sending a letter stating, "We're still trying to validate" constitutes a §809(b) violation.


In the DV letter you're gonna send CMRRR, reference your prior DV letter and their acknowledgment over the phone they received it. If you remember who you spoke with, and the date of the call, include that information. The name is likely an alias, but that's OK. Many states require CAs to register the fictitious names used by their agents. Goes towards the preponderance of evidence on your side. You show consistency and details in your account of what transpired and when. In your DV letter specifically state this is your second letter asking for validation, and their continued collection efforts constitutes a violation under FDCPA §809(b).


The CA actually isn't required under law to send you anything within any give time frame when they receive a DV letter. However, if the DV letter is timely, and they don't cease collections, then they are in violation.


The CA is in violation now, but the larger the pile of evidence, the more it tends to amount to a preponderance of evidence.


Once you get the RRR green card, watch for any new calls or letters. If you get any calls, and you have Caller ID, take a picture of the Caller ID unit showing the phone number, date and time. In case they are spoofing their Caller ID info, call the number to ensure it's theirs. If you get any letters, those are a bit more concrete. Their letterhead and all.


At that point, time to consider contacting a good consumer lawyer who knows credit/debt/FCRA/FDCPA issues. Either or are good sources.


Message 9 of 16
Regular Contributor

Re: New here and I have a question

THANK YOU!!!Smiley Happy
911 Operators....America's Lifeline!
Message 10 of 16