Advice on FDCPA in regards to debt collection letter
?09-23-2014 10:11 PM
First time poster, long time reader.
I have received a letter regarding an attempt to collect a debt and doing some research, I noticed that The FDCPA requires that CA's must include notices in the dunning letter. What is missing from the letter from the CA is:
"(3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;
(4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and
(5) a statement that, upon the consumer's written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.
(b) 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.
(c) The failure of a consumer to dispute the validity of a debt under this section may not be construed by any court as an admission of liability by the consumer."
The letter contains the language that the letter is "an attempt to collect a debt", the amount allegedly owed, and an account number associated with the Original Creditor. Along with some payment options, contact information to
discuss the payment of the debt, and some information on various state laws - located on the back of the dunning letter. Regarding payment options, there is a percentage where the CA will mark the entry as "paid, but not in full".
What is of further interest is that the Original Creditor was found to have committed consumer fraud by overcharging consumers and that a refund is due to consumers upon review of the billing statements of consumers.
I thought about attacking this in several ways:
Notify relevant State and Federal Consumer Protection Agencies and CRAs that the dunning letter failed to state my rights as required by Section 809(a)(3)(4)(5) - as noted above in violation of FDCPA, dispute the amount owed in view of the verdict against the Original Creditor and that the amount can not possibly be correct in view of overcharges (where the consumer is due a refund) as reported to the CRA's and thus is inaccurate - which if my understanding is correct, is against the law regarding inaccurate statements on Credit Reports, while:
Offering, as a gesture of goodwill in a letter to the CA, to settle the amount for a percentage if the CA drops all further pursuit of the alleged debt by considering the debt, "Paid In Full", and remove the entry from my Credit Report as inaccurate in light of the verdict against the Original Creditor (by emphasizing to the CA "that through the fault of the Original Creditor, the amount owed is inaccurate").
The reason being, that I am not beyond the Statue of Limitations for debt collection for my State. Disputing the validity of the debt may subject me to court action. I thought it would be better to offer the goodwill gesture of settling for a percentage.
I would like to know what you think regarding the actions.
Do I have an FDCPA complaint regarding Section 809(a)(3)(4)(5)/15 USC 1692g violations? If so, what are my remedies?
What do you think about the point that the amount owed is inaccurate in light of the verdict against the Original Creditor and removal from my Credit Report?