Asset Acceptance - paid settlement but still harrassing me

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Acacia, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Acacia

    Acacia Member

    Greetings All, I found this forum quite a few years ago (2006?) but it's been so long since I logged in that I just created a new account. You all are a wealth of knowledge and I wish I could count how many folks I've sent to this site.
    My problem: Over a year ago, I was receiving correspondence from Asset Acceptance for two different accounts. They were offering to settle for what really ended up being a significantly lower amount, so I went ahead and settled (I hadn't been on this forum for a while and completely forgot about pay-for-delete, that's my fault.) I used their automatic payment system and not only do I still have the settlement letters where I wrote the confirmation numbers down on them, I still have the email responses with the date, amount, etc as well as my bank statement where the funds were withdrawn. Now, over a year later, I am still receiving phone calls almost daily as well as two letters in my snail mailbox offering to settle these same two accounts each month. I have saved quite a few of the voice mails (which more often than not is just someone typing and nothing identifying themselves, although caller ID on the message states Asset Acceptance - that is, IF they leave a message) as well as most of the letters they've sent. I have not talked with them yet, nor have I responded to any correspondence. I really have been waiting to see if they would take another step and send these to an attorney.
    Before I *do* anything - I wanted to check and see if I have any recourse...meaning, can I threaten them with anything? I would think that they would have already kicked this over to an attorney if they were going to...can I get them to delete these two TLs now since they are still trying to collect? Maybe an "I'll not sue if you will now delete these" kind of thing? Any options I can take other than arguing with them? I can provide the proof of payment, no problem - but I feel like I shouldn't have to since I was following their written instructions in the settlement letter.
    Any feedback is greatly appreciated!!
  2. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member


    I would sue for (a) breach of contract, and (b) violation of the FDCPA. (false and misleading representation that they would settle the account; harassment; etc.)

    In the complaint, I would transcribe the letters from them which made the settlement offer, i.e. contract; and the payment information for the transactions showing your acceptance, and satisfaction of your half of the contract.

    You don't necessarily need an attorney to do the suit, but if you're not comfortable doing that yourself, it can be a worth-while expense.
  3. Acacia

    Acacia Member

    Thanks for the reply, Jam! That truly helps to boost my confidence that I really might have something. I admittedly have very little knowledge of the law in this situation, so I probably should go to an attorney to make sure it's done right. When I pulled my credit reports, both accounts show the payment I made and the date it was made, but the account balance is steadily growing.

    Do you think I would get any benefit out of sending a letter that contains the date of payment and the amount along with stating my intentions to file suit unless they cease all communication, delete the tradeline and remit $X.xx to me or would that now just be giving them a heads up on what they've done where they won't do anything else unless I file suit? That wouldn't negate my option to file suit since I have all the written communications, documentation of payment, etc would it?

    Here's what it looks like on my Experian:
    Balance History - The following data will appear in the following format:
    account balance / date payment received / scheduled payment amount / actual amount paid
    Jun 2012: $557 / June 30, 2011 / no data / $400
    May 2012: $549 / June 30, 2011 / no data / $400
    Apr 2012: $543 / June 30, 2011 / no data / $400
    Mar 2012: $534 / June 30, 2011 / no data / $400
    Feb 2012: $522 / June 30, 2011 / no data / $400
    Dec 2011: $506 / June 30, 2011 / no data / $400
    Nov 2011: $499 / June 30, 2011 / no data / $400
    Oct 2011: $490 / June 30, 2011 / no data / $400
    Aug 2011: $481 / June 30, 2011 / no data / $400

    Oddly enough, the "limited time offer" they sent me this month on this particular account is an offer to settle for $399 - exactly one dollar less than what I paid for the settlement 06/30/2011. Thank you again so much for your response, I don't have the words to express how reassuring it is to have this forum where people know what they are talking about and are willing to provide input!
  4. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    Typically, when you intend to file the suit, you still draft a copy of the suit, and give them the courtesy of letting them resolve it (hopefully by offering to send you a check for the inconvenience that they've caused you) before filing the suit with the court. :)

    Not sure how far you are from the nearest federal courthouse, but they may have a bare bones template for you to use to draw out your complaint (it's really not as difficult as most people believe). :)
  5. Acacia

    Acacia Member

    Thanks again Jam! Actually, I'm about 15 minutes from downtown Nashville, so not far away from a Federal Courthouse at all. Thank you for the suggestion there might be a barebones template there I might could use - is there a common name for it that I should ask for when I go? Again, sorry - totally ignorant of the law and trying to learn!

    Do you think each written communication is a separate violation (ie, two each month/one per account) or is it just one violation total per account even though it's been 12 months...and out of curiousity, if you went this route, would you tell them a dollar amount you are planning to sue for unless they wanted to settle for X% or is that extortion? :)

    I truly appreciate the time you're taking to provide input and insight!
  6. Acacia

    Acacia Member

    I was able to locate a template that I think I'm going to use - could Jam or anyone please give feedback? Also about the violations and damages, etc if there's any recommendations for a dollar amount I should use that would be reasonable. I plan to draft the letter and complaint and post a copy here for feedback. Thanks for all the help!!

    (Legal pleading template below - the one I found has a column of numbers running down the left hand margin from 1-28)

    [Names of attorneys]
    [Attorneys' business address]

    [Court name]

    [Plaintiff's name],
    [Defendant's name],
    Defendant )
    ) Case No.: [Case number]

    [Pleading title]

    Dated this [Date]

    [Attorneys' address]
    [Attorneys' names]
  7. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    That looks like it's fairly consistent. I was trying to get as much information from your local court as possible, but they didn't have something similar to this document from the AZ Federal Court.$File/prose.pdf page 9 gives you an idea of the information that would go inside the template of the lawsuit.

    Filing information from the Clerk of Courts web site.
    Filing Information | United States District Court

    This is the Cover Sheet for the suit.

    If you are unable to pay the filing fees. Prepaying Fees or Costs (Long Form).pdf
  8. Acacia

    Acacia Member

    Jam, I don't have the words that express the level of gratitude I have for this information! I'll review and post an update to this thread as soon as I can - thank you again so much!!
  9. Acacia

    Acacia Member

    Okay, here's my intent to sue letter as well as the complaint that I've drafted. Please be gentle as I am no expert of the law and you'll see where I've intentionally avoided citing law back to them (they already know the law - and I figure this will help them to decide to settle to avoid a court appearance for something they know they will lose) but I welcome any feedback, suggestions and/or recommendations!! Apologies in advance for any formatting problems with this post -

    Re: me v. Asset Acceptance


    To Whom It May Concern:

    This letter serves as notice of my intent to file suit against Asset Acceptance in the Federal District Court of Middle Tennessee for multiple violations under the FDCPA and actual damages. The draft complaint is attached for your review.

    On 06/30/2011, I took advantage of a settlement offer you sent to me in the mail for two accounts:
    1) XXXXXX
    2) XXXXXX

    I have retained the confirmation numbers assigned during this transaction as well as the bank statements showing your company withdrew the funds from my account. Further, I have reports from all three CRAs showing the amounts and date of 06/30/2011 – where YOU reported the receipt of payment to each CRA.

    Instead of considering the matter resolved and closed, you have continued to call both my work and home (evidenced by phone records) almost daily, and more often than not, multiple times each day. Additionally, I have received two pieces of mail from you offering yet an additional settlement on these same accounts monthly. I cannot interpret these continued attempts as anything other than trying to falsely mislead this consumer into sending your company further funds on a previously settled account. The intentional misrepresentation of these accounts on my credit reports has caused me to be denied credit totaling more than $10,000.

    This matter requires your immediate attention as I fully intend to file this complaint with the Federal Court in Nashville, Tenessee, if a response is not received within thirty (30) days of receipt of this letter. Should you desire a settlement in lieu of contending this suit, my settlement terms are as follows:

    1. Asset Acceptance agrees that (me) has settled this account satisfactorily as of 06/30/2011
    2. Asset Acceptance will remove the tradelines and entries associated to each account listed above from (my) credit reports. This includes all credit bureaus to which Asset Acceptance reports. Asset Acceptance agrees to do this within 30 days.
    3. Asset Acceptance will remit a payment of no less than $5,000 to (me) for actual damages caused from denial of credit, as well as multiple violations of the FDCPA.
    4. Asset Acceptance will not report this debt to any Credit Reporting Agencies in the future.
    5. Asset Acceptance agrees not to sell or in any way transfer this debt to another party, nor continue any further collection activities.
    6. Asset Acceptance agrees that if after agreeing to this settlement and this settlement is violated in any manner by Asset Acceptance, then Asset Acceptance agrees to pay (me) the sum of $12,000 as a penalty.

    (my address)
    Nashville, TN


    Asset Acceptance,
    Defendant )

    To date, the Defendant has intentionally attempted collection on two accounts previously settled with their company on 06/30/2011. Collection attempts have included multiple calls to home and office almost daily, as well as one written letter for each account at least monthly with a further settlement offer. Attached are the settlement letters acted upon, confirmation numbers for each, my bank statement showing the amounts withdrawn by the Defendant, and the portion of the credit report from each bureau showing the Defendant updated with the amount of each settlement but still reports the accounts as ‘Open’ and in collections, causing actual damages because the Defendant was denied credit in excess of $10,000. This is also a breach of contract and violation of the FDCPA because they provided false and misleading representation indicating they would settle the account and proceeded to harass the Plaintiff causing distress.

    1. The Defendant will remit a total of $12,000 to the Plaintiff which includes
    a. Payment for multiple violations of the FDCPA and
    b. Damages incurred by the Plaintiff for emotional distress and distracting the Plaintiff from performing job duties, as well as previous denial of credit.

    Dated this 9th day of July 2012

    (my address)
  10. Acacia

    Acacia Member

    ....bumping back up...anyone have any advice? Am I totally off track? What I'm hoping to accomplish in the end is that Asset Acceptance agrees to my terms (the $ requested really doesn't matter to me, but it would be nice to get!) and doesn't try to force me to file a suit. The settlement was paid and I have all the supporting information to prove it so they don't have a leg to stand on in court (at least IMHO) meaning they would be crazy/stupid to allow it to go to court...I've got them by the short-hairs, don't I?
  11. Acacia

    Acacia Member

    Bump? Please, anyone have any input at all? I want to handle this to get the most bang for my buck since I really think I have Asset Acceptance over a barrel on these two accounts. I know with all the experience this board has there must be someone who can at least give me a clue if I'm heading in the right direction with this or if I'm totally off base. I welcome any feedback from anyone...
  12. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    This is not my expertise, so I was hoping jam would reply. I don't think you're moving in the wrong direction at all, but I would still want a good attorney to take a quick look before sending.
    Jam- what's your take?
  13. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    Sorry for being away for a bit, had a busy weekend, and was away from my computer, and do you know how fun trying to type a detailed message on a forum is on an android cell phone browser? :)

    Only thing that would need to be done is some simple formatting.

    Remember the golden rules, I am not an attorney, don't play one on TV, and all of the same standard things...

    The plaintiff, (me) is a consumer who resides in (county), (state), residing at (address), (city), (state) (zip), who wishes to file a complaint under the Fair Debts Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq. hereinafter â??FDCPAâ?).

    The defendant, (aa) is a (state) (corporate structure) with a business address of (address), (city), (state) (zip).

    (under 1a) Payment of damages under the FDCPA. (not multiple, FDCPA is a $1,000 one-time suit, unless they violate again after you sue, then you could sue on the subsequent violations.)
    (1b) Payment of damages due under the FCRA (YOU have disputed the reporting, thusfar??? - say for "$0 balance" "PAID AS AGREED")
    (1c) Damages incurred by the Plaintiff for denial of credit resulting from the incomplete, inaccurate, and unverifiable reporting of the alleged account, breech of contract, distraction from performance of job-duties due to defendant's continued harassment at work, and emotional distress.
  14. Acacia

    Acacia Member

    AWESOME!! Thank you so much Jam and JoshuaHeckathorn!! I will make some adjustments and repost to ask for another once-over, just to be certain. And Jam, no worries - you're the one doing ME a favor, I just appreciate all the information and guidance...sorry if I seemed a little anxious!
  15. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    The irony is that I was really, really, really, really, really close to your neck of the woods... :)
  16. Acacia

    Acacia Member

    well let me know the next time you're out my way and I'll buy you a frosty adult beverage or six!! :)

    While I'm working on revisions, I had a thought hit me.....Thanks for clearing up the FDCPA violation of $1,000 - that was always a gray area for me that I never could quite understand how they accrued....with that said, since Asset has two separate accounts they've been handling this way (the two pieces of mail I get monthly and keep referring to is one for each account) - could I not separate this out into two different letters/complaints and send for both (same wording and just change the account number)? Or would that be too much and it would be better to keep them together?
  17. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    Yep, I would separate the accounts into their own little suit. :)

    You could do one letter, that you intend to file the following suits, each for their handling of the individual accounts.
  18. Acacia

    Acacia Member

    once again, thanks a million Jam! Sorry, real life got in the way and I'm just now getting back to this....In going through the wonderful tips you gave in the information you provided for me to use in my legal pleading (that I am so grateful for!), I noticed that you ask if I've disputed the reporting of these accounts thus far....well, no I haven't done that yet - I've been so ticked off at Asset for this that I was just shoving the CRAs out of the equation to go right for Asset lol.

    Now that I've been reading more (I swear I learn 4 or 5 new things everyday...) and creating DV letters for a couple of other accounts, I realize that I have to dispute first to set up my rights. Okay.

    Now, off to word a DV letter for the CRAs!
  19. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    The FDCPA is one prong. In your case, two accounts, two causes of action for up to $1,000.00 each.

    The FCRA is a second prong. In your case, two trade lines, two disputes, up to $1,000.00 for each time that the Data Furnisher verifies the information that is incomplete, inaccurate, or unverifiable.

    Now, would you rather have a flat $2,000.00, or $2,000.00 + a bonus $2,000.00 a month? :)
  20. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    Ironically, I am equally as flippant when I send my own ITSes... :)

    What can I say, I honestly do use a 3-ton sledgehammer in my ITSes, then close with a "Have a nice day!"

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