Attorney Letter???

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by greeneyez, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. greeneyez

    greeneyez Well-Known Member

    So I received this letter today from "law offices of donald r. conrad, attorney at law.

    the letter reads like this:

    In a box it says: "to pay online please visit Payment Center or for automated phone payment call 877-576-8501. We accept visa, mastercard, and discover. Or you can pay by secure online check. You must enter the following payment code : 723893549
    Re: Beaumont Laboratory
    acct: xxxxxx
    Current balance: 32.19

    Dear XXxxxx xxxx,

    Please be advised that I have been retained by Beaumont Laboratory with regard to an account you have that has a $32.19 owing. This account is past due. Apparently the matter is serious enough to be brought to my attention for the possibility of legal action.

    My client does not with to impose additional costs if this can be avoided. I have been asked by my client to write this letter to give you an opportunity to make arrangements for payment.

    To avoid legal action against you I urge you to call my office to discuss payment arrangements.

    Very Truly Yours,
    Dolald R. Conrad
    Attorney at Las

    15 USCS SEC. 1692E (11)

    734-513-6110 OR TOLL FREE 1-877-827-


    Isn't this illegal??? This appears to be a collections agency posing as a lawyer. Should I report this? What should be my next steps?
  2. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    My initial take, is that it's a violation?

    Was the 'signature' typed?

    More than likely, it's actually an attorney, but not one who actually meaningfully reviews the files before determining whether or not legal action is warranted. From my brief research, he's been licensed for 20 years.

    I find it hard to believe that the client would be dumb enough to invest a few hundred dollars to file a lawsuit over a $30.00 debt.

    This may sound strange, but check on the back of the letter for some legal gobbledygook that says something to the effect that "this may not have been reviewed by a lawyer", it's a smokescreen that they have been using to attempt to get around the false and misleading representation that the letter is from an attorney, and that the letter from an attorney is a threat of legal action.

    The problem is that their logic is wrong, and I can't confirm or deny that I have the proved their cohorts wrong... :)

    So, my strategy in this instance, is to go from 0 to $1,000.00 in 1 day. :)

    Basically, I draft a letter telling them of my intent to sue for the false and misleading representation that the communication is from an attorney, and the false threat of legal action.

    Then, I draft a really short suit to include with it.

    Basically, it starts out similar to

    "On xx/xx/xxxx, DSDA Attorney At Law sent the following dunning letter to the plaintiff.

    "" (Type the entirety of the letter.)

    "On xx/xx/xxxx, plaintiff advised the defendant that the debt was disputed in its entirety, and that their letter was in direct violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, for (a) false and misleading representation that the communication was from an attorney, and (b) the false threat of legal action."

    I would then send to the alleged original creditor, a letter stating that you received a communication from an alleged law firm who violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and if they do not want to end up as an additional party to your lawsuit against said attorney, they will immediately recall the account.

    This is where I am polite enough to advise them that the penalty for not doing so, is $1,000.00 per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. :)
  3. greeneyez

    greeneyez Well-Known Member

    The letter was not signed with a wet-ink signature, just a typed signature. I will check when I get home to see if there is any funny business on the back of the letter. These people have blown up my phone, and it wasn't until yesterday that I got any written correspondence. Should I not send a letter for validation, and simply skip to the step you mentioned pertaining to the 1000 fine?

    As always, you rock, JAM!
  4. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    Oh, you want to demand validation in the same letter that you ask for the $1,000.00 in damages (not a fine)... :)

    Typed signature = violation :)

    This article is for a facsimile signature, but the same principle holds, if their signature isn't physically on the letter with ink, it's a violation. The logic being, if they didn't even look at the letter for the 2 seconds that it takes to sign an individual letter in a stack of letters, they surely didn't perform a legal review of the case before affixing their name as a lawyer, and a law firm letter head is an implied representation that s--- is getting real, and they are going to sue. (That's almost the verbiage in case law.)

    Additionally, this page has some more information on caselaw

    Specifically Russey v. Rankin, 911 F. Supp. 1449 (DNM 1995) (collection agency sent a letter purporting to be from an attorney, but the attorney never reviewed the letter but merely had his name affixed to form correspondence)

    Update: Avoiding Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) Claims | Curt Langley - JDSupra

    On page 38, it references Gonzales v. Kay, 577 F.3d 600 (5th Cir. 2009); the district court ruled with the consumer, despite the letter stating that "“At this point in time, no attorney with this firm has personally reviewed the particular circumstances of your account.”

    Lastly... A primer on the FDCPA, Creditor Harassment & Debtor's Rights and Defense of Credit Card Suits. Lawrence Rubin, Attorney
  5. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    Bouncing for an update. ;)
  6. greeneyez

    greeneyez Well-Known Member

    Sorry for the delay. So this is interesting: This "attorney" (CA) quit sending letters, and never reported. They also haven't sent me anything nor called me.
  7. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    If it was me, I would send them a letter that their ceasing collection activity does not let them off from the $1,000 that they owe you for violation of the FDCPA. ;)
  8. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    Hahaha, love it jam!!!
  9. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    For some reason, there are a lot of collection agencies that are stupid enough to believe they can attempt to rob the bank, get caught, put the money back and say "but... but... but... I didn't actually rob the bank..."

    Unfortunately, when they come up against me, they learn that I will still file against them even after they've ceased activity (and then even faster, since they gave away their only negotiating chip)...
  10. bsmith

    bsmith Member

    Awesome thread! I learned a ton just by reading through this!
  11. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    Good to see you back again bsmith! Glad the thread was helpful. How have things been going for you?

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