Debt validation by Dewey, Cheatum & Howe

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by billbauer, Feb 9, 2010.

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  1. billbauer

    billbauer Well-Known Member

    I received a response to a debt validation letter sent to a law firm whom we shall call Dewey, Cheatum & Howe which is located at Debt validation by Dewey, Cheatum & Howe Isn't a debt validation at all according to Fields v. Wilber Law Firm, 383 F.3d 562 (7th Cir. 2004) In fact, if you study the Fields case and see how the court ruled and compare that to the Dewey, Cheatum & Howe debt validation letter you will see exactly how badly they violated FDCPA.

    I believe that the letter itself constitutes two separate violations.
    (1) It isn't a validation and
    (2)It appears to me to contain wording that constitutes an illegal continued collection activity.

    If not an illegal collection attempt in and of itself then each and every thing they do from now on will constitute illegal continued collection activity. Here is the series I believe that will follow. Each will be an additional violation.
    (1)They will file a case and most likely very soon now.
    (2)They will issue a summons
    (3) The defendant will be served
    (4) The defendant will respond and send demand for admissions Their response to those demands will be yet another violation.
    (5) Their responses will be nothing but obfuscation and pettifoggery so the defendant will file motion to deem admitted to which they will reply constituting another violation. (6) Defendant will send them demand for production of documents. They will respond creating another violation.
    They will commit other violations of a different nature on court days.

    All in all the defendant should be able to come up with at least 10 violations and they will get hit with a copy of their federal lawsuit, hopefully before the case is heard.

    It would be funny indeed if they provide and file a fraudulent affidavit in the process. This law firm has been known to do that on multiple occasions but obviously haven't been sued for doing that as of yet. Sometimes they file those in Cap1 cases and sometimes they don't.

    But this situation proves that the best use of sending debt validation letters is not to get what is demanded but rather to get a failure to validate. That should be our goal is sending out debt validation letters. Something on the order of going out on Saturday night and sewing one's wild oats then going to church on Sunday and praying for a crop failure. (LOL)
  2. CTF388

    CTF388 Well-Known Member

    The reason to request validation is much, much more elementary.

    It is to exercise/invoke your rights under the statute.

    One certainly hopes that the CA elects not to validate, but it is certainly not the reason to request it.
  3. billbauer

    billbauer Well-Known Member

    It is certainly not the reason to request it? That's interesting! So let's say that John Doe has received a demand letter for a debt he owes. He knows or should know that if he don't pay the debt, whatever amount the debt collector demands he is likely to end up getting sued for the full amount demanded plus other costs.

    He knows or should know that if they go to court they will get every penny they demand. He should know that no matter what he says or does in a local court, no matter how loudly he demands that the plaintiff prove the debt the judge will rule against him every time. In other words he knows or should know that he is playing with a stacked deck against a table full of professional thieves who almost never lose no matter how bad their hands may be.

    With those facts of life then I'd like to know what elementary reason to demand validation might be more important than catching them in violations?

    You say "it is to protect your rights? Yes, that is correct, but how do you propose one goes about protecting one's rights if one does not have violations to complain about?
  4. CTF388

    CTF388 Well-Known Member

    One doesn't need violations to establish the rights that the statute gives you.

    Perhaps that escaped notice when you read the law.
  5. apexcrsrv

    apexcrsrv Well-Known Member

    Have to agree with CTF and since when were metatags allowed here. People purported that our link was spamming. However, Google spiders do not pick up links in text. Metatags, now that will get terms up in rankings.

    Whatever, just wondering . . . and it isn't our board.
  6. billbauer

    billbauer Well-Known Member

    Something surely escaped somebody's notice. You have the right to life too until you or somebody, be it man or God decides to take that right away from you. In the event somebody other than God attempts to take that right away from you there is often only one way to defend that right. But if you don't defend that right you lose it

    You also have the right to pursuit of happiness but that right can also be easily denied by someone else
    All of us have a great many rights but if the other fellow chooses to ignore them then it is up to you to defend them or lose them. So now, you don't need violations to establish your rights under the law but if those rights are violated then you must defend them or lose them. The point is that in order to protect your assets against a debt collector you must have violations of your rights. Then you may be able to use those violations to protect your assets.
  7. CTF388

    CTF388 Well-Known Member

    The FDCPA gives one a valuable tool with which to protect your rights.

    It is the request for validation within the first 30 days after receiving the initial communication.

    It stops all collection activity until they obtain and provide the requested material.

    You must ask for it to get the protection.

    You don't have to be in the weeds to understand that.

    Your musings seem to be from the weeds.
  8. billbauer

    billbauer Well-Known Member

    Right on! And you get that protection every time a debt collector decides to follow the law and do what the law demands of them. That happens less often than snow storms in July.
    Right on again. In the weeds. Rushin Thistles. Guess who gets strung up in the bramble patch. Bet you'll never get the right answer to that and you most likely wouldn't admit it if you did.
    Bottom line is that if you don't know your rights and don't know how to defend them you might as well not have any for all the good they will do you.
  9. apexcrsrv

    apexcrsrv Well-Known Member

    So have we established that a consumer must request validation from a debt collector "within" 30 days from the initial communication from the aforesaid. I haven't seen that yet in this thread (may have overlooked it) and this issue is very important for consumers to know.

    Validation requests outside the 30 day window can serve a dangerous affect.
  10. billbauer

    billbauer Well-Known Member

    Ok. So what are the dangers you refer to?
  11. sparq

    sparq Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure which Apex was referring to, but there's one big one:

    Not sending your DV within 30 days is akin to not sending your DV at all.

    You will lose any benefit that a DV might give. Send a DV past the 30-day mark, and -- state laws notwithstanding -- the CA is not obligated to act on it. There is an unending amount of confusion on this topic among some of the other credit-related forums out there. In reality, the requirements for a DV are as black-and-white as they can possibly be:

    1) Must be sent within 30 days of initial contact
    2) Must state that the alleged debt is being disputed
    3) The CA has an unlimited amount of time to respond, but must cease collection efforts until they validate
    4) The CA is permitted to sell the debt to another CA, and this new CA may begin collections

    ...and that's it.

    Now, as for your citation (Fields v. Wilber Law Firm, 383 F.3d 562 (7th Cir. 2004)) being used to define what constitutes validation, could your clarify which part of that case you are referring to? Nothing in the appeal that you linked to seems to deal with validation, only the practice of combining attorney's fees with the actual debt to produce a sum total demanded, WITHOUT individually disclosing each.

    I would agree that the letter you linked to, assuming it has not been altered and assuming that no additional documentation was enclosed, probably does not constitute validation of the debt. The FTC has issued opinions suggesting that a debt collector who includes their own invoice or internally reprinted documentation (ie, a printout of an entry from an internal database) has not fulfilled validation, as this action goes against the whole purpose of validation.

    However, the FTC's opinions are not legally binding; courts do not have to adhere to or even respect them. Moreover, the courts have been very hesitant to address exactly what constitutes validation. It will take someone with very, very, very deep pockets, a dedicated attorney, and a major grudge to settle before we see an exact, legally-binding definition of "validation".

    In other words, even if your letter isn't proper validation, I wouldn't bank my retirement on winning damages in a suit based on the subsequent violations alone. If the CA's validation letter read "Ha ha, we're not going to validate, now pay up you %$#@%#$", then I'd say you would definitely be in an interesting position.

    But I think from a court's standpoint -- and being that I am neither an attorney nor a judge, I may be completely wrong here -- your letter just barely falls into the grey area on the matter.
  12. apexcrsrv

    apexcrsrv Well-Known Member

    It affords absolutely no protection, can lead to no violations other than if the debt collector fails to denote the account tradeline as being in dispute on a consumers credit report, if there is one, and generally, it is akin to poking a short stick at an angry bear. Lot of risk of being sued, higher chance to get on the radar whereas an ACDV dispute through a CRA without a DV avoids this and can lead to easier deletion (plus, it serves the same purpose as DV'ing outside the 30 day window since the CA must mark the account as being in dispute).

    Basically, there is nothing to gain from it and a lot to lose from doing it.
  13. billbauer

    billbauer Well-Known Member

    You are absolutely correct as long as your thinking is strictly confined within the 4 corners of FDCPA
    On the other hand a person never loses the right to demand proof of the alleged debt, however getting any proof may be another matter entirely.
    Quite so, but when a new debt collector starts trying to collect then that DC must also obey the law and the right to validate also is renewed. Both parties then get a second bite at the apple. On the other hand I tend to think that turning it over to an attorney for legal action would easily constitute illegal continued collection activity if validation had been timely. Then if that happens the consumer then gets a third bite at the apple (
    So not necessarily.
    Yes, I noticed the discrepancy after posting. What brought my attention to it is that the case I referred to (the appellate case) was presided over by a 3 judge panel while the original case was presided over by Judge Kenneth Minh. That one is also on the net. Now then, if memory serves me correctly Judge Minh was also listed as being on the 7th circuit ct. of appeals so there may have been multiple appeal from the original district ct. case. I'll have to check that out as I get time but right now I've got other issues that I must attend to which is going to involve going through a great number of audio files to find certain passages and that is really going to use up a great deal of time.
    FDCPA also says that nothing contained in a debt collectors computer system can be used as validation. It clearly states that validation must come from the original creditor. Obviously nothing in the letter came from the original creditor so anything the attorney does from that point on would be illegal continued collection activity. So how about this for a possible list of violations that might occur in the future and could be used as causes of action.

    (1) Attorney files lawsuit against the debtor.
    (2) Attorney causes debtor to be served with a summons and complaint. (Yes, that one really would be on the outer limits but might as well be included just for grins.
    (3) Debtor responds to complaint, files it with the court and sends copy to attorney along with demand for admissions. Attorney responds to demand for admissions.
    (4) Attorney's response to admissions are nothing but objections, obfuscations and pettifoggery. Defendant files motion to deem some admitted. Attorney responds objecting. (5) Defendant sends demand for production of documents based on responses to demand for admissions and attorney responds with more nonsense and refusals. (6)Defendant files motion to compel or issues subpoena Duces Tecum. Attorney responds objecting. (7) The paper war goes on and on and attorney keeps on fighting and eventually files motion for summary judgment claiming that there are no issues of triable fact before the court.

    There are even more ways to trap the attorney into making even more violations but I'm not going to go into those. My point is that once the attorney has failed to meet even minimum requirements of validation then each and every action from then on would constitute illegal continued collection activity or at least I think they would. What say you?

    I am well aware that pleadings are not required to contain debt collection notices but other communications from attorneys are required to contain such statements. That is why the vast majority of attorneys always include at least one debt collector notification when sending discovery requests or other communications to the debtor. Most of them never miss that trick. Many attorneys also include the full Miranda in their initial complaints just to be on the safe side even though they are not required to do so because a complaint is a pleading.

    But to summarize, what I am asking the more knowledgeable members of this forum is once validation has been timely demanded of the attorney and the attorney's response clearly violates FDCPA then would not all subsequent actions by the attorney constitute illegal continued collection activity?
    Quite so and it has been stated that is the reason FTC no longer issues opinion letters.
    Quite so. Many like to quote Spears V. Brennan as defining what validation must consist of however the Spears court only addressed what must be contained in the initial contact letter with a consumer. In other words the 5 indices required by FDCPA. Spears wasn't even about validation. It was about illegal continued collection activity by Brennan after having received timely demand for validation.
    Could be. One problem with using Judge Kenneth Minh's decision is that it is an Indiana case and therefore would only be binding in the 7th Circuit and not in any other circuit. Therefore it may indeed take a SCOTUS decision to finally define the issue and that would take deep pockets and a dedicated attorney.
    We may end up being in a position to find out about that and the issues I have suggested above. Whether or not we will depends on several things as yet to be determined. One of those is, of course, whether or not the defendant will be willing to take it to the federal level and although he says he will now only the future holds the answer as to whether he will or not .
    You could be right but gray areas of law are one of the reasons we need courts and judges.
  14. apexcrsrv

    apexcrsrv Well-Known Member

    Good post with good anaylsis
  15. billbauer

    billbauer Well-Known Member

    I must agree with all of your points here. Just noticed that you have a blog. Went over and took a look at it. Pretty nice. I noticed that you are using Technorati extensively. Do you think that is getting you any real brownie points on the web? I used Technorati for quite a while several years ago when they first started up and have referenced them from time to time but have never seen any real benefit from them.

    I see you are also taking advantage of your RSS feeds through feedburner. They have been getting a lot better since Google bought them out.

    I've had my first blog ever since blogger first came out. Back then I quickly realized that blogging was going to get big but for the first year or so they had no wysiswyg editor. Everything had to be hand coded and that was not really feasible unless you had lots of time on your hands which I didn't so I just forgot about it for a year or so and then picked back up on it in May of 2003 when they had finally developed it into the beginnings of the powerhouse blogging is today.

    I also noticed that you are on Twitter and I've been there as well as Facebook and most other social networks. Although I've got thousands of posts on twitter and facebook I have never really found them to be of any real practical use.

    Have you ran into Robin Good yet? If not you might want to find him on the net and keep up with him. He is an Italian and has and comes up with amazing information almost daily. He really keeps up with what is happening and about to happen on the net. He is really cutting edge.

    I may decide to do a widget containing your RSS feed and put it on my Google sites pages when I get time. I'll probably put it in my pipes immediately and feed it through Thunderbird so I can keep up with you that way.

    Right now I'm so busy getting my filezilla server up and running correctly that extra time is hard to come by. After about 5 days of fighting it I've got the problems narrowed down to my anti-virus software. I've been using Avast which is good but I'm going to uninstall that and install eset which is much more powerful and much more configurable.

    The reason I'm spending so much time getting filezilla server up and running is that I can transfer large files between people and each person I trade files with will have their own area on my system but can't get to any other area. I'm trading files with a large number of people all the time so I need to have that capability. I'd think you might find it beneficial too because you may need to trade text files with those who subscribe to your service too. The neat part is that each of your subscribers would be confined to their own subdirectory and can't get anywhere else on your system. I'll probably also confine them to a totally separate and dedicated computer on my network and let my domain controller server route their traffic to that computer and only to that computer.
  16. apexcrsrv

    apexcrsrv Well-Known Member


    I really couldn't answer your questions if I wanted to, lol. My blog guy is Jeff San George of Pineapple PC Located in Franklin TN. I know he tags everything from links to pics using LiveWriter. In terms of Twitter, he set it up that everything goes through / Update all of your social networks at once! so whatever the blog entry is goes to our Facebook and Twitter accounts. It just gets people to follow us but, beyond that, I'm rather ignorant.

    That said, feel free to add us (if that is the proper terminology) to whatever feed you wish and follow us where ever.
  17. billbauer

    billbauer Well-Known Member

    I checked out livewriter this morning and it seems pretty good. I may use it after I've experimented with it a bit. I don't like the way it integrates with MSN live. I've been on that for heaven only knows how long and all I seem to get is messages from e-*****s.
    ,br/>Now before someone gets upset and claims I said something pornographic let me explain that an e-***** is a man posing as a woman who wants you to go to her??? web page which of course you have to pay to see pictures or videos of some babe in various stages of undress which you can drool over if you have a mind for such nonsense which I don't.
    Those kinds of clowns are all over craigslist and most every other such place you can think of. Seems that the older some men get the more involved with stuff like that they become.
    I used to have a business called Latin Mate years ago. There was a Mexican magazine called Rutas de Passion. Rutas means Roots. Roots of Passion and it was a pen pal type magazine mostly filled with Hispanics wanting to meet other people. Most were good respectable women looking to meet their media naranja which means the other half of the orange meaning they wanted to meet a husband, not just a casual encounter. Most were very sincere. One of the things I did was teach American men how to write love letters in Spanish. I was amazed at the number of elderly men, some in their 80's or older who wanted to meet 12 year old girls to come to the U.S. to marry them. (LOL) How stupid can they get? There are no 12 year old girls in Mexico or anywhere else wanting to do that and even if they did their parents wouldn't let it happen and neither would the immigration authorities of either country.

    In terms of Twitter, he set it up that everything goes through / Update all of your social networks at once! so whatever the blog entry is goes to our Facebook and Twitter accounts. It just gets people to follow us but, beyond that, I'm rather ignorant. [/quote] It isn't who follows you that counts with twitter or facebook or any of the others. Getting people to follow you is easy. What counts is who you follow. An attorney or other professional who follows other well respected professionals earns a reputation for himself/herself. A professional who follows kids, idle commenters, and general gossips damages his reputation greatly and if all the professional can draw as followers are the kids and other general gossips the professional's reputation is also damaged in the eyes of other professionals. I'm very careful about whom I follow and who I am friends with. Before I will follow them or accept them as friinds[/] or friends of friends [FOAF] I want to know who and what they are.
    That Michigan Law Blog is pretty good too. He is a debt collection attorney but is pretty well fed up with debt collectors and their attorneys and writes a great many posts exposing their weaknesses and misdeeds.
  18. squidzilla

    squidzilla Well-Known Member

    Chalk me up as another reader of that blog. Very informative, and he touches on certain issues that you don't hear about much elsewhere.
  19. CTF388

    CTF388 Well-Known Member

    More shameless advertising.
  20. apexcrsrv

    apexcrsrv Well-Known Member

    Would you like for me to delete it? If so, I will. Doesn't bother me to do so.
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