Trying to understand CA strategy...

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Stand_Tall, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. Stand_Tall

    Stand_Tall Well-Known Member

    I was hoping that someone here more experienced than I could help me gain better insight into the way that collection agencies work. One common thread I've noticed when dealing with CAs is that when I send a request for validation, the ones who do actually respond seem to cease communications afterward. Why is that? Is it because they determine a speedy settlement is highly unlikely and so they refer it back to the OC? Is it because they realize they're standing on a house of cards and scant evidence if they should ever attempt to prove the legitimacy of the alleged debt in court? I'm simply trying to understand the whole collections chain of events and the reasoning behind their decisions so I'm better equipped to deal with them and can more accurately anticipate what actions they take.

    Also, where in the "chain" do collections attorneys fall into place and how often do they follow through with litigation when they cannot obtain a quick settlement? Do they usually send a dunning letter first and then serve you with a summons, or do they go straight to litigation? (I'm guessing this depends entirely on how much the amount of the debt is for and how much the creditor stands to gain from levying your bank accounts versus the costs of litigation.)
  2. billbauer

    billbauer Well-Known Member

    You are asking us to speculate on how various collection agencies deal with various types of accounts and it is about impossible to do that.

    Your wanting to know those things tells me that what you really need to learn is to stop trying to face the music and learn how to lead the band. You shouldn't care what they do and if you are leading the band (so to speak) you don't have to worry about what they will do next. Make them worry about what you are going to do next instead.
    At the bottom of the food chain, of course. (LOL)
    It depends on none of the above. Again, each attorney goes at it a different way even though there are only a couple of ways to go at it. Again, you need to just sit back and wait for the next move once it goes to an attorney. If they send you a demand letter then send them a validation letter. If they sue you then include your debt validation letter at the same time you send your response to the complaint, your certificate of service and your demand for admissions all at the same time as well. I can view our court records on line so I check at least once a day to see if I have been sued or not so I can be certain to get my response and demand for admissions in to them before they have a chance to hit me with mine. That's vitally important in winning the case. If you don't do it that way then you give them an almost certain win and an easy one at that.
  3. Stand_Tall

    Stand_Tall Well-Known Member

    I'm not saying this to be facetious or sarcastic, but the more I think about it, the more I realize you're right. I apologize if I gave the impression that I was expecting someone to pull out a crystal ball. I was simply curious what other peoples' experiences have been. You make a perfectly valid point. There's no telling how far a CA may go, as each person's individual circumstances are different in determining how "lawsuit worthy" a particular case may be.

    I think I see what you're getting at. In other words, be professional but approach a CA as you would a vicious dog, i.e. "if you hurt me, I'll hurt you worse."

    As I've said before though, I'm not out to cash in on FDCPA lawsuits. I just simply want them to leave me alone. Barring that, I'm not afraid to pursue FDCPA litigation should the CAs give me a reason to.

    You won't get any arguments from me on that one. :)

    Sounds like a good strategy to me, and one which I'll keep in mind if I'm ever contacted by a collections attorney or taken to court for a debt.

    Thank you for your advice and wisdom, Bill. I'll take it to heart. Best, ST
  4. billbauer

    billbauer Well-Known Member

    Collection agencies are now using quite a few different methods to determine whether or not to go after someone. One of those is a computer program that takes a variety of factors into account and predicts how likely they are to be able to collect from that person.

    Another is using social media on the internet such as facebook and twitter and many more to find their targets and learn as much as they can about that person by making friends with them and getting them into conversations of various kinds such as female debt collectors trying to make dates with make debtors. Might be a female and might not be.

    Another thing they check for is to see whether or not the person they are after has ever sued another debt collector in federal courts. If so they leave them alone because they don't want to take a chance on getting sued too. Debt collectors are pretty sophisticated these days but apparently for all their technology they still don't understand how to keep out of trouble. (LOL)

    Something like that.
  5. ccbob

    ccbob Well-Known Member

    The one thing to remember is that CAs are, for the most part, a volume business. They need to turn over a certain percentage just to keep the lights on. The ideal debtor is one who is so guilt stricken by being "caught" that they send the money right over the phone. At the other end are the debtors who are ready, willing, and able to take the CA to court and eat up any chance of a profit margin (win or lose). I try to start from the latter and go from there.

    The CAs that worry me are the ones who print small-claims suits by the gross and have the inside track with the local small-claims courts. Couple that with sewer service and you can find yourself on the wrong end of a judgment before you know you were even being sued. These aren't indefensible, just a bigger PITA.

    Bottom line, make them work for their money.

    Before I even think about sending them any money (well, sending ANYONE any money), I need to know (rather, they need to prove):

    1) is the debt my responsibility to pay?
    2) is the person/agency the one I should pay?

    Sending me an old statement proves neither. (It shows there was some balance due at some time).

    The last time I asked a CA to send me some proof they were the ones to whom I should pay, they couldn't and the OC wouldn't so that kinda brought things to a halt. Never heard from them after that.
  6. billbauer

    billbauer Well-Known Member

    I think that in today's economic climate and considering that CAs are usually locating people with what is known in the industry as tagging, everybody should call the clerk of their county clerk and find out if their public records are available on line. It is getting to where most courts are on line these days with the possible exception of small towns and villages. People need to keep a constant check on their public records whenever possible to be sure they don't get tagged by some debt collector and sued. I check mine each and every day on line but then I expect to get sued sooner or later.

    Problem is that most folks thing that getting tagged for a debt someone else owes can't happen these days with all the computers and stuff in place. Computers apparently help compound the problem.

    Tagging happens when Joe A. Sixpack owes a debt but Joe B., Joe C., Joe D. all get tagged regardless of the fact they are obviously not the same person. They all suddenly start getting calls demanding that they pay the bill. Joe A. might live in Azusus, Joe B. might live in Kukamonga and Joe C. might live in Anaheim but they all get tagged with the same debt anyway.

    It often gets put on the credit reports of all of them as well. People just don't believe it can happen to them until it does and then they don't know how to defend.
  7. Stand_Tall

    Stand_Tall Well-Known Member

    Incidentally, while we're on the subject of what makes CAs tick, is it an egregious FDCPA violation when you have ironclad evidence through USPS tracking confirmation that your DV letter was received early in the day by a CA, yet they call your home later in the afternoon on that same day? Or can they simply shrug it off in court as an "honest mistake" or "processing delay"?
  8. billbauer

    billbauer Well-Known Member

    It may well be a cause of action but I'd sure hate to try to file a case based on what you have said happened.

    When I tell someone to file a federal case I want to be as certain as is humanly possible that they will win. My students have won a total of 174 federal cases in a row with never a loss yet. I don't want to blemish that record with a loss if I can help it. I want them to have a solid record of multiple violations and if possible several causes of action before I will recommend that they file a federal case.

    I'll be filing one in September or October and probably multiple cases before its all said and done. I've got multiple causes of action against several attorneys. I've got it all documented and much of it is by way of actual court case decisions wherein the defendants admitted their violations in court. It just don't get any better than that. If they admit their guilt in one court they can't very well deny it in another court later now can they? (LOL). You might win with what you have but personally I wouldn't want to gamble the $350 or $400 on it.

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