Debt Collectors:
and what you can do to get them out of your life

Bigger text (+)Smaller text (-)
Translate this Page!

Debt Collectors;
And what you can do to Get Them Out of your Life

By: Kenneth DeLashmutt
source: Ezine@rticles

FTC opinion letter on validation Section 809(a) of the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)

This will be a pretty long lesson and will cover an integral part of validation which is the receipt of the initial or first contact with the debtor by a collector which usually gets thrown in the trash can if the debtor has not the funds to pay. That is a very serious mistake. One should never throw those collection letters away. They may very well be a vital part of your defensive strategy later down the road.

This lesson is taken from a part of an FTC opinion letter on validation and tells us what that first letter must contain at the very least, and what it must do and must not do so this is an important lesson indeed..

This course was originally designed for attorneys and was designed to teach them avoidance of problems. Naturally, we use their lessons against them and do all we can to get them to screw up so they can be sued. You will find a lot of ingenious tricks and traps can be devised to make them goof it up and lose their collection efforts and their cases against you.

---------------------------------------------------------------

SECOND ISSUE:

Where an attorney debt collector institutes legal proceedings against a debtor but has no prior communications with the debtor, are the requirements for the validation of debts set forth in Section 809 of the FDCPA supreme to state law or state court rules that otherwise prohibit the inclusion of the validation notice on court documents? In responding to this issue, the Commission notes first that Section 809(a) of the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a), provides:

(a) Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing --

(1) the amount of the debt;

(2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;

(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.

Section 803 (2) of the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(2), defines the term "communication" as "the conveying of information regarding a debt directly or indirectly to any person through any medium." In its Staff Commentary, Commission staff stated that the term "communication" "does not include formal legal action (e.g., filing of a lawsuit or other petition/pleadings with a court; service of a complaint or other legal papers in connection with a lawsuit, or activities directly related to such service)

"53 Fed. Reg. at 50101, comment 803 (2)-2. Similarly, in the introductory portion of the Staff Commentary, Commission staff opined that "Attorneys or law firms that engage in traditional debt collection activities (sending dunning letters, making collection calls to consumers) are covered by the FDCPA, but those whose practice is limited to legal activities are not covered."

(3) Id. at 50,100. Seven years after the Staff Commentary was issued, the United States Supreme Court held that the FDCPA's definition of "debt collector," Section 803(6), 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6), "applies to attorneys who 'regularly' engage in consumer-debt-collection activity, even when that activity consists of litigation." Heintz v. Jenkins, 514 U.S. 291, 299 (1995).

In arriving at this conclusion, the Court explicitly considered and rejected Commission staff's introductory remark regarding the coverage of litigation attorneys. Id. at 298.

In light of Heintz, the Commission concludes that, if an attorney debt collector serves on a consumer a court document "conveying information regarding a debt," that court document is a "communication" for purposes of the FDCPA.

(4) If an attorney debt collector has had no prior communications with a consumer before serving a summons or other court document on the consumer, that document would constitute the "initial communication" with the consumer if it conveys information regarding a debt.

The attorney would therefore have to include the written notice mandated by Section 809(a) (often referred to as the "validation notice") in the court document itself or send it to the consumer "within five days after the initial communication." According to the ACA's Request, some "state laws or state court rules prohibit the inclusion of additional language such as the validation notice on documents filed with courts." The association asks whether the requirements of Section 809(a) are "supreme to," and thus preempt, these state laws or state court rules. Id. Preemption cases generally proceed from "the starting presumption that Congress does not intend to supplant state laws." New York State Conference of Blue Cross & Blue Shield Plans v. Travelers Ins. Co., 514 U.S. 645, 654 (1995).

(5) According to the Court in English v. General Electric Co., 496 U.S. 72 (1990): State law is pre-empted under the Supremacy Clause, U.S. Constitution Article VI, cl. 2, in three circumstances.

First, Congress can define explicitly the extent to which its enactments pre-empt state law. Pre-emption fundamentally is a question of congressional intent, and when Congress has made its intent known through explicit statutory language, the courts' task is an easy one.

Second, in the absence of explicit statutory language, state law is pre-empted where it regulates conduct in a field that Congress intended the Federal Government to occupy exclusively. Such an intent may be inferred from a "scheme of federal regulation . . . so pervasive as to make reasonable the inference that Congress left no room for the States to supplement it," or where an Act of Congress "touches a field in which the federal interest is so dominant that the federal system will be assumed to preclude enforcement of state laws on the same subject." . . . .

Finally, state law is pre-empted to the extent that it actually conflicts with federal law. Thus, the Court has found pre-emption where it is impossible for a private party to comply with both state and federal requirements, or where state law "stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress." Id. at 78-79 (omission in internal quotation in original) (citations omitted).

The preemption provision of the FDCPA, Section 816, 15 U.S.C. § 1692n, provides: This title does not annul, alter, or affect, or exempt any person subject to the provisions of this title from complying with the laws of any State with respect to debt collection practices, except to the extent that those laws are inconsistent with any provision of this title, and then only to the extent of the inconsistency. For purposes of this section, a State law is not inconsistent with this title if the protection such law affords any consumer is greater than the protection provided by this title.

The Commission does not believe that this section expressly preempts state laws and court rules that prohibit attorney debt collectors from including validation notices in court documents. The quoted provision makes express that Congress did not intend to preempt the field, but allowed only for conflict preemption. However, there is no conflict preemption here. First, there is no conflict preemption based on impossibility of compliance because it is possible for attorney debt collectors to comply with both the federal provision and the state provisions.

(6) Instead of including such notices in court documents, attorney debt collectors in jurisdictions that prohibit validation notices in court documents may deliver the notices to consumers via some other medium -- either before serving the court document on the consumer or, if the court document is truly the first communication with the consumer, within five days of serving the court document.

(7) Second, there is no conflict preemption based on state law standing as an obstacle to the full accomplishment and execution of Congressional purposes and objectives. As Congress declared in Section 802(e) of the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692(e), the purpose of the panoply of protections under the federal debt collection statute is: to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors, to insure that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged, and to promote consistent State action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses.

The state provisions about which you inquire do not prevent consumers from receiving the full panoply of protections from abusive debt collection practices afforded by the FDCPA. The only FDCPA provision that could be affected by these state laws and court rules is Section 809(a). As noted above, an attorney debt collector who is prohibited from including the validation notice in court documents may deliver the notice to consumers before serving the consumer with the court document or, if the court document is the first communication with the consumer, within five days after serving the court document.

Thus, even in a jurisdiction that prohibits validation notices in court documents, a consumer will receive the validation notice and learn, for example, that the debt collector must provide the consumer with written verification of the debt if the consumer disputes the debt within thirty days.

State legislation that prohibits validation notices in court documents also does not stand as an obstacle to the promotion of "consistent State action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses." Consumers will receive their validation notices in jurisdictions that prohibit validation notices in court documents as well as in jurisdictions that permit the practice.

After reviewing state laws and court rules that prohibit validation notices in court documents under a preemption analysis, the Commission concludes that such state legislation is not preempted by the FDCPA. By direction of the Commission. Donald S. Clark Secretary Endnotes

1. Section 809(b), 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(b), provides: 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.

2. In the Staff Commentary on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 53 Fed. Reg. 50097 (1988) ("Staff Commentary"), and staff opinion letters, Commission staff have consistently read Section 809(b) to permit a debt collector to continue to make demands for payment or take legal action within the thirty-day period. See 53 Fed. Reg. at 50,109, comment 809(b)-1 ("A debt collector need not cease normal collection activities within the consumer's 30-day period to give notice of a dispute until he receives a notice from the consumer."); letter from John F. LeFevre, FDCPA Program Advisor, to S. Joshua Berger (May 29, 1997): We interpret the "thirty-day period" as a period within which consumers must dispute their debts in writing in order to avail themselves of their Section 809(b) rights, but not as a "grace" period.

Thus, we believe that there is nothing in the Act that prevents you from filing suit during this period, so long as you do not make any representations that contradict Section 809(b).


18 questions  that will stop debt collectors abusive phone calls


NOTICE: Kenneth DeLashmutt is not affiliated with Freedom School. Not to be considered legal advice.
NOTICE: If anything in this presentation is found to be in error a good faith effort will be made to correct it in timely fashion upon notification.
       Specialty Areas

All the powers in the universe seem to favor the person who has confidence.
    

More & Other Information - Resource Pages
AntiShyster Magazine Attention Signing the Constitution Away
Aware Belligerent Claimant
Bonds Citizenship / nationality related items
Education Graphics
Health related Admiralty related
Howard Griswold History
Jerry Kirk Jurisdiction
Law related items Lee Brobst
Lewis Mohr Luis Ewing
Money Reading Material
Reading Room Stuff
Tax matters Travel related
Truth Video
NOTICE: The information on this page was brought to you by people who paid this website forward so that someone such as you might also profit by having access to it. If you care to do so also please feel encouraged to KEEP THIS SITE GOING by making a donation today. Thank you. Make donation with PayPal - it is fast, free and secure!

Freedom-School is not affiliated with the links on this page - unless otherwise stated.
This enterprise collectively is known and generally presented as "Freedom-School.com" - "we," "us" or "our" are other expressions of Freedom-School.com used throughout. "You" is in reference to the user / visitor.

This is the fine print that so important. Freedom School and other information served is so for educational purposes only, no liability expressed or assumed for use.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.
Freedom School does not consent to or condone unlawful action.
Freedom School advocates and encourages one and all to adhere to, support and
defend all Law which is particularly applicable.
Information is intended for [those] men and women who are not "US CITIZENS" or "TAXPAYERS" - continued use, reference or citing indicates voluntary and informed compliance. Support is not offered.

Freedom School is a free speech site, non-commercial enterprise and operation as
there is no charge for things presented.
Freedom-School.com site relies on this memorandum and others in support of this philosophy and operation.

The noteworthy failure of [the] government or any alleged agency thereof to at any time rebut anything appearing on this website constitutes a legal admission of the fidelity and accuracy of the materials presented, which are offered in good faith and prepared as such by Freedom School and any and all [third] parties affiliated or otherwise. THIS IS AN ELECTRONIC AGREEMENT AND IS A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT, EQUIVALENT TO A SIGNED, WRITTEN CONTRACT BETWEEN PARTIES - If the government, or anyone else, wants to assert that any of the religious and/or political statements appearing on this website are not factual or otherwise in error, then they as the moving party have the burden of proof, and they must responsively meet that burden of proof under the Administrative Procedures Act 5 U.S.C. § 556(d) and under the due process clauses found in the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments to the national Constitution BEFORE there will be response to any summons, questions, or unsubstantiated and slanderous accusations. Attempts at calling presented claims "frivolous" without specifically rebutting the particular claim, or claims, deemed "frivolous" will be in deed be "frivolous" and prima facie evidence that shall be used accordingly. Hey guys, if anything on this site is found to be in error a good faith effort will be made to correct it in timely fashion upon notification.

Freedom-School.com is not responsible for content of any linked website or material.
In addition, users may not use Freedom-School.com to engage in, facilitate or further unlawful conduct;
use the service in any way, or manner, that harms us or anyone connected with us or whose work is presented;
damage, disable, overburden, or impair the service (or the network(s) connected to the site)
or interfere with anyone´s use and enjoyment of the website.

All claims to be settled on the land - Austin, Travis county Texas, united States of America, using Texas Common Law.
All parts of this contract apply to the maximum extent permitted by law. A court may hold that we cannot enforce a part of this contract as written. If this happens, then you and we will replace that part with terms that most closely match the intent of the part that we cannot enforce. The rest of this contract will not change. This is the entire contract between you and us regarding your use of the service. It supersedes any prior contract or statements regarding your use of the Freedom-School.com site. If there exists some manner of thing missing we do not forfeit our right to that thing as
we reserve all rights.
We may assign, or modify, alter, change this contract, in whole or in part, at any time with or without notice to you. You may not assign this contract, or any part of it, to any other person. Any attempt by you to do so is void. You may not transfer to anyone else, either temporarily or permanently, any rights to use the Freedom-School.com site or material contained within.

GOOGLE ANALYTICS: While we do not automatically collect personally identifiable information about you when you visit the Freedom-School.com site, we do collect non-identifying and aggregate information that we use to improve our Web site design and our online presence.
Visitors to this site who have Javascript enabled are tracked using Google Analytics. The type of information that Google Analytics collects about you includes data like: the type of Web browser you are using; the type of operating system you are using; your screen resolution; the version of Flash you may be using; your network location and IP address (this can include geographic data like the country, city and state you are in); your Internet connection speed; the time of your visit to the Freedom-School.com site; the pages you visit on the Freedom-School.com site; the amount of time you spend on each page of the Freedom-School.com site and referring site information. In addition to the reports we receive using Google Analytics data, the data is shared with Google. For more information on Google´s privacy policies, visit: http://www.google.com/privacy/ads/
Here is Google´s description of how Google Analytics works and how you can disable it: "Google Analytics collects information anonymously, and much like examining footprints in sand, it reports website trends without identifying individual visitors. Analytics uses its own cookie to track visitor interactions. The cookie is used to store information, such as what time the current visit occurred, whether the visitor has been to the site before, and what site referred the visitor to the web page. Google Analytics customers can view a variety of reports about how visitors interact with their website so they can improve their website and how people find it. A different cookie is used for each website, and visitors are not tracked across multiple sites. Analytics requires that all websites that use it must update their privacy policy to include a notice that fully discloses the use of Analytics. To disable this type of cookie, some browsers will indicate when a cookie is being sent and allow you to decline cookies on a case-by-case basis."


Presentation Copyright© 2003, 2011
All Rights Reserved

H O M E

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional        Valid CSS!