18 Oct Can a Debt Collector Leave a Dunning Message on my Answering Machine?

Answering machine with debt collection message As you may know, bill collectors are subject to more regulation than actual creditors. In other words, an employee of MasterCard or Visa can call you and say certain things legally, whereas an outside bill collection agency hired by the credit card issuing bank would be in violation of the law for saying or doing the same things. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act offers a number of protections to consumers from improper acts of debt collectors. Two of the most important FDCPA prohibitions include:
  • a requirement that a debt collector identify himself and disclose to the debtor that the purpose of the communication is to collect a debt; and
  • a prohibition against communicating about the debt with third parties
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a ruling which could have significant implications in terms of the business practices used by collection agencies. The case of Edwards v. Niagara Credit Solutions involved a situation in which a collection agency (Niagara) left a debtor (Ms. Edwards) a phone message that said simply "this is an important message for Brenda Edwards. Please return this message at 1-800-xxx-xxxx between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. eastern standard time."
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15 May The Plaintiff found the note! Now what?

As a foreclosure defense attorney representing hundreds of homeowners in Florida, I have read literally a thousand foreclosure complaints over the last few years. Most every one includes a lost note count. As previously discussed, the reality is that the plaintiff is lying. It never had the note. Now, however, the note has been miraculously located and filed with the court. Hallelujah! Not so fast. What has really happened is that the plaintiff (or more accurately, its servicer) has now taken possession of the original note. Per U.C.C. § 2-203, ownership of a negotiable instrument is completed only after it is physically delivered to the purchaser.
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30 Apr Debt Cures: Does Kevin Trudeau Make Money or Sense? Part 15B: The Scary Part

Part 15 of my review of Kevin Trudeau's book, Debt Cures They Don't Want You to Know examines Chapter 20: Stop Debt Collectors Cold. The purpose of the review is to examine whether Trudeau, who has had extensive involvement with credit card fraud and the Federal Trade Commission for some of his previous books, makes any sense in this latest self-help promotion or is he making money selling empty promises? At the end of Part 15, I concluded that Mr. Trudeau's chapter on stopping debt collectors had partial really good information which he then negated by repeating bad advice from earlier in his book. I ended by advising that following his advice without getting your own legal advice was scary. Ending on a negative note was rare enough that I thought I should explain further.
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10 Dec Proven Techniques for Dealing with Debt Collectors

A few days ago, I wrote a post on this blog suggesting that private "debt settlement" or "debt negotiation" companies often turned out to be rip-offs.  Bankruptcy is certainly an option to deal with out of control debt but as any experienced bankruptcy lawyer will advise you, filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 should always be your last resort. How, then, should you deal with debt collectors?  Perhaps a better way to frame this issue - how do you deal with multiple debt collectors as anyone who is in collection status most likely has more than one credit account in default. My Bankruptcy Law Network colleague Cathy Moran forwarded to me a very helpful article that appeared in the Tribune Media Services web site entitled "Ease the Stress of Dealing with Debt Collectors."
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