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BrokeBob

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  1. To expand on the excellent post above: In states other than WI and MS, debt collectors may attempt to collect debts past the SOL, as long as they make it clear they won't sue over the debt. The wording of the letter is crucial to whether YOU have a claim against THEM. Here is one possible plan of attack: 1. You could send a DV letter, to make absolutely sure this debt is past SOL. If they show a date > 4 years, it is past SOL. If they show inaccurate or incorrect information in their reply, you may have grounds for a suit against them. 2. This next step depends on how good you are at getting companies to violate the FDCPA or Rosenthal Act. Be warned that collection agencies are MUCH better about following the letter of the law than in the past. If you think there is a way to bait them into a violation, do so. Otherwise, just send a FOAD letter. The FOAD letter may be as simple as "I refuse to pay this alleged debt." Or "Go away and don't bother me anymore." 3. You may want to post a redacted version of the letter they sent you. Our legal beagle (not quite the same as a lawyer dog) may know if this violates the FDCPA. Or, you could take the letter to a real lawyer to see if it violates the FDCPA or Rosenthal Act, once you have verified that the debt is past SOL. Or, you could just ignore them. Your choice.
  2. This brings up two interesting points: First: The time when you have negotiating power is when you owe them money they want. That is when you can negotiate a PFD (pay for delete). Once you have paid, you have lost all your negotiating power. Second: Many organizations have certain policies, which are written in stone for as long as they last. Many of these places have a PFD policy. For example, PRA used to have a policy forbidding PFD until they changed their policy to one encouraging PFD. No rhyme nor reason, just the policy. I have done consulting work for several banks. A bank employee can get into trouble for violating the company policy, and will likely not have any repercussions for following the company policy. I have had numerous people at banks tell me a certain policy is terrible, but they have to follow it, because it's the policy. So, when you ask for a deletion of a credit line, some random AmEx employee sees that this would violate the AmEx policy, and s/he could get reprimanded or fired for violating the policy. Or, the employee could simply choose to keep in the good graces of his/her employer and reject your request. In other words, you aren't going to get them to delete your trade line. You have no leverage, and the people you communicate with have a strong incentive NOT to accommodate you.
  3. Hmmm. Personally, my evil twin has gotten me into SO much trouble over the years. I rarely find anyone who believes me!
  4. I'm not sure I agree. The contract says they have to give 45 days notice. So why not send a very short letter, then file after 45 days?
  5. But to the credit agencies, it looks like Junior is a responsible person. My oldest didn't have jobs during college throughout college. Sometimes he had some summer jobs, but that was about it. The money he used to pay his credit cards was from parents and grandparents. The point was, he paid his bills on time every month during the 4 years he was in college. That is what the credit agencies look for. They don't look at where you got the money, they look at whether you can pay your bills. Hey, if Junior racks up huge credit card bills in his mid 20s, then pays it off, it doesn't matter to the CRAs whether he paid it off with his own money, or with money from his parents. All they care about is he paid it off. The fact of the matter is, there are advantages to one's parents having money, and that includes getting bailed out. The person whose parents bail them out is a significantly lower risk than the person who pays his own way, no matter what. That fact makes the person whose parents bail them out a bigger target for predatory lenders, but that's not the concern of the CRAs.
  6. My kids all opened charge accounts with the local credit union before heading off to school. For example, my oldest opened a card, used it for a few expenses every month, and put the card on autopay. When he graduated, he already had 4 years of good credit history. On top of that, his junior year he and some friends rented an apartment and had some utility bills. So when he got his first job and was looking to buy a car, his credit was great. The problems came about because credit cards companies were pushing cards onto students like crack cocaine. Quite a few students graduated with accounts in arrears, so they started out life after graduation with bad credit and extra debts.
  7. As far as state laws go, this would be a violation in Wisconsin or Mississippi, and perhaps some other states as well. I personally would prefer the C&D letter. Collectors are a lot more savvy about avoiding FDCPA violations than they were in the old days. Trying to fish for a violation could be a lot of wasted effort, especially if you don't know what to do in court or get a bad judge. There is some chance they have already violated the FDCPA, if the calls were often enough to be harrassing, or if made from an automatic dialer to a cell phone.
  8. AAA is cheaper and faster, JAMS is slower and more expensive. (In general). If you are a consumer, and your fees are limited to $200 or $250, then going into JAMS generally puts more pressure on the creditor, which improves your leverage for negotiation. If you are in a situation in which you are paying half the fees, then ignore everything I just said. If your arbitration agreement doesn't allow for JAMS, then that is not an option.
  9. This is important. I think the maximum amount of time they can keep an account on the credit report is about 7 years past charge-off, or about 7.5 years past the last date of default. So if the charge-off was 2008, you need to contact the CRAs to dispute this trade line. If they confirm the trade line, you have a law suit against the creditor on the FCRA.
  10. The SOL depends on when the last time you actually paid money on this. Let us see if the SOL applies. 1. When was the last time you paid? 2. What is the SOL for this type of loan in your state?
  11. And yesterday I drove by the local YMCA and the sign outside was advertising their summer camp...
  12. I am sometimes amazed by how few people really understand science. But then, I have a doctorate in a hard science, so perhaps I see things differently. This thread hasn't been bad, but you would be amazed how many times I see incredibly stupid things people say about science, from people who clearly don't understand it at all. Such as "the scientists used to say X, but now they say Y, so clearly they are all idiots and we can just believe whatever we read in some conspiracy theory site on the internet". Look back in time, and it was only a few decades from when scientists thought the atom couldn't be split to Hiroshima. Well, science is both a body of knowledge and a process. I personally believe that the rise of Western Civilization a few centuries back can, to a very large extent, be attributed to the Scientific Method. During the Dark Ages, there were many parts of the world far more advanced than Western Europe. One could find places in Asia, Africa, the Americas and parts of Europe such as Spain which was occupied by the Moops (for Seinfeld fans) with better science and technology than most of Europe. And the technology Europeans had was, to a large extent, borrowed from China, India, the Islamic Empire, etc. What changed? Well, in the old days science was treated as a sort of magic. Alchemists learned tricks from other alchemists, but there was a lot of secrecy, and not much in the way of peer review. The scientific method is simple. You get data. You try to figure out what the data mean. You come up with some ideas (hypothesis) to explain the data. You refine your hypothesis as you get more, and better data. You publish your results and your conclusions, which are then torn apart by other scientists. Eventually, when there are larger amounts of data which support a conclusion, a theory is born. Some non-scientists say "it's just a theory". However, there are many theories which are so well established they are considered to be fact. Such as gravity, or anthrogenetic global warming, or the atomic theory. It isn't always a clean process. Sometimes two people can look at the same results and come to different conclusions. I remember a time when there were two competing theories. Two scientists who were proponents of the two theories did some experiments together they thought would settle the issue once and for all. After they got their results, they published back-to-back papers in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, with the same results, but different conclusions. One scientist said the data supported theory A, while the other said the data supported theory B. One of the theories was dying out. A number of research projects, including my own, put the final nails in the coffin of one of those theories. Nor are the brightest scientists always right. One of the leading proponents of the theory that was killed off was a Nobel Prize winner. That is not the most famous example. Albert Einstein was the leading critic of Quantum Theory, which led to his being considered out of the mainstream in his later years. If you look at the sheer mountains of data, we see that the amount of data we have doubles every few years. So more and better data, with faster computers, leads to refinements in our science. The old theories are often not discarded, but refined a bit. What about COVID-19? As has been pointed out, novel means new. Last year we had almost no data, and that data was suppressed. The amount of data we have today is vastly larger than what we had a few weeks ago. In the past, it has often taken decades for one hypothesis or theory to supplant an earlier one. Now we are seeing one of the greatest concentrations of research on a single topic in history, and data is multiplying quickly. The changes in hypotheses which formally took years or decades can take weeks or months. And as others have pointed out, this is not as established a science as physics or chemistry. Now, what effect does the surge of research have? Well, in the past, it always took years to develop a vaccine. The record for the fastest vaccine development in history was for the mumps. That took a lightning fast 4 years. That was great, except for those of us who got the mumps in that 4 year period of time. I remember being really, really sick. And not every disease can get a vaccine. People have tried to develop vaccines for AIDS for almost 40 years without success. Can we get a vaccine for COVID-19 in the next few months? Maybe. Will it be effective? Define effective. MMR is over 90% effective. Some flu vaccines are much less effective. But even a 50-70% effective vaccine is better than nothing. What can we do? I would suggest wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, staying away from people as much as possible. That seems to be the best way to minimize your chances of getting sick.
  13. Let me add something to this: Things are different if Florida. In just about any other state, you would answer the complaint with improper venue due to arbitration as an affirmative defense, and also file an MTC (Motion To Compel arbitration). In Florida, you would want to file an MTC in lieu of an answer, No answer to the complaint, just file the MTC before the deadline. That is, of course, if the agreement has an arbitration provision. I have beaten that particular law firm with arbitration.
  14. My wife decided we need a new, more expensive, house, just as the kids are all moving out. My next door neighbor is a real estate agent. The market is still hopping, since interest rates are low. The house across the street sold in a few hours. Seriously. As soon as it was posted, 5 people made appointments to see the house. The first couple to see the house made an offer on the spot. So it was only a few hours from posting to offer. I have a feeling that next year the price of houses will tank. I may be wrong. I am usually wrong. But this seems like a distinct possibility to me. I've bought homes in the past right before the housing market crashed. Once my home was worth 50% of what I paid for it a few months after I bought it. I'm not going to make that mistake this time. So I won't be buying an upgraded house anytime soon.
  15. There are a certain number of advice sites for which I am glad a comments section exists. Try this on for size. Go to the Slate.com web site. Look up any of their advice columns. Then look at the advice they give. I mean, the advice is often so bad it could destroy the lives of the people asking for advice. Then look at the comments section. There will be tons of comments saying "NO! Don't follow that terrible advice!" The advantage this and a few other boards has is one just has the (good) comments section without having to read the bad advice first.

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