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TeflonCat

Rental Issues

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Hello All,

My sister who rented an apartment in Maryland. Moved in the apartment in Oct 2015, she moved out Oct 2016 with no unpaid rent. However, last month she got a call from a CO located here in MD- Fair Collections & Outsourcing,Inc- I gave her the info to DV them which she did as soon as she got the letter in the mail. They are trying to say she owe $842 for utility services from the apartment for 1 year. She got a letter from her utility provider which she has, she also have the bill from the first month she moved into the complex. The CO, sends her a package showing what they charged her for services at the apartment. My concern is that the CO ignored any of the things listed on the DV and just sent a copy of the lease which does not prove anything with regards to the utility bill. This is what she stated in the DV Letter.

FAIR COLLECTIONS & OUTSOURCING

12304 Baltimore Avenue

Beltsville, MD 20705

Re: Account Number:

To The Compliance Department:

This letter is being sent to you in response to a collection account your firm sent to me. Kindly be advised that this is not a refusal to pay, but a notice sent pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809b that your claim is disputed and validation is requested. You letter you sent me does not provide me any of the requested information below. Please provide of I will be filing complaints with the CFPB, BBB, FTC, and my local state attorneys office.
This is a request for VALIDATION made pursuant to the above named Title and Section. I respectfully request that your offices provide me with competent evidence that I have any legal obligation to pay you.

Please provide me with the following:
Agreement with your client that grants you the authority to collect on this alleged debt, in my state of MARYLAND and proof of acquisition by purchase or assignment.

1. What the money you say I owe is for.

2. Explain and show me a break down of how you calculated this amount you say I owe.

3. Provide me with any paperwork or copies of papers that show I agreed to pay this amount you say I owe with my signature.

4. Identify the original creditor's name, address and phone number.

5. Prove the Statute of Limitations has not expired on this alleged account.

6. Prove that you are licensed to collect in my state.

7. Provide me with your license number and any registered agents.

8. Provide me with a copy of the agreement between you and the original creditor that allows you to collect this debt for the original creditor.

9. Agreement that bears the signature of the alleged debtor wherein he/she agreed to pay the creditor.

At this time I will also inform you that if your offices have reported invalidated information to any of the 3 major Credit Bureaus (Equifax, Experian or Transunion), this action might constitute fraud under both Federal and State Laws. Due to this fact, if any negative mark is found on any of my credit reports by your company I reserve the right to bring legal action against you for the following: Violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and Defamation of Character.

If your offices are able to provide the proper documentation as requested, I will require at least 30 days to investigate this information and during such time all collection activity must cease and desist.

Also during this validation period, if any action is taken which could be considered detrimental to any of my credit reports, I will consult with my legal counsel for suit. This includes any listing any information to a credit reporting repository that could be inaccurate or invalidated or verifying an account as accurate when in fact there is no provided proof that it is.

If your offices fail to respond to this validation request within 30 days from the date of your receipt, all references to this account must be deleted and completely removed from my credit file and a copy of such deletion request shall be sent to me immediately.

I would also like to request, in writing, that your offices make no telephone contact to my home or to my place of employment. All future communications with me MUST be done in writing and sent to the address noted in this letter by USPS.

How should she proceed forward?

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1. Did you receive a final bill from the apartment for the electricity?

(Did the apartment send monthly statements for the electricity?)

2. Wasn't sure, but do you owe the $842?

 

If you did not receive bills for the service, or it is incorrect, file a complaint with the state utility commission.

Maryland Utility Commission - Online Complaints

http://167.102.231.178/newIntranet/capa/ComplaintNotes_new.cfm

 

Submetering for MD:

Info from one utility provider - http://multifamilyutility.com/submeteringmaryland/index.html

 

Regarding the DV:

Always keep the letter short and to the point. The bar is low for validation, and much of what you requested, the FDCPA doesn't require them to provide. I would file the Commission complaint and wait for their response before taking additional action.

Edited by tmcgill

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1. Did you receive a final bill from the apartment for the electricity?

(Did the apartment send monthly statements for the electricity?)

2. Wasn't sure, but do you owe the $842?

 

If you did not receive bills for the service, or it is incorrect, file a complaint with the state utility commission.

Maryland Utility Commission - Online Complaints

http://167.102.231.178/newIntranet/capa/ComplaintNotes_new.cfm

 

Submetering for MD:

Info from one utility provider - http://multifamilyutility.com/submeteringmaryland/index.html

 

Regarding the DV:

Always keep the letter short and to the point. The bar is low for validation, and much of what you requested, the FDCPA doesn't require them to provide. I would file the Commission complaint and wait for their response before taking additional action.

 

She got a statement of charges which shows utility of vacant charges. The thing is as we all know you must turn utility on in your name prior to move in. So this that they are trying to pull is silly. Ge this she has a bill from when she first moved in along with a letter from the utility provider which states the service was in her name up until she moved out. Dont send this letter to the CO?

Also aren't they supposed to answer the following questions? She never got any statements or paid any money towards any bill from the apartment complex. Also $842 for 1 year of utility service is bogus.

 

 

3. Provide me with any paperwork or copies of papers that show I agreed to pay this amount you say I owe with my signature.

4. Identify the original creditor's name, address and phone number.

5. Prove the Statute of Limitations has not expired on this alleged account.

6. Prove that you are licensed to collect in my state.

7. Provide me with your license number and any registered agents.

8. Provide me with a copy of the agreement between you and the original creditor that allows you to collect this debt for the original creditor.

9. Agreement that bears the signature of the alleged debtor wherein he/she agreed to pay the creditor.

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Note:

 

15 U.S. Code § 1692g - Validation of debts

 

What the CA should have sent:

(a) Notice of debt; 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.

 

What the FDCPA requires for debt validation:

. . .the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or a 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.

 

I think the utility commission may be a more direct option. They govern and regulate MD submeter billing. I would file that complaint and wait for their response.

Edited by tmcgill

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I filed the complaint this morning with Maryland Utility. Should she send the CO, another letter of some sort I would hate for them to place it on her reports.

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I would wait for the Commission's response. As a regulator, their decision is legally binding. Once the utility provider receives the complaint, they have to respond in 30 days to the Commission and prove the bill is accurate.

Edited by tmcgill

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