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Have any of you sued collection agencies?


CarlaFer
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How is the small claims court case usually… do you have to go speak to the judge, in front of others. Trying to get a better picture. Someone told me that in most cases if it’s for smaller amounts the collection agencies (CA) won’t bother showing up especially if they are in another state and it’s not worth it to them to hire lawyers.

The minimum in my county is $1,000. Thinking of suing that amount. I read that getting the money is trickier like there are more steps to it or perhaps it happens when the court decides who’s right. Anyways, my main goal is to get the accounts deleted from credit bureaus. I know what to sue for.

 

I also could sue Equifax maybe because they didn’t respond to every-time I disputed but I think it would be better to just sue the CA as it’ll delete it from all 3 bureaus. I still have to check the fees I need to pay the court.

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How is the small claims court case usually… do you have to go speak to the judge, in front of others. Trying to get a better picture. Someone told me that in most cases if it’s for smaller amounts the collection agencies (CA) won’t bother showing up especially if they are in another state and it’s not worth it to them to hire lawyers.

The minimum in my county is $1,000. Thinking of suing that amount. I read that getting the money is trickier like there are more steps to it or perhaps it happens when the court decides who’s right. Anyways, my main goal is to get the accounts deleted from credit bureaus. I know what to sue for.

 

I also could sue Equifax maybe because they didn’t respond to every-time I disputed but I think it would be better to just sue the CA as it’ll delete it from all 3 bureaus. I still have to check the fees I need to pay the court.

 

 

Welcome to CB. If there is blatant violation and you have the documentation to prove it, you can sometimes send a letter telling them you intend to sue, and they will make some offer to settle. If the case is not strong, you can take your chances.

 

If you have damages and can prove it, you can sue for more, but the $1,000 is usually the statutory amount. Even if you win a case, good luck getting the money by yourself. A lot of lawyers will take a good case because they know if they win they will get paid.

 

It sounds like you've gotten some partial advice, or someone left a lot out of whatever they told you. There are people here who have sued and won, but it isn't the "piece of cake" some people make it out to be.

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and if you sue in State court over FDCPA violations, the CA can just file a remand to federal court

 

which has a whole set of different rules

 

if you're going to file suit against a CA in state court Small claims, use your States debt collection laws , then they can't transfer it to Federal

 

if your state has debt collection laws, these usually mirror the FDCPA and some times have more $$$ on fines.

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Small claims courts [at least in my state] do not allow attorney representation, unless both parties stipulate to their presence. So yes, you are usually the personal advocate for your argument.

One can be awarded a judgment, but collecting that award can be difficult.

The greatest problem with small claims courts is that many people do not know how to properly construct and demonstrate a logical proof of their argument before the court. If you decide to go and advocate for yourself, go and peruse "Logic for Dummies" at the library or available at a book store. Understand how a logical proof is constructed and works to demonstrate the argument being examined. Going before a judge who has usually never been to law school and demonstrating your validated logical proof in a few minutes time can be decisive to winning the case.

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What grounds do you have for the suits?

Action: Consumer Protection afforded by the FDCPA | Violation: They have not validated the debt & they continue to report to the credit bureau. | Legal Jurisdiction: FDCPA Section 809(B), FTC opinion letter Cass from LeFevre.

 

I could do the following for Equifax: Failing to respond to my written disputes within 30+ days. However, I don't really want to sue the bureau. I have mailing evidence.

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and if you sue in State court over FDCPA violations, the CA can just file a remand to federal court

 

which has a whole set of different rules

 

if you're going to file suit against a CA in state court Small claims, use your States debt collection laws , then they can't transfer it to Federal

 

if your state has debt collection laws, these usually mirror the FDCPA and some times have more $$$ on fines.

I am in Florida. I was going to file with the county small claims. So I should file small claims with the state collection laws. What are those?

I don't have to take it to the state?

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Florida has the FCCPA

 

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/florida-consumer-collection-practices-act.html

 

https://www.flofr.com/StaticPages/documents/OFR-CCA-103.pdf

 

you need to show some hard evidence; hesaid/ shesaid doesn't apply it's hearsay and will get thrown out

 

What's your case for violations ?

 

 

for FCRA violations, Federal court

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Small claims is NOT where you want to be for this. Most likely you'll get a magistrate who knows absolutely nothing about consumer law.

 

because they didn’t respond to every-time I disputed

 

You need to do some reading. The FCRA does not require them to respond to an endless stream of letters that all say the same thing. After responding once, they can ignore your requests as frivolous. If you sue these people with no legal basis, you'll find yourself in Federal Court and you could be taxed with their cost of defending a frivolous claim.

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Small claims is NOT where you want to be for this. Most likely you'll get a magistrate who knows absolutely nothing about consumer law.

 

because they didn’t respond to every-time I disputed

 

You need to do some reading. The FCRA does not require them to respond to an endless stream of letters that all say the same thing. After responding once, they can ignore your requests as frivolous. If you sue these people with no legal basis, you'll find yourself in Federal Court and you could be taxed with their cost of defending a frivolous claim.

Okay, so I won't sue Equifax. I'm interested in the CA and having them delete the accounts from the credit reports.

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Florida has the FCCPA

 

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/florida-consumer-collection-practices-act.html

 

https://www.flofr.com/StaticPages/documents/OFR-CCA-103.pdf

 

you need to show some hard evidence; hesaid/ shesaid doesn't apply it's hearsay and will get thrown out

 

What's your case for violations ?

 

 

for FCRA violations, Federal court

I sent 4 disputes to each bureau but the accounts are still being reported and not deleted. They didn't listen to my letter just replied with a generic letter every time. However, I don't know if that's enough for a case towards the CA. I have the certified mail evidence for each correspondence sent.

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What is needed for a (potential) case is a blatant, obvious, documented violation of either FDCPA or your state's debt collection laws.

 

As stated above in this thread, your state laws may differ from federal laws, so you need to understand the process for both state and federal first.

 

Once you have a good understanding of "the rules", then I would re-assess your situation and any documentation you have that shows a blatant, obvious, and documented violation of the law.

 

Once you have this, then you most likely have a case and could sue...

 

If the intent is just to sue to get it removed, this would be considered frivolous and you could be on the hook for the court/attorney costs of the other party.

 

There are posts on here of people who have successfully sued CAs due to violations the CA has made, but also as others have said, sometimes presenting a letter of intent to sue while pointing out the violation to the CA is enough leverage to get what you want without the added cost/time in actually filing.

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Florida has the FCCPA

 

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/florida-consumer-collection-practices-act.html

 

https://www.flofr.com/StaticPages/documents/OFR-CCA-103.pdf

 

you need to show some hard evidence; hesaid/ shesaid doesn't apply it's hearsay and will get thrown out

 

What's your case for violations ?

 

 

for FCRA violations, Federal court

I sent 4 disputes to each bureau but the accounts are still being reported and not deleted. They didn't listen to my letter just replied with a generic letter every time. However, I don't know if that's enough for a case towards the CA. I have the certified mail evidence for each correspondence sent.

 

Guess what. Not all disputes are GOING to result in a deletion. They just aren't. Further, once you get beyond the first dispute, it becomes easier for them to mark as frivolous.

 

This is yet another reason why specificity is key in attacking any manner of account reporting. Generic crap begets generic crap. But suing over generic crap has a higher propensity of being something that begets sanctions and an Order to pay costs to the other party...

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