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Destiny1075

Help Please! Exempt Income, Collection Agent, Florida

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Hello. I need advice and info about florida laws, exempt incomes and collection agencies.

 

My mom keep receiving letters/calls from a collections agency(Portfolio Recovery Associates) for a debt they say she owe from paypal. My mom has been retired for 2 years now and her only source of income is her social security retirement benefits which is only $1,098 monthly. She told the rep from PRA that she's low income and her only source of income is her Social Security benefits but the rep didn't care or take it into consideration and now they keep contacting her trying to force her to pay the debt.

 

My question: Is her income exempt from collection agencies as a resident of Florida?

 

Are there current Florida laws to protect her from Portfolio Recovery Associates calls and letters attempting to collect the debt they say she owe? If so is there an income exemption letter she can send PRA and can she file a compliant against PRA about their refusal to take her income into consideration?

 

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I just lifted this off of google.

 

Quote

The quick answer is that your social security income cannot be garnished at the source, and most pensions are exempt from garnishment too. You would first have to be sued, and a judgment entered in court, before there is any risk to your money from a debt collector.

And if that is your mothers sole source of income, it is likely in Florida that she is judgement proof.  (There are disclaimers to my statement, but I'll let the ones comment on that who normally post point out their extreme knowledge.

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1 hour ago, Destiny1075 said:

Are there current Florida laws to protect her from Portfolio Recovery Associates calls and letters attempting to collect the debt they say she owe? If so is there an income exemption letter she can send PRA and can she file a compliant against PRA about their refusal to take her income into consideration?

No. They can keep calling until the cows come home. She could send them a FOAD letter, but that may result in more hassles down the road when they sue her. 

Edited by shifter

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She can tell them to stop calling and to contact her by mail only.

If the last time she paid on the account (an on time payment) was over 4 years ago she can also send them a cease and desist letter.

(the appropriate cease and desist letter is in the SOL program guide)

If this and other debts are on her credit reports she should follow the guides;

https://whychat.me/GUIDEBOOK.html

 

For NON medical accounts use this:

https://whychat.me/SOL PROGRAM GUIDE.html

For medical accounts use this:

https://whychat.me/GUIDE HIPAA PROGRAM.html

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She needs to prepare and submit a well-written dispute specific to the account.  Whether she discusses the SSI income being the only income is up to her, but doing so would be constructive notice to lay the groundwork in the event they ever did elect to move forward with litigation.  I am always a fan of making a company look like idiots if they move forward in that manner...it also allows the judge to call them stupid (something which judges in a lot of jurisdictions won't hesitate to do given a chance by one party or the other). 

 

If she truly never wants to deal with them, then she needs to communicate the FOAD in writing.  A verbal FOAD does not preserve the right to assert the claim later down the road. 

 

She needs to be a consumer that ASSERTS her rights under State and federal law (to the extent that State-level protections might exist- not my jurisdiction and I don't generally take time to look up the law in jurisdictions that I don't practice in or have cause to come up to speed for).  She will also want to make sure she tailors a letter to HER situation...do not send generic tripe. 

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19 hours ago, hegemony said:

welcome to CB!

 

Do you know what the SOL for the debt is? It might be too old for PRA to do much.

I pull her Experian credit report. This is 1/2 screenshots of the PRA account.

Screenshot_20200201-202200.png

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19 hours ago, hegemony said:

welcome to CB!

 

Do you know what the SOL for the debt is? It might be too old for PRA to do much.

Here's the second screenshot of the PRA accountScreenshot_20200201-202312.thumb.png.256984285881280fdcc8b6c4f27ecded.png

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Please do not rely on the internet-based copy of ANY bureau file for anything other than comic relief or to see that SOMETHING changed.  You (SHE) NEED to get the paper reports to gain a truly accurate picture of what is going on with ANY sort of reporting.  The online versions of reports massage data to fit a format...they have also been known to lack information that exists on the paper reports. 

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The report showing the removal date as Jan. 2025 would indicate that the charge off date was Jan 2018 so she is within the SOL for being sued and should be careful about trying to do anything other than notifying the CA that all communication must be by mail.

 

It is pointless to try to communicate anything else to the CA such as the fact that she is "judgment proof" because they will take that as an invitation to sue.

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You are correct that it would be better to have her own records as to DOFD, however the date I assume of Jan. 2018 also corresponds to the CA acquisition date of 6/27/2019 as 6 Months after default is fairly standard for PayPal credit accounts.

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Just because Social Security income is exempt from levy is no reason to keep your guard down.  It is only exempt to the extent that your account contains approximately 2.5 months or less of those funds in it or there are no other non-exempt funds co-mingled.  

 

Even if the account only contains exempt funds, in many states once the bank is served they will freeze the funds for a day or three (or more) to sort everything out.  During that period of time checks will bounce and the money in the account is inaccessible.  

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15 hours ago, PotO said:

Just because Social Security income is exempt from levy is no reason to keep your guard down.  It is only exempt to the extent that your account contains approximately 2.5 months or less of those funds in it or there are no other non-exempt funds co-mingled.  

 

Even if the account only contains exempt funds, in many states once the bank is served they will freeze the funds for a day or three (or more) to sort everything out.  During that period of time checks will bounce and the money in the account is inaccessible.  

This ^^^ exactly!!!

 

Laying back to try and play defense instead of continuing to be aggressive does not work in credit any more than it did for the 49er's yesterday/last night. 

 

Laying proper groundwork makes one better prepared in the event of potential litigation...it also opens the door to counterclaims in the event that such litigation came to actually exist.  There are reasons why people who send out a well-written letter can often see the matter come to a stop with a one-and-done approach...

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Best to withdraw most of the SS funds the day they arrive if they sue.  Paypal agreements are tied to a bank, usually Comenity or Synchrony. They have private arbitration. I suggest she file for it; that prevents PRA from using the courts. Besides, the startup fees for them are close to $6,000. They won't pay those fees because they cannot get them back. They have refused to pay so many times AAA won't even take their business. That basically kills the debt. Her fee will be $200 and after they close the case for non payment you can have a LOT of fun with PRA.

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Here's a little update.

 

She received a credit score drop alert from CK. Her TU score had dropped.

 

I logged into the CK account then clicked the what's changed link and it said the  change in credit score is the result of the PRA account newly updating as a closed account. The balance was removed from the collection amount but when I clicked on the PRA account the balance says $3,145 but the status says closed.

 

What does this mean? Why would PRA close the account? 

 

Thanks!

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47 minutes ago, Destiny1075 said:

Here's a little update.

 

She received a credit score drop alert from CK. Her TU score had dropped.

 

I logged into the CK account then clicked the what's changed link and it said the  change in credit score is the result of the PRA account newly updating as a closed account. The balance was removed from the collection amount but when I clicked on the PRA account the balance says $3,145 but the status says closed.

 

What does this mean? Why would PRA close the account? 

 

Thanks!

Given that it is not a real report, any number of issues could be present.  However, it is entirely possible that they elected to close the matter and return it to the actual holder of the paper..and if they did actually own the paper, then they may have sold it off to yet another sucker.  It could ALSO just be another instance of a third-party not properly reporting what is going on with the data that would have been found on a paper report directly from the four major bureaus.  This is why sites like CreditKarma and even the online versions of the bureau reports directly from the bureau should NEVER be relied upon for anything beyond an indicator that SOMETHING changed. 

 

A closed account with a balance is ALWAYS going to tank a score though, even on real reports and with real scoring models...does not matter whether it is a collection or not.  One NEVER wants a closed account that shows a balance.  

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3 hours ago, centex said:

Given that it is not a real report, any number of issues could be present.  However, it is entirely possible that they elected to close the matter and return it to the actual holder of the paper..and if they did actually own the paper, then they may have sold it off to yet another sucker.  It could ALSO just be another instance of a third-party not properly reporting what is going on with the data that would have been found on a paper report directly from the four major bureaus.  This is why sites like CreditKarma and even the online versions of the bureau reports directly from the bureau should NEVER be relied upon for anything beyond an indicator that SOMETHING changed. 

 

A closed account with a balance is ALWAYS going to tank a score though, even on real reports and with real scoring models...does not matter whether it is a collection or not.  One NEVER wants a closed account that shows a balance.  

I'm waiting on the paper copy directly from all 3 major reporting agencies.

 

For now I've been pulling the credit reports via online from the credit bureau.

 

I just pulled the Transunion credit report via Transunion website and I can confirm that  Tranunion is now reporting the PRA account was closed on 2-4-2020. So CK got the update from Tranunion.

 

I logged into Experian to see if there's an update on PRA and there was on 2-7-2020 She received a dispute alert for the PRA account and it was updated as accurate information. It's not shown as a closed account. Nothing changed but the update date.

 

I'm wondering why it updated as a closed account on Tranunion but not on Experian. Do anyone have any clues about the difference in reporting?

 

I haven't checked Equifax yet.

Edited by Destiny1075

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each of the four major CRAs that participate in e-oscar often report tradelines slightly differently. Stop being distracted by bright shiney things and focus on what matters. Get paper copies of your reports, study the SOL and DOFD for the debt, and get proactive!

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38 minutes ago, Destiny1075 said:

I'm waiting on the paper copy directly from all 3 major reporting agencies.

 

For now I've been pulling the credit reports via online from the credit bureau.

 

I just pulled the Transunion credit report via Transunion website and I can confirm that  Tranunion is now reporting the PRA account was closed on 2-4-2020. So CK got the update from Tranunion.

 

I logged into Experian to see if there's an update on PRA and there was on 2-7-2020 She received a dispute alert for the PRA account and it was updated as accurate information. It's not shown as a closed account. Nothing changed but the update date.

 

I'm wondering why it updated as a closed account on Tranunion but not on Experian. Do anyone have any clues about the difference in reporting?

 

I haven't checked Equifax yet.

Nobody is denying that the third-party sites don't get data from three of the four major bureaus (although now you claim you are getting reports from the bureaus, while earlier you said you were using CreditC'monMan, err CreditKarma).  The PROBLEM comes in how they attempt to contort data into the shiny bauble that they have monetized.  There is a reason they are not a trustworthy site for ANY purpose other than to see that SOMETHING changed.  If it isn't a paper report directly from the bureau, it is not worth the pixels burned up to show it on your monitor...

 

As to why TU has something other than EX, the answer is simple.  Not all companies send their data dumps to the bureaus on the same day.  The fact that there was apparently a dispute is yet another fly in the ointment as that changes what and when a change might occur.  This is ALSO why all reports are suspect while a dispute is active and ongoing.

 

Patience is a must.  People don't screw their credit up overnight and it would be disingenuous to expect it to be fixed overnight.  It is a process, one which takes time.  Time is essential even for those that go haphazard and use cut-and-paste drivel (or worse, dispute online) instead of tailoring their efforts to a specific situation... 

Edited by centex

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46 minutes ago, hegemony said:

each of the four major CRAs that participate in e-oscar often report tradelines slightly differently. Stop being distracted by bright shiney things and focus on what matters. Get paper copies of your reports, study the SOL and DOFD for the debt, and get proactive!

Thank you. I'm still reading information on these areas.

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47 minutes ago, centex said:

Nobody is denying that the third-party sites don't get data from three of the four major bureaus (although now you claim you are getting reports from the bureaus, while earlier you said you were using CreditC'monMan, err CreditKarma).  The PROBLEM comes in how they attempt to contort data into the shiny bauble that they have monetized.  There is a reason they are not a trustworthy site for ANY purpose other than to see that SOMETHING changed.  If it isn't a paper report directly from the bureau, it is not worth the pixels burned up to show it on your monitor...

 

As to why TU has something other than EX, the answer is simple.  Not all companies send their data dumps to the bureaus on the same day.  The fact that there was apparently a dispute is yet another fly in the ointment as that changes what and when a change might occur.  This is ALSO why all reports are suspect while a dispute is active and ongoing.

 

Patience is a must.  People don't screw their credit up overnight and it would be disingenuous to expect it to be fixed overnight.  It is a process, one which takes time.  Time is essential even for those that go haphazard and use cut-and-paste drivel (or worse, dispute online) instead of tailoring their efforts to a specific situation... 

I'm going to wait on the paper copy I ordered directly from Experian and Transunion.

 

I found out that she received a copy of her Equifax on Friday. Here's how the PRA account is reporting on the real copy from Equifax 

 

Creditor Classification- Banking

Status- Collection Account 

Date Open- 6/27/2019

Balance Amount- 3,145

Item As of Date Reported- 1/27/2020

Date of First Delinquency- 4/2018

Major Delinquency first reported-1/2020

Amount Past Due- 3,145

High Credit- 3,145

Type of Account- Open

Type of Loan- Debt Buyer

Whose Account- Individual Account

 

Do you see any violations? And can you explain why the Creditor Classification is Banking when PRA is a debt collection agency?

 

Thanks!

 

 

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