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Does anyone read the FCRA/FDCPA anymore?

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24 replies to this topic

#1 JessicaRabbit88

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 04:35 PM

Okay this has been buggin me for the last few weeks, this is NOT directed at anyone in particular, rather a general concern I am having - so get ready for my vent (sorry in advance).

But I have seen a lot of letters being sent out, whether they be the basic dispute letter, validation letter, estoppel letter or a ITS letter, that are being copied and pasted and mailed without even understanding what they are signing their name to.

Perhaps it is because credit law is a massive amount of information that can be overwhelming to take in, yet the need for credit repair is immediate and usually a negative impact is what draws someone to invest into credit repair at all. I can understand that.

But I must ask do we even start to understand the risk you are taking by sending out something to which you don't fully understand? That what you are sending out can be upheld in a courtroom and binding by law, with possible penalties both good and bad.

I find myself being able to answer a good 50% of the questions here with direct quotes from either the FDCPA or FCRA without much research or time spent clicking, and that would be okay except that the question is asked because the person appears to not have read where the acts.

There are also a GREAT number of post about questions within the acts or specific case law or trying to get a better grasp of basic knowledge, which is great and I love answering or researching those, because often times I learn a great deal myself.

But my concern is the risk factor here for sending something as serious as these letters are. Just want to make sure we are all on the same page (or perhaps just me that is off) in understanding how serious each and every letter you put your name is, and what possible consequences there are.

I can't imagine trying to repair my reports from just reading a few threads here and then sending out some letters that are all over the net. I am in the middle of two lawsuits and even though I have went through them with a fine toothed comb, my learning has only begun, and I will continue to constantly READ READ and READ more.

My thinking is, before you send the very first letter:

Read the FDCPA/FCRA so many times that you have it basically memorized
Know your state laws and how they apply to your credit
Know applicable state licensing requirements
Read the getting started stickies to the point you could rehearse the information

Any other key tips?


#2 tolstoy

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 04:39 PM

Great point!

I would add that reading the FTC opions, especially key ones, like Wollman, Cass, etc. helps immeasurably. I've had CAs that have challenged me on a point and it really isn't covered by the FDCPA/FCRA, but is clarified in the opinions by the FTC. These help more than just quoting the laws to a CA. Most CAs know and are familiar with the actual laws, but you are usually ahead of them if you've bothered to read the opinions.

#3 tolstoy

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 04:40 PM

Oh, and I'd also recommend reading the actual cases and have copies of any court cases you cite in a letter. If you show up in court, the judge will want you to have a copy of any legal references.

#4 TheCapn

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 04:42 PM

Great post Jessica...I keep copies of the FCRA and FDCPA with me pretty much everywhere I go. Everyone should continually read these laws backwards and forwards.

#5 LKH


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Posted 09 September 2003 - 04:42 PM

Amen. This always has been and always will be the biggest problem. Those that don't do the required research and send out letters not knowing why they are sending them or even knowing what they are sending, are not fighting only the cra's and ca's, but they are fighting themselves and are their own worst enemy.

#6 LKH


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Posted 09 September 2003 - 04:42 PM

Amen. This always has been and always will be the biggest problem. Those that don't do the required research and send out letters not knowing why they are sending them or even knowing what they are sending, are not fighting only the cra's and ca's, but they are fighting themselves and are their own worst enemy.

Reading and research is a must. The FCRA and FDCPA are the bible of credit repair.

#7 citygirl8

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 04:47 PM

As someone who's pretty new at this, I would like to point out that there is a stage in-between having memorized the laws and not even understanding the letters we send.

I make it a point to write my own letters from scratch. I don't want to regurgitate stuff that's all over the place, for one. Mainly, I think most of the letters babble on too much about what the law is. It is not my responsibility to inform a CA or a CRA what the law says. I write, I ask for information or action and if it isn't given, I'll complain. I haven't written a letter yet that mentions FCRA or FDCPA.

I haven't stopped reading, but I also keep it simple and make it a point not to talk about stuff that I don't understand.

#8 SpecMomArmy

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 04:50 PM

Just wanted you to know that I'm one that had jumped in before learning(or finding the board for that matter!) I am waiting to send out validation letters. I want to know exactly what I'm doing and the exact paper trail that I need. It does get overwhelming at times. I've asked for advice on letters to send out, but didn't get any advice. The letters didn't get mailed. Maybe one day, people will be willing to give me a critique, or I'll have learned enough to send them out on my own without shooting myself in the foot. :)

#9 four20nik

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 04:58 PM

Reminds me of the guy who sent val req and c&d for ALL contact...in the same letter.

Excellent point!

It may all seem overwhelming to newbies...as many times, people are looking for a quickfix...they are trying to buy a house, or need a loan ASAP...in pursuing these goals, some forget to do the research and learning...rather they fire of these letters with total disregard to what they actually mean and the effects thereof.

This thread is a reminder to those starting out...while we all have goals to meet...shortcuts, especially if you're not familiar w/ the laws, etc., will end up taking you down a longer road and may even make those baddies IMPOSSIBLE to remove.

Might I add, Jess...that you are a perfect example of someone who came, conquered and continues to learn on a daily basis. You have done your research, taken your time, asked questions, etc...and set a wonderful example of someone who is not only trying to clean up their credit, but has taken much time to actually get involved and turn this into a learning process.

#10 NC600s

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 05:28 PM

Hey Jessica. Do you have any good solid links on the FDCPA/FCRA. I know I can just google them, but if you have any better sites, please share.


#11 JessicaRabbit88

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 05:30 PM

These are out of my favorites links:



Thanks Nik - your a sweetie, appreciate it. Oh this post is in no way to say that I haven't made these same mistakes in the beginning too - but more to create an awareness of the damage you may cause yourself, as LKH put it.

#12 kj2711

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 06:39 PM

Might I add that reading the FTC Staff Commentary is helpful as well.

It seems that every time I read the FDCPA, the FTC Staff Commentary and various opinion letters, I learn something new every time or find something that I missed.

#13 humblemarc

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 07:55 PM

Jessica, you sound like me not so long ago. I did and still get very frustrated when a new poster or even someone who have been posting for a while asks a question that is answered or explained in the STICKIES. (because oft times, that is the same person who wonders what they did wrong later on when whatever technique they half-flowers researched backfires on them)

In fact, i used to direct any new poster who asked a question that had obviously been answered in the stickies, to the stickies.
I am NOT a big fan of hand feeding certain things, esp. to new posters who NEED to learn the vital skills of reading, understanding, and researching their rights ON THEIR OWN, if they want to succeed in their goals. In fact, i believe in the basic stickie written by radi8, I EXPRESSLY EMPHASIZE that any new poster needs to UNDERSTAND the FCRA and FDCPA before sending out any letters, using any techniques, etc.

Now the question is, how many people have even read the stickies.?? and of those who have read them, how many have skimmed them over and not read ALL the links in the stickies, so AT LEAST they can remember where to find a particular point of topic when it comes up later on. . .

Just for the record, to any new or older posters who are reading this now, most, if not all, of the important BASIC AND ABSOLUTELY NECCESSARY INFO.(before even starting one's credit journey) are in either the READ THIS BEFORE POSTING FORUM or in the database.

#14 captainmarty

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 08:07 PM

Jessica I applaud you on your comments. Although I don't post here often I spend hours each day reading the threads and doing research. The time that I have spent has paid off. It took many many months but I also understood by reading and doing my homework that this was to be expected. I wish more people understood that one fact.

Keep up the good work!

#15 SassyinAz


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Posted 09 September 2003 - 10:53 PM

I'm definately flying with ya, Jess!!!!!!!!!!


Only would add, don't think homework and reading the applicable laws and supporting documentation is a one-time thing.

It's an ongoing process of reading and re-reading and researching and re-researching.


#16 Fela200

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 07:30 AM


Thank you so much for posting this. I have to admit that I too have made mistakes, that I wish I can take back and have lost focus on occasions. Like anything else, researching and trying to understand these law takes practice.

#17 schram12

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 08:27 AM

hi all just wanted to add my 2 cents, when i found this board I wasnt desperate to apply for a mortgage or get a loan, but i was being harassed by a bill collector my first few post were out of desperation (no I didnt read all the stickies) i did read alot of post but i was very confused I had no idea i had rights :shock:

the only letter i sent out was the validation letter and C&D, not fully understanding the letter. It was a quick fix to the problem i had at the time. :shock:

that being said I have been on the board for several months i visit daily and i think i have read every post there is, i read the fcra and the fdcpa i am begining to understand everything but still unsure and nervose about the letters. I have yet to send any letter except for the one mentioned earlier.

when i ask a question that has been discussed before its usuallly because I want to make sure, in my situation i am understanding correctly.

the biggest confusion for me was the hippa for medical but whychat has helped me understand this and i apreciate everything she helped me with. :o

i can uderstand all you vets feel like beating your head against the wall (or our heads :oops: ). but its all good the more questions that gets asked the more we feel comfortable(or i do altleast) and we can start to see that this is our rights and no one is giong to walk all over us again. this is just how i feel.

#18 JessicaRabbit88

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 11:06 AM


Agreed, and this is good advice for me. I have read them, but I know I should be far more familiar with them then I currently am. The FTC Opinion letters and Case Law are my next "to-do" item.


Excellent point about being your own worst enemy when you haven't researched it, you are doing yourself more harm then the CA you are fighting.


Agreed, you will not become an expert overnight, if ever, because it is always a learning process. But like you said, it best then to only include in your letters exactly what you know - that way you are better safe then sorry.


If you have not gotten any advice be sure to *bump* your threads, or perhaps reword your questions for clarity. Sometimes I won't answer a thread because the answer is already given or the original poster is doing the right thing and answered their own question. No need for being repetative eh? But anyways, bump your threads and I will make sure to give any feedback I can.


Thanks again!


Agreed about the stickies, but they are kind of in an odd spot now. You don't really see them because you immediatly go here. So maybe we could have one sticky at the top of this forum with a link over to the getting started one - just kind of a double reminder :) Just a suggestion.


Nice :) I agree with ya.


I am constantly amazed at your vast knowledge of the law and it's applicability. I wish sometimes I could just tap into your wisdom for a day ;) Thanks for being an inspiration to us!


Yep me too, sometimes it is good to have a reminder.


That is an understandable case - and I am sure countless others of us did the same thing (yep me included), but if we all would take the time like you did to learn, then hopefully we avoid making another mistake.

I think post that state a good understanding of the law and then ask how it specifically applies to a situation are the best threads! I often learn a ton from them, because this is no blanket and each case is different. That is what makes this work, finding different ways to work within the law.

Okay hope I didn't miss anyone ;)

Jessica .... who thinks this is one of the longest-winded bumps I have ever done ... LOL

#19 keith2001

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Posted 13 September 2003 - 09:56 AM

:) bumping because i need to be able to find this agin :)

#20 milkmom

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Posted 13 September 2003 - 05:40 PM

Great post Jessica!

Personally, my journey started on CN. I must have read for 3 months before having the courage to start posting questions. I have certainly had some duh moments also. It will take me a while longer before I even feel confortable giving out answers beyond the intro stuff. I have just not had to deal with too many difficult situations yet, but I know they are coming. :wink: The more experience I get, the more knowledge I will have.

I would suggest that newbies just read for a while until they get a feel for the community, the acronyms, and then start mapping out a plan. How do you want to attack those negatives? The strategies differ with collections, OC tradelines, etc. Figure out what is best for you. It could be paying for deletion or not. Once you do that, then your questions will be better and the answers will benefit you more.

#21 georgiaboy

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Posted 13 September 2003 - 10:45 PM

Jessica, glad you brought up this subject, and to add my .02, there is a section of this site called the DATABASE, in it you will find multi links to informative sites etc. It really tees me off for someone to ask a question, especially a simple one, that they could answer for thereselves if they took just a bit o effort in searching the database and or the web in general.

Just the other day someone at CN asked about secured cards in canada.

"I checked every major bank and no one offers a secured credit card in Canada! Capital One does, but i can't find a way to apply on their site, and their phone numbers are for existing customers only. Can anyone help?"

I did a simple search on yahoo and pulled up over 5000 results.

In closing Id just like to say, If your to damn lazy to help yourself, why expect others to help you.

I know that reading all the gibberish of laws etc is boreing, but if you dont want to do it yourself, then pay someone to do it for you.

Questions such as what is the FDCPA and FCRA,,, come on folks, READ

Please dont take this as an personal attack, Im thru venting folks

#22 breana902

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Posted 13 September 2003 - 11:28 PM

I know that I have read them quite a few times, but like schram I will sometimes ask a question just to be sure. Or, I remember reading something but can't remember where and can't find the answer when I do a search. So far only one question bothers me and that is the "what is *******". That one hasn't surfaced in awhile, hopefully it won't anymore!

#23 keith2001

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Posted 13 September 2003 - 11:41 PM

hey breana902,What is *******?

#24 keith2001

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Posted 13 September 2003 - 11:45 PM

oh wait i found it by doing a search on ******* . it's when you ******* in oreder to remove ** from ###. this helps you to ****** easily and quickly!!!! THANK YOU

#25 breana902

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Posted 13 September 2003 - 11:45 PM


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