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Help with complicated problem
May 11, 2008 6:37 PM   Subscribe

I have a curbside mailbox and mail theft is common in Utah (http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,600129714,00.html). Big Credit Card Company (BCCC) sends me convenience checks that can be stolen and cashed by anybody. The post office won’t let me move my mailbox to my house. Local politicians sided with the Postmaster. A rental box or a new security mailbox are impractical.

From early 2005 through late 2007, I consistently received unwanted convenience checks from a BCCC address in Virginia. Requests to that address to stop to the convenience checks were replied to from a post office box in Utah. The USPS identified that box as belonging to the company acting as BCCC's agent in Utah (The Agent), but The Agent did not identify itself as the sender. Rather, the replies were sent on behalf on BCCC, using letterhead and envelopes bearing the BCCC logotype.

But the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code, says neither BCCC Finance or any of its forms are explicitly listed as able to conduct commercial transactions in the state.

After more than a dozen certified letters to the BCCC address in Virginia and the The Agent address in Utah, and promises by respondents at the Utah address to stop the delivery of the checks (they did not stop), I sued The Agent and BCCC in 2007. In Utah, an entity being sued must be served through its state registered agent. Because I could find no explicit listing for BCCC Finance or any of its sub-entities in the UCC database (and therefore, not find its registered agent), and because the USPS showed both BCCC and The Agent as sharing a mailing address and correspondence, I served the entity whose registered agent was listed with the UCC, The Agent . Neither The Agent or BCCC appeared at a September 2007 hearing, and after fifteen plus thirty days, a judgment was awarded my favor.

Neither The Agent or BCCC have contested the facts of the judgment. A BCCC representative called me in January 2008 offering a settlement with no promise that the checks would not continue. I declined. In a hearing requested by BCCC on April 24, 2008, its attorney asked the court to set aside the judgment saying it had not been properly served and that it and The Agent are separate entities. The Agent did not appear at the hearing.

The court did not set aside the judgment, but instead granted a continuance to allow me the chance to show a more than circumstantial connection between BCCC and The Agent. Its central question; is The Agent an agent of BCCC in Utah, and/or, is BCCC operating through The Agent in Utah? If so, the judgment stands. If not, the judgment does not stand.

If BCCC and The Agent are separate entities, The Agent should have no effect on credit granting policies of BCCC; monthly payments to my BCCC account were made to BCCC addresses not in Utah. Yet, The Agent promised in writing on four separate occasions to stop sending me credit card account based convenience checks. Later, The Agent required personal and identical account information regarding my BCCC account four separate times before it said it could “grant” my request to stop receiving the checks. It did not.

I am looking for ways, tools and methods available to a non-attorney to establish a more than circumstantial connection between Affiliated Computer Services and BCCC as the court requests, be they websites, research techniques or reference material.
posted by CollectiveMind to Law & Government (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't have an answer to your question, but I highly recommend that you also cross-post this question to The Consumerist. They might be able to help you if no one here can.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 6:55 PM on May 11, 2008


Trying to think creatively here: The agent uses a direct mailing company to print and send the materials you recieve. If you can locate the direct mail company, and discover who pays for the print runs, you may discover that this is BCCC. You may be able to locate the direct mail company by asking your post office to help you. If they send a lot of these checks, they probably know exactly what direct mail company they are coming from.

What happens if you cash a check?
posted by Eringatang at 6:58 PM on May 11, 2008


Cancel your card with them and start with another one?

And really, you aren't on the hook even if someone does use one of those checks, I don't think. That person would have to forge your name and would be engaging in fraud. A quick google search seems to indicate that those checks work the same as if someone used your card fraudulently.

As to your main question, check with the Attorney General of your state. It seems like there are only two things that could be happening- BCCC doesn't have standing to conduct business in your state and are in big trouble, or they do have an agent and the Atty Gen should be able to help you find out who that is.

Though I'm not a lawyer, I'm surprised the judge did what he did- I would think that he would have simply directed the attorney to say who the registered agent is in your state. I don't think it's any kind of secret- the whole point of having a registered agent is so that the justice system can get ahold of them if they need to be sued. Their agent in the state is a separate entity, but that agent is The Agent of BCCC in that state. Or not.

Is this small-claims court? Maybe they can direct you to someone who can help.
posted by gjc at 6:59 PM on May 11, 2008


Honestly, this sounds over-complicated to me. I was able to stop the courtesy checks by calling my BCCC and asking them to stop sending me checks. Worked like a charm.
posted by ml98tu at 7:19 PM on May 11, 2008


The surest way to do what you wish to do, as a non-attorney, is to hire an attorney.
posted by toomuchpete at 7:22 PM on May 11, 2008


Seconding what a few have said. 1)Most every credit card company sends those checks to customers, with increasing frequency of late--call yours and tell them you don't want them coming. 2)If someone steals them you won't be liable as long as you report it properly.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:36 PM on May 11, 2008


Why are you hiding the name of the company and the agent? It seems like the quickest way to resolve this question is to tell us who the entities are. I don't see how that could really hurt your position in the suit, since you already have a judgment in your favor and you're just trying to prevent it being set aside.

Frankly it doesn't sound like you have much clue about what you are doing. At least if you tell us who the entities are, somebody here might help you to make the connection and give you some ideas about how to avoid this mega-company's highly paid lawyer handing you your ass in court.
posted by jayder at 8:38 PM on May 11, 2008


I asked them to stop sending them and they did.
posted by Slenny at 3:54 AM on May 12, 2008


I asked them to stop sending them and they do, but it seems like I have to call them every year, as eventually they start coming again.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 6:32 AM on May 12, 2008


I'm sorry to question your premise that a security mailbox isn't an option, but are you sure you couldn't use a locking mailbox (along the lines of what one might buy at Home Depot?
posted by JMOZ at 9:00 AM on May 12, 2008


If it's this important, getting a post office box and changing your mailing address for all the important stuff is the best way to go. It may be impractical, but beats pants off of dealing with fraud and identity theft.
posted by phredgreen at 10:39 AM on May 13, 2008


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