Debt dispute, part 2
May 5, 2014 4:59 PM   Subscribe

Follow-up from my last question. My 'proof of debt' packet arrived, containing 1) the same bogus justification for (most of) the debt as before, AND a brand new thing: both of my previous payments, toward the undisputed portion of the debt, are now preceded by a charge labeled 'bad debt collection' in the exact amount of those payments, canceling them out. What's my next step?
posted by jinjo to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Check your bank account to see if those transactions actually happened. In any rate it may be worth having a lawyer look at it (many non profits will look at some of this stuff for little to no cost) and have it explained to you.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:11 PM on May 5, 2014

Response by poster: Of course they actually happened. Is this seriously the only answer I'm going to get? I don't ask you for much, Metafilter, but right now I have people attempting to screw me out of thousands of dollars I don't even have, and I could really use more than just a drive-by "iunno get a free lawyer from somewhere, assuming it's not all in your head."

I am in the Dallas area, and before posting the previous linked question I jumped through hoops for a local free legal aid program, which I may or may not still qualify for, had to fight to fight to see my assigned lawyer at all after he rejected the case based on an insufficient reading of the details, and he eventually sent one meekly-worded letter and told me all I could do was wait to be sued. My access to him is now over, and I still have very little money. I spend a lot of it on gas and tolls on my commute to my new, low-paying job. I need to move, but I don't see how I can, especially with this "fighting the landlord for money" business on my record to scare people away. So this is the situation I need help with. If some of you could take a short break from naming other people's puppies, it would be much appreciated.
posted by jinjo at 9:42 AM on May 6, 2014

We don't have anywhere near enough information to help you. What's the debt for? What are the disputed and undisputed parts? Have you contacted the actual creditor to work this out?
posted by Capri at 10:04 AM on May 6, 2014

Response by poster: Thank you. The creditor and I have been in contact many times, and naturally I started with them. In person, they were evasive, told me the person I needed to talk to was gone for the rest of the day, refused to schedule meetings with them ("I can't edit their calendar") or have them call me back. In writing, they sent only copies of the same documents I already had, highlighting the portions referring to a certain fee I owed (and did pay), as if it supported the extra, much larger fee they are trying to charge me on top of it for the same thing. It doesn't, and that fact is clear to everyone I've shared the details with, but the situation drags on.

I appreciate the offer to examine the situation for me, but that's not what I need at this point. I need to know how to find someone to take all this and actually, concretely, make it stop.
posted by jinjo at 10:53 AM on May 6, 2014

You know, I can't give you precise legal information, but I can tell you from vast personal experience, my own and others', that a major part of these outfits' income derives from bullying people who eventually cave in -- not to the entire amount, if it's big like 'yours', but to a 'settlement offer'.
I remember your first Q, and I just read thru it again. Lots of valuable info there. For example, notice how you were alarmed that your antagonists were about to 'obtain a judgment,' until someone pointed out that's not what their boilerplate said.
Don't get me wrong -- I know how unnerving this can be. Even lying scum can damage your credit report. But when their 'claims' are false, it's also possible to reverse it. Inconvenient, unjust, and infuriating. But possible.
I've ignored a few and they just went away; if they were more actively harassing me, or taking more serious steps, I might not ignore them.
You say you just want it to stop, but I don't think there's a simple button to push. Getting a lawyer to advise you may well be the first step -- and easier, and cheaper, than you expect.
Good luck.
posted by LonnieK at 2:32 PM on May 6, 2014

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