Getting Sued Over A Debt Already Paid

QUESTION: A collection agency says they’re going to sue me over a debt I already paid, I don’t know what to do.

I have a few emails of paid in full, but a couple of the companies didn’t send me anything, and when I tried to call them it says it’s no longer a working number.

ANSWER: First of all, I would suggest that you pull a copy of your credit bureau reports. You may obtain a free copy through www. AnnualCreditReport.com It is the only website that the Federal Trade Commission has approved of for a free credit report. You might find useful information on that website. Also, do you have old bank statements or cancelled checks to prove you paid?

If a third party debt collector is threatening to sue you on a debt that has been paid (whether you can prove it right now, OR NOT) then it seems your rights have been violated. I would suggest you contact a consumer rights attorney who has experience going after abusive debt collectors. They will probably want to look up this debt collector that is threatening to sue you. Specifically, they will want to see if this debt buyer is a common litigator; and also, they will want to find out if this debt collector has a surety bond on file with the Texas Secretary of State. If they do not, then this whole thing sounds like a scam- an illegal scam.

Keep in mind that the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allows you to collect a statutory award, other damages, as well as your attorney fees. That is the reason why many consumer rights attorneys do not charge clients up front for their time. They can get paid for by the defendants. I strongly suggest you get your payment history together and call a consumer rights attorney licensed in Texas.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

 

Removing A Dismissed Lawsuit From Credit Report

QUESTION: If you were taken to court for a broken lease and the case was dismissed is it possible to get it off your credit report?

My boyfriend left his old apartment a few years ago on account of his roommate who was unable to pay the full rent and left soon after. They were taken to court but the case was dismissed. Now we’re trying to get a house but the broken lease is still on his credit report. Is it possible to get it taken off because it was dismissed or does he still have to pay it?

ANSWER:The detail that is missing: what sort of dismissal was it? Your boyfriend needs to send a letter to the credit reporting agencies that are listing the broken lease. He will probably need to send a copy of that same letter to the past landlord disputing the negative information. If the dismissal documents from court are favorable to your boyfriend, he should attach them to the dispute letter. He should probably attach the dismissal documents in any event.

Your boyfriend should be gathering information about being declined or rejected from the new housing opportunity. In case the derogatory information on this credit report needs to be removed, and if it is NOT removed, then your boyfriend will have terrific grounds for a lawsuit against the past landlord and/or the credit reporting agencies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

If he needs assistance going through the dispute process, he should contact an experienced attorney. Most attorneys do not charge a fee for helping with the dispute letter writing process, or the resulting litigation, since the federal laws allow for fees to be paid by the defendants.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

 

Collection Case Dismissed For Lack Of Prosecution

QUESTION: I had a debit collection case that was dismissed for Lack of Prosecution.

The case was dismissed for Lack of Prosecution. I had filed a motion to reinstate the case and the judge said he wasn’t going to reinstate. so the  debt was sold to another collection agency. This was the 4 or 5 law firm that has come after me. What can I do to get this off my credit report? The debit type is a private student loan and this loan is NOT a FFELP.

ANSWER: There are two different issues here: the matter of the lawsuit seems to have been resolved if the case was dismissed. I understand that you have concerns that another debt buyer will sue you for it again. That is possible, although unlikely.

On the credit reporting side, you are encouraged to send off a written dispute letter to the credit bureaus and to everyone who ever tried to collect this debt. You should list all of the reasons why you dispute the negative information on your credit report. The fact that you were sued (and that the lawsuit was dismissed for lack of prosecution) does not qualify as a good reason to remove the debt from your credit reports.

If you dispute the debt with the present collector (and every collector beforehand) then they are prohibited by federal law from communicating information about the debt to yet another 3rd party. All of your disputes should be handled in writing, sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

 

Disputing Credit Report Errors

QUESTION: I disputed an error on my credit report, the creditor removed it on one bureau but declined to remove it on another credit bureau!

I contacted creditor (home depot) and disputed 30 days late on my credit report. It was first reported on Equifax and was deleted by Equifax, then months later it showed up on my Transunion. This time I disputed with Transunion and the error remains. What ground I have if I need legal assistance?

ANSWER: It is not uncommon for one credit bureau to report things one way, and another to report the exact opposite. I would recommend that you lodge another dispute- both with the creditor and the TransUnion. All credit reporting disputes should be handled by certified mail with return-receipt requested. You are encouraged to include as much helpful information as possible, including all proof that you have to support your claim.

Finally, if the incorrect information continues to appear on your credit report, you may have grounds to sue under the Federal Credit Reporting Act, as well as the Texas Finance Code. These consumer rights statutes allow you to recover damages, as well as your attorney fees (which is why many attorneys do not charge a fee to handle these sorts of matters – from the credit reporting dispute process through litigation.)

One other tidbit: many consumers obtain their credit reports through various websites that charge a fee. I have seen many consumers ask friends of theirs – in the mortgage industry, or car dealers – to pull their credit reports. The only place I recommend consumers go for their credit reports is: www.AnnualCreditReport.com It is the only website that is approved by the federal trade commission and allows you one free credit bureau report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

 

Liens Against Your Property

QUESTION: I went to refinance my home and found 6 liens. None of them actually belong to me. How does this happen and how can I fix this? Seem lazy.

How do people file liens against property without proof it is the correct person. I have to prove these are not me. Some are easy, because the judgments have DOB or Social Security number. They never should have been placed on my title in the first place. Do I have any recourse against the person who placed them there?

In addition to the answers the other attorneys provided, I would also suggest you check your credit reports (if your mortgage broker or other banker hasn’t already done that for you recently). Get your free reports at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Also, you may want to do some homework and learn more about the underlying claims or judgments that resulted in the liens. If these judgments are related to issues that are rightfully yours, you will probably need the assistance of an attorney to unwind the judgments (assuming you were never served with process.)

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

Mail Theft & Fraud

QUESTION: Mail theft and possibly fraud. Ex girlfriend stole. Illegal?

I found out that my ex had both stolen my keys, in addition to a few packages out of mailbox. Not on lease, not married.

ANSWER: Yes, this sounds illegal. If you have concerns that she is also stealing your credit, I would suggest you request a fraud alert with the credit bureaus. I would also suggest that you monitor your credit reports on a regular basis going forward. You may obtain a free copy of your credit reports once every year from each of the three credit bureaus at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. If you discover that accounts were taken out in your name, you will want to file a police report. Send that police report to the original creditors and the credit bureaus in order to clear your name. If the accounts are not removed from your name, you would have grounds to sue under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

How To Clear My Mother’s Name From A Loan

QUESTION: What do I need to do to clear my mothers name on a loan she has no ideal on how it happen? Her name is on the loan papers.

I’m my mothers executive over her health & finances, she has been diagnosed with dementia. My nephew took her with him to a dealership saying he was going to buy a truck. Later I started receiving notices of declines of loans in the mail so I look up her credit report and seen a loan was taken out on a truck and the payment was over a month late. After confronting him he said her name was not suppose to be on the loan. That’s when I told him he needs to go and have it removed. After four months of no payments he finally made one payment. I told the loan company that she is not making any payments and that I’m working on removing her name on the loan. My mother is 89 so time is precious and I don’t need any problems like this upsetting her. Is there any thing I can do to help my mother?

ANSWER:  There are two sides to this: one is with the finance company. The other is with the credit bureaus. In both cases, you will likely need to file a complaint with the police against the nephew. Will your mother need credit? Consider how important (or unimportant) it is for her to live out the rest of her life without credit. 

If the finance company ever comes after your mother (or her estate) for the deficiency, you will be able to raise the issue of her dementia as a very good defense. You will need doctor’s reports to support the defense. I would suggest you obtain those records now, while she is still in the doctor’s care.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.