If they can't get ahold of you, they will leave you voice mails. I have yet to receive an automated voicemail, so I can't say whether or not they're using autodialers at this time. But that's not important in lieu of what the voicemails actually say.
In one particular voicemail, an agent who identified herself as Mrs. Carter stated:
1. She was in the "Pre-Legal" department
2. Was notifying the debtor that she was under investigation here in this office.
3. That they have obtained documentation from the sheriff of the county (which county may I ask?)
4. This [complaint?] (it was unintelligible) is brought for attempting to defraud a financial institution
5. They asked that debtor call back and that failure to comply would result in a subpoena to be issued out for the debtor in a timely manner (again, subpoena for what and to where?)
6. No mini-miranda was given, nor any mention that this was an attempt to collect a debt.
That was just the voicemail. So I decided to call back, and try to sort things out. After going through the proper protocol and getting my PoA on file I was able to speak to these people on behalf of the debtor.
Here is the call and the problems herein:
I was given a run down of what the debt was about the original credit was Cardinal Management. No problems there.
Was told that Marvel was looking to pursue it in court for a balance of XX. Still no problems.
I was asked how I was willing to help the debtor our or what I was looking to do. Hmm...
1/2 settlement was offered.
Then it was my turn. "Here are my questions," They hate to hear that.
1. The voicemail was from Mrs. Carter. Are you Mrs Carter?
2. The voicemail said the charge was for defrauding a financial institution. Is that what grounds you are proceeding on?
A: I am proceeding on a reference to her loan. She has a case in our office, didn't pay loan back, blah blah blah reiteration of earlier points.
3. Look, what I'm saying is that she's being accused of defrauding a financial institution, I don't know what subpoena or what county she is being investigated in.
A: Are you her attorney, are you representing her?
4. No. I'm her power of attorney with the ability to talk to her creditors and her creditors' assigns.
A: Ok So What are you trying to do?
5. I'm trying to find out, one, are you attempting to collect this debt?
A: Hold on Sir....we sent you over to the legal department, ok? (I was transferred)
Employee 2 (2 minutes later):
Steve: Hi this is Steve [Berevis] (it was unintelligible) Speaking. I was just briefed, you're representing the debtor?
Me: No, I'm her power of attorney.
Steve: Ok, I'll go over more detail, the contract with Cardinal Management has been breached. We've been in the process of drafting a civil petition. (Hmm, contradictory to the criminal claims made in the voicemail, no?) I can outsource it to a local attorney to XX County.
Steve: On the 18th I plan on sending that Portfolio out. "Debtor's" case if part of that large portfolio. The case was drafted off the legal liability of XXX dollars per the terms of the Cardinal Management contract.
She was assessed with attorney's fees, court costs, all the applicable interest, penalties for breaching the original agreement, a process server fee, that amounts to 3x XXX dollars before filing. However per the creditor we're inclined to accept the settlement of XXX. (yeah right...
) Now here's where it gets really interesting, the OC magically changes into a different entity, I felt like I was doing a deposition
Me: If you don't mind, let me reiterate to you exactly what I heard.
Me: Cardinal Management was the original lender, is that correct?
Steve: That's correct
Me: And Cardinal Management sold a portfolio of debt to whom?
Steve: Sold this contract to my Client which is Debt Management Partners; they're legally on the chain of title (looks like he's been reading the Method, lol).
Me: So Debt Management Partners now legally owns the debt?
Steve: That's correct
Me: And Debt Management Partners retained your firm as:
Steve: "We're the hired mouthpiece of Debt Management."
Me: Right, so they retained your firm. Did you--actually, are you attempting to collect this debt solely through litigation?
Steve: No, if that was the case I wouldn't be on the telephone with, ya. (I know stupid question, stupid answer, just covering all the bases).
Me: Correct. So If that's the case, then you are familiar with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, is that correct?
Steve: I am and I don' need to be recited to. Obviously "Debtor" we're giving her the opportunity to pay what she owes. We can part on friendly terms, no hard feelings. If the case go forward it's very simple.
Me: Oh I understand the simplicity of how things will work logistically. (He's getting mad at this point)
Steve: Ok, so, so, we can simplfy this. Does "Debtor" not intend on paying back what she owes? We don't need to waste either one of our times
Me: Um, of course not (hopefully this can be taken in the context of me agreeing that we don't need to waste time).
But we do need to figure out whether or not your firm is acting as a debt collector or if your firm is acting as a law firm.
Steve: Does "Debtor" intend on paying XXX dollars?
Me: Well "Debtor" has the right to ask for validation, correct?
Steve: Absolutely. And I have the right to hang up this telephone. I've certainly fulfilled my obligation of legally notifying "debtor" as to see we're not "backdooring" her and move forward with the complaint. No hard feelings.
Me: Sure, sure. So...I'm going to go ahead and--(interrupted)Steve: I, I, I can be garnishing "debtors" wages within the next 45 days, it's very simple. If need be we'll use forceful recovery tactics going forward
but I had to afford her the opportunity to resolve the issue of what she owes, which is what we're attempting to do. Now if you're trying to circumvent the process or make things more difficult than they are...It's not gonna end here, I can assure you. (Oh buddy, so can I
Me: My only question that I've not had answered is, Marval and associates--are they acting as a debt collector in regards to this account?
Steve: Yes, we are attempting to collect the debt, yes.
Me: That's all I needed to hear.
Steve: I've answered that question three times already...
Me: Not in those explicit terms.
Steve: LUE, that's a stupid question.
Me: Alright, you can insult my questioning all you want. All I--For purposes of the FDCPA I needed to know whether or not Marval and Associates is a debt collector.
Steve: Do you know what the FDCPA is?
Me: I absolutely do, I've studied it extensively.
Steve: You do? Because the way, the way you're using your language or what have you--FDCPA is not an entity. You understand that right?
Me: No, it's a legal statute.
Steve: No it isn't. (I lost it here, BTW).
Me: The FDCPA codified 15 U.S.C. 1692
Steve: Again, I'm not going to butt heads with you Mr. Lue. And we'll cut this conversation short. We'll notate the case, it's certainly not an account anymore, and "debtor" will be contacted by my process server to appear in civil court.
Me: Do as you wish sir, I invite you to.
Steve: Have a good day.
So if you bothered to read that transcript, then you'll see how little this company know about the FDCPA. I'll post the violations I've found in the next post.