Fighting credit bureaus, creditors and debt buyers

My CFPB complaint about the Equifax refusal to provide my free annual report

I’m sorry I haven’t posted in such a long time, but the litigation against Midland Funding, Midland Credit Management and its attorneys has taken up an enormous amount of my time.  Today I’ve been working on my reply in support of my motion to amend my complaint to add violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and to join Equifax as it verified incorrect data for the Midland accounts in response to my disputes.

In July and September I disputed the Midland accounts online at the Equifax site.   Today I wanted to see whether they finally corrected the reporting and I wanted to dispute again if they did not correct, but Equifax would not allow me to review or dispute the accounts:

11-22-13--Equifax-dispute-decline

I can’t wait to see what information supposedly did not match their records.

Here is my complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Continue Reading

The new CreditSuit litigation forum

As I’m preparing for extensive battles with Midland Funding, MCM and their attorneys Bursey & Associates and there’s the possibility of another appeal in the Acarta suit, I finally made the time to set up the new litigation forum.

Today I researched the electronic filing rules in Arizona federal court because I had to file a motion for an extension of time to serve the Bursey employees. It’s been several years since I filed in federal court and the system sure changed.  So I started by posting the regs for proposed orders and courtesy copies to the judge.

I’ll be posting case law and my research and I hope the information will help many others prevail against creditors and debt buyers in court.

Encore (Midland Funding) now nation’s largest debt buyer

From the NCLC eReportsFast Facts on the Debt Buyer Industry:”

Encore Capital, that often operates under the name Midland, is becoming the dominant actor in the field. Even before it purchased Asset Acceptance, the sixth largest debt buyer, it had purchased far more debt in 2012 than any other company — over $18 billion, or 58% more than it did in 2011.

This explains why they do whatever they like and get away with it and it makes me not want to settle my claims against Midland Funding, Midland Credit Management and their attorneys Bursey & Associates.  I’ll be looking up lawsuits against them in AZ

Also from the NCLC eReport:

Sherman Financial Group, which used to be number one, fell to number two and purchased only $11 billion in debt in 2012, down 40% from 2011.

Other top debt buying companies that purchased over $1 billion in debt include Portfolio Recovery, Square Two Financial, Ophrys, Unifund, and Fourscore.

Sherman Financial Group is the infamous LVNV and you may get collection letters from Resurgent Capital Services (Sherman owned) or their other collectors and when my clients disputed with one LVNV collector, they simply assigned the accounts to another collector and they never provided substantive responses to the disputes.  Very frustrating.

Debt purchased directly from credit card companies dropped industry-wide in 2012 by over 30%, but purchases of all other debt increased almost 50%, so that total debt purchases fell only about 13%. At the same time that credit card issuers began to shy away from selling their debt, debt buyers found other forms of debt to purchase and also purchased more debt from each other.

A number of debt buyers exited the industry in 2012, including B-Line, NCO, Arrow Financial, West Corp., and Zenith. Presumably these companies sold their debt to other debt buyers before exiting the industry.

I wonder WHY credit card issuers shy away from selling their debt.  They get a bad reputation due to the collectors’ misconduct?  They don’t want to be subpoenaed for records and testimony when debt buyers sue?

As I recall, Chase bought NCO, but I didn’t know that Arrow quit buying debts.

NCLC is the National Consumer Law Center and if you’re serious about credit reporting or debt collection litigation, their manuals are MUST haves.   I have their FDCPA book and it comes with a free subscription to the NCLC eReports. The NCLC does great work defending consumer rights.

MUST READ if you are sued for a Chase account

The OCC press release regarding the  consent agreement with Chase about their collection & litigation practices and failure to comply with the SCRA.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19, 2013
Contact: Bryan Hubbard
(202) 649-6870

WASHINGTON – The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today announced an enforcement action against JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Columbus, Ohio, JPMorgan Bank and Trust Company, N.A., San Francisco, California, and Chase Bank USA, N.A., Wilmington, Delaware (collectively, the bank), for unsafe or unsound practices in connection with the bank’s non-home loan debt collection litigation practices and the bank’s non-home loan compliance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

The enforcement action requires the bank to provide remediation to affected consumers and to correct deficiencies in the bank’s practices and procedures related to the preparation and notarization of affidavits and other sworn documents used in the bank’s debt collection litigation and its SCRA compliance program.  The OCC’s action also directs the bank to improve its debt collection litigation policies, procedures and practices to ensure that affidavits and other sworn documents used in connection with non-home loan debt collection litigation are accurate, based on the personal knowledge of the bank employee signing the documents, or other applicable standard, and are notarized in accordance with all applicable legal requirements.

With respect to its SCRA compliance program, the OCC requires the bank to improve its policies and procedures for determining whether servicemembers are eligible for requested SCRA-related benefits, ensuring that the SCRA benefits are calculated correctly, and verifying the military status of servicemembers prior to seeking or obtaining default judgments on non-home loans.

The OCC’s action also directs the bank to conduct a review of all non-home lending debt collection litigation at the bank from January 1, 2009 until present, and all non-home lending SCRA accounts at the bank from January 2005 until present, to identify consumers eligible for remediation as a result of the deficiencies and unsafe or unsound practices cited by the OCC.  The bank must submit a plan to the OCC detailing how remediation will be made to affected consumers.  OCC national bank examiners will monitor compliance with this order and the remediation required to be provided by the bank.

The 58-page consent order and stipulation to consent.

In a few weeks we have oral arguments re. standing, admissibility of evidence, joinder of debt buyer Acarta’s attorneys, amendment of my counterclaims and my cross-motion for summary judgment (SOL) in superior court.  If we actually get to trial, I’ll submit this consent order to show that Acarta can’t possibly rely on documentation from Chase.  Acarta didn’t even submit a Chase affidavit and relies only on “facsimiles” of monthly statements and a redacted spreadsheet to establish what I allegedly owe.

Debt buyers like Acarta must be ORDERED to vacate Chase credit card judgments and cease all litigation

The OCC ordered Chase to refund over $300 million to credit card holders who signed up for “fraud protection”.

It goes on and on … and nobody goes to jail!  

I am SO sick and tired of criminal bankers being “punished” by having to refund.  The big corporations defraud the working stiffs with impunity.

I just drafted a CFPB complaint for a client about the Equifax, Experian and CHASE incorrect credit reporting (and a number of other issues) and I will post a lot more about that here next week.  This weekend I have to finish my reply to the Acarta response to my motion for summary judgment (I’ll post the most recent filings ASAP) regarding the expired statue of limitation of an old CHASE charged off credit card.

Next I’ll file my CFPB complaint about the many suits by debt buyers such as Acarta for charged off Chase accounts.

It’s more bad news for JPMorgan Chase.

… The OCC also reprimanded the bank for allegedly using faulty documentation in consumer debt collection cases, and for failing to ensure compliance with federally mandated credit protections for military members.

The alleged conduct is similar to that revealed among the nation’s largest lenders in the robo-signing scandal that followed the housing crisis. JPMorgan was ordered to identify and compensate the affected consumers.

The OCC did not fine JPMorgan over its collection practices. California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed a lawsuit against the bank over similar issues in May.

The bank said it had stopped filing credit card collection lawsuits in 2011 and had dismissed the lawsuits in question. …

While Chase stopped filing lawsuits in 2010, it SOLD many accounts to debt buyers who DID file suits.  The AZ court of appeals already ruled that the Card Member Agreement presented by Acarta was not admissible.

It is totally ridiculous to allow a DEBT BUYER to sue for accounts that the original creditor decided NOT to pursue in court because of faulty documentation.

The CFPB needs to put a stop to that practice and order REFUNDS and PUNITIVE DAMAGES.

After all, it is EXTREMELY stressful to be sued.

Not to mention that consumers had their credit ruined by these new judgments and they may have lost job and housing opportunities.

In my case with Acarta, it and its attorneys were FULLY aware of the Chase issues as I included several articles with my motions and appeal brief over a year ago.  Yet, they CONTINUE to pursue me in court and I will take this case wherever it needs to go.  I already prevailed on appeal once and I’m ready to take this to the AZ supreme court if necessary.

Acarta and its attorneys stole 2 years of my life and they will be PUNISHED.

I’ve been meaning to post about our “settlement” talks, hopefully that will be my next post.  I asked for $50,000 at our meeting the morning after Labor Day.   I’d rather take NOTHING than accept a couple thousand.

The American legal system is of course seriously flawed and that pro se litigants can’t get attorneys fees is one of several reasons why consumers can’t stand up to scummy debt buyers.  My roommate decided to move out last year because just as I thought I was done for a while with the legal crap after I submitted my Acarta reply brief to the court of appeals, I got served by Midland Funding.   You can not imagine how many nights I spent researching and writing motions and I was not good company.

If I had more time and money, I’d not only contact regulators and legislators, but I’d also notify the apparently hundreds or even thousands of consumers who were sued by Acarta for Chase accounts.  I haven’t checked the actual court records yet, but apparently Acarta filed numerous judgments in my court and I’ll have to check them out.

It’s truly incredible that our regulators go after Chase, but they let debt buyers get away with these lawsuits and I will make an effort to get Arizona and federal regulators to address these issues.

Case management hearing re. Midland Funding and Bursey & Associates

This afternoon we had the case management hearing and fortunately judge Campbell in Phoenix federal court allowed me to attend by phone as I live about 250 miles from Phoenix.

Judge Campbell had denied my motion for permission to file electronically and in our case management report I wrote: Continue Reading

Missouri court of appeals rules that debt buyer violated FDCPA by filing lawsuit without sufficient documentation

Another GREAT appeals court ruling.  From the NCLC news:

Debt Buyer’s Unsubstantiated Collection Action Violates the FDCPA

by Jon Sheldon
NCLC eReports, August 2013, No. 9
Debt Collection

Royal Financial Group, LLC v. Perkins, 2013 WL 449343 (Mo. Ct. App. Aug. 20, 2013), finds various aspects of a debt buyer’s collection lawsuit to be Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violations. The only information the debt buyer had was the consumer’s name, an account number, the name Chase Manhattan Bank, and a dollar amount. The debt buyer also had a boilerplate credit card agreement with no indication of a link to the consumer.

I think this article requires a NCLC subscription and if you are involved in pro se FDCPA litigation, the NCLC FDCPA book is MUST HAVE and it comes with a subscription to the NCLC e-reports.

The appeals court’s ruling.

I will get the filings from this appeals court decision and I will post them in the soon to be opened pro se credit litigation forum.

The fact pattern mirrors the Midland Funding lawsuit against me (dismissed for expired SOL) and I’m now in federal court after I sued Midland and Bursey & Associates for FDCPA violations. Much more on that soon.

Credit scores based on social networking

Here’s a CNN article about more strangeness in credit scoring:

Facebook friends could change your credit score

Since I’m focused on getting my clients approved for mortgages, I really only care about FICO scores.  An interesting and totally FALSE statement from this article:

FICO only considers a handful of factors, but they are all “incredibly predictive of risk,” Ulzheimer said.

Exactly HOW predictive are FICO scores?

A client’s mortgage broker got an Experian score of 597.  At myFICO two days later, the score was 646.

The myFICO score means APPROVAL, the mortgage broker score results in DECLINE.

I’ll be posting more about this once I get done with a gazillion court filings.

 

myFICO extreme efforts to prevent cancelation of ScoreWatch

A CreditFactors member had trouble using ScoreWatch and I decided to sign up for the free trial so that I could help him along.  As the end of the 10-day trial approached, I logged in to cancel.  I searched the FAQ for “cancel” and found this page:

http://myfico.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/391/kw/cancel

To cancel your subscription:

Log in to the Member Center
Click on “My Subscriptions” on the right side under “Account Settings”
Find your Score Watch subscription on the My Subscriptions page
Click on the “Cancel my subscription” link under “What do you want to do”?
Follow the instructions to cancel

Sounds easy!  Unfortunately, my “instructions” demanded that I call 1-800-319-4433.

I called and verified my name, address, SSN and birthdate.  And that was NOT enough!

The first person demanded my previous address as  shown on the credit report.  I didn’t have the credit report in front of me and WHY on earth would they demand this info to CANCEL?

I could see them being extra cautious BEFORE releasing credit information, but clearly they were just trying to make it difficult or impossible to cancel.  When I asked for a supervisor, they guy hung up on me.

I called back, again went through all the verifications, did not have my previous address and asked for a supervisor.  After a long hold I was disconnected.

I called back again, this time did not even ask to cancel, but requested a supervisor.  Again, I had to verify my name, address, SSN and DOB.   After a long hold I finally got to a supervisor and I told him that I needed to confirm that you can not cancel ScoreWatch unless you have internet access and a phone.

He then explained to me that they were NOT looking for the previous address on the credit report, but for the current address on the myFICO account.  Since I opened the account in 2003, I had NO idea which address used.

The supervisor CONFIRMED that myFICO expects you to have internet access when you call to cancel because you had internet access when you ordered the service.

Apparently myFICO does not realize that many people lose their internet access when they can’t pay the bill or they move and many people just don’t have a computer and use a friend’s or library computer to order.

Of course I would have canceled online if I hadn’t been required to call.  So why do they make customers jump through hoops, first sending them online and then demanding a phone call WHILE being able to access the internet?

According to the supervisor, not EVERYBODY has to call.  Their system RANDOMLY selects accounts for phone calls.

Why would they do that?  I suppose they are analyzing how much they can increase profits by making it more difficult to cancel.

We REALLY need to have FICO scores prohibited for all credit, housing and employment decisions.

Not because of their refusal to cancel their overpriced subscriptions, but because they serve no purpose other than to make its shareholders and bankers wealthier.

MyFICO has been creating entirely fictitious late payments on Equifax reports since at least 2007 and it has continued to willfully destroy lives — KNOWING that millions should have 50 or 100 point higher FICO scores if they only fixed their software to eliminate the fictitious lates.

For the screenshots and explanations please visit Fair Isaac FICTITIOUS lates on Equifax reports

 

The all new 2013 CreditSuit blog

I’m sorry many subscribers recently received notices of the “account suspended”.  I have no idea WHY these mailings went out after my webhost briefly suspended ALL my sites because one old archived blog was hacked.

The GOOD news:  These notices reminded me that I need to migrate the CreditSuit blog to the WordPress software as the Expression Engine software completely crashed and even their paid support could not get it working again.  I’m currently looking for someone to import all the old blogs and comments into WordPress.

In the meantime, I am starting this NEW WordPress blog about my own litigation against creditors and debt buyers and my clients’ battles with credit bureaus and creditors.

As you may know, I also have several credit related blogs at Liars & Cheats Exposed.

My case against debt buyer Acarta in the Arizona court of appeals and last week I received notice that the appeals court ruled in my favor on several issues:

http://liarsandcheats.info/debt-buyer-acarta-lawsuit-in-arizona-appeals-court-interest-documentation-sol/

In February I prevailed against debt buyer Midland Funding as the court granted my cross motion for summary judgment because the SOL was expired.

However, the court had previously dismissed my counterclaims and denied my motion for leave to amend my answer and counterclaims, so I appealed this decision.

I am hoping that I will find the time to submit a formal complaint to the AZ judiciary committee and the AG because it is one of the worst states to be in with respect to debt collection compliance enforcement.  The judges are totally corrupt and the regulators do NOTHING.

Obviously I’m extremely busy.

Aside from my litigation I’m also working with several clients.  One client recently sued Dell because it refused to settle his old chargeoff and you can read more at http://creditfactors.com/2013/04/suing-dell-financial-services-because-it-refused-to-settle-an-old-chargeoff/

Another client asked me to get her the best rate to refi. Incredibly, 15 year loans are available under 3% with all closing costs paid by the lender.

A long-time client recently emailed that he was served with a lawsuit for old medical debts.

A client has the infamous Equifax fictitious lates and I plan to submit my complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because I once again documented that myFICO STILL rates the Equifax chargeoff reporting as LATE PAYMENTS.  I first documented this FICO software bug in 2007:
http://mylitigation.net/pr.php/news/release/2_26_07_open_letter_fair_isaac_regarding_its_addition_of_fictitious_data

I hope to soon have time to set up a theme and add some functionality to this blog and I will make an effort to post regularly.

Christine