Fair Debt Collection practices apply to us?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by outrunjason, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. outrunjason

    outrunjason LawnSite Senior Member
    from dallas
    Posts: 703

    Long story short for now I have a lady who owes money and she sen this to me after one e-mail saying she needed to pay.

    This is written notice to cease and desist further collection activity.
    Do not send statements, emails or phone.

    If you are familiar with the fair debt collection practices act, you will know if you send emails, statements or make phone calls after receiving this notice, you will be subject to violation of those laws and fines.

    I live in Texas and I am thinking this only applies to collection agencies.
     
  2. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Posts: 2,419

    I had thought it only applied to official collection agencies. Go straight ahead and turn it over to a collection agency if she is going to be a b***h about it though.
     
  3. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,835

    Yes, it does apply to the original creditor and the collection agency. If you sell the debt, it will not apply to the new owner of the debt until she sends them a letter. I'm not sure about the rules if you turn it over to collection but I believe at this point your options are, sell the debt, sue her or write it off as a bad debt.
     
  4. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180


    Nice try but the lady forgot something, she has to give you a contact point/name such as her attorney. I dont think it applies to mail either just phone calls. Id send her a demand for payment and request a contact if she doent want to deal with it directly. Or just take her butt to court....
     
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Your customer is attempting to abuse the act by getting out of paying a debt.

    While the act does state that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires that debt collectors treat you fairly by prohibiting certain methods of debt collection.

    It also says: Of course, the law does not forgive any legitimate debt you owe.

    Furthermore, a debtor has to assume by default that the customer intends to pay. By doing so, we have to give the debtor a certain amount of time in which to settle the account (much to our frustration lol)... However, when a customer makes it clear they do not intend to pay (such as this one), they have given up their rights to the time factor, you are now free to use any legal means by which you can collect your money immediately.

    I hope this answers the question but you may wish to read through the Colorado interpretation (yes I know but it's what I found):
    http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/money/fair-debt/fair-dbt.htm
     
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Here's another neat excerpt:

    May a debt collector continue to contact you if you believe you do not owe money?

    A collector may not contact you if, within 30 days after you receive the written notice, you send the collection agency a letter stating you do not owe money. However, a collector can renew collection activities if you are sent proof of the debt, such as a copy of a bill for the amount owed.

    ..............
    You may wish, for your protection, get on google and see if you can find the Texas Fair debt collection act, thou I would assume they are similar when the law does not provide a way out for people who owe money.
     
  7. outrunjason

    outrunjason LawnSite Senior Member
    from dallas
    Posts: 703

    Thanks for the reply's. One of you said I should go forth with legal action because she flat out said she is not paying it. Well how much I would love to do that at this point. The truth is she only owes 16 bucks for a fee we charged to dump some stuff but she is mad that we didn't leave it there.

    She does owe for 2 more mowings though. So, her total balance is only like 70 something bucks. Here is the complete e-mail. Let me know if you ever get stuff like this.

    I was quoted $150...the agreement stands , and as requested cancel my service. I have knowledge of many collection agencies you may place the balance with. When I explain and show them your quote, they will kindly disregard the request for payment Have you thought about becoming more customer oriented.

    The day I mentioned they neglected cut the far back area, you didn't offer to come and trim, u just said oh. ....They did the same the week before last and didn't cut the parkways completely either, left sprigs up, and then the week before that they didn't bother to remove the hose or water sprinkler out of the back grassy areas...therefore they didn't trim that area. I should have deducted $7.50 for each miss...instead, I just decided to chalk it up to mediocre service and cancel.
    Jason, I'm disappointed in you as a manager and service provider.
    And now, you actually think I should pay you another $16.24....

    This is written notice to cease and desist further collection activity.
    Do not send statements, emails or phone.

    If you are familiar with the fair debt collection practices act, you will know if you send emails, statements or make phone calls after receiving this notice, you will be subject to violation of those laws and fines.

    Best regards,


    Yall don't even want to know what I said back :)
     
  8. VOX600

    VOX600 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    FDCPA

    ยง 805. Communication in connection with debt collection [15 USC 1692c]




    c) CEASING COMMUNICATION. If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt, except --
    (1) to advise the consumer that the debt collector's further efforts are being terminated;

    (2) to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such debt collector or creditor; or

    (3) where applicable, to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy.

    If such notice from the consumer is made by mail, notification shall be complete upon receipt.

    (d) For the purpose of this section, the term "consumer" includes the consumer's spouse, parent (if the consumer is a minor), guardian, executor, or administrator.

    http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.htm#806

    VOX600
     
  9. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,835

    If I were you, I'd write this off as a bad debt. There are obviously some quality concerns on her side and with that, you're going to find this debt very difficult to collect, if it's even possible. Don't waste any more time/money/resources on it.
     
  10. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    This woman is not new to the collection process and since she was not happy with your service you would be wise to forget about the little she owes. You screw up 1 time with collections and you will be paying an attorney a few hundred to get your azz out of the wringer
     

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