Dead Soul Is a Debt Collector – Martha Kunkle died in 1995

It is common practice for debt collectors to submit FALSE affidavits to the courts because most consumers do not appear in court and the debt buyers get default judgments.

Most judges cheerfully sign the default judgments to clear the dockets.  The courts love the money (filing fees) and NO work.

Incredibly, nobody ever goes to jail!

A client’s published complaint:

Debt Collector Portfolio Recovery FDCPA and FCRA Complaints with FTC and Attorneys General

Portfolio stopped collecting and deleted from the credit reports, but of course no action was taken by regulators.

Collectors lie to the courts and defraud consumers with impunity.

They bribe the consumers’ attorneys (big attorneys fees checks!) and they pay a few dollars to consumers, sometimes as “credits” towards those debts, the ultimate insult to consumers.

Some regulators like MN AG Lori Swanson and NY AG Cuomo actually investigate, but many like California AG Jerry Brown (now governor) did NOTHING to stop FULLY DOCUMENTED fraud against consumers.

NONE of the conspirators at Portfolio Recovery were prosecuted!

Portfolio Recovery wasn’t even sued out of business for submitting these false affidavits.  They continue to operate as if NOTHING happened.  Same with Midland and many other debt buyers who were sued for submitting fraudulent affidavits to the courts.


Portfolio Recovery Associates Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

… The Company’s fourth-quarter 2009 profit represents a 17% increase from net income of $10.6 million, or $0.69 per diluted share, in the same period a year earlier….

Portfolio Recovery Associates Reports Big Jumps in Collections, Revenue and Profit in Q3

… Net income increased 83% from $10.1 million in the same period a year earlier. Earnings were $1.08 per diluted share for the third quarter of 2010 compared with $0.65 in the third quarter of 2009, representing an increase of 66%. …

Nothing pays better than fraud and deceit.

I can only hope that many people become judgment-proof or file for bankruptcy, stop paying the national banks, contest collection suits and become founding members for the Common Good Bank.

We HAVE to start controlling OUR banks!

Our current system only works for the wealthy and criminals.

12/31/10: Dead Soul Is a Debt Collector


Martha Kunkle has come back to life.

She died in 1995. Yet her signature later appeared on thousands of affidavits submitted by one of the nation’s largest debt collectors, Portfolio Recovery Associates Inc., in lawsuits filed against borrowers.

Some regulators complain that the use of Ms. Kunkle’s name reflects an epidemic of mass-produced, sloppy and inaccurate documentation in the debt-collection industry. Lawsuits have surged as more borrowers fall behind on payments and collection firms turn to courts to get what they are owed.

After being sued for fraud, Portfolio Recovery Associates decided in early 2008 that any documents bearing Ms. Kunkle’s name had “defects” and shouldn’t be used when trying to collect debts, a company spokeswoman said.

Last July, though, lawyers for Portfolio Recovery Associates sought a court judgment in a lawsuit against a Seattle woman for $2,892.10 in credit-card debt and interest that she allegedly owed. It was a cookie-cutter case, except for one thing: To vouch for the debt’s validity, the Norfolk, Va., company included an affidavit signed by Martha Kunkle.

The spokeswoman said the document was “inadvertently used by our outside counsel” because of “human error,” adding that the suit was dropped later “upon review of the case.”

The company said Ms. Kunkle’s name isn’t on any other affidavits submitted to judges since early 2008 by Portfolio Recovery Associates or outside lawyers who handle most of its debt-collection cases.

“When you see corner-cutting like this, it’s alarming,” Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said about the Kunkle case. Ms. Swanson is investigating numerous buyers and collectors of consumer debt for falsifying affidavits.  A spokeswoman for the company, the second-largest debt buyer in the U.S. by revenue, said the company is unaware of the investigation and declined further comment.

Martha Kunkle affidavits:

Additional articles about these lawsuits:

11/27/09: Settlements top $1 million in debt-collection lawsuit

The proposed settlements’ highlights are:

• CACV would pay $5,000 to two of the plaintiffs, including one to be added to the case, and to forgive the debt against a third plaintiff. Payments between $25 and $555 would be paid and credit given to at least 15,000 class members. CACV would pay $212,500 in attorney fees.

• Portfolio Recovery Associates’ settlement is nearly $1 million, with the company agreeing to pay from $25 to $200 to more than 16,000 class members. Cole would get $2,000. Portfolio also would pay attorney fees, which have not yet been determined.

• The Johnson firm would pay $1,000 to three of the plaintiffs and to 22 class members, for an estimated total of $25,000. The firm also would pay $20,000 to Montana Legal Services Association for use in representing low-income consumers or in education. The Johnson firm would pay $130,000 in attorney fees.

The Cole case grew from a state case. Portfolio, through the Johnson firm, sued Cole, alleging she owed a debt on a Providian National Bank Credit card. Portfolio tried to prove the debt by filing an affidavit provided by a Martha Kunkle, who purported to be Providian’s agent.

When Heenan tried to verify Kunkle’s affidavit, he learned Martha Kunkle had died in 1995. Kunkle’s daughter, Lorraine Kunkle, a Washing ton Mutual employee in Texas, authorized other employees to sign her late mother’s name on thousands of affidavits, the complaint said.

Cole alleged that Portfolio and CACV bought debt from Washington Mutual and that the bank operated “a false affidavit factory.”

In the Billings cases, Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull recently approved a final settlement in a class-action suit filed by Billings resident Kerri Henan, no relation to attorney Heenan, against Portfolio and the Johnson firm. She alleged the companies illegally charged attorney fees. The companies will pay Henan $4,500; about 27 class members each will receive $500. …

8/16/09: He took the fight to debt collectors — and he collected

McCollough and three other Montanans are succeeding in court against large out-of-state debt collectors, saying their hardball tactics are illegal and, in one case, amount to racketeering.

The McCollough case is one of three lawsuits filed by Billings attorney John Heenan in U.S. District Court in Montana. The suits allege unfair, deceptive and illegal practices, including forging false affidavits.

McCollough’s jury award along with proposed settlements with some of the defendants exceed $1.3 million. The settlements could benefit more than 14,000 people nationwide.

The goal is “to force the collection industry to play by the rules in Montana,” Heenan said. “It’s a big deal to sue somebody in Montana. If you sue someone and you don’t have the facts, it’s not OK. A lot of people have been acting with impunity for a long time.”

McCollough’s case stemmed from a debt he owed to Chase Manhattan Bank from the 1990s.

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