HORRIBLE post by bankruptcy attorney Andy Miofsky about after bankruptcy mortgage credit reporting

Often the posts at the Bankruptcy Law Network (a promotional blog for bankruptcy attorneys nationwide) are quite informative — or so I thought.  After reading “Top 3 Reasons Not To Reaffirm a Mortgage in Bankruptcy” I’m wondering about the quality of the other information at this blog.

As so often, bankruptcy lawyers spew loads of FALSE information about credit reporting and credit scores and this article by Andy Miofsky, Illinois Bankruptcy Attorney, is especially offensive.

Contrary to attorney Miofsky’s claim, reaffirmation will NOT necessarily result in the reporting of the account as positive.

I documented in 2002 that FICO scores rate the reporting of the reaffirmation as a HIGHLY DEROGATORY remark.    Read more…

If you’ve been sued, make sure you follow MN AG Swanson’s suit against Encore / Midland Funding

Aside from the signing of affidavits by people who have no personal knowledge of the debts, another important issue is that collectors often demand that consumers prove that they don’t owe the debt INSTEAD of proving that they do owe the debt. Read more…

Debt collector who sold debtors’ personal information gets probation and small fine

Debt collector sentenced for sale of information

Updated: February 25, 2011, 6:51 AM

The director of a Buffalo debt collection agency who admitted selling personal information on thousands of debtors has been sentenced to two years’ probation and fined $28,000 by Chief U. S. District Judge William J. Skretny, U. S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. reports.

Andrew Jon Pytlewski, 35, of Buffalo, admitted selling the information in 2009 for about $28,000 to fraudulent debt collectors Timothy E. Arent and Neil G. Wieczkowski, convicted of reaping millions of dollars by using the information to scare victims into paying debts they didn’t owe.

Assistant U. S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse, who handled the case, said Pytlewski stole information that actually belonged to the financial institutions that had hired his agency to collect the debts.

I agree with Daniel Roberts’ comment:

“probation? really Judge William J. Skretny? $28,000 for $28,000, is this guy a relative?”

It’s astounding what the criminals get away with.


Debt collection email from Steve Jones, Recovery One

This is a very interesting collection email:

From: Steve Jones <stevejones@recoveryonellc.com>
To: [redacted]
Sent: [redacted]


PO Box 20404
Columbus OH 43220-0404
Telephone: (866) 319-1275 Fax (614) 336-1150

January 31st, 2011


Account Balance:

Account Number: [redacted]

To: [redacted]

[redacted] has contacted this office in connection with its claim against you in the amount shown above. Our client informs us that they have been unsuccessful in its attempts to reach an agreement with you regarding the payment of this balance and the collection of the full amount due.

Your balance of $[redacted] is past due and has been reported to the credit bureau.

Our agency has been authorized to accept payment on behalf of [redacted]. Payment plans are available. We will now settle this matter for 50% off the original balance. If you pay $[redacted], this matter will be removed in its entirety from your credit report. [emphasis added]

It is imperative that you contact this office immediately so necessary arrangements can be made to resolve this matter. To make arrangements to pay this debt, call 866-319-1275 or make your check or money order payable to RECOVERY ONE, for $[redacted] and send it to this office at the address shown above. We also offer free check by phone.

If you prefer not to contact us direct, you may also pay online through our secure website at: https://www.recoveryonellc.com/paybill.asp. We accept credit cards, debit cards and electronic checks. To pay through the website please enter [redacted] as the Recovery One Account Number

MISSING from this initial collection notice is the mini miranda — no mention of the right to dispute, required with the initial collection notice.

And the offer to delete from the credit bureaus is a violation of their agreement with the credit bureaus.  Which makes me think they don’t report to the credit bureaus.  They were not on my client’s reports when he received this notice.  And most collectors wait 30 days after sending the initial letter PRIOR to reporting to the bureaus.

Has anyone seen Recovery One on the credit report?

HSBC renegs on settlement agreements — ALWAYS get it in writing or RECORD the call!

It rarely happens that creditors and collectors are SUED for refusing to honor settlements, but it happens all the time.

You MUST either get the agreement in writing or RECORD the call and ensure the terms are clearly audible.  Restate in your own words what you think you are agreeing to.

And as much as I’m aware of the bankers’ fraud and deception, I’m still shocked to see this class action against Household.  Whenever I’ve had a problem with a creditor or collector reneging on a settlement it was related to credit reporting and usually they complied quickly once they found out that I had the recordings with their promises.

So what is HCBC thinking?

Class Action Accuses HSBC of Reneging On Credit-Card Payback Arrangements

Charles Toutant, New Jersey Law Journal, On Friday January 28, 2011, 3:02 am EST

A nationwide class action in federal court in Trenton alleges that credit card issuer HSBC didn’t honor its agreements to let delinquent debtors settle their accounts by making installment payments towards a reduced debt total.

The suit, Bradley v. HSBC Card Services, Inc., 11-cv-00447, alleges that the company breached its contracts and committed common-law fraud by offering delinquent cardholders an installment plan to pay off their debts at less than the full amount due; abiding by the plan until the last payment is made; and then declaring the agreement void.

The suit was filed on Jan. 21 on behalf of all U.S. consumers who entered into settlement agreements that HSBC, of Schaumburg, Ill., did not honor.

The lead plaintiff, Chastity Bradley of Somerville, reached such an agreement last January that called for HSBC to discharge Bradley’s debt if she paid $81 in February 2010, followed by $80 a month from March to July. Court documents do not disclose the amount of Bradley’s original debt, but say the company agreed to reduce it to $481.

According to the suit, HSBC promised Bradley the account would be settled and closed if she made the payments as directed. Bradley made all the payments on a timely basis, but when she submitted the final one in July, HSBC returned it and insisted on the balance in full.

Bradley negotiated the payment plan with representation from Persels & Associates, a consumer-rights law firm in Towson, Md. That firm negotiated installment agreements with HSBC on behalf of a number of debtors but the agreements were dishonored when the final payment came due, according to an Aug. 23 letter to HSBC from an attorney at the firm, Lisa Perillo.

HSBC “lured in plaintiff and all those similarly situated with a discounted settlement amount, only to accept all but the final payment and proceed to declare the settlement void, says her complaint.

Just when I thought I’d seen it all.  I really shouldn’t be surprised, but it is shocking to see that HSBC wouldn’t honor the agreement even though a LAW FIRM negotiated the settlement.

And I’d sure like to know what they charged for settling those debts.

NY RICO suit against Leucadia National and Mel Harris & Associates

Here we have a NY class action against the law firm Mel Harris & Associates, debt buyer Leucadia and its umpteen wholly-owned subsidiaries and the process server Samserv and its employees.

As so often happens, the plaintiffs allege “sewer service” (falsified affidavits of service) and that the attorneys submitted false affidavits.

Judge Chin did an excellent job describing what happened in his order:

The 12/29/10 NY District court judge Chin order

He denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss with a few exceptions and I highly recommend reading this order if you have been sued by a debt buyer.

Important issues addressed are TOLLING the statute of limitations for FDCPA violations.  If you haven’t been served and you didn’t know about the lawsuit, you obviously couldn’t sue when the violations occurred.

As a bonus, judge Chin did NOT dismiss the RICO claims.

After all, they engaged in the classic shakedown — the debt buyers, their attorneys and in this case the process servers conspired to get default judgments against consumers and then they garnished wages and raided bank accounts with fraudulently obtained judgments.

I could post about SEVERAL lawsuits against debt collectors, debt buyers and their attorneys every day, but I just don’t have the time.  But this one is worth watching.

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:

Read more…

How does Robert Christopher (yourcreditlife) select consumers?

About a month ago a CreditFactors member opted in for pre-approved credit offers and now he received this solicitation from Robert A Christopher & Associates (yourcreditlife.com):


You have been carefully selected to receive a free credit analysis. Robert A. Christopher & Associates LLC is a licensed, premier credit services company handling  everything that affects your credit from credit solutions to debt negotiations. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, please call us WE CAN HELP!

.:. Are you interested in purchasing a home in the near future?
.:. Have you considered refinancing your mortgage loan?
.:. Would you like to know if you qualify for a major purchase?
.:. Have you suffered from a hardship that has affected YOUI’ credit life?
.:. An you being contacted by collection agencies?
.:. Do you feel like Bankruptcy is your only option?
.:. Could you benefit from a professional perspective on your financial future?

PLEASE CONTACT US @ 1-800-595-2961 OR VISIT US AT www.yourcreditlife.com

We look forward to eaming your business and assuring you that there are options out there. You are not alone.

Michael Stroozas
President & CEO

That sure is strange.  How did Mr. Stroozas “carefully” select this person?

Debt collectors contact “friends” on Facebook

Here’s a video about a lawsuit filed against MarkOne Financial for contacting a consumer’s “friends” on her Facebook page.

Privacy is a thing of the past and of course it is NOT legal to contact third parties other than to get a debtor’s current address.

Here’s an article on Rawstory.com: Read more…

Will the class action awards in White v Experian (after bankruptcy reporting) ever get paid?

I’m working with a client with incorrect after bankruptcy reporting and just looked up my posting about the case again.  So in 9/09 they mailed out the claim forms.

White, et al. v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc.  Settlement Website

UPDATE: On August 6, 2010, the Court set a briefing schedule after receipt of Settling Plaintiffs’ Submission Complying with the Court’s Order Conditionally Granting Request for Second Notice, and Alternative Notice Proposal. The parties subsequently filed documents with the Court. On October 20, 2010, the Court ordered the parties to submit supplemental briefing. These additional documents were filed with the Court on November 4, 2010. We are awaiting a decision regarding these issues and will provide an update when available.

Here’s my post from a year ago about the claims:

White v Experian class action: how to claim your award for incorrectly reported discharged accounts

More important (since you can no longer file claims), some highlights of the settlement and the resulting reporting:

White v. Experian et al: CRAs must update SOME discharged accounts after bankruptcy filing

Various dates including the most important STATUS date for Experian:

3.3 Bankruptcy Status Dates: Defendants will implement reasonable procedures designed to prevent updating the date of last update (Date Reported, Balance Date, Date Verified or, for Experian, date of status, last reported, and balance date) to a date that is more than one month after the Discharge Date in connection with an update of any tradeline, judgment or Collection Account pursuant to the procedures in Paragraphs 3.1 or 3.2; provided, however, that this provision shall not prohibit Defendants from reporting a later date of last update to reflect that information has been received from a furnisher on a date that is more than one month after the Discharge Date, whether or not such furnisher update is accepted or rejected pursuant to the procedures set forth in Sections 3.1, 3.2 and 3.4 of this Order; provided further, however, that any such reporting of a later date of last update shall not change either the “Included in Bankruptcy” date or the “Purge Date.”

As I explained in that post, it is utterly ridiculous to allow creditors to INCORRECTLY report the status date one month after the discharge date instead of the filing date.  These lawyers are such sell-outs …

My client got suckered into signing up with Stephen Snyder’s Allen Michael credit repair scam and Experian UPDATED the status date of one discharged account to 10/10 after receiving their disputes.  Of course we disputed it and we’ll find out whether Experian will reject the dispute as frivolous (since Allen Michael just submitted 5 frivolous disputes) or whether they’ll investigate and hopefully fix it.

In the meantime, his Experian FICO score is SHOT.