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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 12935
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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My husband and I filed Ch 7 Bktcy, and it was DISCHARGED in

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My husband and I filed Ch 7 Bktcy, and it was DISCHARGED in July/August 2005, PRIOR to the Bankruptcy Reform of 2005. At the time, we were living in an RV/Fifth-Wheel, that was owned by Fifth Third Bank. We continued to make payments on the RV, eventhough we had not signed anything reaffirming the debt. In fact, we even made additional payments! Well...ALL CREDITORS WERE SERVED re: the Ch 7 Bktcy, and there were NO OBJECTIONS AND NO ADVERSARY COMPLAINTS. No one repossessed any items, and ALL LISTED THEIR ASSETS AS 'CHARGE-OFFS, OR DISCHARGED IN CHP 7 BKTCY"...INCLUDING: FIFTH THIRD BANK.
We NEEDED a place to reside, and I became very ill. I am now disabled, and BOTH of us were UNEMPLOYED at the time of the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy DISCHARGE, IN August 2005.
We paid $515.00/mo. for the next 58 months, to FIFTH THIRD Bank, in order to "have a place to live" in the RV. The expense became overwhelming, and we realized that we needed to move, since living in the RV, and paying approx. $1,700.00/mo. in LOT RENT AND UTILITIES, on top of the $515.00/mo for the RV, was a waste of money.
I had a stroke in June, 2010. I went into my online banking account, with the intention of deleting the "additional payments" that we were making on the RV. Instead, I accidentally deleted the actual payment. Much to my chagrin, I was totally unaware until I received a call from a man, who was "representing FIFTH THIRD BANK"...He identified himself as:"Investigator Norton", stating that he was a police investigator, who was working with the police department in El Cajon, CA. (the same city where we lived...and I also gave our address to him, upon request). He stated: "FIFTH THIRD BANK IS DEMANDING, $41,800.00 via a CERTIFIED CHECK, OR we need to pack our belongings because FIFTH THIRD INTENDS TO REPOSSESS the RV/Fifth Wheel"...I WAS PANICKED...I explained that we were already working on getting a place to live, and that there was NO WAY WE COULD PAY THEM $41k! I begged the "police officer", (I discovered later that he is a repossession agent and NOT A POLICE OFFICER, AS HE CLAIMED), I BEGGED HIM TO PLEASE ALLOW US TIME TO SECURE A RESIDENCE. He stated that I needed to call BRADLEY BRUCE, with 5th/3rd Bank. I called Mr. Bruce, and he DEMANDED $41,800.00 IMMEDIATELY! Again, I begged him to be merciful...to no avail. He acted like a thug!

We hired an attorney, to call 5th/3rd Bank, and try to claim that we had "reaffirmed the debt, by proxy". Representatives from Fifth Third adamantly declared: "NO REAFFIRMATION AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED AT THE TIME OF BANKRUPTCY, SO NO WAY! TELL MR AND MRS *A*& THAT WE ARE REPOSSESSING THE RV". So our attorney advised us to secure a new residence and relinquish the RV back to the bank.
We did purchase a modest home, and called Fifth Third Bank, Hollins Law Firm, (whom they retained to 'scare us') and "investigator" Norton, to inform them that they NEED TO COME AND GET THE RV. Hollins Law firm, who had called us prior and demanded $41.8K, on behalf of 5th Third, STOOD FIRM, DEMANDING THE MONEY BE PAID TO FIFTH THIRD, AND DECLARING THAT FIFTH THIRD DID NOT WANT THE RV. I informed the HOLLINS Law firm, that we had filed Ch 7 Bk FIVE YEARS EARLIER, and that 5th/3rd Bank had been reporting the debt as a CHARGE-OFF, for the past FIVE YEARS...I continued: "We cannot and will not pay 5th/3rd $41,800, but they can come and get the RV". The law firm had no information that we had a 2005 CH7 BK DISCHARGE AND that the RV was INCLUDED IN THAT DISCHARGE. 5TH 3RD had not communicated with them.

All was quiet, for a bit. Then, in February 2011, we received a $290.80 CITATION AND AN IMPENDING 72-HR IMPOUND NOTICE for "illegally parking the RV on the street". Panicked, I hurriedly called FIFTH THIRD, MR. NORTON AND HOLLINS LAW FIRM, to DEMAND THAT THEY COME AND GET THE RV/FIFTH WHEEL. Fifth Third Bank NEVER RETURNED MY CALL. Mr. Norton stated that he would "pass the information along", and the Atty for Hollins Law Firm stated: "WE ARE NO LONGER REPRESENTING 5TH 3RD BANK" (and hung up the phone abruptly).
3 days passed..Each day, I called Fifth Third Bank again, along with 'investigator' Norton, and DEMANDED THAT THEY PICK UP THEIR RV. TO NO AVAIL. On the third day, a Sheriff, (from another district), arrived with Millers Towing Co. They began the impound process. AGAIN, I called Mr. Norton, who NOW is NOT WORKING ON THIS CASE...As well as Bradley Bruce, w/Fifth Third Bank. I explained that the RV was being impounded, and that I would pay for the citation, but I could no longer "house and protect THEIR RV, SINCE THEY CHOOSE NOT TO REPOSSESS IT, AS THEY THREATENED FOR MONTHS!". I asked them to return my call, immediately, so that I would know what to do with the RV due to the eminent impound and auction. NO REPLY FROM ANYONE.
Now it is June, 2011, & 5th/3rd Recovery Dept is calling 4-8 X DAY, DEMANDING $42k. I have recorded calls telling them NOT TO CALL,they PERSIST! PLEASE HELP!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. I encourage you to ask me for clarification, if you are not clear with my Answer.

 

I am truly sorry to hear about your troubles.

 

First and foremost, this so-called "Investigator Norton" is not an investigator and he is not working with your police department. This is a two-bit debt collector illegally masquerading as a law enforcement officer in violation of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and your State's Unfair or Deceptive Acts and Practices Statutes namely: Consumer Legal Remedies Act. See California Civil Code Sections 1750-1784 especially Section 1770.

 

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=civ&group=01001-02000&file=1770

 

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=civ&codebody=&hits=20

 

 

You should file complaint against this "Investigator" with your Attorney General's Office and the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC"):

 

http://ag.ca.gov/contact/complaint_form.php?cmplt=CL

 

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/FTC_Wizard.aspx?lang=en

 

 

Secondly, you do not have any obligation to return the RV to the company. Once you had declared your intention in your bankruptcy case to surrender the RV, there is no other requirement in the Bankruptcy Code that you actually physically return the RV to the lender. You have given them plenty of Notice for them to come and get their property. If they refuse, then it is not your problem.

 

Third, they should not be sending you a demand for payment for a debt that was properly discharged in your bankruptcy case. The attempt to collect this debt in this matter is a willful violation of the Bankruptcy Discharge Injunction. You can reopen your bankruptcy case and file Complaint against the lender for the willful violation and ask the Court to sanction them. See 11 U.S. C. Section 524. You would reopen your case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Section 350(b).

 

http://doney.net/bkcode/11usc0524.htm

 

http://doney.net/bkcode/11usc0350.htm

 

Finally, do not fall into their scare tactics. You no longer have any obligations for this RV. You definitely do not owe any money. So, do not agree to pay a cent.

 

I wish you the very best,

 

 

Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 12935
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
Phillips Esq. and 4 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you so very much for your reply. I contacted our attorney...er rather, former attorney today, after I had spent the night reading every page of 11 U.S.C. re: Chp 7 BK. 151 Pages in total. Attorney Unnamed simply told me to send him $300.00 and he would "give them a call and let them know that they 'may' be violating the automatic stay".
I informed Atty Unnamed that I could certainly do that myself, and that I already had done so. In fact, after having spoken with the fifth collections representing company; I finally was able to convince the Collections Representative to stop yelling at me and listen to me. I informed them that they are also in violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act of 1963, by continuing to telephone my husband at his place of business, after having been told clearly that it was his JOB, and most certainly due to the fact that "WE DO NOT HAVE AN ACCOUNT BALANCE with FIFTH THIRD BANK!"
Ms. XXXXX XXXXX, of Fifth Third Repossessions Management Corp. stated, after my direct statement, that she would put a BLOCK on my husband's telephone number, and asked if she could have permission to call me later in the week, since she really needed for her manager to speak with me, since she did not understand the Bankruptcy portion of what I was saying to her.
I replied "If you will not be threatening to me, and use a pleasant tone, that I don't mind if your manager contacts me to get some closure to this case". She stated that she would have her manager listen to the recording and would contact me later in the week.
After hanging up the telephone, I question if I need to continue suffering through this. I have stroke issues, and my health can not handle this much stress. I had a seizure the LAST time that they called me and threatened to "take us for everything we have". I know, realistically, that they cannot do that, but, what can I do, as a "non-lawyer", to put an end to this? It has been going on almost without ceasing, since August of 2010. We have put up with this for nearly a year! Is there anything LEGALLY, that they can do to further harm us? We are simply exhausted with trying to resolve this, and cannot seem to find any rest with these thugs. Once they have exhausted one collections company, or law firm, they wait about a month and hire a new company to "come after us for $42K"...NONE of the companies claim to be aware that there is a bankruptcy DISCHARGE, and ALL OF THEM ARE PULLING HARD CREDIT INQUIRIES, which has diminished our credit scores. I have informed them that THIS TACTIC IS ALSO ILLEGAL, but they just keep coming back and saying, "YOU OWE US $42K". They are relentless!
Please help, again.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 3 years ago.

 

First and foremost, there is no longer an Automatic Stay since your bankruptcy case has been closed. What is at issue here is the Discharge Injunction. There is no question as to whether the creditor and its collectors are violating the Discharge Injunction because they are. There is no reason for them to contact you.

 

Send them a simple letter to cease and desist from contacting you and your husband about the debt because the debt has been discharged in your bankruptcy in 2005 and you did not reaffirm the debt. Tell them that their continued phone calls to you and your husband after they have been repeatedly informed of your bankruptcy discharge are willful violations of the Bankruptcy Discharge Injunction, 11 U.S.C. Section 524, and if they continue with the phone calls that you would not have any other choice but to file complaint with the Bankruptcy Court against them for sanctions. Provide them with your Bankruptcy Docket number in the letter. However, since they have been pulling your credit reports, they should have known that.

 

You should not spend any more time with these people no matter how nice they are. Debt collectors are NEVER your friends. They are doing one thing or another usually something illegal to try to get you to pay a debt that you are no longer obligated to pay.

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I apologize, but I do have other questions.

I DID digitally record all conversations with the R.A.B. (Fifth Third Banc Corp. ) representative, today. She did clearly state that MY calls to her would be recorded "for quality and training purposes". However, when I informed her that I WAS RECORDING THE TELEPHONE CALLS, AND THAT I HAD A WITNESS, my 24.50 yr old son, Jared, (who identified himself to her, Ms. XXXXX XXXXX from R.A.B. WHO CLAIMED THAT SHE WAS NOT WITH FIFTH THIRD BANK, eventhough I had already researched it, and found that R.A.B. IS FIFTH THIRD BANK!) Ms. Jones stated that she did not agree to be recorded. She then disconnected the telephone. I called them back, directly.

Ms. Jones, then stated that "she did not know ANYTHING about our account, because they are in Tennessee"...Huh? What does the fact that they are from Tennessee have to do with their RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW WHO THEY ARE CALLING, AND WHY THEY ARE CALLING 4-5 TIMES PER DAY, DEMANDING MONEY?! She DID STATE THAT SHE WOULD PUT A "BLOCK" on my husband's telephone number. However, it is far too late for that. My husband has nearly suffered a nervous break-down from this! I, personally, have suffered 5 seizures, as a direct result of their harrassing calls, and demanding and offensive threats!

Further...TODAY, I received an ALERT, on my Creditkarma.com account, that there were MULTIPLE "HARD INQUIRIES" ON MY CREDIT REPORTING, AND THAT THEY WERE EXCESSIVE. WHAT THE HECK?
You guessed it...FIFTH THIRD BANK! Here is our OTHER PROBLEM... My husband and I are suffering from ILLEGITIMATE CREDIT REPORTING! I mailed out, via CERTIFIED, RETURN RECEIPT, to the 3 MAJOR CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES, complete copies of our Bankruptcy Paperwork along with a letter, outlining the responsibility of the reporting agencies to "report information accurately and honestly, and that they HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that WHAT IS BEING REPORTED IS ACCURATE! We have been denied a HomePath Loan, through Fannie Mae, due to our credit reports showing adverse, inaccurate, unfair and unlawful credit reporting, and now have to pay a HIGHER INTEREST RATE, PLUS PMI ON A MORTGAGE THAT WAS ELIGIBLE FOR HOMEPATH financing!

We received letter(s), in response, from ALL THREE MAJOR CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES, stating: "We will not be making changes to your credit report, as we report what the creditors advise us." HOW CAN THAT BE LEGAL? WE ARE BEING SAVAGELY IMPALED BY THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY! PLEASE HELP! DESPERATE!
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 3 years ago.

 

There is no need for an apology. I am here to help in any way that I can. So, do not hesitate to write back if you have further questions.

 

I am truly sorry to hear about your problems with these collectors. Of course she hanged up after she realized that she was being taped.

 

You may consider filing a lawsuit against them for unfair and deception practice in California Superior Court. The federal Court only awards $1,000.00 for each offense, but the attorney's fees can be quite substantial if any attorney wants to take up your case.

 

You may also file lawsuit against all the three main reporting bureaus under Fair Credit Reporting Act in the federal District Court.

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
How does one go about pursuing JUSTICE, when they are obviously victim(s) of Financial, Credit Reporting and Collections and Consumer Abuse, when the remedy is so minimal, yet the legal representation is so exhorbitant? I saw a case where a man won $108 million after suing a large bank in america. How is that possible, yet the man could not pay his debt to begin with, yet was able to secure the assistance of such a large law firm?

How is that possible for one person, but not for another?...like US?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 3 years ago.

 

How does one go about pursuing JUSTICE, when they are obviously victim(s) of Financial, Credit Reporting and Collections and Consumer Abuse, when the remedy is so minimal, yet the legal representation is so exhorbitant? I saw a case where a man won $108 million after suing a large bank in america. How is that possible, yet the man could not pay his debt to begin with, yet was able to secure the assistance of such a large law firm?

How is that possible for one person, but not for another?...like US?

 

Response: Good question. It really depends on the nature of the case. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act only awards $1,000.00 for each violation. The money can add up. However, that's what the Statute provides at this time. I do not how much California Courts awards for violation of the its unfair or deceptive practices Act. You may want to use NACA (National Association of Consumer Lawyers) to figure out the best forum for you and deal with the company once and for all.

 

The Attorneys who take these cases do not get paid up front. They get the Courts to award attorneys' fees if they prevail. Yes, it is quite unfair for you to get for instance $2,000.000 for the case while your attorney gets $20,000.00 or more. The reason is that your damages can be only $1,000.00 per violation of FDCPA whereas the attorney's fees do not have any cap.

 

http://www.naca.net/

 

 

Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 12935
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
Phillips Esq. and 4 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX your reply. So, let me recap...(This is quite disturbing, however)... It appears that what you are saying is that "the price of justice, in California, is just far too steep, for the actual VICTIM". Am I correct in that assessment?, or is there a court that awards Punitive damages, in such cases, or one that would "make an example of" such BIG-BANK-little-consumer-cases?

What is the remedy, or the award potential, if one was to pursue such a case, IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX your reply. So, let me recap...(This is quite disturbing, however)... It appears that what you are saying is that "the price of justice, in California, is just far too steep, for the actual VICTIM". Am I correct in that assessment?, or is there a court that awards Punitive damages, in such cases, or one that would "make an example of" such BIG-BANK-little-consumer-cases?

What is the remedy, or the award potential, if one was to pursue such a case, IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA?

 

Response: Unfortunately, I do not practice in California. So, I am not able to offer you more insight on punitive damages in the State. You may want to start a new post with this question and specifically request for a California Expert.

 

Best wishes,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Attorney Phillips, It is unfortunate that you do not work in California, since you DO seem to know your field, quite well. I am quite impressed with your knowledge and tenacity. I feel that it is only fair, that you be paid for the information that you have provided, therefore, I am going to ACCEPT your answer. I appreciate the time that you have taken to “enlighten me”, and to provide informative input. I ACCEPT YOUR ANSWER, and; per your suggestion, I will re-post my question, expressly for a California Attorney to reply. Take care, and God bless you and yours.

Sincerely, “Beaten Down by the Powerful, Yet, Underhanded Corporate Banking and The Powers of Illegitimate and Unfair Credit Reporting”

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 3 years ago.

 

Hello,

 

Thank you for the Accept. It is greatly appreciated.

 

I am sorry that I could not offer further help regarding punitive damages in California. However, I do believe that you are on the right track and you would eventually prevail. Check out naca.net on your spare time. Most California Attorneys listed on that site may take your case without charge to you.

 

I deal with these debt collectors frequently in my private practice and they can be quite brutal...

 

I just want to stress one more time that you absolutely do not have any more obligation on the RV.

 

All the best,

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Good morning. I just read the better part of the California Civil Codes, as well as the www.naca.net article "Mortensen Amicus with Attachments", and I must say that the American Consumer...which equates to ALL PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, HAVE A REASON TO WORRY ABOUT 'HOW THEY LIVE' in this nation.

I am appalled that the U.S. Government has not severely and more stringently regulated the CRA's and made more stringent the FCRA!

If you get a chance, and you need not reply, I am merely expressing my detest at this situation, please read the www.naca.net article: "Mortensen Amicus with Attachments"...AND THIS IS FOR EVERYONE THAT VISITS THIS SITE.

You will be ENLIGHTENED. AttorneyPhillips... Thank you, again, for your time and for the very helpful and informative links.
Take care and God bless all who read this.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 3 years ago.

I am feel your frustrations.

 

 

Best wishes,

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