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You are correct that the FDPA does not apply to you, and the attorney is blatantly misstating the law. First of all, you are not collecting on behalf of Social Security, because you are not claiming that the ex owes money to them and you have no intention of transferring the money to SS, and you have no obligation to do so. You are acting on behalf of your daughter, who is owed the money because it belonged to her, and the ex took it.
The FDCPA broadly defines a debt collector as "any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another."
This is a one shot deal. Debt collection is not your profession, and you do not regularly collect debts of this kind. Therefore, the FDPA does not apply to you, and such threats amount to either blatant unprofessionalism (state bar ethics violation to intimidate you like that) or absolute ignorance of the law.
In either event you have nothing to be concerned with. If you are being threatened with unlawful or innappropriate action by this attorney, or if you are suffering harassment, you can report the attorney to your state's bar association.
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I go to court on Tuesday where I believe the judge will set a hearing date. I have filed a motion for a change in parenting time, custody (we currently have joint), and child support. Her attorney is new - he just took the bar exam earlier this year. Him and I are suppose to see if we could come to some sort of agreement on the many issues before returning to court. His first letter to me I felt was "over the top" in an effort to make points with his client. He stated, "You have threatened to ask for sole custody of Jessi if Tina does not agree to your parenting time proposal. Changing custody of child should never be used as a negotiating tactic..." I filed for a change in custody before she even hired him. I made no such "threat". I have another question but I don't want to mix it with this one. How can I send it directly to you? Thank you.
I have responded to the attorney, but before I send it I want to make sure I'm not saying anything stupid or something that could get me in trouble. Could you please give me feedback? I have other issues I will ask sometime this weekend so as not to mix them in here. Thank you.
"Dear Mr. Boaz,
I considered not responding to your last email. The judge made it very clear we were to see if we could negotiate the remaining issues in the case in an attempt to settle before returning to court on Tuesday. Your response did not serve this purpose in the least. If you think you can bully me into submitting to your demands by intimidation then you are clearly misguided. You weren't kidding when you told me your interest was not in the truth nor my children, but it was to represent your client. Well, the truth and the well being of my children are what I am fighting for. I was hoping we might come together to discuss what would be in the best interest of the children, but I was quickly reminded you do not represent them nor are they your concern, they are mine. So moving forward would be pointless if our interests are bipolar.
Your attempt to label my request for Tina to refund the money she stole from Emily's social security death benefit as "harassment" and threatening to take action against me is either blatant unprofessionalism and a violation of state bar ethics to intimidate me like that, or absolute ignorance of the law, or both. The FDPA does not apply to me. I am not collecting on behalf of Social Security because I am not claiming that Tina owes money to them and I have no intention of transferring the money to Social Security, nor do I have an obligation to do so. I am acting on behalf of our daughter Emily because it belonged to her and Tina stole it. I could define for you the FDCPA definition of a debt collector, but you're the attorney, feel free to look it up.
Furthermore, you accuse me of "threatening" to ask for sole custody of Jessi if Tina does not agree to my parenting time proposal. I'm sure your strong language is for the benefit of your client, but have you forgotten that I filed for a change of custody before you ever entered the picture? I don't threaten nor do I manipulate the system; something you and your client would do well to practice.
If you are willing to come together and negotiate the remaining issues in order to come to a peaceful agreement and in the children's best interest then please let me know. If you still affirm that the best interest of the children is not your concern then we remain miles apart. If you do decide and meet then you must agree to set aside your bullying tactics and agree to be courteous and respectful, as I will continue to be with you.
I have attached the remaining bill that Tina has not yet received. She now has all the bills as the others were submitted via her attorney John Case. I do not agree to submit bills via certified mail as this is costly and time consuming. I would be more than happy to submit them via her email as an attachment.
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