• Report: #89734

Complaint Review: JBC Legal Group, P.C.

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  • Submitted: Sat, May 01, 2004
  • Updated: Tue, September 14, 2004

  • Reported By:West Henrietta New York
JBC Legal Group, P.C.
2 Broad Street 6th Floor Bloomfield, New Jersey U.S.A.

JBC Legal Group, P.C. Threatening to sue if I dont pay a bad check from over 9 years ago Bloomfield New Jersey

*Consumer Comment: Response to Brandi ..There are two different statutes of limitations when it comes to writing bad checks.

*Consumer Comment: THERE IS MORE WHEN IT COMES TO VIOLATIONS

*Consumer Comment: Thank you Jim

*Consumer Suggestion: My Experience, they sell them to collection agencies or attorneys

*Consumer Suggestion: Lol Pompous Attorneys who corroborate what they criticize

*Consumer Suggestion: Lol Pompous Attorneys who corroborate what they criticize

*Consumer Comment: Response to Bob

*Consumer Comment: Fair Debt Collection & Venue

*Consumer Comment: Questions rather than answers

*Consumer Comment: Personal jurisdiction and venue

*Consumer Suggestion: JBC sued numerous times in the last 6 months

*Consumer Suggestion: No, they DON'T have to sue you in YOUR local court

*Consumer Comment: Venue & Debt Collection

*Consumer Suggestion: Where Do You Get Sued ?

*Consumer Suggestion: default judgment

*Consumer Comment: Better advice refined

*Consumer Comment: Better advice refined

*Consumer Comment: Better advice refined

*Consumer Comment: Better advice refined

*Consumer Comment: Response to Jim

*Consumer Comment: FDCPA

*Consumer Suggestion: Better advice yet

*Consumer Suggestion: Better advice yet

*Consumer Suggestion: Check your state's statutes

*Consumer Suggestion: Take a closer look at the statute

*Consumer Comment: Some better advice

*Consumer Suggestion: Report Complaints

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This company sends me a letter stating that I wrote a check that was dishonored by the bank back in 1995. This is the first I've ever heard of this supposed check. I am not aware of any bad checks I have written and they wait almost 10 years to notify me of this.

NY Statute of Limitations is 6 years which this supposed debt is way beyond that point yet they are threatening that I can be sued if I dont pay them within 30 days.

I am sending them a cease and desist letter.

Seezar
Rochester, New York
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/01/2004 12:14 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/JBC-Legal-Group-PC/Bloomfield-New-Jersey-07003-2550/JBC-Legal-Group-PC-Threatening-to-sue-if-I-dont-pay-a-bad-check-from-over-9-years-ago-B-89734. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Response to Brandi ..There are two different statutes of limitations when it comes to writing bad checks.

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

Brandi:

There are two different statutes of limitations when it comes to writing bad checks.

There is a criminal statute of limitations that prevents the state from prosecuting you after a certain length of time. Depending on your state's laws this may be as little as 6 months or as long as 7 years. If the state prosecutes successfully, you could be sentenced to serve jail time, pay a fine, pay restitution, or all of the above.

There is also a civil statute of limitations which is at the core of this thread. The party who received the bad check usually has the right to sue you in civil court whether or not the state has brought a criminal action. In a civil case you cannot be sent to jail or ordered to pay a fine to the state but will have to pay damages to the plaintiff. The law imposes a limitation on how long a plaintiff may wait to sue you in civil court and that time is normally independent of the criminal statute of limitations.
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#2 Consumer Comment

THERE IS MORE WHEN IT COMES TO VIOLATIONS

AUTHOR: L - (U.S.A.)

Let us start with MISREPRESENTATION,UNLAWFUL ATTEMPTS TO COLLECT, THREATS, MISLEADING REPRESENTATION, COLLECTION OF DISPUTED-UNVERIFIED DEBTS, FALSE APPEARANCE OF ATTORNEY INVOLVEMENT, MISLEADING REPRESENTATION ON STATUTORY CIVIL PENALTIES (BY STATE STATUE,OF COURSE), THREATS TO SUE ON TIME-BARRED DEBTS (WITH NO REGARD TO INDIVDUAL STATE STATUES)ETC.and the list goes on and on...

Their dunn letters have "FDCPA VIOLATIONS" written all over them! They have and have had so many suits against them (if you have access to Pacer you can see for yourself)it is a wonder they can even find an insurance company to represent them...

People, People instead of arguing who is better educated in the law, how about assisting in the termination of their unlawful business practices? This company has no right to violate the Federal Law. We have to join together and let it be heard that the little guy isnt going to get stepped on and crushed like a little bug!!

I read somewhere in here a comment from an employee(or EX-Employee) of JBC that a high percent of people that receive this letter are afraid and take their threats seriously then pay the amount listed. It needs to be made aware out there that the big banks and financial institutions are selling large volume, ancient receivables for pennies on the dollar to anyone who is willing to buy them and you could be in there. I stumbled across a auction house online that had this kind of paper for sale.

This paper was available for anyone to purchase. for a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars you could have in your hands "Millions of dollars" of receivables. Now keep in mind, your personal information will be included in this bulk sale! And they want to stop indentity theft.. Yea sure! So let's just auction it off to the highest bidder!!!!!! What the Heck is going on and why can't we STOP THIS MADDNESSSSSSS??????????

There has to be a way! With this many complaints against one company... with this many people? Let's put our heads together and "STEP ON THEM LIKE THE COCKROACHES THEY ARE"!!! Oh, believe me I am in the process of stepping and squiching them as we comment! Good luck and dont take their %&&(*()$$##
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#3 Consumer Comment

Thank you Jim

AUTHOR: Tim - (U.S.A.)

Thank you, Jim.

I began typing a way-too lengthy response saying just the same thing last night, but got too tired and closed it out.

Carl, I appreciate your presence and contributions, but I think Jim may have hit the nail on the head. Your pomposity prevented you from recognizing we both got it right, and urged you to exert a little "sigh" at our ignorance.

Both of us said exactly the same thing as you, but apparently there was some problem with our research? By extension, then, isn't your own research equally flawed? And to kick this horse a little more, may I point out that in a past rebuttal you claimed that they could only sue you in your local jurisdiction, which is incorrect. If the contract was formed in a foreign jurisdiction, that jurisdiction would be a proper forum as well. I initially chose not to point that out, but if I must play tit-for-tat to defend the integrity of my statements, then so be it.

As evidenced by previous rebuttals, I will readily admit any innacuracies in my statements. I will not, however, sit idly by while your feelings of superiority prompt you to challenge my accurate rebuttals. This is especially so when your challenge rests solely on the reiteration of my own accurate statements.

The only difference between your statements and those of Jim and myself is the "forum selection clause" issue. If you will note, however, neither Jim nor myself claimed that such a clause is binding in this situation, only that it MAY be a factor. The FDCPA does impliedly forbid the enforcement of such clauses, but, again, neither of us definitively stated otherwise.

As for the relationship between the FDCPA and pragmatics, I feel that Jim summed it up quite well. They can file suit wherever they please. Whether or not they get away with it is up to the defendant, not the system itself.

Again, as a loyal ripoffreport visitor, I welcome and appreciate your learned contributions. Just don't assume that a "real lawyer" is the only person that can answer a legal question, at least in this forum, and especially in situations where the "non-real lawyer" gets it right.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

My Experience, they sell them to collection agencies or attorneys

AUTHOR: Brandi - (U.S.A.)

I found myself in the same situation a few years ago. What I was told when I sought legal advice, is that the statue of limitations only protects you from being prosecuted for writing bad checks. The company still has the write to collect. Many times they sell them to collection agencies or attorneys. Good luck!
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Lol Pompous Attorneys who corroborate what they criticize

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

(Sigh) Oh Carl, I'ts funny how you start your post with a condescending remark, make a statement about people not knowing what they are talking about, state what the law says about jurisdiction, then in that post and your next subsequent one, you just went on to corroborate EXACTLY what I had said. Namely, that regardless of what jurisdiction that they are legally required to sue you in, they can FILE a lawsuit in ANY jursidiction that they want, that the defendant must challenge the incorrect venue or else have a default entered, because, as you yourself explicitly stated

"However, it would be extremely unlikely for the court clerk to analyze he venue allegatios and reject a filing. So it is possible for a dishonest debt collection and/or attorney to file in an improper venue. The court system does leave it up to the defendants to raise the issue of venue."
So I'm not sure why you want to try to "flame" someone ('sigh stupid non lawyers')and then go on to state that everything I just said is correct.

I wanted to make it perfectly clear to everyone who thought they couldn't possibly get a judgment against you because "Oh my god, that would require an unscrupulous collection company to file a small claims suit in an incorrect jurisdiction" They can, they will, they do. And they will get a judgment if you don't make an appearance to dispute incorrect venue, so DO NOT IGNORE A LAWSUIT just because it was filed in the wrong and improper location. (Sigh)

If you think that that is bad advice, that's fine. It's your perogative to be arrogant in your perceived omniscience. I don't really care.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Lol Pompous Attorneys who corroborate what they criticize

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

(Sigh) Oh Carl, I'ts funny how you start your post with a condescending remark, make a statement about people not knowing what they are talking about, state what the law says about jurisdiction, then in that post and your next subsequent one, you just went on to corroborate EXACTLY what I had said. Namely, that regardless of what jurisdiction that they are legally required to sue you in, they can FILE a lawsuit in ANY jursidiction that they want, that the defendant must challenge the incorrect venue or else have a default entered, because, as you yourself explicitly stated

"However, it would be extremely unlikely for the court clerk to analyze he venue allegatios and reject a filing. So it is possible for a dishonest debt collection and/or attorney to file in an improper venue. The court system does leave it up to the defendants to raise the issue of venue."
So I'm not sure why you want to try to "flame" someone ('sigh stupid non lawyers')and then go on to state that everything I just said is correct.

I wanted to make it perfectly clear to everyone who thought they couldn't possibly get a judgment against you because "Oh my god, that would require an unscrupulous collection company to file a small claims suit in an incorrect jurisdiction" They can, they will, they do. And they will get a judgment if you don't make an appearance to dispute incorrect venue, so DO NOT IGNORE A LAWSUIT just because it was filed in the wrong and improper location. (Sigh)

If you think that that is bad advice, that's fine. It's your perogative to be arrogant in your perceived omniscience. I don't really care.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Response to Bob

AUTHOR: Carl - (U.S.A.)

The ability to collect legal fees varies from state to state. The general rule in most jurisdictions is that you cannot recover attorney's fees unless you have a contract that specifically says that the prevailing party recovers fees. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. If attorney's fees are recoverable, it is usually in the judge's discretion or a percentage of the claim.

Bounced checks are particularly unique a state treats them. In California, assignees of a claim generally cannot file in small claims court but that can file small claims on bounced checks. If the holder of the bounced check follows proper procedures, that person can sue for the face value of the check plus treble damages with a maximum of $1500. The laws of your state are probably different.

It only costs $30 to file a small claims lawsuit in California (more for high volume filers) and I've seen collection agencies file dozens of these lawsuits at a time. They send down a "credit manager" to get a judgment on the bad check and then they have investigators on staff to start wage garnishments, etc. Most of them also have a regular attorney or an in-house attorney to handle the bigger cases, so they have the numbers worked out so that a large volume business can be profitable.

Having a judgment on your credit rating can be pretty drastic. I don't know what the credit agencies requirements are before accepting a report of a deliquent debt from a collection agency.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Fair Debt Collection & Venue

AUTHOR: Carl - (U.S.A.)

Sigh. If you are a non-attorney responding to a question directed to an attorney, get the law straight before you post a response. Under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a creditor filing a legal action on a consumer debt not related to real property has two choices for venue: (1) the judicial district where the contract was entered into; or (2) the judicial district where the debtor resides. If you want to look this up for yourself, the code section is Title 15 of the United States Code, Section 1692i. To litigate in am improperly venue is a violation of the act.

Many jurisdictions require the attorney to certify the that venue is proper or to include some type of statement regarding venue in the Complaint. However, it would be extremely unlikely for the court clerk to analyze he venue allegatios and reject a filing. So it is possible for a dishonest debt collection and/or attorney to file in an improper venue. The court system does leave it up to the defendants to raise the issue of venue.

The bottom line is to know your rights and assert them in a timely manner. A creditor has no right to sue you in a venue other than as outline above. If you are sued, do not ingore the lawsuit or a default judgment can be taken against you.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Questions rather than answers

AUTHOR: Bob - (U.S.A.)

I've read all the interesting advice above. I was wondering how much they are threatening to sue you for. Can they collect legal fees? Where I am going, if they can't collect legal fees and the check is not much to begin with, why would they bother spending money on courts if they know they'll never recoup their fees? Could it just be a scare tactic? How much would this affect your credit reports? So many questions. Thanks.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Personal jurisdiction and venue

AUTHOR: Tim - (U.S.A.)

It doesn't take a real attorney to answer that question, John. I'll answer in general terms and allow someone else to fill in the specifics.

The forums in which JBC could sue you are certainly very limited, but not necessarily to your local courts. Where you live is one consideration, but if you incurred the debt somewhere else, or if your contract contained a forum selection clause, you may be prone to suit in a far-off jurisdiction.

JBC is not necessarily limited to suing you in a local court, but there are constraints that prevent them from suing you wherever they please. They still must satisfy elements of personal jurisdiction and venue, which pretty much limit them to suing you either in a local court, or in the jurisdiction where the events giving rise to their claim took place.

If they were somehow able to obtain judgment against you in an improper forum, they would still have to execute the judgment in your local jurisdiction, in which case you would have the opportunity to contest the jurisdiction of the original court. This is one of the very rare grounds upon which a default judgment can be contested.
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

JBC sued numerous times in the last 6 months

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

Also, do your research, JBC has been sued by numerous states, and private parties, including current ongoing suits in New Jersey, and a national class action lawsuit.
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

No, they DON'T have to sue you in YOUR local court

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

. They can sue you wherever the heck they want to. That doesn't mean that it is valid though. If they are suing you in the wrong court, you have to "appear" and challenge jurisdiction.

Also, depending on the circumstances of the original transaction, you may tacitly agreed to be sued in a foreign jurisdiction, including agreeing that all disputes for every customer be adjudicated in any particular state.

Such agreements may be deemed by the court to be illegal or improper, but once again, you have to "appear" in court to be able to raise that argument.

If they sue you, wherever the heck they want to, and you don't show up or otherwise "appear", they can, and will, get a default judgment, regardless of whether they have violated any number of statutes.

If you want to hear from a "real" attorney, call one up and ask them. I am not an attorney, but have a degree in legal studies and worked in the numerous law firms as a paralegal, and have modest experience in the courtroom as well. I am definitely not an expert and nothing I have indicated herein should be construed to be legal advice, but at the same time, I am not just talking out of my a*ss either. If I wasn't sure of what I was talking about, I wouldn't say it.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Venue & Debt Collection

AUTHOR: Carl - (U.S.A.)

You are correct in that federal law regarding consumer debt collection does require the debt collector to sue in local courts. And yes, judgments can be placed on your credit. Some judgments are placed on your credit rating automatically while others can be placed on your credit report when the judgment creditor records a judgment lien.

The potential for actually fraud is there, but I have never personally seen a case of actual fraud by a debt collector or process server in the last 10 years. The one time I dealt with a case of fraud is when a son used his father's identity to borrow money and then failed to repay.
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#14 Consumer Suggestion

Where Do You Get Sued ?

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Correct me if I'm wrong but if JBC wants to sue you they have to do it in your local courts. Otherwise what would prevent a company from setting up shop in Alaska and filing suit against millions of people and then reselling the judgements to other collectors in the states? Also, can't these judgements also be entered into your credit records as derogatories? The potential for wholesale fraud would be incredible.

I'd like to hear from a real attorney on this issue.
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#15 Consumer Suggestion

default judgment

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

You're absolutely right that a collection company can send a letter demanding payment. They can also try to sue you as well, even if the SOL has expired.

The issue has to be raised by the defendant in court, judges don't question that on their own.

I would seriously question the veracity of the process servers who claim to be "serving" the defendants if JBC is claiming a 90% default judgment rate. That number is so ridiculously high that it is impossible that every one that they sue, except 10%, answer the complaint.

I am willing to bet money that JBC's process servers are claiming to have served people when in fact they haven't. I have been sued twice, and neither time did I ever get served with the complaint. Not didn't get properly served, I did not get served at all.

One small claim action I learned about after the court sent me a notice of entry of judgment and I had to file a motion to vacate with affidavits that I had moved from the address that the process server claims to have served me personally at.

The other one I knew was coming and had to keep checking witht the court to find out the file date. The Plaintiff didn't file the proof of service until after the default date, but I had filed an answer immediately after the filing of the complaint.

The process server on that one claimed to have served me by subserving my roommate, and then claimed that at the exact same time, he served my roommate by subserving me.

I think that most process servers commit perjury on a dail basis, at least here in Long Beach they do anyway. It is a perfect way to avoid all the issues about the FDCPA, statute of limitations etc, since the defendant never has a chance to raise those issues.
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#16 Consumer Comment

Better advice refined

AUTHOR: TIm - (U.S.A.)

In conducting further research, I have to retract the title "some better advice" from the above rebuttal (figuratively, at least). Carl's assessment of the FDCPA's treatment was indeed more accurate than my own. i am still earning the law, and hopefully I make that clear. Carl is apparently farther along in the process, and I must defer to his understanding.

However, based on my new-found understanding of the FDCPA, simple collection on a time-barred debt is not illegal. JBC can attempt to collect on old debts. If they threaten legal action, however, they have violated the FDCPA.

Although some of the substance was incorrect, I still stand by the thrust of the advice given in my initial rebuttal.

If you will check out JBC's website you will find that they boast a 90% default judgment rate. This means that 90% of the people that they take to court don't even bother to show up. Based on my understanding of civil procedure, which is admittedly falliable, the statute of limitations is a moot point once a judgment has been entered. Additionally, can a judge even raise the SOL sua sponte? Wouldn't the defendant have to raise the SOL issue for it to be of any significance?

JBC may be routinely collecting default judgments on time-barred debts that may not even be valid in the first place. My concern, as laid out above, is that JBC's victims may see that the debt claimed is time-barred and think that the law will protect them as they sit idly by. According to JBC, this happens 90% of the time.

As a loyal ripoff report reader, I would like to thank Carl for his contributions, and I would like to point out the "lawyer and lawyers" categories to him.
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#17 Consumer Comment

Better advice refined

AUTHOR: TIm - (U.S.A.)

In conducting further research, I have to retract the title "some better advice" from the above rebuttal (figuratively, at least). Carl's assessment of the FDCPA's treatment was indeed more accurate than my own. i am still earning the law, and hopefully I make that clear. Carl is apparently farther along in the process, and I must defer to his understanding.

However, based on my new-found understanding of the FDCPA, simple collection on a time-barred debt is not illegal. JBC can attempt to collect on old debts. If they threaten legal action, however, they have violated the FDCPA.

Although some of the substance was incorrect, I still stand by the thrust of the advice given in my initial rebuttal.

If you will check out JBC's website you will find that they boast a 90% default judgment rate. This means that 90% of the people that they take to court don't even bother to show up. Based on my understanding of civil procedure, which is admittedly falliable, the statute of limitations is a moot point once a judgment has been entered. Additionally, can a judge even raise the SOL sua sponte? Wouldn't the defendant have to raise the SOL issue for it to be of any significance?

JBC may be routinely collecting default judgments on time-barred debts that may not even be valid in the first place. My concern, as laid out above, is that JBC's victims may see that the debt claimed is time-barred and think that the law will protect them as they sit idly by. According to JBC, this happens 90% of the time.

As a loyal ripoff report reader, I would like to thank Carl for his contributions, and I would like to point out the "lawyer and lawyers" categories to him.
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#18 Consumer Comment

Better advice refined

AUTHOR: TIm - (U.S.A.)

In conducting further research, I have to retract the title "some better advice" from the above rebuttal (figuratively, at least). Carl's assessment of the FDCPA's treatment was indeed more accurate than my own. i am still earning the law, and hopefully I make that clear. Carl is apparently farther along in the process, and I must defer to his understanding.

However, based on my new-found understanding of the FDCPA, simple collection on a time-barred debt is not illegal. JBC can attempt to collect on old debts. If they threaten legal action, however, they have violated the FDCPA.

Although some of the substance was incorrect, I still stand by the thrust of the advice given in my initial rebuttal.

If you will check out JBC's website you will find that they boast a 90% default judgment rate. This means that 90% of the people that they take to court don't even bother to show up. Based on my understanding of civil procedure, which is admittedly falliable, the statute of limitations is a moot point once a judgment has been entered. Additionally, can a judge even raise the SOL sua sponte? Wouldn't the defendant have to raise the SOL issue for it to be of any significance?

JBC may be routinely collecting default judgments on time-barred debts that may not even be valid in the first place. My concern, as laid out above, is that JBC's victims may see that the debt claimed is time-barred and think that the law will protect them as they sit idly by. According to JBC, this happens 90% of the time.

As a loyal ripoff report reader, I would like to thank Carl for his contributions, and I would like to point out the "lawyer and lawyers" categories to him.
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#19 Consumer Comment

Better advice refined

AUTHOR: TIm - (U.S.A.)

In conducting further research, I have to retract the title "some better advice" from the above rebuttal (figuratively, at least). Carl's assessment of the FDCPA's treatment was indeed more accurate than my own. i am still earning the law, and hopefully I make that clear. Carl is apparently farther along in the process, and I must defer to his understanding.

However, based on my new-found understanding of the FDCPA, simple collection on a time-barred debt is not illegal. JBC can attempt to collect on old debts. If they threaten legal action, however, they have violated the FDCPA.

Although some of the substance was incorrect, I still stand by the thrust of the advice given in my initial rebuttal.

If you will check out JBC's website you will find that they boast a 90% default judgment rate. This means that 90% of the people that they take to court don't even bother to show up. Based on my understanding of civil procedure, which is admittedly falliable, the statute of limitations is a moot point once a judgment has been entered. Additionally, can a judge even raise the SOL sua sponte? Wouldn't the defendant have to raise the SOL issue for it to be of any significance?

JBC may be routinely collecting default judgments on time-barred debts that may not even be valid in the first place. My concern, as laid out above, is that JBC's victims may see that the debt claimed is time-barred and think that the law will protect them as they sit idly by. According to JBC, this happens 90% of the time.

As a loyal ripoff report reader, I would like to thank Carl for his contributions, and I would like to point out the "lawyer and lawyers" categories to him.
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#20 Consumer Comment

Response to Jim

AUTHOR: Carl - (U.S.A.)

My comments were directed to "Tim" in Indiana and his so called "better advice" and his inaccurate statement about the FDCPA. The comment was not directed at you.
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#21 Consumer Comment

FDCPA

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

The FDCPA forbids not only
"goes on to say a debt collector cannot threaten to take action that cannot legally be taken (i.e. sue on a debt when the S/L has expired)"...it forbids someone to claim they are going to sue you if they are not legally able to do so.

The FDCPA is administered by the FTC and the rulings and opinion letters issued by the FTC generally construe the statutes in the light most favorable to the consumer, adopting a "least sophisticated" person standard, meaning that if the dumbest consumer out there thought that the debt collector was able to sue them, when in fact, they weren't planning on doing, or weren't allowed to do it, the debt collector has violated the FDCPA.

Not sure why you keep making the statement about a first year law student and the Supreme Court...if you have something to say, spit it out.
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#22 Consumer Suggestion

Better advice yet

AUTHOR: Mark - (U.S.A.)

Refer to the Truth in Lending Act.

After 7 years, you may not attempt collection, or place on a consumers credit report, any unpaid debts.

The only trick to watch out for is this; a consumer can reopen the debt by volunteering to make a partial payment. Some agencies will attempt to guilt you into this.
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#23 Consumer Suggestion

Better advice yet

AUTHOR: Mark - (U.S.A.)

Refer to the Truth in Lending Act.

After 7 years, you may not attempt collection, or place on a consumers credit report, any unpaid debts.

The only trick to watch out for is this; a consumer can reopen the debt by volunteering to make a partial payment. Some agencies will attempt to guilt you into this.
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#24 Consumer Suggestion

Check your state's statutes

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

In California, it is illegal for an "asignee" to sue on the claim. All claims must be brought by the original obligor.

If your state has similar statutes, then this collection company would be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by threatening to do something which it is not able to do.

Additionally, your state has statutes on how long after a "breach" occurs a creditor can sue you. I California, it is 4 years.

The "bad check" statute itself may also have a statutory time limit to bring the suit.

No state that I know of allows any type of civil claim more than 7 years after the act.

The Ny statutes are available online. Did the collection company indicate any statury violations that they are alleging? If so, look them up, see what they say...
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#25 Consumer Suggestion

Take a closer look at the statute

AUTHOR: Carl - (U.S.A.)

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act a "debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt." It goes on to say a debt collector cannot threaten to take action that cannot legally be taken (i.e. sue on a debt when the S/L has expired) and the debtor cannot falsely represent the legal status of the debt.

As, of course, any first year law student can tell you, that the Supreme Court is not the only authority on the FDCPA.
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#26 Consumer Comment

Some better advice

AUTHOR: Tim - (U.S.A.)

Unless there is a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the issue, which I doubt there is, there is nothing in the FDCPA that forbids collection on debts that are "expired" per statutes of limitation. In fact, the term "Statute of limitations" is not mentioned anywhere in the FDCPA.

Why is it important that I point this out? It's important because any "statute of limitations" in any state is not a copmplete bar to collection or prosecution in any case, it is a defense that must be raised by the defendant/debtor.

This is especially important in regards to JBC, and here's why: JBC purchased, for pennies on the dollar, a large volume of old debts that other collection agencies had given up on because they were so old. When the "friendly" avenues of debt collection don't pan out for JBC, they take the debtor to court (and tack on an extra hundred or so to the debt, legally in most states). JBC realizes, in these cases, that 90% of their debtors will not show up to contest the debt.

When the defendant doesn't show up, the plaintiff (JBC) receives a default judgment. Any defenses, including the staute of limitations, are moot once a judgment has been entered. VOILA! A debt that, in a legal sense, was invalid due to the statute of limitations, is now valid by judicial order (and trust me, there will be no appeal!).

This is simple Civ Pro, first year law school stuff, and it's how JBC makes their money.

How can you defend yourself? Simple... BY DEFENDING YOURSELF!!! Here's how I would go about it (mind you, this should not be taken as competent legal advice, I am not a lawyer, and your best option is to consult with a bar-certified attorney):

1) Send JBC a certified letter stating two things:
A) This debt is not valid.
B) Even if this debt were valid at one point, it is not now because the statute of limitations has passed (ideally, you should cite to the state statute covering the SOL for such a debt).
2) If you are served with a summons, there should be a procedure detailed on the form for answering the complaint. Follow that procedure and
explain that the SOL has passed.
3) SHOW UP FOR COURT... if you have to, and raise your SOL defense.

Most importantly, DO NOT allow a default judgment to be entered against you. That's EXACTLY what JBC is counting on. I fear that advice like that given above could prompt you to ignore court notices. The statute of limitations will not do you ANY good unless YOU bring it up. The judge will not bring it up it for you, the FTC will not do it for you, and JBC will certainly not do it for you. And once a default judgment is entered, it's FINAL with a capital F (unless you have a jjurisdiction, notice, or venue issue).

The long and short is this: if you value your credit, do not take this lightly. It could result in a judgment against you, which, next to declaring bankruptcy, is about the worst thing that can happen to your credit. The law is on your side, but you need to give it a call before it will pick up its sword.

Best of luck to you!
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#27 Consumer Suggestion

Report Complaints

AUTHOR: Carl - (U.S.A.)

You should dispute this debt in writing and instruct them not to contact you. Get copies of your credit report and dispute and inaccurate entries. Report unfair collection practices to the Federal Trade Commission.

Demanding payment on a debt when the Statute of Limitations has expires is a vioation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
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