• Report: #228989

Complaint Review: Cavalry Portfolio Services, Cavalry Investments, Thomas Law Offices, Anne Thomas, Esq.

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  • Submitted: Fri, January 05, 2007
  • Updated: Wed, August 22, 2007

  • Reported By:Houston Texas
Cavalry Portfolio Services, Cavalry Investments, Thomas Law Offices, Anne Thomas, Esq.
7 Skyline Drive Hawthorne, New York U.S.A.

Cavalry Portfolio Services, Cavalry Investments, Thomas Law Offices, Anne Thomas, Hawthorne New York

*Consumer Comment: Don't Shoot the Messenger

*Consumer Suggestion: STEVE - I NEED TO SUE CALVARY - RECOMMENDATIONS?

*Consumer Suggestion: Education for Michael the Calvalry Portfolio collector

*Consumer Suggestion: Education for Michael the Calvalry Portfolio collector

*Consumer Suggestion: Education for Michael the Calvalry Portfolio collector

*UPDATE Employee: Mistaken Identity

*Consumer Suggestion: LOVED YOUR POST

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I am a law student who just learned of this company today (Jan. 5, 2007) because attorney Anne Thomas with Thomas Law Offices, PLLC froze my parent's bank account on behalf of Calvary Portfolio Services.

I have to wait until Monday to get a copy of the court judgment but I did contact the bank and was successful in having them fax me the information that Anne Thomas sent them to have the account frozen in the first place.

It turns out, someone living in NY has my dad's same name. That person apparently incurred credit card debt. Some how or another, we are checking credit reports now to be sure it's not identity theft, but Anne Thomas got my dads Social security number and filed a court action nearly a year ago (Feb. 2006).

Judgement was entered against my dad without either of my parents knowing. They were never contacted about any of this. My mother went to the bank on January 5, 2007 to make a withdrawal and learned that the account was just frozen this week. The bank said that they mailed a letter but she hasn't received it yet since it just happened and it was mailed from their corporate office in another state.

Long story short, the court document alleges that my dad works and resides in the state of NY and owes nearly $16,000 to this credit company called First USA from an account opened in 1996 and charged off in 2002. Of course my dad has never lived in or even visited the state of NY and has no clue what this debt is.

Cavalry violated several laws (as I'll explain below) because you can't file suit in NY unless the credit application was signed by my dad in NY. Of course, he signed nothing and has never been to NY. They also lied in the docs by saying that he was a resident and does business in the state of NY. They were also never notified of this alleged debt.

They've resided in the same home in the state of TX even before this account was apparantly opened in 1996. They have also had the same bank account, with a TX address on it for about the last 20 years. So there is no way that Anne Thomas could make the mistake of thinking that my dad is anyway associated with NY.

But long story short, Anne Thomas immediately faxed a letter to the legal department of the bank and a copy to me when I told her that she had the wrong person and that I was a law student. I noticed in the letter that she completely indemnified the bank - which is basically admitting that Cavalry & her law office made a mistake and will be responsible if my parents decide to sue the bank for any reason. However, the bank has yet to unfreeze their account because they said they got the letter too late in the day on a Friday afternoon.

Unfortunately, not many consumers have the luxury of looking up the law and easily understanding it - so I'm going to give you some information to try and help now or in the future. Please be aware that I am not an attorney and am NOT offering legal advice.

THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT was created by Congress to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors. This federal law requires quite a bit, but I'm paraphrasing just a small portion below. You can go to http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.htm to read it in its entirety for yourself.

1.A Collector must notify a consumer in writing, within 5 days after contacting them by phone, of the debt owed and give them 30 days to respond before taking ANY action.

2Provide to a consumer that requests in writing, within 30 days of being contacted by the collector, the name and contact info of the original creditor. (so you can call and see if the debt is really yours and really unpaid)

3If the consumer notifies the collector in writing within the 30 days that the debt is disputed, or the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the collector must cease collection of the debt until the collector mails further info on the debt to the consumer.

4The failure of a consumer to dispute the validity of a debt may not be construed by any court as an admission of liability by the consumer.

5A debt collector suing a consumer must sue in a judicial district where the land is located (if it's land/house), or in the judicial district in which the consumer signed the contract in question or where the consumer resides at the time the court action is started (for all other property like bank accounts, etc.) This means that if you live in Texas, they can't bring a court action against you in New York unless they are suing you on a contract that was signed BY YOU in New York.

6A collector can't collect an amount unless the amount is expressly authorized by the contract creating the debt or permitted by law.

7 Collectors can only accepted a 5 or more day postdated check if they provide the consumer with a written notice of their intent intent to deposit the check not more than ten nor less than three business days prior to the deposit. (in other words, they have 7 to 10 days after they give notice to deposit the check).

8.They can't deposit or threaten to deposit a post dated check early.

9They can't threaten a criminal lawsuit to get a post dated check from a consumer.

10.Collectors that violate these laws are liable to the consumer who's rights are violated in the equal amount of actual damage sustained by the consumer as a result of such violation. (in other words, if your account was frozen and you were charged $300 for bounced checks then they are liable for $300). Plus, a court may award additional damages that cannot exceed $1,000 upon just cause. A consumer can ask but it's at the judges discretion.

This is just a portion, and my interpretation of the law, as well. I'm not an attorney but you can certainly seek an attorney in your state if you feel that your rights have been violated. If you win, your attorney can ask the court to make the collector pay your attorney's fees. But be careful, because if you file a malicious suit against a collector that is not in good faith, you'll be forced to pay the collector's attorney fees.

N
Houston, Texas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/05/2007 07:43 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Cavalry-Portfolio-Services-Cavalry-Investments-Thomas-Law-Offices-Anne-Thomas-Esq/Hawthorne-New-York-10532/Cavalry-Portfolio-Services-Cavalry-Investments-Thomas-Law-Offices-Anne-Thomas-Hawthor-228989. 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.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Don't Shoot the Messenger

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

It is a shame to see a law student go so hopelessly off course in determining fault. Jumping to conclusions about companies violating laws is something you'll have to avoid once in practice.

Assuming for the sake of discussion that the collection target is a victim of identity theft, then the criminal who fraudulently used the individual's data is responsible for all of their trouble, not the collector and not the law firm -- and that criminal is the ONLY one who violated any law. Creditors have no way of knowing an account stems from identity theft until it is brought to their attention, and even then they are often lied to when real debtors make false claims -- making things harder for the true victims.

A creditor is well within its rights to act in good faith based on information contained in business records. Identity theft victims almost NEVER are served legal papers at their proper address, because the licensed process servers (whose job it is here in NY to either serve them personally or very often by just leaving a copy of the Summons at their last known address followed by a mailed copy) will use the debtor's last known address. In ID theft situations, that address is nearly always false: ID thieves don't use the real address of their victim, lest the victim learn of the crime quickly and stop it just as quickly.

The real problem here is how ID theft is running rampant in the US. You may think your dad is the only victim in his situation, but your dad won't have to pay the debt once he clears things up -- the creditor, on the other hand, will have to bear the loss.

As an aside, when I see people (not the poster I refer to above) write that creditors get judgements against their mom (presumably for legit debts for which she received benefits) but they just laugh, one wonders who, exactly, is doing the ripping off.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

STEVE - I NEED TO SUE CALVARY - RECOMMENDATIONS?

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

They failed to respond to my request for validation however confirmed their erroneous information to the credit bureau who refuses to correct the misinformation ...

tell me what i need to do ....
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Education for Michael the Calvalry Portfolio collector

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

Michael,

There is no such thing as "mistaken identity" in LEGAL and ETHICAL debt collections. None.

There is a little legal term called "due diligence" which is required of any lawyer taking action against anyone such as a lawsuit and the garnishment and siezure of money.

Face it, these are JUNK DEBT BUYERS who bought old, worthless paper on "debts" with little or no valid information on the actual debtor. They simply went after everyone with the same or similar name. This is what junk debt buyers and crackhead collectors do.

For the victim, SUE, SUE, SUE. Sue the hell out of them. You are entitled to sue for the FDCPA violations as well as for actual damages and costs. DO NOT let this slime get away with this.

And, file a BAR ASSOCIATION complaint against all lawyers involved. That was clearly reckless and/or blatant unethical conduct.

Don't get mad, get paid.


Michael wrote:>>
Mistaken Identity

I'm very sorry to hear about the situation with your parents.

I must state though, that the reason why the law office of Anne Thomas faxed over the letter stating the apology etc is simply because they realized a mistake and fixed it.

Mistakes do happen.

Example: My wife's social security number has been used for the last 14 years! That's right, 14 years, but her bureau is clean as a whistle. That doesn't mean that this nimrod who has been using her social security number isn't going to be nailed to the wall someday!

I have received a few calls asking for this person. I explained the situation and went on down the road.

I hope that everything has been resolved with your parents situation.

Michael - Tulsa, Oklahoma
U.S.A.
>>>>>
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Education for Michael the Calvalry Portfolio collector

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

Michael,

There is no such thing as "mistaken identity" in LEGAL and ETHICAL debt collections. None.

There is a little legal term called "due diligence" which is required of any lawyer taking action against anyone such as a lawsuit and the garnishment and siezure of money.

Face it, these are JUNK DEBT BUYERS who bought old, worthless paper on "debts" with little or no valid information on the actual debtor. They simply went after everyone with the same or similar name. This is what junk debt buyers and crackhead collectors do.

For the victim, SUE, SUE, SUE. Sue the hell out of them. You are entitled to sue for the FDCPA violations as well as for actual damages and costs. DO NOT let this slime get away with this.

And, file a BAR ASSOCIATION complaint against all lawyers involved. That was clearly reckless and/or blatant unethical conduct.

Don't get mad, get paid.


Michael wrote:>>
Mistaken Identity

I'm very sorry to hear about the situation with your parents.

I must state though, that the reason why the law office of Anne Thomas faxed over the letter stating the apology etc is simply because they realized a mistake and fixed it.

Mistakes do happen.

Example: My wife's social security number has been used for the last 14 years! That's right, 14 years, but her bureau is clean as a whistle. That doesn't mean that this nimrod who has been using her social security number isn't going to be nailed to the wall someday!

I have received a few calls asking for this person. I explained the situation and went on down the road.

I hope that everything has been resolved with your parents situation.

Michael - Tulsa, Oklahoma
U.S.A.
>>>>>
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Education for Michael the Calvalry Portfolio collector

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

Michael,

There is no such thing as "mistaken identity" in LEGAL and ETHICAL debt collections. None.

There is a little legal term called "due diligence" which is required of any lawyer taking action against anyone such as a lawsuit and the garnishment and siezure of money.

Face it, these are JUNK DEBT BUYERS who bought old, worthless paper on "debts" with little or no valid information on the actual debtor. They simply went after everyone with the same or similar name. This is what junk debt buyers and crackhead collectors do.

For the victim, SUE, SUE, SUE. Sue the hell out of them. You are entitled to sue for the FDCPA violations as well as for actual damages and costs. DO NOT let this slime get away with this.

And, file a BAR ASSOCIATION complaint against all lawyers involved. That was clearly reckless and/or blatant unethical conduct.

Don't get mad, get paid.


Michael wrote:>>
Mistaken Identity

I'm very sorry to hear about the situation with your parents.

I must state though, that the reason why the law office of Anne Thomas faxed over the letter stating the apology etc is simply because they realized a mistake and fixed it.

Mistakes do happen.

Example: My wife's social security number has been used for the last 14 years! That's right, 14 years, but her bureau is clean as a whistle. That doesn't mean that this nimrod who has been using her social security number isn't going to be nailed to the wall someday!

I have received a few calls asking for this person. I explained the situation and went on down the road.

I hope that everything has been resolved with your parents situation.

Michael - Tulsa, Oklahoma
U.S.A.
>>>>>
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Mistaken Identity

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

I'm very sorry to hear about the situation with your parents.

I must state though, that the reason why the law office of Anne Thomas faxed over the letter stating the apology etc is simply because they realized a mistake and fixed it.

Mistakes do happen.

Example: My wife's social security number has been used for the last 14 years! That's right, 14 years, but her bureau is clean as a whistle. That doesn't mean that this nimrod who has been using her social security number isn't going to be nailed to the wall someday!

I have received a few calls asking for this person. I explained the situation and went on down the road.

I hope that everything has been resolved with your parents situation.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

LOVED YOUR POST

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

You will also find some interesting tidbits on this organization under Bud Hibbs site budhibbs.com
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