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Suttell and Associates: How to deal with them?

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Around the first of the year my girlfriend received a letter from Suttell & Associates indicating that they were collecting ~$1000 relating a Capital One credit card. We were unaware of any debt.

- Within 30 days she sent Suttell & Associates a debt validation letter requesting validation of the debt.

- In response they sent her 2 credit card statements indicating a balance due of ~$600 and behind 5 and 6 payments. I did notice on the 2 past due statements that they were being sent to an old apartment number in the same apartment complex (I suspect my girlfriend forgot to update her apartment number when she changed apartments so never received the notices). The past due statements were approx 1 year old. This balance, along with interest led to the ~$1000 owed. This is all the validation they sent. They failed to provide other key information requested, specifically they did not document or show that the statute of limitations had not expired and they did not provide any documentation indicating that she agreed to pay what they say she owed and was obligated to pay the debt. I have no idea what they are required to send but presumably this would the credit card application (at a minimum) an preferably a statement showing the charges that led to the balance and some proof she authorized the charges (she only had a $500 limit on the card). I don't believe it is sufficient for them to just send a past due statement.

- A week later she was "served" with papers indicating a lawsuit would be filed if she did not respond with a "defense" within 20 days.

- We sent Suttell & Associates another letter pointing out they had neglected to provide adequate debt validation, we highlighted the missing items, and again requested adequate validation of the debt. We told them we could not reply with a "defense" in anything but hypothetical terms until they properly validated the debt. We told them we had tried to contact Capital One, but that Capital One told us we needed to contact the collection agency and that the collection agency was required to provide us with all documentation.

- A month later we recieved some documents in the mail from Suttell & Associates indicating a lawsuit had been filed and included a court date, etc.

- Yesterday we recieved another set of documents confirming the court date. Also, what we found interesting was they provided additional documents in the court documents (no mention that this was in response to our request for debt validation) showing an application for a credit card. HOWEVER, this was someone else's application, not my girlfriend's application. I assume they sent this by mistake. It also included this other person's credit card balance and final statement. Also, in the court documents they indicate we had not responsed to their summons. This is a flat out lie as we have a return receipt for both letters that we sent Suttell & Associates requesting validation of the debt so we know they received the letters.

- We called Suttell & Associates and asked why they had not sent us the debt validation we had requested. They forwarded us to the voice mail of someone in their "legal department". We left a message but they have not responded.

What concerns me about this process is that Suttell & Associates appears to be ignoring all of our requests so that they can pad their fees. We are finding this very frustrating as we simply want validation of the debt. We have no idea how a credit card with a $500 limit has ballooned to a balance of $1000+ and growing. If we legally owe it we will pay, but it seems very unreasonable for a debt collector not to sent us any real information to validate the debt. We tried to call capital one to find out what charges led to the $600 past due (that would really help us know if there were fraudulent charges that led to the balance as we thought it was paid off) and they refused to provide any information, telling us that we had to get the information from the collection agency.

A side note, my cousin (my father's sister's son) is actually the CEO of capital one. He is a very busy guy and I have only spoken to him a few times but I am tempted to contact him about this and let him know how ridiculous this process has been and how much time we have wasted trying to figure out what is going on relating to a card with a tiny $500 limit that has ballooned into a balance of $1750 now that Suttell & Associates is padding the bill with all these unreasonable fees now that they have filed suit.

Do you all have any suggestions? I am wondering if we should contact the Washington State Attorney General as Suttell & Associates seems to be in violation of fdcpa.




At this point I would suggesting serving them with requests for the same documentation that they have or have yet to provide during discovery. If they fail to provide you with the documentation they would not be able to show cause for their suit and you can motion for it to be dismissed with prejudice.

As to why they cannot provide it, perhaps they purchased the debt from Capital One or another debt buyer and at times they may not have much to go on, or maybe the fees they tacked on are outside of legally acceptable standards and don't want you to know about it.

Sub: #1 posted on Sat, 06/07/2008 - 14:30

JCEMT JCEMT
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(Posts: 2934 | Credits: 192.01)

Assuming they do not reply, how do we motion for it to be dismissed? Do we go to court and motion there? My girlfriend doesn't want to deal with the hassle of going to court. We just want to know what led to this debt and assuming it doesn't relate to fraudulent charges, i.e. we owe it, just pay it and be done with it. But the costs they are adding seem ridiculous, particularly the court related costs.

Sub: #2 posted on Sat, 06/07/2008 - 14:36

tomdav tomdav

(Posts: 2 | Credits: 7.84)

Type up a formal motion for dismissal. You can usually obtain information and templates on how to type that up correctly at your local civil court website. :)

Sub: #3 posted on Sat, 06/07/2008 - 16:29

Shazzers Shazzers
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(Posts: 17341 | Credits: 1592.88)

JCEMT

A request was for validation was sent and Suttell and Associates
failed to validate.

A 20 day notice was sent indicating they would sue if no response was sent.
A request for PROPER calidation was sent again.
Suit was filed. Is this not a violation and Tomdav could file a countersuit for the $1,000 along with the request for dismissal.

Right?

Sub: #4 posted on Sun, 06/08/2008 - 10:30

Unregistered


A collection agency is not permitted by law to add fees and interest to a debt either unless they have hired an attorney. In that case it would be the attorney contacting you!

Sub: #5 posted on Sun, 06/08/2008 - 11:06

Frogpatch Frogpatch
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(Posts: 5381 | Credits: 652.52)

Cellular, if validation was sent and they responded with contact us within 20 days then yes it could be construed as continued collection activity after validation was requested. If the request was sent before validation then it could be overshadowing. So either way I'd say it's a violation.

Sub: #6 posted on Sun, 06/08/2008 - 11:22

JCEMT JCEMT
Moderators
(Posts: 2934 | Credits: 192.01)

If you live in Washington State double check on Suttell and Associates Collection License. They don't have one for this state. Therefore if they are collecting for a 3rd party, they are doing so illegally. If they bought the debt for themselves, then they are committing fraud for misrepresenting a 3rd party.

Sub: #7 posted on Mon, 06/09/2008 - 09:47

Unregistered


I have read over the posts of each person here and found some valueable information here.

However,

I can really use some advice into my present situation. I recall receiving a notice from Suttell and Associates. The notice was the standard 30 day notice as tomdav and his girlfriend received. However, I put it aside and didnt respond to the 30 day notice. I completely forgot about it and now (this past sunday) I got served with a summons meaning, that I have 20 days to respond with my defense in writing or a lawsuit would be filed.

This is where im currently sitting at and would like to know what you all recommend I should do next.

I'm working on checking their collection license but being that I have never done something like this before, its a pain to find the information that I need. Any help that I could get would be appreciated.

Sub: #8 posted on Sun, 06/22/2008 - 22:05

Unregistered


sorry all for the double posts. im new to this site and had a few problems with my IE browser. One of the posts can be deleted. my guest username was twindy. now i have been assigned drjmspence.

Thanks for understanding and I hope everyone here can help me out.

Sub: #9 posted on Sun, 06/22/2008 - 22:20

drjmspence drjmspence

(Posts: 7 | Credits: 3.38)

So did your GF have a Cap1 acct? I ask because from looking at your original post:

Around the first of the year my girlfriend received a letter from Suttell & Associates indicating that they were collecting ~$1000 relating a Capital One credit card. We were unaware of any debt.

- Within 30 days she sent Suttell & Associates a debt validation letter requesting validation of the debt.

- In response they sent her 2 credit card statements indicating a balance due of ~$600 and behind 5 and 6 payments. I did notice on the 2 past due statements that they were being sent to an old apartment number in the same apartment complex (I suspect my girlfriend forgot to update her apartment number when she changed apartments so never received the notices).

If she did have a Cap1 acct, how could she "forget"?

Anyway...she is being sued. She needs to worry more about preparing a defense and less about fdcpa violations. If they did violate then she can answer the suit with counterclaims but from your post, I don't see a violation. Cap1 keeps excellent records and very rarely sells off bad debt while still w/in SOL. If the statements they sent were on Cap1's letterhead and not Suttell's, then their validation falls w/in FDCPA standards.

Sub: #10 posted on Mon, 06/23/2008 - 06:44

Unregistered


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