Interesting collection letter


B

brianlanning

Hi everyone. We discharged around april of this year (2005). Just
before that, we got this weird letter from a collection agency talking
about a security interest in something we bought at best buy. The
wording in the letter didn't mention anything specifically. But it
sounded like they thought there was one big purchase or something that
they were trying to make us think they were holding as collateral. Of
course, there wasn't any one big item, it was a lot of little things
over a few years. Our lawyer at the time asked for a list of what they
were talking about and got no response. Shortly after the dischage, we
got another letter that said basically the same thing. A couple weeks
ago, we got a "second notice" saying exactly the same thing. This
account was definitly discharged with the bk. We're in illinois. My
mother (who recently did a florida bk) says that in florida, there's a
law that says that if any creditor comes after you following a bk,
you're entitled to a $10,000 punitive fine type thing per incident.
She suggested that illinois might have a similar law (I doubt it) and
that I should look into it.

My first question for everyone is, what the heck are these people up
to? And secondly, does illinois have a law like this? Thanks.

brian
 
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J

JoblessDave

brianlanning said:
Hi everyone. We discharged around april of this year (2005). Just
before that, we got this weird letter from a collection agency talking
about a security interest in something we bought at best buy. The
wording in the letter didn't mention anything specifically. But it
sounded like they thought there was one big purchase or something that
they were trying to make us think they were holding as collateral. Of
course, there wasn't any one big item, it was a lot of little things
over a few years. Our lawyer at the time asked for a list of what they
were talking about and got no response. Shortly after the dischage, we
got another letter that said basically the same thing. A couple weeks
ago, we got a "second notice" saying exactly the same thing. This
account was definitly discharged with the bk. We're in illinois. My
mother (who recently did a florida bk) says that in florida, there's a
law that says that if any creditor comes after you following a bk,
you're entitled to a $10,000 punitive fine type thing per incident.
She suggested that illinois might have a similar law (I doubt it) and
that I should look into it.

My first question for everyone is, what the heck are these people up
to? And secondly, does illinois have a law like this? Thanks.
Some creditors that sell consumer goods require buyers to sign a writing
that grants the seller a "purchase money security interest" in the item
being purchased. A PMSI is like a lien on an automobile in that it allows
the creditor to repossess the collateral if the buyer fails to pay. A valid
PMSI can not be stripped off the collateral by a bankruptcy proceeding.

I don't know much about Illinois law. But I think you'd first have to
determine whether this creditor is trying to collect a discharged debt, or
properly trying to recover its collateral. Do the post-discharge letters
demand reaffirmation or payment?
 
B

brianlanning

A PMSI is like a lien on an automobile in that it allows
the creditor to repossess the collateral if the buyer fails to pay.
This was a revolving account. We were frequently doing the six month
no interest type arrangements, but nothing was ever more than a few
hundred dollars. And IIRC all of those arrangements were paid
completely before we ran into problems. We stopped buying from best
buy at least a year before we stopped paying because things were so
tight. I really can't remember the details at this point though.
Do the post-discharge letters demand reaffirmation or payment?
I haven't looked a the letter meself, my wife has been talking to me
about it. I think they are asking for reaffirmation or payment. But
they never describe what it is we're supposed to reaffirm on, or an
actual amount other than the entire balance from the old card with all
the penalties and interest. You'd think they'd have a serial number or
at least a description. Any why didn't they show up at the trustee
meeting demanding this object? The whole thing feels like a scam
designed to trick people into reaffirming on old debts. Maybe they
don't know what it was. Maybe this is some sort of loophole they've
found to be able to try to collect after a discharge. The interesting
thing is that they never call. And we've had the same phone number for
the last 8 years, it's not like they can't find us.

Whatever it is they're after, they're free to repo it any time they
like. That is, if we still have it. It could be the old worn-out
washing machine we abandoned with the repoed house. :)

brian
 
J

Johnny

brianlanning said:
This was a revolving account. We were frequently doing the six month
no interest type arrangements, but nothing was ever more than a few
hundred dollars. And IIRC all of those arrangements were paid
completely before we ran into problems. We stopped buying from best
buy at least a year before we stopped paying because things were so
tight. I really can't remember the details at this point though.


I haven't looked a the letter meself, my wife has been talking to me
about it. I think they are asking for reaffirmation or payment. But
they never describe what it is we're supposed to reaffirm on, or an
actual amount other than the entire balance from the old card with all
the penalties and interest. You'd think they'd have a serial number or
at least a description. Any why didn't they show up at the trustee
meeting demanding this object?
If this debt was listed in the bankruptcy petition, and they did not show at
the trustee meeting, I do not see where you owe them anything, secured or
unsecured, assuming they were notified per procedure.
 
N

none

Ignore the letter. They send out those letters hoping people will
contact them to pay for a discharged debt. Both my girlfriend and I
filed separately and included 2 different Best Buy CC accounts. We both
received almost an identical letter. We both ignored them. We have
heard nothing since. My discharge was Oct. 2003.

For a secured creditor to actually claim the property, there are a
number of steps that have to be taken, and in the case of most consumer
goods you purchase at Best Buy, it is not worth the time and $$$ for
them to actually follow through. The only difference is autos.
Obviously, there is significant chance to recover some of the money owed
on a vehicle as there is a large market for used autos.

When I received my letter, I was worried myself that they wanted to take
my Playstation 2, big screen TV, cell phones, etc - all which were
purchased on the BB card but covered under my exemptions. When I asked
my attorney, he said "Ignore it. They don't want your stuff. How many
Best Buy stores do you see selling used or confiscated electronics."
 
D

DanRB

In this newsgroup, check out the topic/thread above, posted on 11/01/05,
with the subject heading: "Lien vs Debt in Chap 7"

It's the same issue, coming from the same company -- Best Buy.
 
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D

Dave Zass

In this newsgroup, check out the topic/thread above, posted on 11/01/05,
with the subject heading: "Lien vs Debt in Chap 7"

It's the same issue, coming from the same company -- Best Buy.
Correct, and that was moi.

They tried to pressure me into paying a "reduced fee" to keep it off of my
credit report. As mentioned by many of the information providers in this
ng, tell them to stop contacting you. The legal cost to recover an item is
not worth their time or money. He had no idea what the "item" was and
didn't care. They are just hoping that people send them money.

After I told the CA to stop contacting me, they did. He huffed and puffed
and threatened, but I haven't heard from them since.
 
B

brianlanning

We've sort of decided to ignore them. We'll see if they take it any
farther. Like I said, they haven't tried to call yet.

brian
 
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D

Dave Zass

We've sort of decided to ignore them. We'll see if they take it any
farther. Like I said, they haven't tried to call yet.
I called after I received their third letter. The letters were worded in a
way to ask "who they should contact in order to get possession of their
item". I figured I would be cordial and at least tell them that I was that
person and that the item no longer existed. The Best Buy balance was about
$150, which had ballooned to $850, according to the person on the phone. He
wanted $250 from me immediately, in order to prevent them from placing a
"mark" on my credit for the entire $850. I explained that the camera's lcd
screen had been broken, the camera was not worth repairing and discarded,
and I was no longer responsible for the BB balance, regardless of the new
amount.

He kept talking in circles, with his sole purpose to either give him a
credit card number or having me mail him a check. I told him I no longer
had the camera, end of story.
 

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