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View Diary: This will be my first diary. It is a tale of mortgages, thugs, and police. (23 comments)

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  •  My father did not press charges yet. (6+ / 0-)

    The police did take their information off their driver's licenses. The police did not arrest them, as yet.  We will press charges later so that we can have all information ready for a potential lawsuit so that we have the threat of potential jail time as leverage.

    •  One important caveat: (6+ / 0-)

      While I am not familiar with the law in Georgia, in many states it is illegal for a person to use the threat of criminal charges (or the agreement not to seek them) to gain financial or other advantage.

      I'm very sorry to read of what has happened to you and your family, and wish you the best. I agree with the suggestion to contact your local Legal Aid Society. Another option is to contact the county bar association, as they may have a program that provides an initial free or low-cost consultation.

      Good luck!

    •  Could you not press charges first and let (7+ / 0-)

      the police begin to prosecute them, then look for the info/lawyer to press civil charges?

      As I see it (with my not-a-lawyer eyes) a police investigation beginning now could nail down some evidence and perhaps keep these people from skipping town or re-organizing their corporate structure (which could make pinning down liability harder).

      An excellent legal-reference site is the Cornell Legal Information Institute  --  http://www.law.cornell.edu/

      I went to the Cornell site and searched on 'Debt Collection'.   In the list of cases and portions of Federal law I saw a summary of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; here's a portion of that page.

      http://www.law.cornell.edu/...

      Preliminarily, the FDCPA generally applies only to third party debt collectors; the statutory scheme was not intended to cover the conduct of the original creditor. However, some states, such as California, have enacted consumer protection statutes that provide broader coverage than the FDCPA, and they may include the conduct of the original creditor within their sweep. The FDCPA permits such state laws. See 15 U.S.C. § 1692n.

      “The FDCPA broadly prohibits a debt collector from using ‘any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt.’ 15 U.S.C. § 1692e.” Dunlap v. Credit Protection Ass'n, L.P., 419 F.3d 1011, 1012 (9th Cir. 2005). The statute enumerates several examples of such practices, 15 U.S.C. § 1692e, as well as several examples of unfair practices, 15 U.S.C. § 1692f. The FDCPA also provides, for example, that debt collectors may not harass or annoy debtors, may not threaten debtors with arrest, and may not threaten legal action unless litigation actually is being contemplated. See 15 U.S.C. §1692d. Additionally, in their first communication with the consumer, debt collectors are required “to notify debtors about their ability to challenge the validity of a debt and to provide other basic information..” Foti v. NCO Financial Systems, Inc., 424 F.Supp.2d 643, 653 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) (citing 15 U.S.C. §1692g). This includes informing the debtor of his or her right to ask the collection agency to “validate” the debt.

      I hadn't visited Cornell for some time, and I was surprised that their 'front page' had ads  down the side for attorneys local to me, each ad listing the type(s) of law they practiced.  Debt Collections Act page quoted above, the ads changed to local attorneys who practice 'Collections'.  That may be a help to you in itself.

      Since you plan to press charges, I wonder if it would be possible to talk to someone in the Prosecutor's office for ideas about which case to start first.

      •  Criminal culpability brings, automatically, civil (5+ / 0-)

        liability. On the other hand, most victims wisely pass it over because so many of the perps are "judgment proof".

        But I have to tell you that this whole story sounds really, really screwy to me. I might change my mind if I wanted to research Georgia law. But in the majority of jurisdictions, I would simple never leave personal property on real estate that I had allowed to go to foreclosure auction. That would definitely be flirting with "abandonment" issues.

        Hope that this is helpful.

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 07:34:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We were not leaving it there. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1, martini, worldlotus

          We were trying to get our possessions off.  And they had never told us that we were evicted and we never signed the deed over to anyone.  We never "abandoned" the property.

          And even so, that doesn't apply to the vehicles or the sheds.  They were ours 100% and they had no right to try to sell them.  Especially when the land was still our property according to the law.

          And the house was not being foreclosed on.  We had agreed with them to trade the land and the house for annulment of the mortgage.

          •  From what you say, I can't tell if this was a (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CroneWit, worldlotus

            Forclosure, a Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure, or something that I've never even heard of. There is no requirement that you give up Title if you have, otherwise, lost it, and, whichever way you lose it, it's still no longer your real estate.

            So, if it's no longer yours, how do you still have the right to store your cars, etc. there. If you come park your car on my land, you and I are definitely going to have an issue about what's going on.

            If you have a mortgage, you have to pay.

            If you can't pay,you have to try to work out some other arrangement.

            If you can't work something out, you just have to leave. I'm sorry!

            There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

            by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 09:13:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, also, "Legal Services" is more commonly the (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        martini, marina, CroneWit, worldlotus

        federally funded program to assist indigent persons with general (non criminal) legal problems. "Legal Aid", at least where I'm from, deals more with "Family Law" issues. (And, yes, I do have a Juris Doctorate Degree.)

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 07:43:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  contact the cops again. File charges (0+ / 0-)

      trespass now, then attach charges for destruction of property, theft and attempted fraud (selling cars they didn't own).

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 09:11:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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