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I keep getting calls from a Mr.Butler at the "Law Office of Joel Cardis" in PA.

I'm in IL. He says it's for an $1800 debt I owe to a community college, also located in IL.

The debt is valid, I do owe it for tuition from last year. I have spoken to the college itself and am on a payment plan.

This "Mr.Butler" states each time he speaks with me that they will be taking legal action against me. I refuse to give him any kind of payment or any information on this matter. I told him that I had already made arrangments with the college to pay the debt. I stupidly set up pre-paid debit card payments with this "Law office" but after I found out that they were a collection agency and that I could deal with the school directly, I never made the payments.

The business office director at the college says that I do not have to deal with them and to ignore them, since I'm paying the school directly. She says they can't sue me without the school's permission... is this true?

Mr.Butler called me again today while I was on break from a meeting at work. When I told him that I couldn't speak to him at that very moment and would need to return the call later, he stated "I guess you have no intention of paying this debt so I know what needs to happen now and what legal measures we need to take..." and hung up on me.

I'm gonna call the school again tomorrow. What can I do about this?

Okay, please ask Mr. Butler to provide you with their communication address, so that you can send a cease and desist letter. Then you may indeed send a C&D letter mentioning that you're already in a payment plan and paying directly to the creditor.

Sub: #1 posted on Fri, 05/28/2010 - 11:35

(Posts: 3906 | Credits: 395.61)

Well, it seems to me that there are two problems at work here.

First, you have Mr. Butler.....he's breaking the FDCPA left and right with his threats and claims. Question though--is this a federal student loan or is it a private one? If it's federal, you have a different set of rules to go by.

And second, you have the college. You see, they are the creditor. They hire the debt collector to collect the money. As soon as they worked out a plan with you, they SHOULD have pulled the account back from the debt collector entirely. The fact that the guy still calls you and threatens you tells me that they have not done so. So, at this point, here's what I would do--since you have notified the college that their chosen debt collector is violating federal law, if they continue to allow this debt collector to work this account, then they can be held partially liable for these violations. If worse comes to worse, you could always tell the school that you will include them in the lawsuit unless they pull the account back from the collector the way they should have already done on their own. I did this one time with a medical creditor, but that turned out differently because the creditor had no such account on their file and according to their billing people they never hired the debt collector to collect from me on anything. But it took me contacting them and threatening to sue them before I was ever told this.

Sub: #2 posted on Sun, 05/30/2010 - 10:31

skydivr7673 skydivr7673
Moderators Cum Industry Expert
(Posts: 2037 | Credits: 579.66)

What you are missing skydivr is that when a creditor hires a CA, they do so under contract. If the school setting up a payment plan in some cases is a violation of this contract. If they do set it up, payments still are credited to the collection agencies account.

The business office may not be the office to talking to....when I was at the University of Minnesota the business office would tell students one thing, when in fact it was the collection department who was responsible for the placement of the accounts. Once the collection office place the account with the CA, we did not get involved and any previous payment plans were voided.

Sub: #3 posted on Sun, 05/30/2010 - 19:20

Moderators Cum Industry Expert
(Posts: 17210 | Credits: 4746.28)

It isn't a student loan... it's $1800 that I owe for tuition that I never paid. It is owed to the school, not a loan company.

The school originally sent it to Trans World Systems to collect on... now I'm getting calls from this Joel Cardis. I spoke with the school today and they are fine with me paying them directly. I want to send a C&D letter but I'm not sure how to do it or what to put in the letter. I just want them to stop calling and threatening me with leagal action. It scares the crap out of me!

Sub: #4 posted on Tue, 06/01/2010 - 23:48


First, you have rights in the collection process. You need to send the cease and desist letter. You also in the same letter send what is called a validation of the debt. If you google "validation of the debt letter" you will find all kinds of letter you can copy. In the last paragraph of the letter, state that until you receive validation of the debt, they by FDCPA (Fair Debt Collections Practices Act), they must cease and desist all phone calls. By law, they have 30 days to stop collection activities until they send you this information. In the meantime, get to the school and tell them you want to pay them and how can you work it out with them. Most schools just want their money. Send the letter, it will stop the phone calls.

Sub: #5 posted on Mon, 06/07/2010 - 23:20


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