If Unifund CCR, LLC has served you with a debt collection lawsuit, the end is not near. Like Cavalry Portfolio and Midland Funding, Unifund CCR, LLC is a junk debt buyer with a business model that relies on the fact that 95% of consumers won’t respond to their lawsuits. A huge portion of the debts Unifund sues on are past their statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the time period prescribed by law that a creditor has to sue you for a debt. In Georgia, this will be six years for most debts based on contracts.
Who Is Unifund CCR, LLC?
Unifund CCR, LLC is a company founded in 1986 for the purpose of buying up junk debts. Unifund buys up old charged-off debt from credit card companies, hospitals, cell phone companies, and even other debt collectors. For instance, you, along with thousands of others, had a credit card with Chase Bank, N.A. After a 4 months of default, Chase will charge-off the debt to get a tax write-off and sell a large portfolio of these loans to companies like Unifund. In fact, the original lender, Chase, will usually sell it to Midland Funding or another large debt buyer, who will then sell it to Unifund. Again, Unifund is one of the largest buyers of zombie debt, or debt that is past its statute of limitations in which they have no legal right to collect. The original creditor will often only sell a large spreadsheet with names, account numbers, and estimated final balances. Unifund CCR regularly makes debt collection phone calls from (888) 473-5021 and (888) 473-5021 and is located at:
10625 Techwoods Circle, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45242
How Much Does Unifund Pay For The Right to Sue You?
Debt buyers like Unifund pay only pennies on the dollar for zombie debt. Remember that junk debt buyers like Unifund and LVNV usually receive a spreadsheet of data from thousands of loans. The line with your information on it will probably have no supporting documentation that could serve as evidence at a trial against you. That’s one reason why the original creditor is willing to part with these debts for almost nothing. Companies like Unifund usually buy these debts for just 3% of the original balance.[note]http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1084961/000108496115000011/ecpg-20141231x10k.htm[/note] so they stand to make $1.00 for every 3 cents invested. What about the attorneys’ fees? Unifund adds those to the amount demanded in the complaint. The CEO of Unifund, David Rosenberg, has stated that Unifund generally pays 4 cents to 10 cents per dollar for old debt and recovers an average of about 20 cents, which amounts to a gross profit of around 150 to 200 percent.
What Should I Do if I’m Sued by Unifund CCR, LLC?
I would estimate that more than 95% of consumers who are sued by Unifund totally ignore the problem and never take any action to protect themselves. To win their lawsuit, Unifund has the burden of proving that they:
- have the right to sue you (that they own the debt they are suing on);
- that you owe the debt in the first place;
- and the amount you owe.
You’re almost guaranteed to save money by making them do one thing: PROVING THIER CASE. I’ve already included a link on how to answer a debt collection lawsuit. If you simply file a legally sufficient answer to the lawsuit within the time required and as listed on the summons served upon you, you drastically increase your chances of walking away without ever paying Unifund a dime. These zombie debt lawsuits usually wind up working out one of three ways: 1) you get the case dismissed; 2) you settle for some lump-sum payment equal to 25% to 75% of the amount demanded in the complaint; 3) or Unifund voluntarily dismisses its lawsuit against you.
If you answer the lawsuit with the help of a competent attorney, it’s much more likely that you will either settle for some amount far less than what was demanded, or the judge throws the case out for lack of evidence. You see, Unifund also has certain evidentiary problems even if the original creditor provided them with documentation to support their case. If Unifund attempts to introduce any credit card statements or account balances into evidence, they will have to have a records custodian present to testify as to how the records are processed and compiled and where the information came from. There’s a very good chance that Unifund will not have a qualified custodian to testify as to the authenticity of the documents to prove their case. Here are a few defenses that people use all the time to defeat Unifund:
- Debt buyer can’t prove that you owe the debt.
- Statute of limitations has passed (this is the deadline a creditor has to file a lawsuit against you. In Georgia, the statute of limitations is 6 years on written contracts and 4 years on open accounts, so credit cards will be 6 years from the date of your default. If you live in another state, please schedule a consultation with an attorney licensed in your state to advise you on the appropriate limitation period).
- Debt buyer has no way to prove that you owe them money.
- Debt buyer can’t prove that your debt was properly assigned to them or that they have the right to sue you.
- Sewer service.
- Inadmissible evidence – usually documents where no qualified records custodian is available to authenticate.
- Providing “robo-signed” or false affidavits regarding the consumer’s debt.
Some of these defenses are called affirmative defenses that MUST be pled in your answer or waived. You can also make certain counterclaims against the debt buyer, and one of the best ways to make a counterclaim against Unifund is under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA prevents any debt collector from collecting amounts that they are not expressly authorized to collect under the contract, and it also prevents debt collectors like Unifund CCR from using deceptive, false, or misleading representations in the course of collecting a debt. Fortunately, the test for whether a debt collector’s conduct is “deceptive,” “misleading,” “unconscionable,” or “unfair” under the FDCPA is NOT whether the particular consumer was deceived or misled; but rather, “whether the ‘least sophisticated consumer’ would have been deceived by the debt collector’s conduct.” [note]Crawford v. LVNV Funding, LLC, 758 F3d 1254, 1258 (II) (11th Cir. 2014).[/note] These aren’t just empty threats. Consumers can often win FDCPA counterclaims and collect damages against the debt buyers for making false statements in affidavits filed in the lawsuits. In fact, a federal district court in Ohio held that a debt collector made a materially false statement that it had personal knowledge of the consumer’s credit card
These aren’t just empty threats. Consumers can often win FDCPA counterclaims and collect damages against the debt buyers for making false statements in affidavits filed in the lawsuits. In fact, a federal district court in Ohio held that a debt collector who made a materially false statement in an affidavit by claiming that it had personal knowledge of the consumer’s credit card was liable to the debtor.