Accepted For Value

I have been reading about a way to get out of debt or to tell collections agencies to get lost using something called “Accepted for Value”. What exactly is this all about? And is it real, or just another wacky idea with no basis in reality?

PS - I am certain it’s the latter (that it’s a load of hogwash), but I’d like to see an explanation as to why it’s hogwash…

Hopefully, a lawyer-type can provide more specifics, but the general principle is just that a creditor might cancel your debt if you can pay part of it right away. In other words, if I owe you $10,000 and come to you and say “Look, if I declare bankruptcy you’ll get nothing. How about I give you $1,000 and you accept [settle the debt] for value [of $1,000 that I’m giving you].” Or you might say “I can’t afford my car payments. Why don’t you just repossess the car and we’ll call it even?”

If they agree, they give up all rights to collect the remaining debt because they have accepted your offer. In contract law, it is often necessary that something of value be given to make it an enforceable contract. By giving them anything of value, you essentially cement the contract.

But the creditor must be willing to accept the offer. It’s like saying “You could legally buy a house for $1!” Sure you can, if you find someone willing to sell for that. Merely making the offer doesn’t compel them to do what you want. That’s where the hogwash comes in.

It’s crackpottery, pure and simple. I see it coming across my desk on a regular basis and it just gets filed away.

The people who put forward this idea have managed to convince themselves that there are "Magic Legal Words"™ - that if they say certain magic words, that only they and a select few know about, they are freed of all debts, they don’t have to obey the laws, and anyone who doesn’t appreciate that owes them $10 million dollars.

As dracoi posts, the phrase “Accepted for Value” does have a meaning in commercial law - but it is itself a form of contract, where one party offers something and the other accepts it. The crackpots who have latched onto “Accepted for Value” think that they if they write a document with those words, get it notarised, and send it to their creditor or the government, their debts /taxes are automatically extinguished. Of course, if that’s all it takes, you have to ask: why isn’t everyone doing it?

Actually, it has zero legal significance for their debts or taxes, but it may have a legal effect that they’re not anticipating: it may lead to criminal charges of fraud, forgery, or other types of commercial deceit.

As always, this is not intended as legal advice, but simply to comment on a matter of public interest. If you’re really interested in this issue, you should consult a lawyer in your jurisdiction, and definitely not rely on something posted on a message board.

It’s that wacky thing you mentioned. It’s analogous to, and often epoused by the same people, that think that if you’re on trial and the flag in the courtroom has a gold braid all you have to do is state “I refuse to accept the authority of an Admiralty Court.” and it’s ollee ollee oxen free. There’s a word for those kind of people. Inmates.

Thanks for the responses so far. I have no personal stake in this idea, myself, as I am not under threat of collections. (I pay my bills on time and have no problem managing my debts.) But I work in the collections department of a utility company, and we’ve been seeing a few people try this dodge lately. We forward these to our legal department; I am told that they have been having a good laugh over it. :slight_smile:

As I said, when I get them I file them away in the appropriate file, in case the [del]nutjob[/del] litigant ever tries to refer to them in the future. However, unless he’s actually filed them with a court or a taxing authority, I usually ignore them.

They often include a fingerprint as their “seal”. Recently, I got one where they had actually put a drop of their “life-blood” on as their seal. Creepy - I avoided touching it…but it did provoke some merriment in our office.

Well, I have a in-law who sprung a hundred dollars for a book called Dissolve Your Debt - something like that. They tell you that the IRS has created a “straw man” of everyone and each one has something like two million dollars in an account that can be used if you know this arcane, magical incantation as it were: you have to write/print at a 45 degree angle (on the bill/statement that you wish paid) in BLUE (only or the mo-jo is weak) “Accepted for Value No Levy Due…” then your "account number (SSN!) in RED ink as it is the color of “blood” or some-such. So you do this up and get this - MAIL it Certified to… the flippin Internal Revenue Service. Supposedly if you did it right and the planets align, etc - they will never tell you word one but your next statement will magically show a zero balance. I am not joking - I checked the three EXCLUSIVE addresses that must be used. They really are IRS facilities! One resource I found says that this crap is a known scam, called a SIGHT DRAFT. The IRS says that these are illegal and that they prosecute VIGOROUSLY. This in-law has gone outlaw, having smugly and boastfully sent at least three “Accepted for Values” - one to each IRS location. So - am I right? is ol’ Dad the smart-a** going to eventually get some shiny bracelets and a hefty fine if not actual incarceration? Also, just Google “Accepted for Value” and/or “No Levy Due”. The sites you’ll find are shocking in the stuff they preach and just the damned smugness and attitude of these… what can best be called parasites. They want to live in this system and enjoy the benefits, but when they must pay up, they want to cry that they are “sovereign citizens” and that they’ll sue, etc. One tater-head actually claims that they told-off a motorcycle cop that they weren’t DRIVING, they were traveling and as such are immune from traffic laws, etc and that they’d sue the officer. He supposedly went away flustered and without writing a ticket. Will post again if the feds hang smartypants out to dry. Please reply if you are in the know on this scam or especially if you do work for the IRS! Thanks!

My guess is that if all he did was send in a weird piece of paper to the IRS, then he probably won’t get tossed in jail or even fined (for that). Just as if I sent the IRS some paper with my shopping list or the Lord’s Prayer or a quote from Thoreau on it, they’d ignore it (or like Piper file it in case the nutjob brings it up later). But of course, the weird paper won’t do anything do any of his debts, so there might be fines coming his way for nonpayment…

This sounded pretty odd so I Googled a few pages and… wow. Bat-shit doesn’t begin to describe it. Apparently the reason your birth certificate has your name in ALL CAPITALS is because it actually refers to your Secret Government Straw Man, or something. (My eyes started to glaze over by this point.)

Can you elaborate on that a little?

It seems odd that anyone could face criminal charges for sending someone (non-threatening) nonsense.

My favorite piece of this type of batship was a web page that stated that the whole U.S. is controlled out of 55 Water Street in Manhattan.

It just so happened that I belonged to a group of New York Unix admins who had their monthly meeting 55 Waters Street.

DenAuffen, here’s another more recent thread that we had on related issues: Freeman on the Land - opting out of society.

And, as an example of how this kind of silliness can lead to troubles with the IRS, read about Wesley Snipes’ conviction and three year sentence: Those federal blood-suckers took down Blade!

This link may clear some issues up for you.

That’s hilarious.

It is a parody site, right?

Back in the 60s and 70s it was “common knowledge” that if you wrote “paid in full” on the memo line of a check, and the other party cashed it, then they were automatically agreeing that whatever amount you wrote on the check really was the full payment and they would never, ever bother you again.

It’s a sad note that our increasingly bureaucratic society has forced the nutjobs to come up with the archly legalistic “accepted for value” instead of the more folksy and clear-sounding “paid in full.”

I blame Microsoft.

Didn’t have a chance to respond to this back in August.

The most common reason that these sorts of documents might cause criminal problems is that they can be fraudulent. Fraud doesn’t depend on the document being used in a threatening way.

If someone puts together a false document, and puts it into the chain of commerce, in the hopes that it will be acted upon, it may well be a breach of various fraud or uttering false paper offences. Whether this is so, will of course vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Now, these documents look like kook-a-luke stuff - but if the person issues them, in the hopes that someone will accept them (e.g. - to wipe out a debt), they may be illegal.

For example, here’s a recent story of one of these sovereign citizen types who is in trouble for entering fictitious liens against people’s property:

Ulster County’s ‘paper terrorism’ suspect charged with more scams:

So, both state and federal charges are pending against the guy for issuing fake documents, even though they sound like crazy fake docs. Even crazy fakes can cause real-life trouble, such as the allegation that the documents in this case have affected the credit ratings of the targetted individuals.

I know this is an old thread, but I found some of the comments very amusing. You all laugh, but it is true that there are sovereign citizens…I happen to know for a fact that they’re are nearly 40 in my state of MN alone. Not familiar with the process, but I wonder what benefits that entails except for not paying SS. Also, There’s a difference between claiming something accepted for value as a corporation, and then being a sovereign person. Two very different things…I happen to know claiming things accepted for value exists if you turn yourself into a corporation.

And it’s easy to say “I googled this”, but I guarantee people who have it actually figured out, don’t go posting about it on the internet :wink: So it’s easy to spend time laughing, and huffing and puffing, I used to think it was all conspiracy myself, until I met some people and learned some stuff that made me all too curious.

I know for a fact the Federal Government disagrees with them on the issue of the existence of ‘Sovereign Citizens’. Guess whose authority is controlling in this matter.

Then why isn’t everyone doing it?

Not as much as you may think, at least in the context of this thread.

So… what? Do they write books, instead, or is it more of a cabal and apprenticeship kind of thing? How do people find out how to do it if there is no reference information available to them?

What? What happened that made you ‘all too curious’?

And how do the people at the IRS know how to handle these requests and then not all do this themselves, and for their families? Do you know how many people work for the IRS, for gods’ sake?