Would these invoices be fraudulent?

Or, One Unclean Hand Washes The Other?

Reddit thread begins here:

The Redditor elaborates here:

And here, too, in a longer post.

And here’s where he accuses them of having unclean hands:

So, my question has two parts:

Were those invoices live_for_coffee sent fraudulent?

Assuming they were, and assuming the debt collector really was trying to collect an already-paid debt, would those invoices have hurt live_for_coffee in court?

Is it even possible that the invoices are legitimate? I know people like the idea of telling an annoying company “call me again and it’s $xx/min” but I cannot fathom that anyone would actually expect a bill to be paid, nor that the law would support such a claim.

Of course, if the debt collector violated the FDCPA, they can be sued for $1,000 plus fees, no phony bills required. If you intend to sue for breach of FDCPA, you probably shouldn’t be accepting their calls for a presumed fee, you should demand they cease communication, and log any further calls as evidence for your suit.

Why would they be fraudulent? Have they claimed anything that isn’t true? It sounds to me that they are simply setting up a verbal contract. Now, granted, there may be some law about collecting debts that would make the contract void, but why would attempting to collect at all be fraud?

The only way I can think it would be is if “debt consultant” is an occupation that requires some sort of license. But then I’d just list a different occupation.

Not, I’m not a lawyer, and I’m not even attempting to give legal advice. I’m attempting to understand the logic that would possibly make this action illegal.

For a contract to be valid, both sides must agree to it. I can’t say, “If you read any further in this post, it’s a $100 fee.”

You must do something positive to agree to the contract; the debt collector has to agree to the terms in one way or another, and the agreement has to be made by someone in the company who is authorized to make such an agreement.

So since there’s no contract, any billing is null and void. Not exactly illegal (though it could be, depending on circumstances), but with no legal force, either.

IANAL, but the “and that further contact will be regarded as a consent for such charges.” part of the statement at least attempts to address this objection.

You can’t unilaterally state that something is consent. You have to have agreement, namely someone on the other side saying OK, not just the other side ignoring your ridiculous demands.

Add to that the fact that a debt collector has a right to contact a debtor. The debtor can’t charge them a fee for that contact.

Although, charging my mortgage company 100 grand per letter might get me out of debt pretty quick… Step one, stop making payments.

Is there any connection/support from EULA click-through agreements? Continue speaking/click to continue.

I’ve never called a toll-operated number (900, I think), but don’t those start with a minute of intro followed by a similar message?