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How to Beat Bay Area Receivables

Dena Standley | March 06, 2023

Beating Bay Area Receivables in court feels like this ^^

Summary: Bay Area Receivables (BAR) is a debt collection agency that will not hesitate to sue you for past-due debts. BAR doesn’t have the greatest reputation, so it’s important to know your rights when dealing with its debt collection representatives. Use SoloSuit to fight off BAR debt collectors and win in court.

A debt collection agency can purchase your debt if you've fallen behind on payments for months or years. Many companies find chasing unpaid accounts difficult, so they sometimes hire an individual or company to follow up on it or sell the debt. Bay Area Receivables is one company that buys long-standing debt, usually for pennies on the dollar.

Third-party agencies are a special breed; their only concern is collecting your money using whatever tactics they can find. They use these methods to harass and pressure you into paying—but the law protects you as the consumer. Today, SoloSuit will share the following information to help you beat Bay Area Receivables:

  • How Bay Area Receivables operates
  • Your legal rights when dealing with them
  • How to respond to a lawsuit in case they sue you
  • How to settle the debt outside court

Let’s dive right in.

What is Bay Area Receivables, and how does it work?

Bay Area Receivables (BAR) is a third-party debt collection agency that helps collect for commercial and consumer businesses, medical accounts, and legal debts. Among their specialties are activity reporting, credit bureau reporting, litigation services, debt recovery, competitive rates, pre-collection programs, and online payment options

According to Better Business Bureau (BBB), Bay Area Receivables Inc. was established in 1989 and serves the Delmarva Peninsula and surrounding areas of Maryland. The company acquired Delmarva Collection Inc. in July 2020.

BAR is also known for purchasing old debts from creditors at a discounted rate and reaching out to consumers to collect the full debt amount.

Bay Area Receivables can be contacted at the following:

714 Eastern Shore Drive, Salisbury, Maryland 21804
P.O. Box 3535 Salisbury
Phone: 410-860-1600

Are there any complaints against Bay Area Receivables?

Yes. As of 2022, the Better Business Bureau website reports 33 complaints against Bay Area Receivables in the last three years, with less than half of those complaints being resolved. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website has received more than 100 complaints against Bay Area Receivables, Inc. over the past ten years, ranking 977 for reported complaints. The following is a recent complaint in the CFPB database regarding their operations:

“I have filed collection disputes with credit bureaus, with documentation showing the debt was paid before going to collections. The company refuses to remove debt despite the receipts and invoices of amounts paid.”

Know your rights when Bay Area Receivables contacts you

It is illegal for BAR to harass or threaten you when collecting a debt under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Also, the CFPB's new Debt Collection Rule went into effect on November 30, 2021.

It clarifies what information the debt collectors must provide at the start of collection, how consumers can exercise their rights, and how to communicate with Bay Area Receivables. Part of your rights is the legal authority to send Bay Area Receivables a Debt Validation Letter.

The Bay Area collection company must show proof of your debt after receiving the letter. More advantages to sending the letter include:

  • You will know precisely what you owe–or you may owe nothing if they can’t prove the debt belongs to you.
  • It may put an end to them harassing you by phone and email.
  • It forces them to report the disputed debt, which may improve your credit score.
  • They may give up pursuing the debt after receiving the letter.

Other consumer rights under the FDCPA that protects you from BAR are:

  • Debt collectors cannot call you multiple times a day for the same debt.
  • Debt collectors must identify themselves and answer all your questions.
  • Debt collectors cannot call your friends, colleagues, or family members regarding your debt.
  • Debt collectors cannot threaten to confiscate your documents.
  • Debt collectors cannot threaten you with arrest or a lawsuit.
  • Debt collectors cannot use vulgar or abusive language when discussing your debt with you.
  • Debt collectors cannot call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Debt collectors cannot pretend to be attorneys, government agencies, or the police.

Use these steps to respond to Bay Area Receivables lawsuit

In cases of nonpayment, BAR may sue you, and it's essential to answer any lawsuit against you, regardless of whether or not you owe the debt. You have 14–30 days to reply once you receive a Summons and Complaint. If you (the defendant) don't respond or fail to show up in court, Bay Area Receivables (plaintiff) can seek a "default judgment" against you (Federal Rule 37(b)(2)(v).

A default judgment is a ruling by judges or courts that favors a plaintiff. For example, Bay Area Receivables can try to garnish your wages or access your bank accounts. A concern consumers have is whether they can vacate the default decision. The short answer is Yes. But you must give valid grounds for not attending court or ignoring Summons.

The following are steps to help you respond in good time with a strong defense. Don't like reading? Check out this video instead:

1. Answer each claim listed in the Complaint

When you receive the Summons and Complaint, read it carefully. As you read the Complaint, you will notice that the allegations are divided into consecutive paragraphs. Respond to each section of the Complaint with the exact number provided. You can use the following three responses:

  • Admit—”this is true.”
  • Deny—”prove it.”
  • Deny due to lack of knowledge—”I don’t know.”

Most attorneys recommend that you deny as many claims as possible. This forces BAR to prove their claims are true, and if they can’t, the case will likely be dismissed.

Let’s consider an example.

Example: Sue is being sued by Bay Area Receivables for an old credit card debt. She uses SoloSuit to respond to the lawsuit. In her Answer document, Sue denies the majority of the claims against her. When BAR receives her Answer, they realize the don’t have all the necessary documentation to prove their claims, so they decide to dismiss the case voluntarily.

Use SoloSuit to draft your Answer in minutes.

2. Assert your affirmative defenses

Your responses in step one state your denials of the claims made. But you must also list your affirmative defenses that excuse or justify why BAR should lose the case. For instance, if you state the statute of limitations as a defense, it limits the time Bay Area Receivables has to sue you to collect the debt.

If you skip a debt payment, the clock starts ticking towards expiry (unless you begin repayments), and your unpaid debt becomes "time-barred" once the statute of limitations expires. For example, California's statute of limitations on debt is six years.

Other affirmative defenses to debt collection cases are:

  • You do not own the debt account.
  • Your debt to the creditor has been canceled, so you are not responsible for it.
  • There was a payment or an excuse for the debt.
  • A partial payment was made on the debt.
  • You were a co-signer but unaware of your obligations.

Now, let’s consider another example.

Example: When Todd gets sued by Bay Area Receivables for an old debt in Maryland, he is shocked. After doing some research online, Todd learns that the statute of limitations on credit card debt is only three years in Maryland. He checks the last activity on the debt account and realizes the account has been inactive for almost four years. Todd uses SoloSuit to draft an Answer to the lawsuit, where he uses the expired statute of limitations as an affirmative defense. The case gets dismissed, and Todd is off the hook!

Make the right defense the right way with SoloSuit.

3. Send a copy of the Answer to Bay Area Receivables and file it in court

When you have completed your Answer document, file it immediately with the court. You can take it in person, mail it, or file it electronically if the court permits. Make an extra copy of the Answer document and send it to Bay Area Receivables' attorneys. To ensure delivery, send a certified copy of the Answer by USPS with a return receipt.

SoloSuit can file your Answer for you in all 50 states.

Settle your debt with Bay Area Receivables

It costs money for the collection agency to contact you by letter, phone call, email, or text message. Consequently, the agency is anxious to get you to pay part of the debt owed, and they may be willing to negotiate.

Here is an example of how a settlement works.

Example: You owe your credit card company $2,000, and Bay Area Receivables buys the old account for $600 after a charge-off. BAR contacts you to pay the debt, and you fail to deliver. A few months later, BAR files a lawsuit against you. You use SoloSuit to respond to the lawsuit, giving yourself time to explore debt settlement options. With SoloSettle, you send a settlement offer to Bay Area Receivables. After several rounds of negotiations, BAR settles for $1,000. They still profit even though you only pay half of the original debt.

Check out this video to learn more about how to negotiate a debt settlement with Bay Area Receivables:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James

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