No Contract No Obligation… Nonsense?
What Is Wrong Here?
For whatever reason these last few months we have had a huge spike in emails from new members who have been asking this one same question:
Can I send back letters from a Debt Collector marked No Contract No Obligation – Addressee Not Recognised – Return To Sender?
What is it that is making people think this has any validity whatsoever in commerce?
Here is the usual supporting argument for using this method; if one receives a letter etc through the post that is addressed to the legal name (Mr, Mrs, Ms etc) then it is not addressed to the man or woman and thus it cannot be meant/intended for the man/woman to read. Now yes, logically there is merit to this position but why would you ever risk taking this position? It is stupid advice to use this method and has no effective remedy.
This is the problem you will be facing if you follow this method:
1: A notice of assignment is sent through the mail addressed to Mr JOE SMITH from a DCA who has Mr JOE SMITHs address on file 2: You as a man refuse to open and deal with this notice because you don’t open mail for Mr JOE SMITH 3: You return the unopened notice to the DCA with a sticker stating NCNORTS 4: The DCA continues to follow their notice process and each time you receive a notice for Mr JOE SMITH you continue with you NCNORTS stickers.
After a while things will go quiet and you’ll think that all of this sending notices to debt collectors is a waste of time as you just killed it with a hand full of sticky labels and a red pen… well you’re wrong… you just created both a lot of trouble for yourself and an agreement with the debt collector.
Why You’re Now Stuck!
1: By claiming to not recognise the addressee you have, right off the bat, made a false statement. Obviously you do recognise the addressee because if you didn’t you wouldn’t be able to make the determination that it wasn’t you. Think of it like this; you receive a letter addressed to Mrs JANE SMITH and you know that you are Joe Smith, therefor you do recognise that Mrs JANE SMITH isn’t you. The key point here is the definition used to determine what the word “recognise” is or isn’t, does or doesn’t mean. If you were presented with an apple and a guava, you may not recognise that the guava is a guava, but you do recognise that it isn’t an apple. Don’t use words if you don’t know what they mean.
2: The original instrument that the debt collector claims to be collecting on will have been signed by you (your man/womans hand) in your recognition of the legal name on that instrument regardless of what capacity you signed it under.
3: If you don’t recognise Mr JOE SMITH then how can you make a claim with any first hand knowledge that Mr JOE SMITH has no contract with the sender of the letter/notice or that you the man has not agreed to be liable surety for Mr JOE SMITH as is/could be demonstrated within?
4: If you claim that the man Joe Smith has no contract with the debt collector, how can you make this claim if you don’t read the letters sent to you that could clearly demonstrate the opposite is true?
All I have done here is extract 4 simple points from the standard definition of the word “recognise”. It isn’t difficult to see that you just placed yourself in a lot of potential trouble by making such a sweeping statement as “addressee not recognised“.
But alas, it only gets potentially worse for you here on in.
Let’s run with the scenario that you place NCNO stickers on all the letters you receive from a DCA, eventually you will receive from them a Notice of Intent to Litigate. Obviously you will not know this as you will not have opened the envelope, because after all, it’s addressed to Mr JOE SMITH and this isn’t you… right. So time goes by and you’re sitting pretty thinking you’ve smashed this DCA thing with your stickers until one day you get a knock at your door and a nice man (normally a man) hands you a piece of paper with the words on it “Court Summons”.
What do you do?
This summons isn’t made out to you but to Mr JOE SMITH, so do you give it back or do you accept it? If you are in a correct frame of mind you must give it back as you are by your own determination not the addressee of that summons. So time goes by and you fail to appear in court. You fail to rebut any claims made by the DCA and you end up with a court order to pay them whatever amount they claimed as you didn’t appear to protest the claim.
Now what happens if you do accept the “Court Summons”?
Criminal Code Clth
471.8 Dishonestly obtaining delivery of articles; A person is guilty of an offence if the person dishonestly obtains delivery of, or receipt of, an article in the course of post that is not directed to the person.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years.
If you do accept the summons and show up in court you are demonstrating that you either do recognise the addressee Mr JOE SMITH or that you have taken receipt of an article in the course of post that is not directed to the person Joe Smith.
What is Your Remedy Then?
You didn’t think we’d leave you without a remedy did you?
First off, forget about NCNO stickers, they are worthless. Yes it may all be true that there is no contract and thus no obligation but this does not prevent a new agreement being formed via ones lack of refusal to contract.
Secondly, accept that the DCA has sent the notices/letters etc to Mr JOE SMITH and ask the DCA to provide material facts and evidence that you Joe Smith are liable surety for Mr JOE SMITH.
Why would anybody in their right mind intentionally assume the burden of proof when they have no way of providing that proof or when they have no commercial responsibility/requirement to make such claims?