Character and Fitness Application Question

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Character and Fitness Application Question

Postby I_like_tacos_n_pho » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:16 pm

I passed the bar in MD last July but my swearing in has been delayed due to a hang up with my Character and Fitness Application, that I wasn't notified of until AFTER the results came out.

Basically I have 2 delinquent credit card debts on my report that I never knew about. They come from credit cards I never had. I've tried to verify with the collection agency that the debts are indeed in my name. It is impossible, they either hang up on me or pass me around. Never have they agreed to send me in writing the existence of my debt. They only want me to pay. I have started a dispute with Experian over these negative accounts.

I've had my interview for the Character and Fitness process and my interviewer said that the only way he can recommend me is if I write him a letter detailing my plans to pay off the CC debt. Also the ethics committee want me to send in a new credit history report as well as written proof of payment plans for past due debts.

What should I do? Bite the bullet and just set up some payment plan with them now? Or keep disputing and run the risk of not passing? Or ask the ethics board what my options are? The total amount of CC debt is ~10k!!!! I mean if it were like 2-3k I might be OK with settling a lump sum of 1k to get this all over with.

The swearing in ceremony is in May and I ideally want to wrap this all up by May 1. Luckily I have a salaried job right now (not in the legal field), but I need to get licensed to move on with my career!

Thanks for any insight!

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Re: Character and Fitness Application Question

Postby Avian » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:35 pm

Did you explain to the ethics committee that you do not believe that debts are yours and that there has possibly been a misattribution by the debt collection agency?


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Re: Character and Fitness Application Question

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:38 pm

Either these are your debts or they are not your debts. If they are & have not been discharged in bankruptcy, then you need to pay them; however, if they aren't your debts, then you need to write a full explanation to the state bar & to the credit bureaus.

Credit bureaus frequently report incorrect info., the bar should realize this. If not. then sue the credit bureaus & get your day in court.


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Re: Character and Fitness Application Question

Postby nini49 » Sat May 23, 2015 4:19 pm

What ever one else said. Have you tried to contact the original creditor (not the collection agency) to obtain proof that the account is yours? Ask for a copy of the credit application and a few statements. Maybe it will contain info to help you prove to the Bar that it's a case of fraud or mistaken identity. I would hope that the Bar would have done this in their investigation when you disputed the accounts, but you never know.

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