How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Andrea, Esq. Your Own Question
Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 12554
Experience:  25 yrs. of experience in employment law, real estate and business law, family law, criminal defense and immigration.
Type Your Consumer Protection Law Question Here...
Andrea, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

debt collect makes too many conditions to pay small bill We

This answer was rated:

debt collect makes too many conditions to pay small bill

We have a debt that showed up on wifes credit report. Cell phone, collector.
I made first contact. They(collector) claims that they assumed the debt in January, it was posted to the credit report at the end of April, it's now the end of June.

They claim bill is for early termination fee of contract, and wrongly tries to convince me that phone contracts automatically renew. I verified with the original carrier after the call, there is no early termination fee, phone did in fact expire.
However the amount is correct, it's only for past due balance. Correct amount, wrong debt reason.

They want payment via phone to 'settle'. Collector on the phone also did not understand the concept of haggling or paying to remove the debt. Aside from that, she claims if I mail payment there is no discount, via phone only for 'discount'. I would like a paper trail like a normal person, but this doesn't seem possible, she mentioned something about getting it via email only.

Other issues with this. The only contact attempt ever made was letter to in-laws house. One that we've never lived at, phone was never connected to, we never used the address for any reason at all. We have, however, been at our current residence since before they assumed the debt.

When I explained she has to do a lot better, they never even tried to contact me and it took them over one quarter to even post the debt, she claims they made several attempts. But to the disconnected phone that has not been in service for over a year! The one that was cancelled and what the debt is about. And then to the number I was calling from now, which has no affiliation to the original party, not the wifes family, not even the same state(cell phone). In other words she just added the phone I'm calling from to the log and claimed they know of it, although they have no record of my phone number and account at all when I had called. Remember, the call is about a disconnected phone, not a current one.

This surprise debt is preventing us from getting a Plus loan for graduate school, otherwise I would spend all the time in the world to fight this. Also the bill is too small for any friendly lawyer to care about, <$400. The settlement price is not too bad to move on, but if they have an invalid debt, and lie to me, and refuse to be "normal" and give me paper proof or a receipt.
PS. If they can't even get an address right, how will i get a receipt for proof of payment, and how would I even trust that it posts to the credit report right?
Paying a debt shouldn't feel like a gamble.

To summarize what I hope to achieve with this question is this:
1) now what? What can I do to take care of this?
2) Hypothetically, if I finally get a way to pay them(other bills aren't so complicated like this), can I dispute or do anything else afterwards for fun? I dislike the concept of people and companies making a buck off of dishonesty and such, but as I stated before, I only have a month to handle this.

Dear Customer, My name isXXXXX am a licensed, practicing Attorney and would like to help,


I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with a collections company. I have learned over the years that even if you combined IQ of all the collectors in any particular collections company, it would still be less than 60, so you really cannot expect them to understand too much of anything. They should not have lied, that goes without question, but if the amount is correct, you would have to pay them to take it off your credit report. But, I agree with you 1,000% about leaving a paper trail and not trusting them to take it off your credit report. I would pay them with a check, or a credit card, anything that can be verified, if the need arises; you cannot leave anything to chance with these people and certainly should not leave them to their own devices.


Call and ask to speak to one of the supervisors, maybe they will have half a brain and will negotiate a lesser amount. Once you pay, the opportunity to dispute it and ever get it back is gone, so do not even waste your time, life is way too short to waste it on speaking with a collection agent, for fun, or otherwise. It would be an exercise in futility,





Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you,


Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,






Andrea, Esq. and 4 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Consumer Protection Law Questions