Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Hi! LegalGems here. My goal: To Do My Best To Assist You. Please remember, I can only provide general information,as this is a public forum.
Generally, in order to collect on a debt via the legal system, the creditor needs to prove that the debt is valid. If they do not have your signature or any other proof that you in fact signed up for their services, it is highly unlikely that a judge will rule in their favor.
You can go to civil court, and get a declaratory judgment against the company, which would in essence declare that you did not sign up for services. Unfortunately, this cannot be done in small claims (the declaratory judgment) so it would be time consuming. Another alternative is to request, from the company, validation of the debt. If they do not provide this to you, then it is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as a creditor must validate the debt within 30 days upon request. The sanction for violations is 1,000 per incident. However, again, a legal proceeding would need to be initiated in order to claim this.
Another option is to send them a cease and desist, stating your evidence as to your position. If a supervisor reviews it, they may voluntarily close the account, rather than deal with the possibility of litigation.
The nice thing is that Maryland offers mediation of disputes - a less time consuming, more amicable, and definitely cheaper alternative to litigation: http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/adr/aboutmediation.html
Both parties need to be willing to mediate, as this is a voluntary process. This may be an avenue worth exploring, as mediation can often resolve disputes.
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