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Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
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I am rebuilding my credit so opened an unsecured card 4 months

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I am rebuilding my credit so opened an unsecured card 4 months ago. Last week I was able to open a department store card and an unsecured card. A couple of days after being approved I got a phone call from a collection agency. I called them back and they said I owe over $2600 to Verizon. They claim the debt was on my credit report for a long time and not disputed. It is a Verizon bill with the last payment in April 2004. I confirmed the last four digits of my ss number but said I did not recall it or ever getting communications regarding this four at least the last five years. He said that I could settle it now with $50/month or a smaller lump sum payment. I said that I would like to settle it if indeed it is my debt but would like to see something in writing first via mail or email. He said if I did not act now it would "go further". He said he cannot send me anything and said goodbye. Q: can they really collect? Can it go back on my credit report. The debt happened during tumultuous times at the end if my marriage. It was in my name but my then husband was in charge. I really cannot afford to pay it but want to be sure my new fair credit score is not in jeopardy. Please advice!
Anne
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete excellent answer for you.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm going to assist you with your question.

Please bear with me if you believe my answer isn’t coming fast enough because I’m also working with other customers too. I apologize for any seemingly late response.


The person is scamming you.

First, they are beyond the statute of limitations to collect upon the alleged debt.

Second, if it was/is a valid debt - DO NOT make a payment. If you do make a payment that "restarts" the statute of limitations.

Third, that just because you didn't dispute an alleged debt does NOT automatically validate the debt. They still have to prove it's your debt.


Fourth, pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act a debt collect must validate a debt if you request such in writing. I would get the debt collector's name and demand validation of the debt.


Sometimes debt collectors fictionalize alleged debt and get consumers to pay on a debt that never was.

Refuse to pay anything on the alleged debt.

Get the person's name, address, company, reference number for the debt and send them a cease and desist letter and demand for validation of the debt.

Here's a sample letter you can modify and send them:


Date

Your Name
Your Address
City, State Zip

Collection Agency
Collection Agency Address
City, State Zip

Re: Acct # XXXXX

To Whom It May Concern:

I am sending this letter to you in response to a notice I received from you on (date of letter). Be advised, this is not a refusal to pay, but a notice sent pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (b) that your claim is disputed and validation is requested.

This is NOT a request for "verification" or proof of my mailing address, but a request for VALIDATION made pursuant to the above named Title and Section. I respectfully XXXXX XXXXX your office provide me with competent evidence that I have any legal obligation to pay you.

Please provide me with the following:

  • What the money you say I owe is for;
  • Explain and show me how you calculated what you say I owe;
  • Provide me with copies of any papers that show I agreed to pay what you say I owe;
  • Provide a verification or copy of any judgment if applicable;
  • Identify the original creditor;
  • Prove the Statute of Limitations has not expired on this account;
  • Show me that you are licensed to collect in my state; and
  • Provide me with your license numbers and Registered Agent.

If your offices have reported invalidated information to any of the three major Credit Bureau's (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion), said action might constitute fraud under both Federal and State Laws. Due to this fact, if any negative mark is found on any of my credit reports by your company or the company that you represent I will not hesitate in bringing legal action against you for the following:

  • Violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  • Defamation of Character

If your offices are able to provide the proper documentation as requested, I will require at least 30 days to investigate this information and during such time all collection activity must cease and desist.

Also during this validation period, if any action is taken which could be considered detrimental to any of my credit reports, I will consult with my legal counsel. This includes any information to a credit reporting repository that could be inaccurate or invalidated or verifying an account as accurate when in fact there is no provided proof that it is.

If your offices fail to respond to this validation request within 30 days from the date of your receipt, all references to this account must be deleted and completely removed from my credit file and a copy of such deletion request shall be sent to me immediately.

I would also like to request, in writing, that no telephone contact be made by your offices to my home or to my place of employment. If your offices attempt telephone communication with me, including but not limited to computer generated calls or correspondence sent to any third parties, it will be considered harassment and I will have no choice but to file suit. All future communications with me MUST be done in writing and sent to the address noted in this letter.

This is an attempt to correct your records, any information obtained shall be used for that purpose.

Best Regards,

Your Signature
Your Name

 

[creditinfocenter.com]

 

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer.. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

If you have any questions, about this or anything else, please ask for me, Law Pro, directly in the question and I will try to assist you as best I can.

For example, you would state, "This question is for Law Pro . . . (then on with your question).

I wish you the best in the future.

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your advice.
At this point I have only received one phone call that I then returned.
Is it safe for me to just ignore this and just write the letter if I get something written?
OR is it safer to call them, ask for their address and send them the letter?
I did ask them to send me something written and he would not respond to it.
My understanding is that they cannot sue, nor get it back onto my credit report. Am I correct?
They clearly have gotten some report regarding my newly opened credit cards. Will that affect my credit score, and can I do anything about that?
I would appreciate your feedback.
Anne
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Is it safe for me to just ignore this and just write the letter if I get something written?


Yes, they are beyond the statute of limitations - you can just ignore.

OR is it safer to call them, ask for their address and send them the letter?

I wouldn't both calling them but wait till they call you. Then get their information before you give them any information so you can write the letter.


I did ask them to send me something written and he would not respond to it.

Yeah, he's not going to respond to your request.

My understanding is that they cannot sue, nor get it back onto my credit report. Am I correct?

No, they can sue but they are beyond the statute of limitations to be able to collect. So, their suit would be dismissed.

That is correct - they can't put it back on your credit report.



They clearly have gotten some report regarding my newly opened credit cards. Will that affect my credit score, and can I do anything about that?


I don't know how they got information about your newly opened credit cards - that's an invasion of privacy if you didn't give permission about them getting the information. It might just be coincidence that they happened to call when you were approved for the new card - I don't know.

But unless you gave them permission to access your credit history they don't have the legal right to pull your credit report.


Law Pro, Lawyer
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Experience: 20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
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