Thank you for your response.
First, the original holder of an account can always stop a collection by informing the debt collector that the account is settled or was invalid when transferred for collection.
You need to inform the garbage company of the same.
You do this by sending a certified letter to the debt collector telling them that (1) the debt which they are attempting to collect is invalid as it is for an account which was cancelled with the garbage company on ______(date); (2) the garbage company failed to close your account and must have carried it over to the next occupier of the premises, which is not your responsibility; (3) they need to immediately stop all collection efforts and stop contacting you. If they do not, you will sue them under the FDCPA (Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).
Copy the garbage company on this letter.
In the end, the only way to stop a false collection is to (1) allow the statute of limitations
to run (which is 6 years in Washington State); (2) dispute and allow the collector to sue and then you defeat the claim in court; or (3) you file a FDCPA claim and a Declaratory Judgment
action which proves that you do not owe on the account and that they are wrongfully collecting.
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