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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  Lawyer
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HAD THREATENING COLLECTION CALL FROM COMPANY THAT SAID WE OWED

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HAD THREATENING COLLECTION CALL FROM COMPANY THAT SAID WE OWED MONEY TO FOR ONLINE LISTING. THEY WANT $6000 PAID TODAY OR WILL COME TO OUR ADDRESS AND TAKE POCESSION. WE CLOSED OUR ACCOUNT IN 2010 PAID IN FULL WITH NO RENEWAL HOWEVER THIS COMPANY CLAIMS WE OWE MORE AS THEY ARE OPERATING UNDER DIFFERENT NAME. WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

A person cannot just show up and take possession of your home, even if you did owe them money. If they showed up at your door, you could call the police and have them physically removed from the premises. No legitimate debt collector is going to make that threat.

The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that a consumer has a legal right to insist upon validation of a debt. A legitimate debt collector must notify the debtor of the right to seek verification of the debt within five days after establishing contact - that means that they need to send you a latter letting you know that they're trying to collect a debt and that, if you request that they verify the debt, they cannot seek to collect it until they provide proof.

There is, however, a common scam where scam artists will call people and berate, threaten, and harass people in an effort to get them to give a credit card number over the telephone. It sounds like that may be what you're experiencing. If they're legitimate, they should give you an address where you can mail a request for verification. A legitimate debt collector cannot threaten to put you in jail for non-payment of a debt - it's a violation of the act. And, if they're legitimate, you have a right to send them a letter telling them not to call you again. That puts them in the position of either having to file suit (and therefore prove that you owe the money) or leave you alone.

Here are some sample letters that may help.
http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forms/sampleletter9.shtml

http://www.debtletter.com/sample-letters.html

If they refuse to provide an address, even after you mention the FDCPA, then it's likely that they are scam artists and you can let them know that you will be contacting the police and filing a report for harassment. It may also help to mention that a person who violates the FDCPA can be sued for up to $1,000 per violation.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
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