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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102162
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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What is the best advice about settling a collection agency

Customer Question

What is the best advice about settling a collection agency bill from a previous apartment dispute
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information only for educational purposes only, and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Can you please tell me:

1) How much does she owe? Or, this debt is false, and they should not be collecting,

2) What state is she in, and what state the collection agency is in (or, not sure)?

3) How old is the debt?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
$6,800+_, this is not how much she owed, believe it to be more like $3,000+.
Washington State, Washington state.
Over a year I believe
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Perhaps a letter threatening to sue them may be helpful. See below.
To Whom It May Concern:
re: (name, account #, etc)
I have been receiving debt collection attempts from your company for the debt allegedly owed by me from (describe nature of debt). I dispute the nature of this debt.
Demand is hereby made that you cease and desist - now.
If you continue on, then I will have no choice but to seek redress under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for the following violations:
15 U.S.C. § 1692f(1) (seeking unjustified amount)
15 U.S.C. § 1692e (threatening legal action without cause)
15 U.S.C. § 1692e(8) (threatening or publishing false debt on my credit history)
Every violation is $1,000 per incident, plus legal fees.
I now consider this matter concluded. Should you contact me again, I will seek counsel to file an FDCPA claim in federal court.

Now, FDCPA is created to have collection agencies not harass individuals. See here. What they have done here is not a violation of FDCPA per se, See here:
However, considering that (a) they cannot file suit anyhow, and (b) the debtor will seem aggressive and may actually cause legal trouble, they are much more likely to simply bin the file and forget the matter.
Note that the letter does not reflect WHY the debt is disputed. Simply that it is. The point is to send a message: "I"m crazy and I may possibly pursue a civil claim under FDCPA. Stay away!"
This normally helps.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please rate when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.