How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey, JD Your Own Question
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27446
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Zoey, JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I got a phone call from an agency saying i owe money in the

Customer Question

I got a phone call from an agency saying i owe money in the amt of 1999. They will accept a "substantial down payment" by close of business today or tey are going to sue me. Is this legal? I never took out a ayday advance lon as they claim II did
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Theyy claim there has been, but I don't know how to check
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: not that I an think of
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 11 months ago.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Please be patient while I research and compose a reply for you.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 11 months ago.

Unscrupulous people buy up old consumer lists and old debts and then call people and harass and bully them into thinking they owe money that they don't. In this way they scam people out of their money. If you are sure you've never took out this loan, you're probably right and need to dispute the debt.

You have substantial rights under a Federal act called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This kind of harassment and coercion is unlawful under state and Federal law. You don't have to buckle to them and you certainly shouldn't give them a credit card number or agree to pay them unless/until they can prove to you that you really owe this debt.

You can ask them when next they call for a letter in writing validating that debt, as is your right, and whether they give it to you or not, you can dispute the debt if you don't believe that you owe it. You're entitled to do that under the FDCPA.

Once you formally dispute the debt, which you should do in writing, they MUST leave you alone and you are free to ignore them. If they continue to bother you, you could report these folks to the Federal Trade Commission as they would be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and can be fined $1,000 for each time they illegally harass you.

If they are scammers and not even real collection agencies, they are probably not going to be intimidated. However, once you tell them that you're disputing the debt, you can safely ignore them.

In the worst case scenario, if they are real and truly believe you owe this debt, they would have to take you to civil court and you could prove there that the debt does not exist. But it shouldn't come to that.

The Federal Trade Commission gives a wonderful overview of overaggressive and/or fake collection agencies and how to get them off of your back, where to report them, where to learn more, etc.

You can access that here:

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 11 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
they called back and said they're not a collection agency and they aren't bound by the same rules as a collection agency. They say they are going to sue me and want me to give them credit card info for payment at a later date if I don't have the funds now
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 11 months ago.

You are entitled to get the debt validated and dispute the debt. They are lying to you. Do NOT be intimidated and certainly don't give them your credit card information.

Tell them that under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you know that you are entitled to validation of this debt. Tell them that you want it in writing as is your right and that you'll be disputing the debt and will be reporting them to the FTC if they continue to harass you.

If you are sure you never took out this loan, once they know that you're disputing the debt, you can block them and ignore them. If they sue you, they have to prove you owe this debt. As you don't, it's highly unlikely that they can file anything. They are just trying to scare you into paying them and giving them your credit card besides.