Protecting Our Credit From a Wayward Collection Agency

A bit over a month ago, I sent a request for validation of our supposed debt to the collection agency that came calling (they also contacted us by mail).

I know for fact that they received our request for validation because we sent it certified mail and requested a return receipt, so… Given the amount of time that has passed, I thought I’d better check up on my credit reports to see if they’d done any damage.

Unfortunately, I used up my free credit reports (one per agency) when I got the first collection call. While our state actually requires the credit bureaus to give us two free reports per year, any additional free reports would’ve had to come by snail mail, and I’m way too impatient for that. Thus, I was faced with paying $30 to get my three reports – or was I?

A credit report bargain?

I ended up going to TransUnion first and, after requesting my credit report (sans the credit score because I don’t really care about that), I was greeted with an offer to sign up for their TrueCredit service, which offers you access to all three reports as often as you’d like for a “low” monthly fee of $14.95 (you can supposedly cancel whenever you want by calling them). While canceling this service might turn out to be an adventure in itself, I figured it was worth the trouble to save $15, and to also have instant access to all three of our reports for a full month.

So… What did I learn when I checked my credit reports? All clear (so far), which is good news for the collection agency. If they had reported derogatory information without having validated the debt after I asked them to do so, they would’ve been in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and I could’ve sued them for $1000 in damages in small claims court.

What now?

My next step is to draft a “drop dead” letter to them, complete with a copy of my original letter, my certified mail receipt, and proof of delivery of that letter. The gist of this letter will be that they have failed to validate my debt, and thus I’m assuming that the matter is closed. Moreover, if they make further attempts to collect this supposed debt, they will be in violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). While it would be great to receive a letter from them saying that the matter is closed, all I really want is for them to go away.

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5 Responses to “Protecting Our Credit From a Wayward Collection Agency”

  1. Anonymous

    The collection agency I have dealing with is definitely in violation of the FDCPA (I worked as a bill collector for over 20 yrs, so know what I’m talking about) when they insisted that I pay for a bill that was over 8 years past the Statute of Limitations. Further, I had requested years ago that they also provide verification of the debt. they not only didn’t comply, they forward the debt to another collection agency to take a stab at it. I sent the agency a letter to Cease & Desist and make no further contact with me, since they had not intention of verifying the debt. I got a letter a few days letter asking me about my dispute. It’s a moot point since the account was now over 8 years old. Has the law changed in the past few years? Every so often I get a call on my home recorder saying, “This call is to try and collect a debt”. I’m fairly certain that’s illegal,too. I never answer them back. If they insist on playing games, I’m never going to reply. Letters, with dates are retained to pursue legal action against them in the future.

  2. And what if you paid your bill, have documentation to prove it, and still got called by a collection agency that was accidentally sent to collect on a non-existent debt?

    I agree that failing to repay your debts is stealing, but that’s not what this article is about.

    As a side note, it would help tremendously if you sprinkled a few commas and periods into your diatribes.

  3. Anonymous

    Dear everyone who complains about having to pay your bill or getting called or letters from the people who gave you money when you wanted it.
    If you honestly got the items or money and now your not or refusing to pay any of it back or pay for what you took there is a word for that its theft the same as if you went into the bank and robbed it or if you went to the store and just walked out with the merchandise if your neighbor came to you and asked to borrow your lawn mower and you let him and he sued you for asking for it back after the loan time passed how would you feel if you were selling a car and they asked to take it for a test drive and you let them and they never came back how would you feel the fact that the people who lent it had you sign and gave documentation verifying the debt just makes it worse the fdcpa isnt supposed to be there so you can get free stuff and sue when they ask for it back its disgusting

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