Similar report, 1-09-07, same BS:
"Fiance just got a collection letter in mail from AFNI. This is for a Verizon land line in a county about 2hrs from where we live. Well being mad he called them up. It was from 1996-1998 for 759$. We got the address that it went to. We never lived near there and pinpointed it to step-mom. We have proof of where he lived in that time frame but AFNI told him to file police report, send copy of photo id with s.s.# and docs of proof of residency.
We also talked to Verizon and the lady told us that you can just call for landline # and give ss# and if no red flags come up they connect it. So nothing was signed. And she said with this being old and sold she has no record in her computer but may have it in another dept."
Afni "says" it was at address that consumer identifies as that of step-mom, but without Verizon's original account information directly from Verizon, can you trust that? Thru Accurint, and other databases, Afni would have access to addresses of similar names, but also could follow addresses of people that at one time had common addresses with a name.
Afni has shown a propensity to claim accounts were "relative id theft", which may be less likely to result in a police report being filed, and may be more likely to be paid even by consumers who do not owe anything but don't want to get a relative into trouble. It might be worth checking with Verizon's fraud department to confirm the actual address originally associated with the account, to see whether Verizon, or Afni, is the origin of the alleged relative's address.
"And fiance sister who works for a collection agancy is telling him that date of last activity falls on date that AFNI bought it so it can report on CR also. She said she collects on 10 yr old accounts and reports themeven if no payment."
Another CA drone doesn't get it.
"I have the same problem with them and when I gave them my SS# they corrected the SS# saying the numbers was enter wrong. If I didn't give the correct SS#! I would have it off already!!"
Other consumers have reported (via ripoffreport.com, for example) that Afni has "corrected" the SSN associated with the alleged debt, when they provided their identity info to dispute and prove it wasn't their debt.
Bud Hibbs appears to have notice the upsurge in complaints against Afni:
CONSUMER ALERT: Feb. 2007
CONSUMERS ARE WARNED NOT TO FALL FOR THEIR SCAM OF ATTEMPTING TO COLLECT ON TIME BARRED DEBTS FROM VERIZON/GTE ACCOUNTS THAT DATE BACK TO THE EARLY 90'S. AFNI CANNOT SUE ON THESE DEBTS, THEY CANNOT REPORT THEM ON YOUR CREDIT FILES. AFNI IS HURTING FOR COLLECTION ACCOUNTS & PAID PENNIES FOR THIS WORTHLESS PORTFOLIO, HOPING TO CASH IN. THIS IS A SCAM -- YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY ON THESE OLD, OUTDATED ACCOUNTS!
2007 looks to offer a lot of surprises in the collection industry. AFNI is giving themselves and Verizon a bad name by collecting and threatening on these old, worthless debts.
Some consumer comments from that site.
Same BS "debts" from Afni.
February 2, 2007
Well after reading here about AFNI I realized something has to be done about these scammers, Upon financing my house in 07', my mortgage lender called me and said I have an unpaid derogatory acct on my report from AFNI. from Charter communication. A call to AFNI told me it was from 1988 to 2003, in Oregon. I havenít lived in Oregon since 1997, and had never heard of Charter. I was told that the acct opened in 1988 and disconnected in 1989 with a $300 dollar balance. They said they could not send me a copy of the bill since they sold it to AFNI. But with some determination I found someone from charter that did. Now AFNI wants to see it stating that they are receiving wrong info from charter, itís still an ongoing battle even though it is a time barred bill. After buying two homes since 1989. It just now shows up on my credit reports in 2007 wow!!. Next step is to hire an attorney which i will.. A big scam is going on in America with the American people what do we do???
1) "A call to AFNI told me it was from 1988 to 2003"
turns out to be "the acct opened in 1988 and disconnected in 1989 "
Note the "weasel words". Technically, "1988 to 1989" is from "1988 to 2003", but they have a better chance collecting on a debt allegedly from 2003, which is probably both reportable and maybe within SOL, than on one from 1989! Long past SOL, but first they represented otherwise.
2) "After buying two homes since 1989. It just now shows up on my credit reports in 2007 wow!!. "
3) "They [Charter] said they could not send me a copy of the bill since they sold it to AFNI."
" I found someone from charter that did."
What exactly does "could not" mean? How do they expect Afni to comply with validation requests? Or FACTA disputes?
4) "Now AFNI wants to see it stating that they are receiving wrong info from charter, "
Afni knew it was disconnected in 1989, but they still reported recently.
Also note that the re-aged account showed up right after financing a mortgage. Afni may be using access to mortgage inquiry leads from the CRAs.
January 27, 2007
I like hundreds of others have received a collections letter from Afni for Verizon Communications for money I don't owe. How can we stop this abuse?
January 12, 2007
It seems that LOTS of people are getting collection notices from AFNI on bogus Verizon paper. Almost makes one wonder if maybe Boyajian dumped his fake Verizon "debts" (the ones that he tried to collect on dated years before Verizon existed) on this other bottom feeder, because the complaints almost mirror the Boyajian ones.
Afni, Inc Bloomington, IL December 05, 2006
My story is similar to your other Afni, Inc. complaint. I recently received a letter claiming I owed a small sum to Charter Communications on a 1997 reconnect of cable services in a house I sold in 1997. The notice letter had an incorrect social security number on it. The agent was rude, evasive and would not let me speak until I finally had to tell her to shut up. She tried to lecture me in that I had avoided this through several different companies' attempts at collection though: 1) this letter was the first notice I had ever received on this; 2) I have lived a couple of blocks away from that address since 1997; and 3) I have a current account with Charter (same name, same SS#). She hung up on me and I immediately called back and talked with another agent who told me I had to make a written dispute. I have done so and since the dispute is so old, I added "cease and desist" language.
Out of statute, not reportable, wrong SSN, house had been sold before delinquent account had been set up.
Appears that they matched the account address with the former homeowner, and then dunned them.
Does not appear that the original account was originally in this consumer's name, as Charter had no problem opening a new account at consumer's new address, Charter did NOT bill consumer for delinquent account, and delinquent account had a different SSN.
Several statements that were probably deceptive:
Anderson Financial Network Inc. aka AFNI March 28, 2006
I requested my annual free credit report. I had a couple of inaccuracies and disputed them. TranUnion was a pain to try to get my report online. I finally received it. I was notified by my credit monitoring company that there was recent activity on my consumer report. I logged on and discovered in the 8 days that I requested and received online my TransUnion report, there was a company reporting something on me called AFni. I contacted TU and was given the contact number and address of this company. Needless to say I was asked for my SS# (in which I replied I would give him mine if he gave me his first.) He proceeds to tell me about a debt from Charter Communications. This debt according to him was from 1999. I told him the SOL was up. He said not until June 06. After reading rip-off reports it sounds like they just acquired a bunch of Charter Communication accounts from some place and are trying to collect. I never once was contacted by this company for anything. I was never given the opportunity to even dispute it. I was told they had just received the account, but when questions were fired at the rep, he then told me they sent a letter to my home, and if I had moved then I didn't get the letter so it was placed on my credit file. I then asked when they sent the letter and I was told in 2001. I told him he was full of ****. I asked him how that could be possible because less than a minute ago I was told they had just received the account. I asked for verification verbally and was told it would do no good anyway, by the time I got the information the SOL would be up anyway and that it was my responsibility to furnish to them proof the debt was paid. Is this deadbeat slime company going to the next agency added to Bud Hibbs? They are scum!!!!
1) "from 1999. I told him the SOL was up. He said not until June 06."
Does any state have a 7 year SOL?
I could not find any state with a 7 year SOL. (No allegation this is a judgement.)
2) "I was told they had just received the account, but when questions were fired at the rep, he then told me they sent a letter to my home, and if I had moved then I didn't get the letter so it was placed on my credit file. I then asked when they sent the letter and I was told in 2001. "..."I asked him how that could be possible because less than a minute ago I was told they had just received the account. "
Caught in a lie. No FDCPA notification letter sent. Afni didn't even have the account when they claim they sent a letter. Consumer contacted Afni based on credit report information. Attempt to defeat consumer's dispute and validation rights.
3) "I asked for verification verbally and was told it would do no good anyway, by the time I got the information the SOL would be up anyway and that it was my responsibility to furnish to them proof the debt was paid. "
Representation that consumer has no right to dispute or request validation. Implication is that SOL is not up, and that they will do something (presumably sue) before it is, so consumer better not risk that by requesting validation. "SOL" referred to could not erroneously be CRA credit reporting period, since that would only mean account would fall off credit report, with no negative consequences, where the above representation implies negative consequences. Attempt to defeat consumer's dispute and validation rights.
Afni just entered my list of FAVORITE companies... :)
You would think when they have a complaint delivered EXPRESS MAIL RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED, which reminds them that the account is under a CEASE of communications demand; that the last thing that they would want to do is continue to try to collect...
BUT, today I get two SUPPOSED statements (- hack job which looked like it was printed in Word - not only that but the supposed 1998 statement is labeled with the alleged original creditors year *2000* and beyond identity - so I have proof that the alleged validation is fake -) with a CHAUDRY "this letter confirms the original creditor and balance." PAY UP. :)
Gee, that doesn't seem like one of the three permissible communications to me...
Time to do major updating of the complaint... :p
I see your point. The Chaudry letter, and demand for payment WAS included. Hence violation of the C&D.
If it was in reply to your dispute and validation request, and that was all it was (no demand for payment, no payment envelope included, etc.), then a court might not find it a violation of your C&D, since you had in fact requested it. Similar to how the courts have resolved the requirements between notifying the consumer that this is an attempt to collect a debt, and the requirement against disclosure to third parties, when a voicemail is left.
If you had send a timely validation request, even with a C&D, then sending some "validation" would be a prerequisite to at least some of the choices of response to your C&D, such as suing. But "continued collection" might not be one of those choices.
Is this one of the currently popular Afni/GTE-Verizon "accounts" from the mid 1990s?
What exactly did they provide in their "statement"? It sounds like it was "reconstructed" from presumably electronic records, either by Afni, or by Verizon. Did it include all the information you would expect to find in a real contemporaneously prepared statement, including account numbers, date, consumer's billing address, all the tax itemizations, etc? Was there any non-contemporaneous "information" included, such as a consumer billing address matching your current address that would not have been valid at the alleged time?
Did they include an "affidavit" of any sort?
i have seen several samples of afni letters on sprint accounts that are more recent than those being discussed here...the person sent in a c&d and vod letter and received back the name address and balance on acct and a statement that they ''verified the debt'' and in another sentence they deemed the dispute to be resolved and collection activity will continue...the person disputing the account sent in a total of 4 vod letters and afni sent back the same letter each time, but with the last letter actually sent the entire last bill to the sprint account...i agree afni is bad and their tactics are not any better
Originally Posted by ontrack
The large number of complaints from consumers dunned for debts they do not owe indicates a lack of accurate identification and location information.
From numerous reports, Afni appears to have taylored their responses to continue collection even where common sense would indicate they have located the wrong person.
As you noted, "verifying the debt" by sending only the name, address and validation on the account, is NOT validation obtained from the original creditor and forwarded to the consumer, for the purpose of determining and resolving any errors, as was intended by Congress when they wrote FDCPA.
To represent that it is, in response to an FDCPA validation request, is deceptive, particularly when measured against a standard of whether such a response is likely to result in collection of money from people who do not owe it. They could have chosen to conduct business in a manner likely to eliminate collection from erroneously dunned consumers, yet they have intentionally chosen not to, whether by responses such as the above, or by demanding that consumers (and law enforcement) jump thru hoops in filing "identity theft" reports and providing identity information on accounts that are most likely misidentifications by Afni itself.
a dispute received by a ca within the initial 30 day dispute period: "must cease collection until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector." a general example would be a signed contract last 3 statements on the account. after the 30 day dispute period a ca only has to provide the name address and balance and verify it with the creditor
Originally Posted by ontrack
A signed contract and the last 3 statements is all too rare a response to a validation request, particularly on OOS debt. Complaints of fabrications of one sort or another are more common.
And where do you derive a requirement even to "verify it with the creditor" after 30 days? FACTA, and only if it is being reported?
What next? Buy a bunch of old debt, "match" it against names from states with long SOLs, and just sue everyone? Why waste your time with the deadbeat "John Smith" from CA, when you could turn the debt back into an "in statute" debt and go after someone who might even have good credit and pay their bills, so they might pay just to make you go away?
sorry that was an error, i was editing the post and didnt take that part out.
Originally Posted by ontrack
We have been editing in parallel.