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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by lwg8tr, Mar 3, 2001.
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Yes, it's totally legal for them to do all of those things to you. But you can fight it quite easily and probably win when dealing with such a large company as the Bell outfits.
Your first line of attack should be to always demand that the collection agency validate their demand for payment. Notice I said "validate" not "verify".
When a collection agency first contacts you over any matter, you should always immediately demand validation of the indebtedness. Supposedly you have 30 days from the time you recieve their first communication to demand validation. Supposedly you lose your right to contest after 30 days, but in your case, you have a special lever you can use, and that is confusion. Write them and state that you are being hounded by however many collection agencies all demanding payment. State that you now wish to settle the matter once and for all but in order to eliminate the possibility of having to pay the same debt multiple times you must insist that they provide written, signed and sworn affidavit stating that the affiant is an officer of the company making claim and that no other person or entity has any right, title or interest in collecting the indebtedness. State that this affidavit you demand must be signed before notary public and sworn to under penalty of perjury.
Then tell them that they have 30 days after the verifiable receipt of your letter to provide you with the document you require and that failure to provide such proof or in the alternative a sworn statement that they no longer have any right title or interest in the claim will result in your filing complaints with all of the appropriate legal authorities including but not necessarily limited to the Federal Trade Commission, the Attorney General's office in the state in which they do business and the Attorney General's office in the state in which you reside. Also demand to be provided with the name and official title and address of the Corporate Officer designated by law to receive summons and legal notifications.
Send it to all of those bothering you. Sit back and watch the sweat begin to roll. Give them 30 days plus 5 Business days and if they have not replied with the required documentation, start filing charges including Fraud, abuse of debtor, Illegal use of multiple names in attempts to
coerce and cause debtor to commit acts which would create legal disability where none heretofore existed and several more.
Bill is correct on all of this, except about the 30 days. You do NOT lose your rights if you fail to validate w/in 30 days. The statute specifically states this.
Besides, they don't ever send their letters certified, return receipt requested... so who knows when their "first contact" with you is. The point, regardless of where you are with a collection company it can only help you to validate.