I just had a Debt Collector call me "Asset Acceptance" and tell me I owe on a phone bill from 2001?!

Asked about 4 years ago - Grass Valley, CA

Thinking back i remember this period of time.... a renter opened a phone line in my name, I had no idea. What is the statute of limitations on this issue? They stated there had been some 31 letters sent to the past address that i have not lived at for over nine years and that the time to dispute the charges had past? Please help..... Any advise you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Robert Jan Suhajda

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . Asset acceptance is a collection agency that many people have their complaints against saying that they pressurize consumers to pay for more.
    The statute of limitation is 4 years so the debt is uncollectible.
    Ask them to send you proof of the debt.
    Record dates, and conversations with their collectors as they may be violation the Fair Debt Collections Act and the Rosenthal Act in CA. Tell them they are being recorded. Tell them
    not to call again.

    Although the above response is believed to be accurate, it should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. No attorney client relation is formed with me without a written contract.

    Good Luck starts with a strategy and a plan.

    Robert J. Suhajda, MS,CPA
    17721 Norwalk Blvd. #43
    Artesia, CA 90701

    Former financial auditor and controller. Admitted to US Tax Court, Income Tax, Bankruptcy, IRS representation, Fiduciary income tax returns, Estate and Gift tax returns

  2. Robert Harlan Stempler

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . This is not only beyond any possible statute of limitations in California, it is also an identity theft debt, if you did not authorized the roommate to open the account. You should send letter #1.1 from my sample letters, linked below, by Certified Mail to dispute this old debt and ask them to validate it. Be sure to keep a copy of the letter.

    You also should review m legal guide on Avvi (through my Avvo profile) on how to protect yourself from identity theft and what to do when you discover it. Hopefully, this was the only account, but you need to enssure that there are no others. Once you know this, you may then want to consider a police report for identity theft, to cover your bases.

    The calls should stop or contact me for a consultation, if you send the letter and the calls continue.

  3. Vincent A. Gorski


    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . I agree with my colleagues.

    Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are for informational purposes and neither constitute legal advice nor should they be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is fact sensitive, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and a review of all facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am a California Bankruptcy lawyer. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to obtain advice specific to the particular facts of your case.

  4. Theodore Lyons Araujo


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Ignore them but answer the phone. Record the times and dates that they call. You need not engage them just tell them that the bill is not yours, that to report it to a credit reporting agency would be actionable because the information is false and you are not going to pay it. Negative information stays on your credit report for 7 years so they should not be able to put it on your report, but you should check annualcreditreport.com to get access to your free credit report.

  5. John Griffin Watts

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . Asset Acceptance is a particularly aggressive debt buyer - they buy up bad debt - and you need to be careful with them. I have sued them a number of times for abusing my clients.

    If this is not your debt because it was identity theft then you should have no liability or responsibility for it.

    Do be careful about re-aging - where collectors change the date the account went bad in order to keep it on your credit report - http://www.alabamaconsumerlawblog.com/2007/05/d...

    Get with a good consumer lawyer in CA to help you - this should not be a problem for you once you get with a lawyer.

    John Watts
    Birmingham, Alabama

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