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I recieved a shady collection agency notice and am not sure how to procede.

Bellingham, WA |

I recieved a notice that I owe Sprint $378 and could send $75 and the account would be settled in full. I called Sprint who said they knew nothing of the charges. I called the collection agency who said it was a bill from 1998-2000 from Eugene, OR. I did live briefly in Eugene but moved to Bellingham in the 1st half of 1999. I think my old roomate used my information. The collection agency gave me an account # to give to Sprint. When I gave that account # to Sprint they said it belonged to a Boost Mobile account for another person. Because it was an old Boost account the rep. at Sprint could not access it. Sprint told me to fill out and Idenity theft form. I am not sure I should fill it out because of the discrepancy
between the information between the collection agency and Sprint.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. One important protection of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practice Act 9FDCPA) is written verification of the debt, which you should demand. Secondly, the FDCPA provides statutory damages and attorney's fees for consumers where the debt collector violates the Act. Threatening to take action they cannot legally take is a violation, as is representing that liability exists when it does not. Your needs will be best met by consulting with a consumer-rights attorney, often available on a no-cost/no-obligation basis. In the meantime, you would not send money to someone you don't know to pay a debt you don't think you owe.

    Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

  2. Ms. Sinclair is right on the money! Since the FDCPA contains an attorneys' fee provision, you might be able to find a lawyer that will take the case. The statutory damage award under the FDCPA is nothing substantial but commencing the suit will send the message to Sprint that you are not playing games.

    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.

  3. A bill from 1998-2000 is stale and can no longer be collected, at least under Washington law. I don't know about OR law, but here? It is too late. Other posters have given you good advice. Elizabeth Powell

    Using Avvo does not form an attorney client relationship.

  4. I agree with the other posts here. I may only add that, practically, you could consider proceeding roughly like this:

    1. Send a letter to the collection agency notifying them that you dispute this debt, you do not intend to pay this debt, and they should cease and desist from contacting you further. You should keep a copy of this letter for your records. Under federal consumer law they must honor your request to stop communicating with you.

    2. If this makes them go away, then you can go on with your life...

    3. If they continue to communicate with you, you should keep records of all their communications, and contact a consumer law attorney if it is clear they are not leaving you alone.

    This is just a suggested course of action, of course.

    Best of luck,
    Tim L. Eblen