I was referred to a collection agency for a "debt" I disputed owing to a previous landlord. After initially disputing the debt with the agency and requesting validation, I recently discovered that they had reported me anyways. I then sent them a cease-and-desist letter. My understanding from an attorney friend is that I have a strong case against them for FDCPA violations if I sue. The question: their most recent call after the cease-and-desist was a settlement offer for about half of the original amount. If I could pay a nominal amount, I might not sue - but I understand that part of the strength of my case was the violation of the cease-and-desist (when they called). If I call them back to see if they'll accept less, will it invalidate the violation and damage my case
Short answer: You will probably not weaken your "do not call" violation by initiating contact with them but it may impair your claim for actual damages since it could suggest that their calls were not, in fact, unwanted. You might consider getting a free case evaluation from a consumer debt collection attorney before you wade into this by yourself. A successful FDCPA/RFDCPA action could get you paid damages and make the debt goa away. I hope this helps!
" After initially disputing the debt with the agency and requesting validation, I recently discovered that they had reported me anyways."
When you say "reported me," are you referring to negative credit reporting? If the collection agency reported negative information to the credit bureaus after you disputed the debt but before they validated it, this could also be an FDCPA violation. The negative credit reporting is considered "collection activity."
My answer is general information only and is not legal advice.
Yes. Based on conduct reported, there appears to be a viable FDCPA and California Fair Debts Collections action.
No. Returning a call for the limited purpose of responding to the collection agency will not void the cease-and-desist letter that you sent to collection agency.
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