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Kaplan and Seager 1099-C Collection Letter Does Not Add Up

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

Received what looks like a collection letter threatening to file a 1099-C if I don’t pay a debt that supposedly happened 17 YEARS AGO.

Firm is called Offices of Kaplan and Seager. Not much online about them, I’ve never had any other contact from them. They claim I had an account with Nextcard. According to online research this bank was shutdown by the federal government due to massive fraud about 13 years ago.

The letter doesn’t contain any required verbage that you usually see on a collection notice. It shows the Charge-Off Balance of $2,208.48; origination date of 12/31/1998; $3,538.41 interest that this company appears to have awarded to itself.

The 1099-C is part of this one page “Notice of Intent to File an IRS 1099-C” form. It has my name and address, Event Code C, but does not include my SS# or Creditors ID number.

How would you handle this?

Should I respond? If so, what would you recommend?

I uploaded a copy so you can review it. The back is blank.

Thank you for your time.

Mario

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Answer:

Dear Mario,

It’s a collection attempt. They appear to significantly misrepresent the reality of the 1099-C and imply everyone may be subject to taxes owed. That is a gross oversimplification and not true in many cases. Read this and this.

Additionally I think you could make the argument to the IRS that if a 1099-C was issued in this specific example, it is in error. If they actually did report this debt I would suggest you contact the IRS to begin an 1099-C reporting error complaint.

Form 1099 Correction Process

  • Call the IRS and have an IRS representative initiate a Form 1099 complaint. The IRS will fill out form 4598, “Form W-2, 1098, or 1099 Not Received, Incorrect or Lost”
  • A letter will be sent to the entity initiating the 1099 and request that they furnish a corrected Form 1099 to the taxpayer within ten days. The letter advises the entity of their responsibilities to provide a corrected Form 1099 and of the penalties for failure to do so.
  • The taxpayer will be sent a letter that provides instructions and a copy of the Form 4598, “Form W-2, 1098, or 1099 Not Received, Incorrect or Lost.” The Form 4598 may be used in the event that the payer does not provide you with the corrected Form 1099 in time to file your tax return.
  • Attach the Form 4598 to the tax return. Be prepared to support the change to the Form 1099 with substantiation that proves the adjusted amounts. – Source
READ  We Got a 1099-C Five Years After We Lost Our House. - Eva

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Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

14 Comments

  • I got a letter from them as well . I did some digging and Kaplan and Samuels is not listed with the bbb. They have a number on the letter that is an answering service to a receptionist that never picks up. They lie and say false allegations of the going into litgation. Someone please file a complaint with the state of California before that hurt anymore people. Beware of the number 909 512 6878 and 888 418 0810

  • i received this same letter a couple months ago and put it aside not thinking about anything. I found this letter today cleaning out my desk today and I’m not gonna lie, i freaked out. So i e-mailed the company saying there has to be something wrong. i have a letter from another debt company saying it was paid off in full back in 2010 (for some reason i had the two letters together). now looking closer at this fake letter (or at least i hope), the account number is different from the letter that states i paid the debt off. Then i read these comments and found what to look for. i really would like to thank everyone made these comments and put my mind at ease. now the question is i already e-mailed them, do i just not respond if they do or do i tell them there was a mistake?

  • I got the same letter today from Offices of Kaplan and Samuels, P O BOX 1705, Colton, CA 92324 with phone number 888-488-0810.

    Same as the letter above from Offices of Kaplan and Seager. My debt was charged of on 6/2/2003. So, from my understanding, even IF this were not a scam, this debt is over 14 years old and the statute of limitations is long over for collecting this debt.

    Like others have said above, they do not have my SSN or DEBTOR’s identification number box filled in. Theirs however, is filled in and it says CREDITOR’S FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER: 32-0464925. Perhaps you have someone who can look into if this is even a legitimate number.

    Also, as a warning to other folks getting this scam letter, even IF it were a legitimate collection company, IF you even talk to them on the phone and admit to the debt or make a payment, no matter how small, it starts the debt clock all over again. Be careful and do NOT call these people or interact with them or they will claim you admitted owing it.

    This is a pure scare tactic and if this had not been so long ago in my case, I may have been scared. We DO need to somehow report this scam artist though because they are ripping off people that don’t know any better. I also don’t understand how it is legal to even sell a list of old debts to someone when it’s not a legitimate collection agency and for debts this old?

  • My husband received this letter also but from Kaplan and Samuels from a different address in Colton, CA. The website is complete bs so I did some digging and called the number on the letter, mind you this is a debt we paid off over a year ago. A lady answered and had me give the account number after I stated that this was already paid, she brought up all the information and I told her there is no way I am paying you anything because this was already paid. She stated that if I could find the receipt of the pay off she would take the account out of the system (this is likely because they think no one keeps those records however I am a pack rat and keep everything for reasons like this). I then told her this was a scam and she didn’t care for that so she fought back stating that even though we paid it if we couldn’t find the receipt that we would have to pay again (again thinking that obviously I didn’t keep my records). Well I had a few choice words with her about her “company” and let her know I would gladly send her the receipt of payment. I found the receipts and made sure that all information that could be a risk for identity theft was not there and gave them to her with a very snippy letter demanding that I receive something stating this was taken care of. Long story short I have a lawyer I work with regularly and this will be brought to their attention. Do not fall victim and pay these people everyone especially if like some of you said your debts are very old, the IRS will not come after you. I also urge you all to keep and and all pay off records for these situations because debt collectors (scam artists) will do anything they can to get anything out of you. Trust me I study law and this is not right nor is it legal to claim they are a lawyers office with several different names.

  • My daughter got the same letter about a 10 year old debt, so I did some digging:

    1) No ID numbers are included on the 1099, either her SS or their Tax Payer ID number. The IRS wouldn’t have a clue what to do with this if they sent it to them. The IRS isn’t going to just grab some random person by this name and attach a tax bill to them.

    2) The website for this “company” was secured as a domain on 1/4/2017 and the website launched 23 days later. It is a one page website that tries to sound like a law firm, using language like “The Offices of Kaplan and Seager”, but never claim they are lawyers. That would be illegal and suggest practicing law without a license.

    3) The physical address resolves to a Pack Mail [drop box] location. Probably some shnuk working out of an apartment.

    4) The California Bar Association shows no person named Kaplan working in that city. There is only one person named Seager who is a lawyer working in California, but she’s in intellectual property, not collections or debt recovery. I contacted her directly and she has no knowledge of the outfit.

    5) My daughter also got a phone call from someone on the debt who also claimed they could attach her tax return and the IRS would do the debt collection for them. The IRS does no such thing and the IRS doesn’t send your tax return to any debt collection company.

    I agree that this is someone who bought up a list of old debts for a very nominal amount and hopes to panic people into making a payment by showing them an official-looking document. My guess is that being a new tactic, there are a few people who will do just that, especially when they are told to file this with their return for this year. Had my daughter not called me in panic, she probably would have sent something as they are offering a huge discount on the debt and to her, it seemed like a last minute bargain.

  • I got the same letter today. EXACT same wording, but different collection company. Its obviously the ‘new’ collection letter. Even if it is true, its not going to have to be filed till 2017 as the dates state 2017.. even though the letter says to file in 2016. Also, no fdi numbers and those (or at least the creditor) are required. If the debt was cancelled and the date was (in my case) 2/7/2017, then why are they requesting payoff or payment plans? For now, its just a fake, though nothing says that they couldn’t actually file one next year. I also read somewhere that the original creditor is the one who has to file a 1099.. so who knows. I kept the letter if it comes back to haunt me this tax year for some odd reason

    • I just got the same letter with the date of identifiable event as 2/9/2017 from a debt 9 years ago. I looked up the collection company as well, and couldn’t find any information about them. The above letter is the same thing I received with different amounts and different collection company. I don’t understand.

      • You are on an old debt list or someone bought the old debt hoping you will accidently to admit to the old debt and potentially start the clock again on the statute of limitations so they can sue you.

    • I received a similar letter and took it to my tax accountant. She informed me that she would look into it. When she got back to me, it does appear that a 1099c can be issued for debt that is discharged if the amount is over $600.00. The only way to get around it would be to show that you were insolvent at the time the debt is discharged and then only the amount of insolvency can be applied to the discharged debt. I argued that the debt had been covered in my bankruptcy several years ago, but she told me that according to the IRS, bankruptcy does not absolve you of paying the taxes on debt that is discharged. I do not remember all the forms she said I would need to show insolvency, but she did contact the company I received the letter from and she was told the payment options on the letter I received were to show the account is satisfied as opposed to discharged and if I was amenable to one of the payment options, once I made the payment(s) a release of liability for the account would be issued,

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