A friend of mine told me that after an 8+ year association with a cell phone carrier, when changing to another carrier, the prior said she owes @ $500.00. When contacting the carrier, she was told there was a change on her account in 2012 that made a “new agreement.”
But this “change” could not be verified. Shortly after the conversation, she received a letter from a collection agency of an amount close to $700. A letter was mailed, return receipt to the merchant and the collection agency asking to verify the debt.
Within, the 30 days waiting for a response from either, she received another letter from the collection agency for the same debt amount and a notification that the debt would be reported to the credit reporting agencies within @ 12 days from the date of the letter.
Reviewing the guidelines under the FDCPA, it was understood that the collector had to stop collection activities until the verification of debt is sent. My question to you is, am I correct to believe the collection agency is in violation of the FDCPA for contacting her prior to verification and what should be done from here?
If your friend has proof of receipt and sent a letter similar to the one I suggest in How to Dispute and Ask a Debt Collector to Validate a Debt then the collector could not continue collection activity until they had verified the debt.
But we are left with two possibilities. The first is the last letter was an indication they felt the debt was valid, which would be sloppy on their part. The second is that the last letter was just sent out by some automated process.
Without admitting anything on the debt I think your friend should call the collection company and ask for a status update on the verification request and inquire why they are still attempting collections when they have not responded to the request.
If they have received the validation request and are totally disregarding it then I would advise your friend to contact a FDCPA attorney in their state for help.
My bet is this is most likely just an administrative oversight.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.