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Why Am I Still Being Chased for a Debt I Don’t Owe?

By on July 21, 2016

Question:

Dear Steve,

I have a debt collector that is trying to collect on a debt that isn’t mine, is now on my credit reports and, I believe, has violated my rights a few ways. First off, the supposed debt is from PayPal (admin’d by GE Capital at first and the entire business was sold to Syncrony Bank). The inaccurate debt is listed on my credit report by both PayPal/Syncrony AS WELL AS MB Credit (the collector). In effect a double hit. I did have a credit account with PayPal that I paid on time and have statements showing my history.

I formally disputed the debt, in writing and sent certified mail, with the collection agency and requested any documentation they could provide. They did NOT provide anything to me other than another offer to settle.

I talked to PayPal and they had no record of the disputed account (said it may have been purged) but did have info on my actual account that is in good standing. Since my last phone call with the collector (when I requested documentation and that all communication be in writing) AND since my certified letter was sent to them they have mailed at least 5 letters to my mothers house, with details of the supposed debt.

I haven’t resided at that house, legally or otherwise, since 1989 and its not even on my credit reports. It’s my understanding that (a) a company must provide documentation of their debt claim if requested and (b) a collector is allowed to contact a third party but only once, cannot disclose any info about the debt and only to ascertain a persons whereabouts. As I had been in communication with them they obviously know where I am. And 5 mailings, with details, is 4 more than the one allowed.

I’ve challenged these items with the credit bureaus, including copies of my letter and my account statements. But the response I received was that the debt was verified. HOW? Since no one can provide me with any info yet I can provide mine. What can I do? Also, am I correct on the violations by the collector? Your advice and guidance is appreciated.

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Chris

Answer:

Dear Chris,

Welcome to debt collection bullshit reality.

Debts get verified because someone click a box on a screen or checks a box on a piece of paper. That doesn’t mean it actually was verified.

Frankly, it sounds like you’ve got a great case for a Fair Debt Collections Practices Act lawyer to look at and most of these cases the lawyers will pursue on a contingency because they can get paid in the settlement.

I would go to the National Association of Consumer Advocates and look for a credit reporting or debt collection attorney in your state.

With the help of a competent lawyer, this should resolve in your favor. Find one ASAP.

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About 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.

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