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Can OC charge you for statements?

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I posted this on another forum and although there is agreement in that they can't charge you for documentation to support their credit entry, nobody can find a specific reference...maybe you can? Here is the original post:

An OC is listing a debt as charged off. I wrote them a letter disputing the debt stating that I did not believe I had any account with them and I requested that they reply with a copy of the contract used to open the account and statements showing I was past due.

They did reply with an EXTREMELY poor quality contract which was not legible except I could make out my signature. They then stated that the contract stated I was required to pay $8 per previous statement since I was already provided with each statement once.

I replied stating that I never received any statements showing I was past due and I challenged them to show me otherwise. I also requested that they send me a legible copy of the contract which requires that I pay $8 per page.

They never replied but continue to verify the debt on my credit reports when I dispute it through the CRA.

Since they are an OC, they are not subject to the FDCPA so that's out. I can't find anything in the FCRA about it. I can't reference the FCBA (Fair Credit Billing Act) because it states I must contact the creditor within 60 days of the first bill containing the error. I didn't receive a bill...if I did, it was 3 years ago so I think that would be out.

I also searched the MICHIGAN CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT and cannot find anything there....what am I missing?

Someone pointed out that, if an account is being disputed vs. simply requesting past statements that you lost or something, they can't charge you. I can't find any reference though!!!

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There is nothing specifically prohibiting charges for information. HOWEVER - they need to provide you this information whether or not they charge you for it if they are reporting on your credit report and you are disputing it. If they can't prove what they are reporting on your credit report, you can sue them for false reporting.

So this is a "reading between the lines" thing.

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Well, I guess I do have one edge. I don't think I received any statement stating that I was past due $200 (I was moving a lot around that time). I still don't believe I was $200 past due. But, the FCBA does state that if I dispute within 60 days of my erroneous bill, they must provide me with documentation proving I owe the money. Since I never received a bill, I could state that I notified them within 60 days of seeing the entry on my credit report and I could word it as though it looks like they are required to provide me free documentation according to the FCBA.

It doesn't specifically say for free but I would assume that, since it is arising out of dispute, this is probably what they are referring to. So you are right, neither you nor I can find anything which states that they specifically must provide you the information FREE of charge.

However, $8 per previous statement seems a little ridicilous to show them that THEY are wrong when they have the burden of proof. I may have to go to court on this one given the fact that they won't provide me with any proof of being past due nor will they send me a contract stating that I must pay $8 per statement for documentation arising out of a dispute (opposed to $8 for requesting a lost statement)!

I'm ranting..thanks for the help!

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