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I wasn't notified that a bill was sent to collections agency

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Hi All,

First time poster.

2 years ago I paid for a service (Internet Access) from Time Warner Cable. It was at an apartment that I was living at temporarily. I never submitted any changes of address because I still legally lived at home. I used the service for 2 months and then requested it to be terminated once I moved out. I have no proof of this and neither does Time Warner. The service continued to be used by my ex-room mates and was never paid for. They canceled service after 3 months of non-payment. 3 months after that the unpaid bill was turned over to a collections agency (third party).

I never left a forwarding address from the place where the service was being provided. But I did leave a work number that still hasn't changed in the 2 years since. I never received a phone call or a letter to my real address (accessible by social security, or a phone book) about the bill being sent to a collections agency.

Did Time Warner or the collections agency have any obligation to try and contact me about this? The only reason I found out was I called to get new service today and was denied because of this balance.

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  • 9 months later...

Obligation and what is CA is going to do are two totally separate things.

The role of a collector is to make money. What they are obligated to do does not make them money.

There two ways for a collector to make money.

1. The lazy way.

2. The aggressive way.

The lazy way would be to simply put the collection on your credit report. Someday, when you are denied credit, you will contact them about it. They know that an outstanding collection account is a deal breaker. It is almost impossible to get good credit terms even if you once had spotless credit. Reporting to the CRAs is their best weapon.

The next best weapon is the agressive approach, which happens to be intimidation. Here, the collector wants to collect cold hard cash on an account because he wants to make money for himself. And that has other implications like meeting his quote, getting enough points for his trip to Cancun or other prize, etc... At this point, the collector will bend over backwards to find you and he doesn't necessarily have to find you directly. One collector called up every person in the phone book who had my last name in order to find me. He eventually found my brother.

As what a CA is obligated to do is really worthless. It depends entirely on what kind of approach a collector will use.

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