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Do I have to respond to Unifund if it's not my account?


thirdchild
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A month ago, I received a letter saying I owed money to Unifund for a account they bought. But it was not my account. :shock: I would have been 12 years old in order to have opened the account with a credit card company I've never held an account with. Unifund reported it to TransUnion, and I filed a investigation request with TransUnion and sent a letter to Unifund denying this account. TransUnion removed the account from my credit history but then I get this letter from Unifund...

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Dear xxx,

We have received your correspondence regarding the aboved referenced account. However, further documentation is needed to resolve this account (for example, proof of prior resolution, prior payment, or bankruptcy papers). Please feel free to contact this office at xxx(ph number) to discuss this important matter

Sincerely,

Bleh

Unless you notify this office within 30 days after receiving this notice that you distpute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid. If you notify this office in writing withing 30 days from receiving this notice that you dispute the debt, or any portion thereof, this office will: obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgement and mail you a copy of such judgement or verification. If you notify this office in writing withing 30 days from receiving this notice, this office will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor. (...I am a debt collector, blah...)

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My question is...

Should I call, write a second letter or can I ignore this? My original letter did not include my SSN, since I've been reading that Unifund has poor practices. What can I do to make this clear, it isn't me?

Thanks in advance.

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What did you send them before? Who's collecting it - Unifund or a collection agency? What state are you in? We need more info.

Make sure you read all the stickies. Most eveything is covered. Search search search!

Welcome :D

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Ooops, I'll look in the stickies too.

Unifund is collecting it. I'm in California.

And this was my original letter to them:

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I received a letter addressed to XXX from your company in regards to a purchased account, YYY 1234. This account was opened on 1/1/1992 and has a balance of $402.83.

This debt is NOT valid, and I dispute this claim. I have never held an account with YYY. This account is NOT mine, and I am NOT XXX. My name is XYX, and in 1992, I would have been twelve years old. Please check and compare the Social Security Number and date of birth used for the YYY account.

I request that you remove this claim from my credit history IMMEDIATELY, and I have requested TransUnion to investigate and correct this false claim. I am enclosing a copy of the letter I have received, and the portion of my credit report referring to your company.

Please remove this claim from my credit history within the next 30 days, and send me a confirmation letter stating when you have done so.

Sincerely,

XYX

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I think I'm worried because the original letter from Unifund sounded like a stick-up.

Well according to this chart, I think I keep pursing this with Unifund, and send them the 15 day letter? Pretty cool chart by the way.

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/rebuild/debt_validation_workflow.shtml

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Since you're in California, you could DV them. Make them prove the debt is yours (they won't be able to, of course). http://www.creditinfocenter.com/rebuild/debt_validation.shtml

If they keep tryingto collect on this there are a million ways they can screw up, which you could sue them for. You may not feel like going that route.

Is this account on your credit report? edit: Just re-read what you said.

or - Do you know when it supposedly became delinquent? Look at your credit report. It sounds like it could also be old enough to simply send them a Cease and Desist. If they say it became deliquent more than 7 years ago, then they can't re-list it. The Statute of Limitations is 4 years here, so they can't sue you for it either (they'd be crazy to attempt that, anyway). Sounds to me like you could send them a Go Pound Sand letter ("SOL is up, suckers!"). If it's old enough they can't do a thing to you. 8-)

Also, don't call, and don't send them your SS#. It's their job to prove they can collect on this debt, not yours.

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If they say they require further proof, since you are claiming the account is not yours, you have two choices:

1. Send a reply letter by certified mail with a copy of the original letter and a copy of your driver's license showing your birthdate...and again demand they cease, desist, and de-list.

2. File a police report for identity theft at your local police station and mail a copy to them explaining that since they refuse to accept the simple facts, they left you with no choice but to formally accuse them of fraud. Let them know that any continued collection, transfer/sale of the account, or even a single phone call would constitute a violation of federal law...that they may only respond by mail to inform that they are removing the account from your reports and permanently ceasing all activity on it.

That should nail the door closed on them.

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There is no need to go even this far with Unifund. The OP is in California. In California, it is illegal, and a violation, to even attempt collection of a timebarred debt in this state. If this debt is from 1992, it is so old, it is beyond any sense of reality.

In short, send them a full C&D telling them to close, delete, and go eat maggot droppings, or be sued for multiple violations of the California Civil Code 1788.3 et seq. Also state you are sending copies of all correspondence to the California AG's office, Consumer Division, for further investigation, as this can be considered an act of fraud, which is a Felony in this state.

Go to the credit repair section on this site and click on the sticky titled "The Law in Calif . . .". then click on the second post. This takes you to the Summary of the FDCPA as California interprets the laws and acts on it. Scroll down to Article 2.6 and read this. Be sure and include the footnotes. As to the reference to Kimber v FFC, it is in the thread toward the last page. In fact, read the whole thread as there is more than sufficient informatiion for you there.

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Sorry, I ought to put down some dates from the original letter and clarify a bit. The dates are pretty screwy I think.

Unifund said this original account opened in 1/1/1992 and has been accruing interest since 10/26/2004. So it sounds like the account was last used in 10/2004.

Oddly, in their entry on my credit report, they said the account was opened 11/28/2005 and reported on 2/14/2006.

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So I think I'm going to go with "1. Send a reply letter by certified mail with a copy of the original letter and a copy of your driver's license showing your birthdate...and again demand they cease, desist, and de-list."

If they keep messing with me I'll do "In short, send them a full C&D telling them to close, delete, and go eat maggot droppings, or be sued for multiple violations of the California Civil Code 1788.3 et seq. Also state you are sending copies of all correspondence to the California AG's office, Consumer Division, for further investigation, as this can be considered an act of fraud, which is a Felony in this state. "

More or less, I regard their attempt to get money from me, fraud. I'm very happy I did some research online before getting into all of this or I could have been fooled into just sending them a check and having this screw with my credit history. :shock:

Thanks folks!

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Well this is the letter I've come up with...Please let me know if I can improve on anything.

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Dear Customer Service:

For the record, I state again that Account Number xxx Cxxx is not my account. I request that you CEASE and DESIST in your efforts to collect on the above referenced account. I have never held a Cxxx account. This is the second time I am disputing this account in writing. I am not the one you are seeking, I am not your customer nor have I entered any contract with you.

In the letter sent 05/17/06, Blehbleh, a customer representative, requested that I provide documentation to resolve this matter. As documentation, I am providing a copy of my driver’s license, and copies of the letters sent by your company on 04/10/06 and 05/17/06.

Please note the following:

1. My name is not XYX.

I have highlighted my name, XXX, on my driver’s license. Both your letters are addressed to XYX.

2. I could not have opened the original account on 01/01/1992. I would have been underage at 11 years old.

I have highlighted my birth date on my driver’s license, and the date the account was opened, as stated on the Unifund letter from 04/10/06.

You have fifteen (15) days from receipt of this notice to send me a letter to acknowledge that this matter is permanently closed. This is a request for you to correct your records, delete all claims placed on my credit history and cease and desist any attempt to collect from me. Any information received from you will be collected as evidence should any further action be necessary.

Failure to respond within 15 days of receipt of this registered letter will force me to file a complaint with and forward all correspondence to the California Attorney General, for further investigation, as this can be considered an act of fraud.

GIVE THIS LETTER THE IMMEDIATE ATTENTION IT DESERVES.

Sincerely,

Bleh

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Hi, to me it sounds good.. of course someone else more seasoned in this can comment further..

I would suggest, if you haven't done so already, to black out your DL#

They don't need that information...it's like your SS#... you don't show it on any documents unless required..

If you do black it out make sure to make another copy of that sheet... when you make a copy what you blacked out will not show through.

Good Luck!!

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The letter you sent them should do the trick. I would however advise that under no circumstances personal information be sent to a junk debt acquirer such as UNIFUND! Dumpster pickers IMO are hardly entitled to a response at all, let alone all of your personal financial life in order to find someone out there to screw!

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Dumpster pickers IMO are hardly entitled to a response at all, let alone all of your personal financial life in order to find someone out there to screw!

No doubt. Thirdchild is being much nicer than I would be. For a tradeline/collection which I'm 100% sure is not mine at all, I go directly to affidavit of ID theft, mailed to both the CA and CRA and a demand for immediate removal and consumption of maggot droppings. No DV, no C&D, no please & thank you. I don't play the "prove it's not you game" with them. You don't have to prove it's not you. They have to prove it IS you.

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Well I'm getting annoyed! I just got a demand from a second collection agency, Northland Group for an account with another credit card company.

They're going to get a letter from me too!

I just thought of checking my credit report again, and at least they haven't tacked on random stuff into my credit report like Unifund.

The middle initial on these delinquent accounts is wrong. Is this normal fishing from collections agencies or should I be wary of identity theft?

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edit

reading through, it looks like fishing. Since no one actually opened an aaccount under my actual name and SSN, no one stole my ID.

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