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1st POST EVER: COLLECTION GURUS! Help me Clarify, do this smart, and take right action. So I can make the 5pm deadline.

Hello, and thanks in advance for your guidance. I am in a pickle. I have

used search. Read every pertinent thread obsessively for 3 days and nights and I am growing more confused on how to clarify the right action in this situation. I feel I'm right but I don't know how to proceed effectively with ease.


1) Please help me clarify the rock solid truth of my situation.

2) what specific action to take next.

3) How to dispute it successfully and smart without Getting sued, hurting my CR, or getting a judgment against me.


Collection Co: Asset Accept lc (collection co 3) 2006 (this is the third

agency for the same dispute) -

one in 2003, (Collection Co 1), 2005 (Collection co 2)- sent generic certified dispute letters (did not know about your site then!) to former two CAs – never heard from them again.

State: IL

Bill: Date 2002

Bill: originally (XXXLD co) long distance ONLY. (long distance was separate

company from Ameritech local) Unauthorized and exorbitant and false LD

charges. Disputed, refunded part of it. ($1000), Disputed remainder.

completely separate from Ameritech LOCAL PHONE BILL I even sent all checks

with the memo written- (pay Ameritech only- Not XXXLD Long distance company.


When the remainder of the LD XXX bill was disputed.

Ameritech REPEATEDLY ADDED the LD XXX portion on the AMERITECH past due notice BALANCE. Each time I called Ameritech told them of the Dispute. They took off the XXXLD portion. They told me the Ameritech portion. I got so frustrated at having to keep doing this. I always paid the Ameritech bill in full. I paid the Ameritech bill it in

full for the last time when my company went out of business In 2002. Disputed the XXX LD. And shut off the phone.


Received phone call (on my unlisted number) from AssAc, (collect co 3) did not talk. They called back and left messages. Never talked to them.

sent generic certified dispute letter to AssA stating:

1. That amount was disputed and was not a Ameritech bill. That the Ameritech bill was paid in full. That the portion added to the past due was for a XXXLD bill that was 100% disputed (did not name the

original creditor (XXXld company)) and did not have anything to due with Ameritech.

2. not to call me but to write was ok as long as it was not certified.

3. that my business had closed and I only had a po box #.


They (AssAc) send me a letter saying enclosed are the documents in

regard to this matter Please contact this office regarding this matter and possible settlement.


They enclosed a copy of an SBC bill w my name on it for $3K+ on the past due portion. It looks just like a phone bill with the XXXXLD dispute once again added in to the past due portion of the SBC BILL.


They send me a BILL LABELED SBC- SBC BILL which is bogus because,

1. it was an XXXXLD bill originally. NOT SBC. -also SBC DID NOT EXIST, AS SBC HAD NOT BOUGHT AMERITECH YET in 2002.

2. it was added to Ameritech as a past due portion which it was not. And was false billing.

3. there was no SBC when I was going through this, so how can it be a copy of the old bill?

4. I dispute the original XXLD charges. I dispute the adding of them to the

past due portion of the Ameritech bill.

5. What also pissed me off is that ATT/SBC gave my personal info to the

collection company. Can they do that?


So now is the when I have to respond within the 30 days. And time is up.

Its a mess and I need help to clarify what to do.


What is the statue of limitation for a phone bill in Illinois. (Is it 10

years for written and 5 years for oral.) And if so, Is an SBC or XXLD long

distance phone bill a oral agreement or written?

QUESTION 2: I am concerned about protecting my FICO. (unless I file BK) (They must have a way of scanning scores through SBC as I see a scan on my CR. This Bill or collection notice has never been reported on any of my scores.They have not reported in 4 years, I have high FICO that I worked so hard at getting, Paid everything perfectly for 5 years.


will the credit bureau

paragraph in in YOUR DV make the CA send a report To my credit bureaus? In other words, that clause - telling them not to do it - tip them off that it is now valuable to me and they will do it or use it for leverage, or cause them to do it.? If they did and I have no blemishes, how low EXACLTY would this make my score go? 100 Points or lower?


Also will a collection or a judgment trigger the universal default notice

and make all my other credit cards go sky high? This is important.

QUESTION 5- What is the best value for credit monitoring service that REALLY monitors changes for all 3 bureaus. I already got my 3 free and they were all clean. SBC did a screen of my credit reports saw my FICO was higher. This is how I think they triggered the collection notice. How can I stop this from happening in the future? what is the best credit value monitoring service that monitors all three bureau? What also pissed me off is that ATT gave my personal info to the collection company. Can they do that?


1) to not harm my FICO

2) to not trigger universal so other CC apr go up.

3) to dispute this correctly and smart.

4) to prevent future scanning of my CR

4) to use the right next action that will not get me sued, hurt my CR, or get a judgement against me. What would you do?


1. send the C& D budd hibbs letter...saying will only work with original

creditors. (do they even know or care who that is?)

2. send DV letter on your site

3. see consumer lawyer

4. bankruptcy. ( I am 29k in MED,IRS<CC debt and only made 27K last year. I was trying to pay it off but this last collection notice for over 3K more is putting me over the line financially and emotionally. I cant sleep till I know what to do next.

How do I play this smart?

All constructive advice, comments, experiences, links. Guidance, etc. most welcome.



Additional BACKGROUND INFO/and just plain Venting:

When the deregulation of the LD phone companies took effect In 1999-2002,.There was a lot of bogus or exorbitant charges being put on bills. This practice was called slamming. I was charged falsely for my business Long distance charges by 3 companies. won full refunds from 2 but with the last, XXXXLD co, I disputed the charges in full by certified

letter, and received a partial credit of $1000, but they did not refund the rest so I promptly also disputed the remainder of the false charges by certified letter. This portion they did not refund and so remained in dispute. At the time as a courtesy the

Long distance charges of all companies were added as part of the main bill Which was Ameritech, (later SBC,Later ATT). The long distance XXXLD charges were completely separate. They were not added to the main Ameritech bill at first. But as the dispute progressed, because of the nature how Ameritech laid out the billing of the statements. The XXXLD (which were the disputed charges) were ADDED INTO AND LISTED in the “past due “portion of the Ameritech bill. (I believe this process has been eliminated a few years later because of the confusion it caused) because of this billing process, I had to tell Ameritech repeatedly:

1. that the charges were false and disputed – for the long distance XXXLD

portion only.

2. 2) Find out the exact Ameritech portion of the bill each time.

3. 3) pay the Ameritech portion of the bill in full.

4. So I was paid up in full for Ameritech at all times. the disputed XXXLD

charges were not paid.

5. I wrote this on each check:

6. ( payment to AMERITECH ONLY - NOT XXXLD written on the memo line ON THE


7) , My company went out of business in 2002. I paid the Ameritech portion in full. Again disputed the wrong XXXLD charges only. And shut the phone off forever. PAID IN FULL.

8) I don’t want to pay these false charges. It feels like extortion Just to protect my Fico or to not trigger universal to increase the apr on my other CC...I also don’t want the emotional drain of all this fighting and fear.

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First, contact the Illinois Commerce Commission. Your complaint to them is that Ameritech/SBC/AT&T are continuing collection activity on FRAUDULENT CHARGES by a 3rd party billing entity from over 5 years ago.

This will get the ball rolling and force AT&T to recall the collection. The ICC can fine AT&T for a lot of money...much more than you are being pursued for...for the way your original disputes were handled.

The ICC should be able to assist you in getting this resolved with a formal letter from AT&T to clear you.

As for Asset, send them a cease and desist notice telling them that they are attempting to collect on fraudulent billing charges. Make sure that your letter makes them fully aware that you did not incur any of those charges and they are the result of telephone "slamming."

DO NOT talk to anyone from Asset on the phone. EVER. They are trained to trick you into accepting responsibility for the debt.

The SoL in Illinois for utilities is 4 years. Don't mention in your letter that the SoL is past, which it is. Your primary reason for dispute is that the charges are fraudulent.

Pull your reports to make sure Asset has not already put something on. Pull again a few days after Asset gets your letter. If Asset puts a tradeline on after they got your correspondence, they broke the law and you can sue. If they send you any payment demands or call you after getting your letter, they also break the law there and can be sued.

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thank you so much for all your replys. I really appreciate it.

to answer your questions:

1) sole prop

2) What letter do I send to a&#036;&#036; CD or DV, I already told them it was not my charges in the previous.

3) tomorrow is the 30th day. so I have to send it by then.

4) I dont care about suing I just want it to not affect my CR. and to not have it cost me.

5) how do you know the sol for utilities is 4 years, can you show me a link please.

Thanks for all your advice...

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Since this was a business debt, consumer collection and credit laws do not apply. However, Methuss' recommendations do apply because the basis of your dispute is you were a fraud victim.

Since you were a sole prop, you are potentially liable for any business debt incurred. If your case is beyond SOL, then you have at least one affirmative defense (fraud victim being the other). I also encourage you to keep the option of filing a lawsuit as a last resort because that's what it may take to clear this all up.

As for your other question, you can opt out of pre-approved credit offers by writing letters to the CRA's and telling them so. This will prevent companies from "scanning" your credit report.

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Thanks. again a few more questions.

If I send a C&D and a unauthorized charge dispute couldnt it make them sue me?

Would a DV buy me time? To further research this?

Also because I already sent them a letter first and proactivly disputed

this. does the 30 days apply to their reply? I am confused about this.

if I do get sued how much could it cost in money, time, and energy, to defend? More than a settlement?

I no longer have many records of all this. But the collection agency does.

should I send them the canceled checks? with the PAY ameritech NOT XXXLD on them? along with the previous collections letters to prove I disputed it?

Can I do a block on SBC scanning only? or do I have to block all offers?

What is the best credit monitoring service that really scans all 3 often?

I have many medical things going on and the last thing I want to do

is create another life energy drain or battle.

I am really looking for the least expensive solution money AND energy wise. and all guidance is appreciated.


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Re-read Methuss' post again. He told you everything you need to do. The only way to guarantee that you won't get sued is to pay the debt. Save your old dispute letters and canceled checks for court, if it comes to that.

Since this was a business debt, consumer collection and credit laws do not apply.

DV is a waste of time, so you shouldn't even be considering it. C&D anyway and keep a record of it. If the CA keeps contacting you, you may have grounds for harrassment.

An opt-out is an all-or-nothing choice. You can't pick and choose which companies you want to soft-pull your CRs.

Credit monitoring only provides a snapshot of your CRs. The only true way to get the latest information is to order your reports from the source.

if I do get sued how much could it cost in money, time, and energy, to defend? More than a settlement?

Only a lawyer in your town has a shot at answering this.

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