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Got a letter from a collection agency...


icestorm
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i recently got a letter from a collection agency regarding an amount i owe to a community college i went to around 3 yrs ago. i have not seen this in my credit report. it doesnt really mention any details except the amount i owe. i think college normally drop you from the class if you have not paid in full....

is it okay for me to reply with asking for more info (from divemedic)...Thanks

DV letter for CA:

You

Your address

CA

CA Address

DATE

This letter is being sent to you in response to (a letter I recently received/an entry in my credit file). Be advised that this is not a refusal to pay, but a notice sent pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15USC1692g(B) that your claim is disputed and validation is requested.

In accordance with the above statute(s), I am asking that you prove that you have the correct debtor, the correct balance and that you are legally authorized to collect this debt, by providing documentation establishing the following:

• Name and address of Original Creditor

• Name, address and account number on file for alleged debtor

• Amount of alleged debt

• Date that this alleged debt became payable

• Date that the account originally became delinquent

• Verifiable proof that I have a contractual obligation to pay your firm.

• Any agreement that bears my signature, wherein I agreed to pay the creditor.

• A copy of all statements while this account was open.

• Any documents that grant your organization the authority to collect this alleged debt.

If your offices are able to provide the proper documentation as requested, I will require at least 30 days to investigate this information. According to the law, you must cease all collection activity on this account until the above information is sent to me. All correspondence shall be in writing. At no time shall you call me at my place of employment. Also be advised that, should you call me at any other location, all telephone calls will be recorded.

I wish to thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide in this matter.

YOU

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They will probably be able to forward you a bill from the college, which is proper validation and good enough proof in court.

I would also send a CMRRR to the college at the same time, letting them know you got a letter from some collection agency and enclose a copy. State, confidently, that the college has made an accounting error and that you do not owe them any money at all and to get the CA off your back. If you did, the college would have let you know about it a long time ago, but this is the first you heard of it and that you know for a fact that you had a zero balance with the school when you left there. You have to be firm.

This will create a written dispute with the college that you can use as leverage later on if you can't pay in full right now and it gets ugly.

If you can pay in full, wait until you recieve your resonses from them both, then send the money with a letter letting them know that it is to settle the matter, and does not admit anything and that you still dispute the validity of the debt because you don't recall ever attending for that semester blah blah blah.

Also include a phrase to keep the CA form reporting anything at all. This is important because sometimes CA's will add a "paid" TL to your reports after you have paid just to be mean and is the reason to go ahead and pay the CA in this case. If you pay the college, they will give the CA their cut and the CA may report that paid TL to get even with you for not paying them directly.

Obviously, this calls for you to preemptively abuse the system a little by putting that little white lie in writing when you know damn good and well that you owe the college money. It is unfortunate, but consumers are pretty much forced to stoop to those JDB levels to avoid the abuse of an unfair credit scoring system.

Make sure you use some form of the word "dispute" in your letters to both the CA and the school.

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  • 4 weeks later...

update:

i sent the following letter to the college::

March 22, 2008

XXXX

My Address

XXXX

XXX

College Address

XXX

Attn: Bursar’s Office

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am confused regarding a recent letter I received from a collection agency (copy of the letter is enclosed) for an amount I owe to XX College. I lived in XX[state] from January 2005 to August 2005 and do not recall going to XX College. The university I graduated from does not have any course transfers from XX College. I believe an accounting error has been made and I do not owe any money. If I did, why was I not informed years ago when I was believed to have taken the class, however this is the first I am hearing of it? I might have added a class but dropped it later, is it possible there was a computer error?

Best Regards,

XX

I sent the above letter to the college and another letter to the CA at the same time requesting for more info [CMRRR]. Interestingly, I got a letter from CA the same day I had mailed them a letter requesting for more info. They sent me the tuition bill from the college and that was it.

It has been over 2 weeks and i haven't received anything yet from either the college or the CA. i wouldn't mind paying the amount if i really owe it to them but it seems unfair. I would rather prefer to pay that amount to an attorney ……but I don’t think if it should have to go that far. A college/uni normally drops you from the class if the tuition bill has not been paid by the deadline and if an agreement has not been made either. I don’t know why the hell was I not dropped even if there was a computer error. And it took them ~3 yrs to get back to me !!!

do i need to follow up with the CA and send them the copy of the letter i sent to the college ? and let them know that i have not heard anything back. Or is there any other follow up which I need to do ? I think the CA is just doing their job.

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Good job. The CA probably sent the account back to the college. You can either lie low for now, or follow up with the college only.

If this were me (and I had a similar situation a few years ago) I would follow up with the college letting them know that since they ignored me and ther CA never responded, either, it's obvious that they found their accounting error and corrected it and you can assume this matter is closed.

You also need to start saving the money to pay them in full, though, just in case because I still think they would win if it ever went to court, and you can use the money as leverage to settle this "misubderstanding" provided your credit rating isn't harmed. Such an agreement (in writing) is common and admits no wrongdoing. it would be win-win, because they get their money and your credit rating does not suffer, even though it took you a long time before you could pay it. You may even be able to negotiate a lower amount to settle.

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Let me add that if it comes to a point that the CA gives up and sends the debt back to the OC, the college in this case, then if end up paying the college when the CA is not involved, it should not show up on your credit.

That is assuming it is not a large amount.

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Good job. The CA probably sent the account back to the college. You can either lie low for now, or follow up with the college only.

If this were me (and I had a similar situation a few years ago) I would follow up with the college letting them know that since they ignored me and ther CA never responded, either, it's obvious that they found their accounting error and corrected it and you can assume this matter is closed.

You also need to start saving the money to pay them in full, though, just in case because I still think they would win if it ever went to court, and you can use the money as leverage to settle this "misubderstanding" provided your credit rating isn't harmed. Such an agreement (in writing) is common and admits no wrongdoing. it would be win-win, because they get their money and your credit rating does not suffer, even though it took you a long time before you could pay it. You may even be able to negotiate a lower amount to settle.

thanks for the reply BT. well, it has now been exactly 15 business days since the college received the letter. i think i will wait for another week and then follow up with the college if i still have not heard anything back. as far as not hearing anything from CA is concerned, i wonder if they are actually waiting for the 30 days to be up since i mentioned in my letter that i will need atleast 30 days to investigate this issue....and if CA thinks the 'tuition bill' they sent would suffice for the info i had requested..or as you mentioned they might have sent my account back to the college

its not a huggeee amount: around $1000 so if i have to pay i should be able to pay it in full to settle the matter. just curious to know why you think they would win ?? my point is i should have been dropped if their system showed that the tuition fee had not been paid by the due date (which is what normally colleges do), how can it be proved if i dropped the class online or not and if it was a computer error and why did it take them 3 yrs to realize this.

thanks.

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Let me add that if it comes to a point that the CA gives up and sends the debt back to the OC, the college in this case, then if end up paying the college when the CA is not involved, it should not show up on your credit.

That is assuming it is not a large amount.

its only ~$1000 and i dont think if that would be considered a large amount. also, i haven't seen any entry for this on my credit report lately and i would hope that the CA would not do anything otherwise since i have not refused to pay.

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