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Does Paying a bill admit ownership?


crash5050
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I was living in town X, got orders to move to Town B, called the gas company to have the gas shut off. They apparently didn't shut the gas off, there was a 180.00 bill turned over to a collection agecncy. Being the stand up kinda guy I am, I paid the bill. then sent a debt verification letter to the CA to try and get the account removed from my CRA's. The CA sent me a letter saying that "you paid the bill it must have been yours". Ok, I got that, the gas was burnt by the next renter and I am out 180.00 bucks.

The question is, since I have no proof that I called to have the gas shut off, and they have no proof that I didn't call to have the gas shut off....Is there anything that I can leverage against the OC and the CA to get this removed?

If I file in Small Claims Court, they are going to bring a lawyer, and then it will be moved to Circuit Court, as the laws of Arkansas say that if the Judge determines one of the parties is represented by a lawyer it will be moved from small claims court to Circuit Court, and I cannot afford a lawyer, nor can I afford thier lawyer.

What I need is a bluff that is solid and supported by case law so that if I file they will say oh well, let's just remove it cuz it's gonna cost us too much to defend it.

Thoughts and or specific directions would be appreciated.

David

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Was this apartment, house, ??? Did you have a lease when you were there?:confused: If yes to either of these, you can get proof from the manager or leasing agent proving that you did not reside there at that time. Once you get proof in writing, I would contact the gas company. Hopefully, the collection agency was one used by them. Once you prove you did not live there but paid the bill, you should be able to get this in writing from them. If the account was still owned by the gas company, they can remove it from the credit report. Everything you should get in writing! In regards to getting your money back, this may take some doing. Whoever the people were that lived in the property after you, hopefully the manager or leasing agent has their information. You might have to go to small claims but I know your main priority is to get the collection off your credit report.:)++

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I'm not entirely positive that this wasn't your obligation...not saying it is but without knowing all the specifics it's hard to tell. I suspect that unless you can prove you called the gas company to end service it may well be your obligation regardless of who actually used the gas.

More importantly, once you've paid a bill it's pretty difficult to then try and say it wasn't your obligation...you could spend a lot of time and possibly a lot of money trying to get this removed and especially trying to get a refund. If can't hurt to try but you'll have to decide if it's worth the effort.

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My husband and I are going through this exact same thing. We moved back in Aug and in Sept I even called them to make sure they had our address for our bill. They kept it on until November! We got a collection call last month about the bill being close to $600.00. The lady at the CA was really nice, sent us a print out of the charges and told us to call the OC. We did and they have no record of us calling and refuse to do anything about it. Even though we rented and can prove when we moved, they don't have a record of us calling.

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I don't want to beat up on anybody here 'cause we've all, including me, done this (and by "this" I mean just call a utility or some other business to "cancel" service).

Telephone conversations just don't cut it...without a piece of paper in your hand provided by the provider that documents your order to cancel the service then you've really got nothing to substantiate your side of the story.

The adage "if it isn't in writing it didn't happen" applies to many transactions; this is one of them.

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Just FYI, the money is not the problem, I was wiling and able to pay the money, chock it up to stupidity, not having a piece of paper etc... 180.00 bucks.. I spent more than that the other night on dinner for my wife's birthday. I am just irritated that this stupid collection agency will not drop this off my credit report. I sat down and Jack Attacked them last night, they did re-age the debt by reporting me KD in April, but showing the account opened in July. I suspect that will be the most expensive 180.00 they ever collected by the time I get thru with them.

David

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I sent a 632 letter to the OC, and they admitted not being contacted by the CRA's during the time of the supposed investigation. I am going to sen copies to all 3 CRA's and blast them with it, and see if they can explain how they validated a debt without talking to anyone.

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