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Debt Collection for E-ZPass Account which i closed over a year ago


icestorm
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I closed my EZ Pass account in 2016 and received a letter from a collection agency that i owed EZPass money. When i closed the account, i had no balance and have not used my account since then.

I have the confirmation number of when i closed the account with the screen shot.

Any suggestions on how should i handle this ? The amount being asked is only ~$30 but it does not make sense for me to pay. I had also called EZPass before i received the letter and was told that my account had been transferred to a collections agency and they can no longer help me. I did ask the agent as to why my account was still open and she said it could be because of the tag not being received which i explained that i mailed a while back using USPS and what if i was not received for which she said that it is possible. I am not sure where the charges are accruing from since i have not used the account.

I do not want this to show up on my credit report !

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What guarantee do i have that it will not show up on my credit report even after i have paid the balance ?

I would have been willing to work with EZPass directly but going through the collection agency and paying them is what i am not sure about.

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Whenever I send the transpoder back to the IL Tollway (I assume that is the agency you used), I always send it back CMRRR green card so that they have to sign for it. This way, there is not issue as to whether they received it or not. You will know.

I would first contact the tolling agency and make sure the transpoder associated with the account has been deactivated and cannot be used for tolls or tracked to you. Demand a letter from them stating that. After that, I would just pay the $30 and chalk that up to stupid tax for not returning the transpoder in a method that can be tracked.

As for the credit report thing, if you send them money, they will not bother with the report. They have no need to ding you once they got their money. However, I would send them either a bank check or money order. Do not send them a personal check.

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Yes, that is what i should have done when returning the transponder back but i sent it via regular mail. I am now in IL but this issue is when i lived in NJ so I had sent the transponder sent to EZPass office in NJ. 

Regarding demanding the letter from the tolling agency; The tolling agency seems to be referring me to collection agency last time i called them. I could also put this condition in the letter to the collection agency if i go in the direction of paying.

I am not too worried about paying them ~$30. It bothers me that my account was sent to collection agency even though i closed the account ~2 yrs ago. I have proof (screen shot) of the account being closed. The only proof i don't have is of returning the tag but why would they keep the account open if it was closed. I know that i did not use the account since i closed it. 

I would prefer to DV this claim from the collection agency and request for proof that i used the account since it was closed while also indicating that it was closed on so and so date. If they ask for proof, i can provide the screen shot.

There is going to be some paper work needed from my side either way i go to address this and i rather not give in. I read reviews on consumer reports about EZPass and they are not good. 

Thoughts ?

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Guest usctrojanalum

Right, but aren't they stating you owe them $30 for not returning the tag?  Therefore whether or not the account was closed is kinda irrelevant.   Or did I misread your OP?

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Here is what it states:

"Your account has been placed with us by our client, for a violation of your NJ EZPass agreement which requires that you maintain sufficient prepaid balance on your account. Your current balance due is XX.

Because your account was not replenished within 10 business days of the letters you received from NJ EZPASS, your privileges were revoked and YOUR ACCOUNT CANNOT BE REINSTATED. Our client has informed that you have not responds to its notices regarding your non payment . Your account balance includes an account revocation fee of $25 plus any applicable lost tag fee(s). Continued use of your NEW EZPass tag will result in toll evasion violations and administrative fees".

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If it were me I would send a version of the following letter:

Dear Idiot CA:

I am receipt of your letter dated [date] (copy enclosed) stating that you are collecting on an EZ Pass account belonging to me.

This account was closed by me on [date] and I have enclosed proof this including a zero balance at the time the account was closed.  I do not owe any money and dispute this debt.  Please validate it.

Sincerely.

icestorm

 

I would not mention the alleged missing transponder.  Let them prove that.  As for it reporting:  the bureaus no longer report civil debts like this as it was not a credit transaction.  Similar to traffic tickets and red light camera violations.  If they push the missing transponder issue I would argue to them their site said nothing about sending proof of delivery and their failure to record its return is their problem not mine.  Clearly I live in another state and have no use for the transponder and no use has been recorded since the account was closed and I moved out of state.  I can't guarantee it but my guess is they drop it.

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First off, I doubt they are going to sue on this debt because it is so small.

That said, NJ EZ Pass site does not mention what the fee is for lost/stolen EZ Pass tags. I would do what @Clydesmom said and request validation of the debt in order to find out why you were charged. If they do validate, you can send a cease & desist letter later and they can decide what to do.

Funny thing is, if your in the Chicago Area, your EZ Pass tag would work on the toll roads there because the Illinois Tollway is part of the EZ Pass system. I have the I-Pass tag and it works from Illinois all the way to New England.

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39 minutes ago, WhoCares1000 said:

First off, I doubt they are going to sue on this debt because it is so small.

That said, NJ EZ Pass site does not mention what the fee is for lost/stolen EZ Pass tags. I would do what @Clydesmom said and request validation of the debt in order to find out why you were charged. If they do validate, you can send a cease & desist letter later and they can decide what to do.

Funny thing is, if your in the Chicago Area, your EZ Pass tag would work on the toll roads there because the Illinois Tollway is part of the EZ Pass system. I have the I-Pass tag and it works from Illinois all the way to New England.

The most bothersome thing was that the account cannot be reinstated.  

That begs the question:  did the OP ever get an I-Pass?  If so, that is functionally the same as the EZ-Pass.  It is NOT part of the EZ Pass system.  Illinois and Indiana have their own passes (I-Pass in Illinois), which have reprecocity with EZ-Pass.  

 

So it the OP has an I-Pass, the OP will never need an EZ Pass.  

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7 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

If it were me I would send a version of the following letter:

Dear Idiot CA:

I am receipt of your letter dated [date] (copy enclosed) stating that you are collecting on an EZ Pass account belonging to me.

This account was closed by me on [date] and I have enclosed proof this including a zero balance at the time the account was closed.  I do not owe any money and dispute this debt.  Please validate it.

Sincerely.

icestorm

 

I would not mention the alleged missing transponder.  Let them prove that.  As for it reporting:  the bureaus no longer report civil debts like this as it was not a credit transaction.  Similar to traffic tickets and red light camera violations.  If they push the missing transponder issue I would argue to them their site said nothing about sending proof of delivery and their failure to record its return is their problem not mine.  Clearly I live in another state and have no use for the transponder and no use has been recorded since the account was closed and I moved out of state.  I can't guarantee it but my guess is they drop it.

Yep. I am planning to write something similar. Will share once i have the draft ready.

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6 hours ago, WhoCares1000 said:

First off, I doubt they are going to sue on this debt because it is so small.

That said, NJ EZ Pass site does not mention what the fee is for lost/stolen EZ Pass tags. I would do what @Clydesmom said and request validation of the debt in order to find out why you were charged. If they do validate, you can send a cease & desist letter later and they can decide what to do.

Funny thing is, if your in the Chicago Area, your EZ Pass tag would work on the toll roads there because the Illinois Tollway is part of the EZ Pass system. I have the I-Pass tag and it works from Illinois all the way to New England. 

I live in the Chicago area and I now use IPass and yes i believe it works in the east coast also. I moved to IL a while back but continued to use EZPass here in IL. And then finally i found out that IPass does not have a monthly fee where as EZPass charges you a monthly maintenance fee! So i switched in 2016 and closed the EZPass account or so i thought i did.

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5 hours ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

The most bothersome thing was that the account cannot be reinstated.  

That begs the question:  did the OP ever get an I-Pass?  If so, that is functionally the same as the EZ-Pass.  It is NOT part of the EZ Pass system.  Illinois and Indiana have their own passes (I-Pass in Illinois), which have reprecocity with EZ-Pass.  

 

So it the OP has an I-Pass, the OP will never need an EZ Pass.  

Yes, that statement regarding "cannot be reinstated" does bother me. I had been a good paying customer for a long time ! Ah well.

I do have an IPass. My understanding is that EZPass or IPass are private companies contracted by the state/s. 

Functionally they are both the same but Ipass is not part of EZpass as far as i know. 

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Each state runs its own version of EZ-Pass which is really just a set of rules for how the tags will function. There is a long history behind this and the fact that certain toll roads are not on the EZ-Pass system which creates even more confusion but I will not get into that. Since the OP has IPass, they should be fine and not worry about the NJ EZPass.

As for the account, the question becomes how much time does the OP want to waste in dealing with $30? The tag has been deactivated so there will be no more charges. I know some on this board would fight to the deal to not pay a collection agency. Others will say just pay it and be done.

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Yeah, i also don't think if i have to worry about NJ EZPass since i have the IPass.

I would be in the former camp: Not Paying to CA !

We will see how it goes but as of now, i do not want to pay. It is not about the money. Paying to me seems like acceptance of guilt and that it was my fault. The only oversight from my side was not using certified mail to return the tag which is a lesson learned for future. 

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Okay below is the draft of the letter i plan to send. Comments ?

---------------------------------------------------

Dear Sir / Madam,

This letter is being sent to you in response to the letter I received dated XX.  Be advised that this is not a refusal to pay, but a notice sent that your claim is disputed and validation is requested.

Your client should have informed you that I closed this account on XXX. I have enclosed proof of the closing of the account and do not owe any money.

I have not used the account since it was closed and I had no balance at the time I closed it. If you believe otherwise, I am asking that you provide documentation establishing the following:

·         Proof that I used the account after XXX

·         Proof that I owed a balance on XXX

If your office is able to provide the proper documentation as requested, I will require at least 30 days to investigate this information and all correspondence shall be in writing.

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

Regards

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2 minutes ago, icestorm said:

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

·         Name and address of Original Creditor

·         Date that this alleged debt became payable

·         Date that the account originally became delinquent

Remove all of these.  They are unnecessary and not required.  All those tell the CA is you can cut and paste from the internet.  Simple is best. 

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Okay i found an email also which i received as a confirmation. I think i will only be including the screen shot above.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CustomerService@ezpassnj.com

7/4/16
cleardot.gif
 
cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif
to me
cleardot.gif
Dear Icestorm, 

Your request to close account XXXXX has been received and will be processed within 10 business days provided you met all of the criteria previously listed. If not you must do so and may contact our Customer Service Center at 1-888-AUTO-TOLL (888-288-6865) for assistance. Your service request is #XXXX

Individual Accounts:If you have not returned your leased transponders please do so immediately along with a letter requesting the account be closed and include your account number.

Business Accounts:If you have not returned your leased transponders please do so immediately along with a letter on company letterhead signed by an executive of the company requesting the account be closed and include your account number.

E-ZPass®
PO Box 52003
Newark, NJ 07101-8203

Thank you,

E-ZPass® New Jersey Customer Service

 

Please do not reply to this message. This is an automatically generated notification. If you wish to contact a customer service representative, please call the E-ZPass® Customer Service Center at 1-888-AUTO-TOLL (888 288-6865). , or go to www.ezpassnj.com and click Contact Us

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