Collection Agency Problem. Need Advce.


Old 07-28-06, 09:39 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 81
Collection Agency Problem. Need Advce.

Hello. I just got a letter from a collection agency saying I owe almost $3,000 for things from a local furniture store I never bought. I have been receiving messages on my answering machine trying to get me to call a number, never saying what it's about, just that it's very important. I called after work hours and found out they were from a collection agency. I got a message a few days ago from a man who sounded very intimidating, saying that their patience has run out. I didn't answer because I didn't think it was for me. Now I get this letter saying I have thirty days to answer or a judgement will be made. My sister did live here with me and she did buy some furniture. We co-owned the house and I had to buy her half out when she moved. I don't know where she is. The furniture's still here except for one piece. I have never had a credit card so I have no credit rating. My brother, who used to sell furniture for a big chain store, says that no store would let somebody make payments or co-sign without a credit rating. I've always used cash, checks or my debit card. I called the collector's number and left a message saying that if they have any legal proof that I have to pay the money, to send it to me and I'd take it to a lawyer to read over. I don't remember signing or co-signing anything. Do I have anything to worry about here legally? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. If you need any more info about this from me, please let me know. I'm on disability and $3,000 is a lot to me. Thanks.
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Old 07-29-06, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
"I don't remember signing or co-signing anything." Does that mean you could have and you do not remember? You need to talk with your sister. Perhaps she can refresh your memory.

One would think that if you never went to the furniture store, never purchased any furniture, signed or co-signed a purchase agreement, then you could simply go to the furniture store and tell them so and ask to see any documentation. Many businesses sell past due accounts to collection agencies. You may, therefore, be told that they no longer have documentation and that it is out of their hands.

You can stop harassing phone calls by writing a letter (keep a copy) to the collector. You will need to get the collector's address. You can also tell the collector to quit calling you. You can also get a tape recorder and tell the collector that you are taping the calls for the State Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division. Contact the State Attorney General's Office for instructions on how to file a claim. Do everything in writing and keep everything for years in order to protect your credit rating should you desire to establish one. You might want to check your state laws re: collection calls.

Collection calls may be illegal if they are calling the wrong person and if calls fall within the legal definition of harassment. If collector is calling the wrong person, tell them the call is illegal and that you are filing a complaint with the State Attorney General's Office and the Federal Trade Commission.

Do NOT give them your Social Security Number. Ask them to give you the Social Security Number of the person they are looking for. If it is your number, then you need to discuss with the collector that it is your Social Security Number but that you will dispute the debt.

If your sister used your address and she bought the furniture on credit and you did not, then the debt is not yours. You need to make it clear the furniture store and the collector that your sister is no longer at your address in order to disassociate her from your address. You have no liability for your sister's debts. That is, if you are sure you did not co-sign.
Old 07-29-06, 03:07 AM
majakdragon's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
Posts: 7,827
Are you sure that your Sister did not sign your name as a co-signer on the purchase? She probably has/had access to your SS number and other information. Requesting copies of the original contract is the place to start. Good luck.
Old 08-02-06, 03:48 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 81
Problem solved. I called the collection agency and asked what was going on, against a friend's advice. They checked and found out they sent the letter to the wrong address. The S.S.# of who they wanted to send it to didn't match my address and the middle initial is different. The receptionist said they were really sorry and they will erase my name and address off their computers and I never will hear from them again about this. My brother and a friend both think I should keep the letter they sent just in case. Is this a good idea? Thanks for your advice.
Old 08-02-06, 04:26 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,575
Absolutely. And it wouldn't hurt to check your credit report to make sure it didn't creep into there.
Old 08-02-06, 06:08 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Where the cows roam, CA
Posts: 2,204
Actually, you should call them back and ask them to send you a letter stating what they told you. A lot of time collection agency say they will do something and they don't do it. ( A lot of times they do do it too though).

Save your orig. letter, get another letter correcting the mistake, check your credit report.
Old 08-02-06, 06:53 AM
mango man's Avatar
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sw FL
Posts: 2,122
get a merged credit report and be sure it dosnt appear there , easier to address it now than later when it becomes a issue .
Old 08-03-06, 07:17 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 81
Thanks again.

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