Old, Fraudulent Debt Comes Back
October 19, 2007 9:55 AM   Subscribe

How to deal with an old, fraudulent, debt? About 10 years ago, someone racked up $750 worth of phone calls on my phone line. When the bill came, I reported it to Verizon (who was then called Atlantic Bell, I think), and told them the calls were not mine.

After a lot of back and forth, they asked me to write a letter explaining my position, which was that I didn't make the calls, don't even know anyone in Italy, and don't know who could have done so. After writing the letter, I never heard from them again, it never showed up on my credit report, etc. I have had Verizon service in a different state for 5 years.

Well, 10 years later, I receive a collections notice from a collections agency for the original amount. How should I proceed?
posted by cell divide to Work & Money (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Do not respond in any way. Actually talking to those vultures at all will make non-debt "recently active".
posted by notsnot at 10:05 AM on October 19, 2007

a. Do not reply.

b. Its junk debt.

c. Visit creditboards.com for information on how to handle debt that is.

d. do not ignore it if they sue you. (Even if it is outside the statute of limitations, they can make you pay if they sue you. If you simply goto court and say "This is past SOL" you win.. but the trick is to show up -- not ignore it).
posted by SirStan at 10:10 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm with SirStan. Do not re-activate old debt. If it never appeared on your CBR, I wouldnt worry about it.
posted by mikeinclifton at 10:22 AM on October 19, 2007

seconding notsnot and sirstan. what happened, some scumsucking vulture bought your old debt for a penny on the dollar, along with a lot of other junk debt, and he only needs one or two fools out of a hundred to answer back in order to make a profit; don't you be that fool. he isn't going to sue you. his model is similar to a spammer.
posted by bruce at 10:25 AM on October 19, 2007

Interesting, thanks guys, I REALLY appreciate the responses here. AskMe does it again.
posted by cell divide at 10:30 AM on October 19, 2007

Sounds like this one company called AFNI.

They buy junk debt and try to collect on it. If it doesn't appear on your credit report, I wouldn't worry.
posted by arishaun at 3:38 PM on October 19, 2007

I had a similar situation. I agree with Sirstan. I sent a letter from creditboards. Also, it did appear on the credit report. I would keep an eye out for this -- even maybe add a fraud alert to your credit reports.

I denied it with the credit agency and it got removed, no questions asked.
posted by hazyspring at 3:48 PM on October 19, 2007


1. don't reply


2. send a validation letter

don't see how 1 is a good idea in any case... make them validate and then they'll F off.
posted by Mr_Crazyhorse at 8:38 PM on October 19, 2007

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