collections, collectors and old utility bills
I am being contacted continually to pay an old utility
bill in a state that I have not lived in for nine years. The amount is for $132.
What is the best way to put an end to these annoying phone calls? There is much
information on the Internet about old credit card debt, but I don't see any information
about this type of collection. Thank you for your assistance.
A question for you: Do you owe the $132? If so, the simplest way
to stop the phone calls is to pay the bill. By the way, Paul, this
solution works even if you don't owe the bill! We are dealing with
a small amount of money and a large portion of your life. Nine years
is what, 9 percent to 10 percent of the time you will be spending
on this planet? My suggestion, pay the bill and move on.
OK, now, for all of you who seek after truth, true
justice and don't mind wasting another 1 percent or 2 percent of
your lives, here is the answer you were hoping to read!
You have certain rights under
Debt Collection Practices Act.
|Rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
If you did not receive a written document from this
collector outlining the items above, let the collector know that
you are aware of your rights under the FDCPA and that you will no
longer discuss the matter until the document is received. If the
collector refuses, report the company to the Federal Trade Commission
through the FTC's
If you believe you do not owe the debt because the
of limitations has expired on collecting the debt, then let
the collector know that you are aware of this fact. It is legal
for the collector to attempt collection on a debt past the statute
of limitations; however, the collector cannot report the debt to
a credit bureau or take any legal action to collect the debt, such
as a judgment or other court action.
All this said, if after nine years you don't see any
humor in this situation, then I suggest you hire my cousin Fred
as a contingency lawyer and sue for damages. What damages? I don't
know, but I'll bet Fred will come up with some!
The Debt Adviser, Steve Bucci, is the president
of Money Management International Financial Education Foundation
and the author of "Credit
Repair Kit for Dummies." Visit MMI
for additional debt advice or to ask a question of the Debt Adviser
go to the "Ask the
Experts" page and select "debt" as the topic.