Collection Agencies Calling on Old Settled Bills

I was in a very serious accident 11 years ago. It took about 3 years to get back on my feet. We had a lot of bills at that time so I paid my lawyer to pay or settle these bills 10 years ago.

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I have been receiving phone calls on 2 of them now trying to collect on the bills the lawyer settled with for a lesser amount than what was owed. Of course the companies have changed hands a number of times so the are going back trying to collect on the amount that wasn't paid. (It was settled with the company at that time.) I am sure they bought these accounts, for .20 on the dollar so to speak. Even when I contacted my lawyer he said that.

So long story short what can I do to make them quit calling me? I go through the whole thing with them on the phone and it is just a repeat twice a day. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

By Nikki from ID

Anonymous Flag
November 7, 20100 found this helpful

Write to the collection companies and tell them you do not want any more phone calls from them. It has to be in writing, and they have to stop calling. Then tell your lawyer you want him to contact them and tell them those bills were settled. After 11 years I don't think there is any way they can collect on them anyway because most everything falls off after 7 years. Good Luck!

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November 7, 20100 found this helpful

I've had the same problem.

Go on:http://www.fair-debt-collection.com/statue-limitations-explained.html

and read your rights as a consumer. Once you notify them in writing sent certified, if they contact you again you can sue.

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November 7, 20100 found this helpful

First, writing a letter will not stop the calls. Second, who are you going to sue and good luck finding a attorney that will sue and on what grounds. I would ask your attorney to intercede to get these people off your back. He may not want to be bothered. If he agrees it will cost some dollars. I would also contact the Attorney General office in your state and ask for direction in dealing with this problem. They should be able to give you some ideas. I would also try contacting a non profit Community Counseling Center to see if they have any ideas or could offer a solution. Otherwise, you may have to start over with a new attorney.

Most likely you or your attorney do not have any paperwork that shows you have settled your old debit. Makes it difficult to prove you have paid all bills owed. I would NOT contact any of the folks who advertise on the radio or TV that they will solve your debt problem. They only want your cash.

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November 7, 20100 found this helpful

Whatever you do, DO NOT send these bill collectors any money! In most cases, doing so actually re-activates the account.

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November 8, 20100 found this helpful

I've had the same problem. Go on:http://www.fair-debt-collection.com/statue-limitations-explained.html

and read your rights as a consumer. Once you notify them in writing sent certified, if they contact you again you can sue.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a federal law, they can not contact you once you notified them by certified mail. If they do, you can file against them in small claims court. I got more consumer info on:clarkhoward.com from another thrifty fun Mom.

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November 9, 20100 found this helpful

Statute of limitations is 4 years. They are scamming you for more money. Tell them you will call your state's attorney general if they do not stop. You can file a complaint on line. Do not let these people scare you. They cannot sue you. The limitations are up. Hang up on them or better yet, ask them to hold a minute then walk away from the phone and don't come back until they have hung up. I think you might be able to get your local phone company to make them stop harassing you.

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November 9, 20100 found this helpful

If you don't get the answer at the website that is suggested, call your lawyer and tell him what is going on. I would tell him that you are going to refer calls to him. He should have a file of it. Usually just giving them the lawyer's number should stop them.

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November 9, 20100 found this helpful

You got some good advice & a great website to check. Do not offer to pay them anything, do not pay them anything-if you do, it can re-open the case & start your time again. Right now, the statute of limitations is past.

This could be a case of buying your old debt, which you say your lawyer took care of, OR they could be scammers trying to rip you off. There are articles on the internet about scam groups calling people at random with information they have, & telling those people they owe money. You'd be amaze how many people believe it without proof & pay what is asked when these people offer to settle the debt if you pay over the phone right now!

Go to the other website suggested here & follow their directions. Here's another article about it too:

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.co ... nore-that-debt-collector.aspx?page=1

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Anonymous Flag
November 9, 20100 found this helpful

You do not have to put yourself through a lot of rigmarole to solve this one at all! When they call simply ask the name of the person who is calling and what company they are from and what phone number they are calling from and for what account they are trying to collect on (If you have caller ID write down the number when you're done with the call to verify or at least have a traceable incoming number). Be writing this down and note the time! Do not let them push you in to being quick about it either!

Once you've done that, nicely make very clear (calling the person by their name) that the account was settled via an attorney a decade ago and that you are sorry their company was scammed into purchasing a non existent debt but that if they call again that you will report them to the proper authorities so, 'Please remove my name and phone number from your collection list!'. 'Do Not' say anything else after that other than, 'Have a nice day' and then hang up ;-) I can almost guarantee they will not take the chance of bothering you again!

You do not need a lawyer nor do have to write letters! Just make it clear during the phone call! If they do call again (do the already mentioned above written notations) and simply remind them that you've already forewarned them and that you will now be filing a complaint with the proper authorities and will be seeking monetary damages for harassment.

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November 10, 20100 found this helpful

I would like to say thank you for all the good advice. I am using something out of every article. I think it was better than my lawyer, anyway after this maybe they won't be bothering me again. You are a great bunch of people and I dearly love this site. Thanks again! Nikki

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November 10, 20100 found this helpful

Tell them all to contact the laywer and let him explain it.

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December 19, 20100 found this helpful

Clark Howard who has a money show on CNN just covered this topic but i don't remember the anser you could go to his web site or CNN and link to it.

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July 19, 20110 found this helpful

Writing and asking them not to call anymore works for third party collectors, not first party collectors (I worked in collections at a credit card company for several years and people would always threaten and say they wrote a letter, but if the original lender is contacting you, they can continue to call regardless of your letter. I would call your attorney and ask what the best thing to do is.)

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July 19, 20110 found this helpful

I should add though, that at least in the company I worked for, once the debt was settled we didn't bother people anymore .:)

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