How do I fight a collections agency over a bill that should never have existed?

I had a cell phone account closed 3 years ago with what I believed to be a $0 balance (otherwise it could not be closed). I received a call 3 years later saying that I owe $2.9k to a collections agency who bought the contract from the cell phone provider. It claims that I have the balance but cannot verify the records for me to see if I had a balance. All they can say is “it’s possible that you had $2.9k for a balance when you closed it”. The collections agency doesn’t have any records of the balance either. But both say I owe them. How can I fight this?

Asked on July 24, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You don't speak with the collections company ever. Check all three credit reports and then see if the item is on the report. If it is, dispute it through the credit reporting agency.

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