What to do if I am being harassed by a collection agency for a bill that I paid off over 5 years ago?

I have no records from this bill because I believe I paid it off so the records went in the trash. How do I stop this?

Asked on January 24, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Ok start with asking for the Collection Agency to Validate the Debt.  They need to send three things once you as - in writing asap: Proof that the collection company owns the debt/or has been assigned the debt. At a minimum, some account statements from the original creditor but you have a right to require a complete payment history, starting with the original creditor. And a copy of the original signed loan agreement or credit card application but account statements from the original can fulfill this requirement.  Once you have those then you have to take a look at them carefully to try and piece together your proof.  Also check the statute of limitations in your area for the collection.  It is not going to be easy but you are going to have to try and get the proof that you need. If you do not have something you may have to try and negotiate the debt. Good luck.


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