What to do about an old bank ccount and past due fees?

I closed a checking account approximately 2 years ago and yesterday i received a phone call from a collection agency stating i owe $700+ in finance charges and overdraft fees, plus they are filing a civil suit in excess of $1,800. I have no record of the bank contacting me in any way over the last 2 years. What should/can I do?

Asked on September 11, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your first step should be to request verification of the debt they claim that you owe.  If they call you again, ask them to send you something in writing about who they are and what they are collecting for.  For your own purposes, you want something in writing.  If they refuse to send you written paperwork of who they are and who they are collecting for, this is your tip off that they are trying to scam you for your identifying information or credit card information.

If they do send you something in writing, you have the right under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to dispute the debt and demand that they provide you verification of the debt.  You must do this in writing, and it's best to send the demand certified mail so that you will have verification of your request later.  The collection agency is required to cease collection activity until they verify the debt.

If they do send you verification, you'll have a better idea of what and how to resolve the account.  If the bank was trying to continue assessing fees after you closed the account, then you may have a countersuit if they continue to try to sue you.  In your suit, you could actually ask for attorney's fees and possibily other damages considering that you specifically put them on notice that the account was not a valid debt.


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