What do I do when a collection agency is continuing to try to collect on a debt that I have paid off in full and no longer appears on my credit report?

The original creditor has gone out of business and I can not verify anything with them.

Asked on November 15, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Virginia


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your first step is to dispute the validity of the debt.  Once you dispute the debt with the creditor, the collection agency, not you, has the responsibility of contacting the original creditor and verifying the debt.  If they cannot verify the debt, then they are required to cease collection activities.  If they continue to try and collect on the account, then you could file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commision or your state's attorney general.  You could also contact a consumer law attorney as ask that they send a letter to the collection agency asking them to discontinue collection activites.  If they continue to collect on an account that cannot be verified, you may be able to file a suit under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

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