How can you stop harrassing collection calls when you don’t owe the debt?

UPDATED: Oct 26, 2012

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How can you stop harrassing collection calls when you don’t owe the debt?

Asked on October 26, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Kentucky


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Kentucky does not have it's own version of debt collection laws, per se... but any resident is still covered by the federal version of the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Your first step under these federal rules is to dispute the amount of the debt.  Do this in writing and send it by certified mail so that you will have proof that it was sent and that you did dispute the debt.  They are required to cease collection activity while the account is in dispute.  Document any collection efforts they make while the account is in dispute.  They cannot resume collection activities until they verify that it is a valid debt.  If they present you with verification, you can present them counter information that the debt is (a) either not your debt or (b) the debt has been paid. 

You can also request that they cease all communications with you regarding the collection of this account.  If the company still attempts to collect on a debt that you have shown them is not due, then you should consult with a consumer law attorney.  Their first step should be to send a formal letter on your behalf instructing them to cease collection efforts on an invalid debt.  If they still continue, then he can file a suit on your behalf for violations of either of the statutes mentioned above.  You can also file a complaint with your state's attorney general.  They have a form that you can download and submit.  They make it clear that they cannot seek damages on your behalf, but it's still worth the effort to submit the complaint because once they receive enough negative information regarding a company, they will have the grounds they need to file a broader suit.  To collect your own damages, however, you would still need to file your own complaint.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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