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Midland Credit Management Inc called me about some debt (~$100) they say I owed T-Mobile back in 2011. They provided me with 2 phone numbers, the address, and date of birth linked with this account and they are not mine. The only correct information they have is my name.

The person calling asked me to send in a letter disputing this debt.

Do I need to send the standard certified letter "I dispute. Please validate." if they haven't sent me any formal collections letter? I'm not even sure that they have my current address. I have moved a few times in the last few years, so there is a small chance they have sent something before and I did not get it. Also, nothing on Credit Karma so far.

Would the safe option be to send the certified letter?

Thanks all. Read about this all the time on FWF and it should be no big deal, but it's still a bit stressful.

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
They never mailed me a letter with the details of the debt so I didn't send the dispute letter. Hope that won't come bac... (more)

codename47 (Sep. 10, 2013 @ 1:47a) |

Exactly . You likely will have enough to sue them and collect $1000+

Contact a consumer credit atty who will do all the w... (more)

SUCKISSTAPLES (Sep. 10, 2013 @ 1:57a) |

The right words and attitude should be "and hopefully, I'll get to collect a few grand from these assholes for wasting m... (more)

scripta (Sep. 10, 2013 @ 4:53a) |

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OP the burden is on them to prove that you owe. First of, we don't even know if this is a real collection agency or some scamster(s).

If they think there is a debt in your name, let them send you a letter. You can then respond. And yes in your first response "I dispute, please validate" should be just fine.

Paging CN47.

I dispute, please validate sent certified.

Do you really need to preemptively send a certified "please validate" letter to some random person that calls on the phone? I thought that telling them to contact you only in writing was enough. Once a letter was received, then you could respond...

Some variation of a verbal FOAD said over the phone seems adequate for an initial call on a 'not mine' account, no need to send it in writing just yet.

Anyway, they've made initial contact, now they need to send you the 1692g letter within five days or face suit.

http://www.ecplslaw.com/article09intialletter.html

When you get the letter, then you can respond with "Please find attached copy of the letter I just received from you bozos. Debt mentioned in this letter is not mine, so go FOAD, never contact me again..."

What happens if they send the written notice to the address on the debt that is not mine, thus causing me to never receive it and possibly missing the 30 days time frame I have to dispute?

All the info they provided me on the phone was wrong, except for my name.

Thanks guys.

gunsharp said:   What happens if they send the written notice to the address on the debt that is not mine, thus causing me to never receive it and possibly missing the 30 days time frame I have to dispute?

All the info they provided me on the phone was wrong, except for my name.

Thanks guys.


They are probably trying to locate someone with the same name as you and found you instead. Do NOT give them any of your real information. If they only have your name and not a valid address or DOB it will never make it to your credit report. Just tell them it is not you and ignore (or sue) them.

the advice here is true but not the best answer. in this situation, it would be much easier to tell them to "cease and desist" any contact with you, if you are correct and its not your bill. sending this verificaqtion request letter certified, etc, will cost you money and does not prevent them from further contact. if you just say over the telephone "cease and desist" contact with you, then they cannot contact you again. if they do contact you, you can sue them for a thousand bucks!!!!! their only option at that point is to leave you alone or to sue you. if they aren't certain that you are the debtor, they arne't going to pay retain a creditors attorney and court filing fees just to have the case thrown out and waste all that moola!! you see what im sayin? they are just callin every clown in the white pages with names remotely similar to yours, they prob. bought the debt from T-Mobile hoping some pour soul will pay the bill!!

Unfortunately, I have a somewhat unique name (probably 3 or less total in the US), which lowers the probability of them randomly calling all Bobs to get the debt paid.

gunsharp said:   What happens if they send the written notice to the address on the debt that is not mine, thus causing me to never receive it and possibly missing the 30 days time frame I have to dispute?

All the info they provided me on the phone was wrong, except for my name.

Thanks guys.


You have 30 days after you first see the 1692g letter.
The only benefit you get from responding within the 30 day window is that they must cease collection efforts until they validate, if you send your dispute letter after more than 30 days, they can keep collecting while they ask the creditor for validation.

taxmantoo said:   gunsharp said:   What happens if they send the written notice to the address on the debt that is not mine, thus causing me to never receive it and possibly missing the 30 days time frame I have to dispute?

All the info they provided me on the phone was wrong, except for my name.

Thanks guys.


You have 30 days after you first see the 1692g letter.
The only benefit you get from responding within the 30 day window is that they must cease collection efforts until they validate, if you send your dispute letter after more than 30 days, they can keep collecting while they ask the creditor for validation.


I may be mistaken but I read that if you don't dispute within 30 days, they assume the debt is valid and are not legally required to validate it anymore.

You guys are right in that I don't want to volunteer any personal information such as my address, which I would have to do if I send the certified letter prematurely. And, as vipercon mentioned, if they don't have a valid address or DOB for me in the first place, they shouldn't be able to add it to my credit report hopefully.

gunsharp said:   
I may be mistaken but I read that if you don't dispute within 30 days, they assume the debt is valid and are not legally required to validate it anymore.


You are mistaken. You can always dispute and request validation.

What if they send the letter to and old address that no longer forwards?

billybwilde said:   
What if they send the letter to and old address that no longer forwards?


If they found his phone, they probably have the address it goes with.

If they send it to an old address with expired forwarding, then that's what it will say on the envelope when they get it back with ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED.

Thanks for the clarification.

So basically if they send to an old address, it will either get forwarded to me or returned.
And if they send it to a completely wrong address and the letter doesn't ever get to me, they won't be able to add it to my credit report anyways with that incorrect information.

I got one of these years ago (my name is very common) and researched the company name at my state's business/corp. section (I called, but that info is probably online now). They didn't have a a business license to operate in my state so I filed a complaint. Didn't hear any more but I assume I cost them a couple of hours of their life too.

canoer said:   I got one of these years ago (my name is very common) and researched the company name at my state's business/corp. section (I called, but that info is probably online now). They didn't have a a business license to operate in my state so I filed a complaint. Didn't hear any more but I assume I cost them a couple of hours of their life too.

This can be a real problem for them unless they're licensed in all states that require it.
Once upon a time, if you called a California phone number, it was safe to assume you were calling somebody in California.
Not safe now, with cell phones migrating across the nation. If there's a state you aren't licensed in, sooner or later you're going to call somebody there unless you do a full skip-trace before you load their number into your dialer.

Is it really your debt? (just curious)

thok said:   Is it really your debt? (just curious)

Nope, not mine. I'm not sure how someone started an account with my name when literally every other piece of information was inaccurate.

gunsharp said:   thok said:   Is it really your debt? (just curious)

Nope, not mine. I'm not sure how someone started an account with my name when literally every other piece of information was inaccurate.


Do you think you are the only person in the world with your name? Clearly this is someone else's debt (probably created legitimately...no fraud required), and the debt collector doesn't have current contact info for the actual person, so they are just cold calling people with the same/similar names hoping to find the person (or a relative that can help locate them). Debt collectors do this every day. I get one of these calls every couple years. Asking you to send the letter is the only odd part (though perhaps it might have been triggered by exactly how you responded to them).

Well, it just got added onto my credit report so I will be disputing it and hopefully, it gets removed.

Well, it just got added onto my credit report so I will be disputing it and hopefully, it gets removed.

If it isn't yours, that is a FDCPA violation. Did you send the dispute letter before they reported it to the CRA's?

codename47 said:   Well, it just got added onto my credit report so I will be disputing it and hopefully, it gets removed.

If it isn't yours, that is a FDCPA violation. Did you send the dispute letter before they reported it to the CRA's?


They never mailed me a letter with the details of the debt so I didn't send the dispute letter. Hope that won't come back to bite me.

Do not sign your signature on anything you send to them. You don't know what kind of shady practices or fraud these debt collectors are capable of. I can see them forging your signature on a fake letter acknowledging the debt is yours.

gunsharp said:   taxmantoo said:   gunsharp said:   What happens if they send the written notice to the address on the debt that is not mine, thus causing me to never receive it and possibly missing the 30 days time frame I have to dispute?

All the info they provided me on the phone was wrong, except for my name.

Thanks guys.


You have 30 days after you first see the 1692g letter.
The only benefit you get from responding within the 30 day window is that they must cease collection efforts until they validate, if you send your dispute letter after more than 30 days, they can keep collecting while they ask the creditor for validation.


I may be mistaken but I read that if you don't dispute within 30 days, they assume the debt is valid and are not legally required to validate it anymore.

You guys are right in that I don't want to volunteer any personal information such as my address, which I would have to do if I send the certified letter prematurely. And, as vipercon mentioned, if they don't have a valid address or DOB for me in the first place, they shouldn't be able to add it to my credit report hopefully.


It is possible to send a certified letter without revealing your address
You don't put your return address in the letter or envelope , only on the certified return receipt postcard , which is affixed inside out to your envelope and the postman will take it off when its delivered

As long as you have some way to identify the disputed account (such as the phone numbers of the accounts they were trying to collect on) , you can demand they validate and provide the validation to an email address or efax number

They never mailed me a letter with the details of the debt so I didn't send the dispute letter. Hope that won't come back to bite me.

Well, next time listen to the free advice. If they actually talked to you, then you have a 5 day violation as they never sent you notice of your rights. They will almost certainly validate the account, which will in turn probably give you a FDCPA and FCRA vioaltion. That said, violations are worthless if you don't do anything with them.

Exactly . You likely will have enough to sue them and collect $1000+

Contact a consumer credit atty who will do all the work for you , at no cost to you if you can't do it yourself

gunsharp said:   Well, it just got added onto my credit report so I will be disputing it and hopefully, it gets removed.
 

The right words and attitude should be "and hopefully, I'll get to collect a few grand from these assholes for wasting my time, ruining my credit, and breaking the law."



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