You are here:

Collections Law/Unfair debt collection

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: I ran my credit report this month like I always do and find out I owe a debt to nationwide insurance. I haven't had nationwide since 2011 when I lived in Texas. I live in Louisiana now. I figured it was a mistake cause I sold that car and cancelled the policy and turned in my plate February 26 2011. I called them and they told me it was due to non payment. If they are trying to collect a debt from 2011 why was I never informed about this? They told me their was an error in my account that they didn't figure out till July 2014 that I owed them money. No attempt was made to contact me about this issue. No phone call, email, text message, telegram, letter, knock on the door, nothing. I told them this sounded strange and the woman told me they are finding issues on peoples account from 2007 and trying to collect a debt. This seems very fishy to me. I asked them to send me a report on how they determined I owe them money. The report is strange too and doesn't add up to what they say I owe. I'm a little confused with this one. It seems illegal to report to my credit negitively without first contacting me to get paid.

ANSWER: I found this information on this website:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Credit_Reporting_Act

They must provide complete and accurate information to the credit reporting agencies.

The duty to investigate disputed information from consumers falls on Creditor, and they must correct an error, or explain why the credit report is correct within 30 days of receipt of notice of a dispute.

They must inform consumers about negative information which is in the process of or has already been placed on a consumer's credit report within one month.

Your first step is to start an account diary. Keep a record of all letters, call and conversations surrounding this account. This will prevent the "he said/she said down the road.  Next DISPUTE THIS ACCOUNT with the credit reporting agencies IN WRITING.

Next, contact Nationwide and ask to speak with a supervisor. Go over with them your concerns about the information that was sent to you.  Tell them that you were not notified and the conversation that you had where the lady tole you they were having problems with accounts from 2007.  Your intention is to not let their problems become yours.

Next explain to Nationwide and the credit reporting agencies that nothing should be reported that has aged to 7 years from the date of the last activity. if the last activity ON THE AMOUNT in question is indeed from 2007, then this account should not be on your report.

Good luck with this and let me know if you need additional information.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: My credit report says they opened the collections on June 24 2014.  The report date is september 26 2014. During this time I was never informed of a debt owed. It did not appear on my credit till October 7 2014. And I was never informed in the past by nationwide in any way that I owed them money.

I spoke with a supervisor from nationwide already. She was the one who email me this bogus report that looks like a 12 year old typed up on excel spreadsheet. I tried to explain to her that this doesn't seem legal to bring up old accounts that have already been closed because your company made a mistake. That's not my problem. She then told me that they had issues with the old collections company and there is a new one that they hired that is finding all this old information. She told me that she personally was going back to 2007 on other peoples accounts to correct errors and collect money. I have her name and the emails she sent me with the documents attached.

Answer
Ok. Still dispute the debt with the credit reporting agencies. It still sounds to me like the portion being collected on is over seven years old. To be honest with you, it sounds like the prior collection agency may have not been up front with Nationwide. It would not be the first time this has happened. Plus, why can she not send you an itemized statement?  Anything can be keyed into an Excel spreadsheet.

Also, I would send a letter to Nationwide telling them that since you were not notified, you expect this information to be removed immediately. Inform them that if they do not comply, you will report them to the BBB, Consumer Affairs and your states Attorney General. I would send all letters certified.

I hope this helps.

Collections Law

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ray A Miller

Expertise

I am qualified to answer questions on the following subjects: FDCPA, FCRA and HIPAA as well as medical collections, general collections and collection agency related issues. I trained these subjects at a nationwide collection agency and customer service call center and audited around 150 representatives for compliance to the laws. I have been in the Collections Industry for over 30 years. I feel that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with compassion and that is the way I trained collectors. Even though I worked for a Collection Agency, I get great satisfaction in helping those who have been mistreated or in need of help with these confusing issues.

Experience

I was the Compliance Administrator with a nationwide collection agency and customer service call center-I have trained hundreds of collectors on the above referenced topics. I have been in the medical collections industry for over twenty years and research these topics on a daily basis.

Organizations
ACA International

Education/Credentials
Some college ACA Certified Collection Specialist

Past/Present Clients
I am retired due to medical conditions and spend a good deal of time keeping current on collection issues.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.