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Collections Law/Wrongly sent to collections?

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Question
I have a house in another state. The renters started a fire and the home sat abandoned for about 6 months. I contacted the garbage service, had a container delivered and then had it emptied a couple of times. After the final removal, I thought I was done. I had pre-paid for the garbage pick-up.

I started getting bills from the garbage service. At first I thought it was copies of my receipt and I tossed them, but after the third I opened it to find they had started regular can service. I called and explained that no one lived there and they should not have started service. The home was  basically condemned and needed repairs. The informed me the there is a city ordnance requiring garbage service. Not only did they start this without my approval, they never informed me while I was getting the dumpsters delivered/removed that there was such a thing.  After much arguing, she talked to her supervisor about canceling service and it was canceled.

Now they've sent me to collections for the $80. of unsolicited and unused services. How can I make sure this doesn't go on my credit report and is there a way I can fight it with the "revenue recovery" service?

Answer
I would notify the Collection Agency in writing IMMEDIATELY by Certified Mail that this item is disputed and that if they do report it to a Credit Bureau they had better report it as disputed or they will be immediately sued for $1,000 under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act PLUS $1,000 under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Since Collection Agencies typically earn about 1/3 of what the collect I don't think they will want to risk $2,000 for the $25 commission on this bill. Expect them to simply drop the matter.

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Steve Katz

Expertise

Debt Collection, Credit Reporting, FCRA, FDCPA, TCPA issues

Experience

Founder of Debtorboards, co-author of Debtsmanship, former Collector, Credit Counselor

Education/Credentials
MBA

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