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bill from 5 years ago???????

Posted by dietcokejunkee (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 9, 06 at 14:31

While going thru a refi, my lender told me of a collection posted 10/05 for $157. Upon calling, they told me it was from a bill from SBC (phone svc) from 2001. I have been a customer of SBC for the entire 10 years I lived in this house and I have never owed them more than a months service.

They claim my phone was shut off and SBC didn't properly bill me in 2001 and they bought these debts from SBC. They have never sent me a statement and when I asked why they said they didn't know where to reach me. Um...at the address on the bill may have been a start.

The statue of limitations in IL is 10 years on contracts. So they are technically within their bounds. But would this be a violation of the Fair Debt Collection act or something and how would I go about fixing my credit report as I had no prior knowledge about this debt?

I guess I will protest on my credit report, not that this will get me anywhere as they will not remove it, I 'm guessing.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: bill from 5 years ago???????

Did you check other info about this debt? Do they have a date of birth, a SS#, any other identifying information on the person who owes it? It is possible it is not yours at all.


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RE: bill from 5 years ago???????

If you do protest on your credit report, SBC will have to prove you owe it. Did you at some point change your phone number? Sometimes the new number will have an amount owing that falls under the new account. Dumb but it happens. I'd ask SBC for full statement showing supposed shut off, amount paid to get service returned, ss# and the phone number involved. If they can't prove it you don't owe it. Same thing happened to me with a cell phone company I'd never heard of. They billed me for $187 from 1998. First of all, I didn't have a cell phone in 1998. They called demanding payment over the phone. I said send me proof. I've never heard from them again. No, it is not on my credit.


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RE: bill from 5 years ago???????

Stupid thing is, when they asked for my social I gave it to them before I asked what they had on file. So now they have it on file. This is for the same phone where I am now. I have had the same number for 10 years and never changed it.

I did leave the company for a brief time to join another company and switched back, but the number always remained the same.

I guess what I feel is unfair is that it went straight to my credit report without ever trying to reach me. I have been a customer of SBC for the last 4 years, at the least and have never heard of this charge. I have autopay and I always just owe the current months service.

I am trying to figure out how to reverse the negative result it had on my credit score as I had no prior knowledge and they never tried to contact me.


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RE: bill from 5 years ago???????

There is a procedure to follow to officially protest that it is on your credit report. Do that.


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RE: bill from 5 years ago???????

The thing about SBC (I have them, too) is that if you switch to another provider and then switch back, even though your phone number may stay the same, you account number will change. I was paying my SBC bill online, switched services, then switched back and started paying online again. I didn't check the account number since my phone number didn't change. However, it turns out that the account number is the phone # plus 4 more digits, and these 4 digits changed when I returned to SBC. So they said I hadn't paid my bill, cut off my service and wanted to charge me a bunch of money to get it turned back on. After a rude CSR (who said it was my fault for not checking the account number), I spoke with a manager who understood that I actually had paid my bill. She reversed all the charges and reconnected my service.

I'm sure you have no way to check account numbers from so long ago, but I bet that's what happened. If it's any consolation, I just received a bill two years after service from my local hospital network for a copay.


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RE: bill from 5 years ago???????

Be patient, courteous - and ***very*** persistent ...

... with both SBC ...

... and all of the credit reporting agencies.

Don't let them put you off. Don't let them make you mad, either.

Good luck.

ole joyful


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RE: bill from 5 years ago???????

I am a debt collector, some if them are sbc accounts, I will tell you that at my company the burden of proof lies with the debtor, it sound like when switched the acct # changes like that one post said, so technically you would owe it, trust me, it is easier just to pay then go around and around. If the ss# matches then it was you unless you can prove fraud, i dont think they took your ss# after you gave it to them, they prob had it on file and you confirmed it. did they tell you the billing adresss or service adress? Compliance at the agency iwll most likely kick it back to collections and it may be acruing interest.


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RE: bill from 5 years ago???????

Do you have any documentation of the billings, payments, etc. to the alternate phone co.?

If so, only provide the cfurrent claimant with photocopies - cause if you give them the originals and you should choose to go to court, you'll be like the kid that was playing around the railway yards and got run over by a train - you won't have a leg to stand on.

Have a happier week, I hope.

ole joyful


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RE: bill from 5 years ago???????

The main issue here is whether you're still going through the refi. Even if you're in the right about this bill, I doubt that you'll get it resolved very quickly, and in the meantime, it could hold up your refi or, worse, result in a higher rate because of your "bad" credit. I'm a fighter, but in this instance, if time was of the essence, I'd pay it and provide documentation to the lender that it was paid.


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RE: bill from 5 years ago???????

Here is something I found at Bankrate.com. Can't find the original link, but I saved the article.

"Create accountability: When you receive a call, get
the caller's full name, the company he is working for,
a phone number where he can be reached, and the
origination of the debt. If he refuses to give you any
of these pieces of information, ask him, "Why? Are you
planning to threaten me illegally?"

Be strong: If he won't give you the debt origination,
or he says that he doen't know, explain to him that
you understand that this is traceable information; and
that you would be happy to explain to a judge how you
defaulted on your debt because there was no evidence
of a debt even originating. Judges tend to dislike
creditors and collection agencies that display slimy
business practices and will favor someone like you
with a legitimate argument.

Be repetitive: Repeat yourself. Say the same thing
over and over. Use the same phrase again and again.
Repeat yourself (you get the idea). The collector will
continue to ask, "When are you going to pay?" You can
reply with a version of, "I want to pay this bill, but
I don't know you, and I've got no evidence that this
is a real debt. Before we negotiate any further, I
require specific knowledge of this debt's
origination."

Justin Harelik is a practicing bankruptcy lawyer in
the Los Angeles office of Price Law Group. To ask a
question of the Bankruptcy Adviser go to the "Ask the
Experts" page, and select "bankruptcy" as the topic.

Also:
Check the statute of limitations for collecting debts in your state. The National Association of Attorneys General provides links to state offices that often have a consumer affairs section where you can determine what statute applies in your case.

A few more links.

http://www.bankrate.com/dls/news/debt/20050513a1.asp
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menu-call.htm
http://fair-debt-collection.com/


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