If you've received a collections notice from AFNI, do not pay it AND do NOT call their 800 number.
AFNI is attempting to collect on old debt from many companies. The letter I received from them was for a phone number with Verizon California.
AFNI buys old debt that is uncollectible and PAST the statute of limitations for collection.
They then associate anyone and everyone remotely related to the phone number or service address with the debt.
For example, the house you lived in 10 years ago has had 5 occupants since you moved out. One of them didn't pay a bill with Verizon so AFNI trie to collect from everyone who has ever lived at that address. AFNI knows that you are not responsible for the debt but they've got nothing to lose by asking you for the money. I'll bet a lot of people just send them checks.
I'm not sure if what AFNI is doing is legal. I am positive that is in unethical.
Even scarier...AFNI got your personal information from one of the credit bureaus. They are customers of these bureaus so they are allowed to make inquiries. They can even make an inquiry to collect on a debt if you've put a freeze or fraud alert on your account (which would normally stop unsolicited inquiries.)
So what do you do?
FIRST: send them a return receipt letter via US mail (Any correspondence should be in writing sent via US mail return receipt requested. NO Phone calls,) asking them to provide the following information which by LAW they are required to provide to you.
1. the amount of the debt
2. the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed.
3. verification of the debt including proof of the debt, proof that you contracted for and agreed to pay for this service, and/or a copy of any judgment against you involving this debt.
(do not include your phone number or they will call you and harass you)
This letter SHOULD solve the collections threats since AFNI will be unable to provide any of this info to you.
SECOND: file a complaint with your state's attorney general. So many complaints were filed in New York that the AG opened a formal investigation.
THIRD: forward your letter and complaint to your congressman and state representative. Legislators in a few states have opened their own investigations of AFNI.
FOURTH: file a complaint with the FTC at the following link :
Don't worry if you don't have time to write a full report. Get the company name and a general description of the scam. We're looking for volume of complaints against AFNI. Once the FTC gets thousands of complaints, they'll have to take notice.
Fifth: file a complaint with the Central IL BBB. Let the BBB know that they should be warning the public about these scam artists.
SIXTH: (and this is where it gets fun.) contact the consumer reporter for your local TV station. They love stories like this. Provide them with links to the various complaints and investigations so that they know you aren't just some deadbeet who doesn't pay his debts. I offered my local reporter a copy of my credit report so he could verify my payment histories.
SEVENTH: request a free copy of your Transunion credit report to make sure that AFNI hasn't messed with your credit. Also look to see if they made an inquiry. I'll bet they have.
You can get a free copy of your credit report at the following site:
The credit report is FREE. They will also ask you if you want to pay a few dollars to see your credit score but this is NOT required to get your free report.
send me an email and let me know what happens.