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AfniFormer Employee

I am posting this to actually try and help you, and I encourage you to keep that in mind and read thoroughly through all that I have to say. I was previously a debt collector employed at Afni, and I am going to let you know what I would do if I received a bill from Afni, or had a listing on my credit report from them, and you can go from there.
Let me first explain the difference between debt purchase collections and 3rd party collections. A debt that has been purchased is a bill that the collection agency now owns (these are the accounts that they paid pennies on the dollar for). With 3rd party collections the original creditor (ex:ATT, Dish Network, Direct TV, Sprint, Verizon, etc) still owns the account.
If Afni was handling one of my outstanding bills, my goal would be to make the bill completely go away (without paying)and be removed from my credit report, or if that was not a possibility, I would want to ensure that it does not affect my credit. The first thing that I would want to find out when I call in is if the account is owned by Afni or if they are a 3rd party collection agency. I would make sure they clearly told me, and not just ‘we are handling the account’, which could be either. If it is an account that they owned I would be claiming identity theft. By getting the account closed as identity theft I would not have to pay it and it would be removed from my credit. I would expect Afni to tell me there is going to be an ‘investigation’, but I would have no worries about any actual legal investigation or myself having to provide proof of what I say. I would expect the debt collector to ask me questions trying to link me to the bill as the actual investigation. I would ask what address the service or bills were sent to, and then make sure that I never confirm that I have any connection to that address. I would expect them to be skip tracing and maybe even bring up names of people that I know. I would never confirm that I know these people, even if they have the same last name. I would be confident that doing this does not put anyone else at risk, even if the debt collector tries to intimidate me of that. Then I would t confirm that they are noting it as possible ID theft, and then I would call back in 1-2 weeks to see if the account had closed. If so, I would request a credit delete letter faxed to me. If the account is not closed, I would call the credit bureaus and claim ID theft and then check back with Afni in another 2 weeks.
I would not attempt identity theft if Afni is a 3rd party. My reason for this is that the original creditor will require things like police reports, proof of residency, and fraud affidavits filed. These companies also have much more information on the account, and they will be able to do a better investigation. Also, they will still be getting a portion of what I pay if I do pay it, and paying the company that you actually owe is the right thing to do.
So, if Afni is the 3rd party collection agency, my concern is then having it removed from my credit, not updated as paid. To do this, it is important to make them think that I learned about them owning the bill by checking my credit, not from receiving a letter from them. I would want to check my credit before I called in to see if it is on there, then I could call in and say ‘I saw this on my credit and I didn’t even know this bill was with you, what address did you send something notifying me to?’ No matter if they have the correct address for me or not, I would tell them they sent it to the wrong address. At some point I would be certain to ask for a credit DELETION because I never received a first notice.
Is it on my credit and are they going to remove it are very important questions to answer if I am planning on paying the bill with Afni. 3rd party collection agencies only have the accounts for a certain time period, and it is typically 6 months or 12 months. When the agencies time frame is up, the listing on the credit will have to be removed and the account is placed with a new agency. The new agency will then be required by law to wait at least 30 days before reporting it. If Afni will not remove it, I would ask them when they received the account and then keep an eye on the account and catch it right when it changes agencies so that I could pay it before the new agency has the chance to report it. If I was planning on doing payment arrangements, I would just set the money aside each month and save it until it switches agencies (why would I give a dime to Afni if they refuse removal?). When it switches agencies I could then pay them what I had saved, and if I still could not pay the bill in full, I would try to work out a payment arrangement were they will agree to not report it.
If I was in a situation that I was trying to use my credit and I could not wait for the account to move to another agency, I would then resort to filing a complaint with the Attorney General and BBB to see if Afni changes its position on doing a credit removal.
No matter what route I had to go, I would keep a couple things in mind. #1. I would be nice to the debt collector. They are just a person doing their job and they do put up with a lot of abuse. Being a jerk to these people will not help out what I am trying to do, but if I am nice to them it may help the cause. A lot of the things they say come from company expectations. If you are mean to them they may use the company policies and the guidelines as a way to get back at you, but if you are nice, they may use them to your advantage. #2. Carefully think everything over and plan everything before making the call. Debt collectors are lied to all the time, and they are trained to catch you up in your lies. EVERYONE slips up when they lie!!! #3. Again, I would be nice to the debt collector. They probably just got done being yelled at by some jerk before I called in, and at certain point this can begin to affect how they talk to others.
No matter how the conversation goes, I would also expect the collector to do something like acknowledge what I say to them, then use an empathy statement, then point out how I am responsible for the bill, then talk about resolving it and a benefit, followed by telling me to grab debit/credit card, or checkbook. For example, if I was disputing a bill with Afni due to poor service with the original creditor, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear them say ‘So the service was bad and you decided to cancel, I’m sure that can be frustrating to have to deal with. However, you are responsible for any bills before you canceled. We could put this behind you and get your credit updated. Grab your debit or credit card, or we accept check by phone’. Once again, I would expect them to ACKNOWLEDGE/USE EMPATHY, POINT OUT RESPONSIBILITY, OFFER TO RESOLVE/BENEFITS, then I would expect to hear the words DEBIT OR CREDIT CARD, or CHECK BY PHONE.

Responses

  • Da
    Dale Banet Jul 04, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I got a bill for 453.58 dollars for a phone or service i have never had with at&t. I have service with land line south central rural telephone company and have not had a cell phone . [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • Li
    LisaMlrMu Jun 24, 2011

    Afni sent a phone bill for $171.04 from Verizon NJ Inc. for a phone number I never had not do I owe Verizon any money. They first called me by phone and said the bill was outstanding since 1997. Then, I got this settlement offer in the mail saying I could make a deal by paying only $85.52. This is all bogus, fraud, false, and shouldn't be happening. There account number assigned to this is [protected]-02

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Marcie74 Jun 01, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    The debt collector mail you someone els's cell phone bill, but addressed to in your name?
    I hope you did not open someone else's mail.

    If they are calling you trying to collect, do not argue with them.
    I had that happen once to me. I got assigned a phone number that previously belonged to someone else who apparently (based on the collections calls) never paid a
    bill. I just let them talk and had recorder ready to redord any violations of law.

    After a few months I got bored and told I would sue them if they did not stop contacting me and file criminal harassment charges ( the state I lived in allowed this).

    0 Votes
  • Mr
    mrapolla Jun 01, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have received numerous bills from this collection agency regarding a T-mobile ( I believe a cell phone account). I have never had an account with T-mobile. I advise them of this, but they still insist on collecting.

    0 Votes
  • Te
    TexasMike1 Apr 28, 2011

    You may want to check with Verizon to ensure that nobody signed up for a phone in your name...that's another common scam.

    The fact that they're settling a $306 debt for only $50 tells me they know the chance of recovery is slim.

    My wife had issues with VERY OLD debt. Many divorced women do, many of these debts end up being their exhusband's charged against the exwife. Companies like AFNI were trying to stalk her down and found her through my home phone number which was placed on one of her accounts she has with me as a joint credit holder. This debt is LONG past the Texas statute of limitations for a lawsuit, which BTW is 4 years, but many judges may dismiss a case within that if not filed "timely", by Texas law is 6 months. So they offer to settle a $2500 debt for $400, payable in monthly installments --- if you are late on a payment it resets the debt clock and also they revoke the offer and stick you with the full debt. After changing the number twice, they finally stopped calling, but still get the occasional letter in the mail, sometimes paired with a credit card offer embedded (the claim to put the balance on this new credit card we'll give you.

    0 Votes
  • Ld
    LDGG Apr 28, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    This company continues to send me a bill stating they are a collections agency trying to collect a debt, the suppose to be debt is from the original Creditor Verizon, get this.. I have never never had a phone from Verizon. The bill is 306.31 and they sent me a settle offer of 50.00. Let me just say again... I have never bought or had an account with Verizon. Nor have I ever bought one of their phones. I will not pay this bill.

    0 Votes
  • Je
    jeff schwartztrauber Feb 26, 2011

    I have been getting a bill for 702.54 about a cell phone bill that is past due and they are trying to get me to pay half of it to settle. the half bill which is 351.27 but I have never even heard or had a t-mobile cell phone.Ihave tryed to call them but I get no where. and no answers from them Iwill not pay for anything that is not mine. ANFI INC.account#[protected]-02 client account#[protected]

    0 Votes
  • Wa
    walter craft Feb 15, 2011

    i got a bill from them saying i owe a bill from t mobile 9i never had t moble play the last time they sent me a bill i payed and and found out it was my son bill and i called them and the7y told em they will reinbuse me and send me the money well i never got the money back

    0 Votes
  • Je
    jesseka Nov 05, 2010

    Afni collections is attempting to collect money from me for a 9 year old phone bill from T-Mobile. They say I owe 173.24 for a phone account I never had. T Mobile has never attempted to bill me for this amount.

    0 Votes
  • Da
    Darek Sep 19, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    If there a possibility of getting a refund from AFNI? A letter came in 1/16/10 for balance due of 398.41 and another letter came in 3/1/2010 about slashing it down to 199.21 to settle the debt. HOWEVER, its already been paid for 398.41, any possibility of getting a refund for the difference? Any advice? would be appreciated.

    0 Votes
  • Ff
    ffonobp Jul 27, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Same here.

    0 Votes
  • Sm
    SMILIE183 Jul 27, 2010

    I WRITING TO REPORT THAT IAM A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT AND I NEVER EVER GAVE ANYONE PERMISSION TO OPEN ANY COUNT UNDER MY NAME I HAVE A POLICE REPORT SO I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE SOMEONE CALL ME WITH THIS MATTER MY # IS [protected] MY NAME IS ANGELA MERCADO

    0 Votes
  • Dx
    dxabc May 14, 2010

    yeah! me too with the Qwest! from a similar age ago!
    do we need to tell Qwest? were they going to let you off at half-price?
    did you try to call or web and get asked for the last four of the SSN right off? by both?
    stink gets worse and worse more I read!
    stinks like phishing I say!

    0 Votes
  • Dx
    dxabc May 14, 2010

    verizon was around in 1992?

    0 Votes
  • Dv
    DV Miller Feb 23, 2010

    I recieved a collection letter from Afni, Inc. saying my husband owed AT&T Mobility $673.50 and that Afni would settle for $50.00. My husband is deceased. I contacted AT&T, and my account is current, which I knew it was. I could not get an answer when I called the 800 number on the collection letter. I filed a somplaint with the AG of Missouri.

    0 Votes
  • Do
    DonYo770 Oct 27, 2009

    Harassing phones calls & letters from a charge that I don't believe its mine or I paid/setled or is over 10 yrs old. I pull my credit every yr and this charge has not comed up ever. After readingall of the consumer complaints about this company someone needs to stop aginst there ilegal colection practices.
    This is redicules that i have to spend my time and energy on this ilegal collection practice that is going on.

    0 Votes
  • Li
    Liz Hosko Sep 04, 2009

    This company keeps calling my son house regarding his father, my ex-husband. When they call they are also using my first name ( I no longer have my married name). I tried calling this company to see what the collections was about and they couldn't give me any info. I am worried about my credit for in my divorce decree my ex was ordered to pay an outstanding debt on a credit card. I can not get anywhere with this company. What can I do?

    0 Votes
  • Re
    regangusler Aug 22, 2009

    I receievd a collection notice on an old phone number asking for payment from a company I have never heard of or done business with. Haven't lived there or had that phone number in well over 3 years and haven't ever receieved a overdue bill or collection notice before today.

    0 Votes
  • Ir
    irishpc Aug 21, 2009

    I have received a collection letter from afni, inc for a verizon bill dated 1996. I do not have any past bills. I have good credit and plan to keep it that way in spite of the recession. It seems with people having the same problem from Verizon dated 1996, is a bit peculiar. Afni needs to be stopped.

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Chan Johnson Jul 24, 2009

    I paid them everything they stated that I owed them, I have receipts for these pmts, hopefully they are legitimate, I asked one of there representatives if that was all that I owed and that was back in March, low and behold here comes July and they claimed I owed them another $100, what is this, please help. The # that I have for them is [protected], thanks

    0 Votes
  • Ar
    aree197856 Mar 15, 2009

    Checked my mail today and i have received 2 seperate pieces of mail from this copany claiming i owe money on two phone numbers i have never even had. After reading about this company i know know they are a fraud and i will not ne sending them a dime of money for anything they "claim" i owe.

    0 Votes
  • Su
    Susan Feb 20, 2009

    I received a bill from afni saying that I owed Verizon money for a phone number I no longer have. And had no outstanding balance. They stated that they would accept half of the 130.00 balance if I paid online or credit card by mail.

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    Billy Rutherford Nov 20, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    It is all a fraud, I have never had a account with Qwest, Just how many people are getting ripped off by this company?

    0 Votes
  • Valerie Nov 20, 2008

    I just received a collection notice for an alleged phone bill from QWEST. This is a totally bogus collection attempt for a phone number from 7 years ago. I have read other such postings on this site. How can these people get by with this? I'll be checking my credit reports and if this is posted on them, will write to get it removed.

    0 Votes
  • Io
    iowaaudit Aug 09, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I receive one of these bogus collection notices as well. I have notified our attorney general's consumer affairs division to handle.

    0 Votes
  • Co
    Coteek Jul 11, 2008

    Your bank is at fault and they have to return your money. Close the account and change banks!

    0 Votes
  • Co
    Coteek Jul 11, 2008

    These people have purchased old debts penny on a dollar and trying to make a profit. Verizon took over a lot of small companies like MCI and Bell Atlantic on the East Cost and if you ever had any services with them and owed money your name is on Afni's list. The debt is valid only for 7 years and what Afni is doing is illegal. If enough people will get together to sue them they will be out of business.

    0 Votes
  • Co
    Concerned Jul 01, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    This company continues to insist I owe verizon money almost 700.00. I asked then to investigate and they refused and told me to pay in full in order to clarify anything... Rip offs!!!

    0 Votes
  • Pa
    Patrick J. Navin Apr 26, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I noticed on my Credit File charges from AFNI and I had never seen them before. I sent a letter to them regarding this and their response was they can not investigate until I provide sufficient information to them regarding the complaint. I have no information regarding it, that is why I ask. It is crazy that they can report something and then when you ask what is was ask you to explain the bill.

    0 Votes
  • Br
    Brenda Alexander Apr 21, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I was checking my bank statement and I found that AFNI, Inc. has taken out $144.00 without my knowledge. I did ot even know what it was til I asked my bank. This is fraud and stealing. Who else can I report this to.

    0 Votes
  • Ph
    phil Mar 31, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Fill out a complaint form with the Attorney Generals Office, Consumer Affairs Division Washington D.C.. I did against AT&T and they got right on it and I won. I just did the same with AFNI who is blackmailing me for a debt I never owed with Nextel. Nextel kept my security deposit, as I agreed, for a closing balance of the same. AFNI comes around many years later stating I never paid, yet they have no record of my account transactions. They ruined my credit report and threatened me about doing so in advance. FRAUD and BLACKMAIL. Maybe we can get a class action suit going and knock them out of business for good!

    0 Votes
  • An
    angry customer Mar 25, 2008

    hello - same situation here with afni for a bell atlantic bill that was disputed and removed from my credit from 1998 - they are not allowed to 're-age' debt and the statute of limitations runs out after 7 years on such debt.

    send them a 'cease and desist' letter - everyone should know their rights and that you DO NOT have to deal with third party collectors. scare tactics should not let them get to you - sending them all 'cease and desist' letters would hopefully put them all out of business!:

    http://www.moodyreview.com/files/Cease%20and%20Desist%20Sample%20Letter.doc

    ask them for their fax number and the account number they have on file and fax the letter to them. this way you have a fax confirmation as proof. when you tell them you're going to fax a 'cease and desist' letter, they will say 'oh...' and hang up. if they contact you again after that, file a complaint with the ftc!:

    https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01

    Good luck!

    0 Votes
  • Vi
    vickie Feb 29, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Computer cam on and asked for my daughter-in-law by her maiden name and said he was Marlin. hen he asked where she was, did she have a phone, when she would be back, and was this a good number. The funny thing is that shes never lived here.

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    christi wimberley Jan 23, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    THIS COMPANY CONTACTED ME ON A BILL FROM 1997 ON A PHONE BILL. COULD NOT GIVE ME THE PHONE NUMBER ON THE ACCOUNT. I JUST WASTN'T PAYING ON SOMETHING THAT NO WAY COULD BE MINE BUT WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT TO DO WORRIED IT WAS A SCAM. THANKS

    0 Votes
  • Da
    David Sheldon Nov 15, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    My wife is having the same problem with them from 1998 a phone bill with the wrong number and never sent a bill from verizon. I called a lawyer after they said they didn't have to provide any information. I called them back after he talked to them and they will be sending us the information they have. By state law they have to send you the info is what I've been told. I live in PA. My wifes bill is for $98 with no phone calls from the phone just the charge for the phone being on.If this turns out to be a false bill we are reporting them and Verizon to the Better Business Burrow for fraud and harassment. You should do the same, maybe we can get them to shut them down.

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Christina Konig Nov 07, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Today I received a bill from AFNI collecting $40.00 for a debt that according to them I owe Verizon from 10 years ago. I have been a customer of Verizon for 15 years and have paid every bill I owed to them. When I called the number on the letter I was treated very rudely by Adam and was threatened to make a payment or else I would get in a lot of trouble. I told him I would not give in to his demands and would be disputing this with the BBB and the credit report agencies. Oddly enough, while investigating this company I came across this website and was blown away by the amount of similar complaints.

    0 Votes
  • An
    Andrea Oct 20, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I could not believe the letter when I recieved it from Afni Collection Agency.

    This bill is from 1992. I didnt even bother to argue, what for? I owed the debt, Why did it have to take 20 years to collect. This debtwas not reported either. Is Verizon in trouble that they have to start begging for money from 20 years ago?

    0 Votes
  • Ri
    Richard Baxter Oct 10, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I received a collection notice from Afni for $39.00 for the year 1998, phone No. [protected]. From 1998 till 2003. I lived in Palm Desert and my phone was with Verizon, phone No. [protected]. In this 5 years you would think Verizon would have billed me if I owed them anything!

    This is the first time I have received anything on this matter. I talked to a Rep. of Afni & told them I had never received a bill for this in 9 years. She replied there was 2 collection agency''s before them. I asked who they were so I could check with them. she answered "we can not divulge this information. So I told them to take us to court. She replied - We don't do court, we report to the credit agency every month. This sounds like blackmail to me. I do not believe I owe this money, but they are trying to prevent me from disputing it.

    0 Votes
  • Da
    Daniel D. Silva JR Oct 02, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I received a notice that I owed Verizon $49.05 for a GTE phone bill from 1993. At first I was going to pay the debt until I found this web site. I am not going to pay this because I have had GTE phone service since then and afni can not give me any paper work for the debt. I'll be getting in touch with all the credit reporting companies to get any help with this if it goes on my credit report.

    0 Votes
  • Aa
    Aaron S Sep 24, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    On 21 September 2007 I received a letter with a huge black "Collections Notice" on top of it from Afni Collections that says I owe Verizon Northwest, inc. $87.70 for a disconnected phone I never had! I called Verizon first thing and they had never had my name connected to the number Afni says I owe on and after checking my SSN to see if I was tied to ANY Verizon records at ALL, Verizon let me know that I am, in fact, NOT tied to anything in their system whatsoever and owe them NOTHING.

    After calling AFNI I received a message that "because of hold times in excess of 30 minutes they were 'not taking calls' but I could log onto their website and 'schedule a time for someone to call me back (yeah, right!!!)

    From there I looked them up on Google (after browsing their site and realizing that the Afni website wanted a *little* too much information from me) I saw hundreds of complaints similar to mine from other consumers on this site and [redacted].com.

    From there I got my wife to pull my credit report (works at a bank) and they haven't even reported it to any of the credit unions. You know what this means? FRAUD.

    I am going to try and contact them, but if they do not respond I will contact my lawyer first thing, no messing around with these jokers. I encourage other consumers to do the same as well.

    Good luck and DO NOT GIVE THESE PEOPLE MONEY.

    0 Votes

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