Any suggestions for what I should include in my second response letter to Afni?
Here is all my info:
Around 2/11/2008 I received a Collection Notice from Afni, Inc. (PO Box 3427, Bloomington, IL [protected]).
They were asking for $81.11 from Verizon Select Services. Inc. This was for a phone number that I have not had since around 2000, which was closed and paid off at the time.
Research online immediately revealed a volume of complaints of fraudulent bills from Afni.
I didn't bother to call them. I wrote a letter saying the following:
1) I dispute the validity of the debt.
2) I've never had an account with Verizon nor have I ever been contacted to pay any sort of balance with them
3) The FTC and Fair Debt Collections Practices Act prohibit debt collection by a third party after statute of limitations (4 years in California, 5 years in Illinois, where I used to reside). Therefore, this debt cannot be legally be requested or reported to credit reporting agencies.
4) I request immediate cease and desist of all contact with me unless the original creditor has contacted me first with a certifited letter.
5) Afni must file a letter with all credit agencies that I have disputed the claim of this billing
In retrospect, I should have just disputed the validity of the debt, cited the statute of limitations and requested a cease and desist - Best NEVER to even remotely imply you'd be willing to pay bill.
Also, I CC'ed the VP of Afni Inc, the Attorney Generals for Illinois and California, and the Federal Trade Commission in DC.
About 11 days later, I received the following curious response:
"This letter is to inform you that in accordance with 15 USC 1692c(c) we are acknowledging your request to cease communication with you regarding this debt.
Per your request, we have validated the account with the original creditor, including account number and balance due. The name of the original creditor is Verizon. The original creditor's address is 1135 E. Chocolate Ave, Hershey, PA 18033.
This letter is from a debt collector. Consumers have the right to inspect their credit.
404 Brock Drive
PO Box 3427
Bloomington, IL [protected]"
...ALSO included was an empty, blank return envelope, and a "bill" dated April 16, 1999.
...The "bill" said the following:
"05483- BILLING FOR GTE LONG DISTANCE
BILLING FOR GTE LONG DISTANCE
ADDING AND CHANGING SERVICE
SERVICES PREVIOUSLY BILLED BUT NOT USED
GTELD INTOUCH 24 DAYS @ 3.00/MO 2.40-FS Q
CUSTOMER SERVICE REMOVAL ORDER 02230737
GTELD INTOUCH CREDIT 24 DAYS @ 3.00/MO 2.4 FS Q
TOTAL FOR GTE LONG DISTANCE CHARGES .00
I laughed when I saw this. They say they "acknowledge" the FDCPA (which I had cited in my letter). Yet they won't say "we made a mistake, never mind" (hey, ya never know...). Instead, they still vaguely slip in a bill, hoping that I'll still pay them - which I will not.
I'm not sure what entirely to make of this "bill" - anyone can fabricate a bill. And this one seems intentionally confusing - it says I owe total ".00" and yet my final bill is $81.11...?
So now, I have to write them back a second time and reiterate that they can't ask for collection on this "bill", per statute of limitations, and they must cease contact with me and confirm that my account is closed.
------> Does anyone out there have any suggestions for other things to include in my reponse? Thanks for your prompt insights.
I have no doubt that I am obliged to pay such a fraudulent balance and that I'm protected by the law. I've pulled all three of credit agencies of my report and they are all perfect, with nothing reported from Afni. So far, the most annoying thing has been the giant waste of time.
Good luck to you all!