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Afni, Inc. / How to dispute an Afni Collections letter

1 Niagara Falls, NY, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

I have read many of the complaints on this board related to Afni, and they all resemble my experience. I successfully disputed the collections letter Afni sent me, and I encourage anyone who is debating how to respond to a letter from Afni to follow the aproach I took. Furthermore, we should all band together to fight back against this fraudulent company by reporting their activities to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection exists to investigate fraud and protect us consumers from companies like Afni. Here is how I refuted the claim Afni sent me:

1. Read your letter. If it is the same as mine, it will give you a deadline to respond in writing to dispute the claim. You must respond by this deadline - the sooner the better.

2. Gather information. In my case, my wife and I have obtained two mortgages since the supposed outstanding balance existed. Nowhere in any of our credit checks or other paperwork did an outstanding balance with Verizon (where Afni claimed the balance existed) appear on our reports. I documented each of these credit checks, as well as ones I did when I bought my car and applied for credit for other things. This outstanding account did not appear on ANY of those credit reports.

3. Draft your letter. Be sure your letter is written without grammatical and spelling errors to demonstrate that you are serious and prepared to follow up on your letter with real action. In my letter to Afni, I cited all of the credit reports I pulled together as stated in #2, and I closed the letter by stating my expectation of a response in my favor within 30 days. I went on to say that Afni's failure to respond in that timeframe would result in my reporting Afni to the FTC. To show I was serious, I attached a copy of the FTC's consumer complaint form, which can be downloaded and printed from the FTC website (www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov).

4. Follow up with FTC. Afni responded to my letter within my deadline with a letter that stated they conducted an investigation on my account and as a result of the investigation, closed my account. They stated that Afni would take no further collection action at this time, and that credit reporting agencies would remove the account from my credit report (which is bogus, because as stated above, this never showed up on my credit reports).

Regardless of whether or not Afni responds in your favor, you should report them to the FTC. Companies like Afni prey on masses of people who are easily backed down when faced with threats against their credit, regardless of how dubious. Those of us who care about helping our fellow citizens fight back against predator companies like this need to band together and ask our government to work for us.

Good luck.

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Comments

  • Da
      26th of Feb, 2007
    0 Votes
    Afni, Inc. - A bill from 1993?
    United States

    I received a letter from AFNI stating that I owed AT&T Long Distance a balance of $76.12, but AFNI was allowing me to get off the hook for half that amount.

    To my knowledge, I never had a long distance account with AT&T, but I decide to call AT%T to verify (sometimes this stuff can slip your mind). AT&T had no records and said my account was just fine. I went to 3 different people in AT&T--all of them said the same thing and had no idea what this AFNI letter was about.

    So I called AFNI and asked for more information on this. She said it was a delinquent account from 1993?? They gave my parents address (I never had my own account there).

    When I asked the operator to give me more details, she said, 'what kind of details do you want?' I said, 'Understand, that if you expect anyone to write you a check, you are going to need to provide more details, such as the original phone number, etc.' She had nothing more than an address I was at in 1993. I then asked her if they were going to put a mark on my credit rating and she said 'no'. She said they purchase these accounts from creditors and try to collect for half.

    So the letter is crafted in a way that makes it look like you will get a bad mark if you don't pay up, but in actuality, all they are doing is making a basic statement about the laws of creditors in general. A very sneaky company. This woman sounded as if she had already had a million conversations just like this one.

  • He
      12th of Jul, 2007
    0 Votes
    Afni, Inc. - 11 year old Verizon bill!
    United States

    I have just after 11 years, received a bill from Afni, Inc. saying that I owe 258.14 in past phone charges. I have never received a bill from Verizon, EVER. I have bought a home, had credit checks and NEVER has this come up. What do I do? I'm not paying something I don't owe.

  • Mi
      20th of Jul, 2007
    0 Votes

    I just received a letter in the mail from Afni, Inc for a "debt" my husband supposedly owes to Alltel from 1995. Yes, 12 years ago. I am going to send a letter to Afni to dispute the debt, but since I thought it was odd to receive a collection notice 12 YEARS LATER, I am doing some checking on the collection agency. So far, all I can find are complaints.

    By the way, when I called Afni to see just what this debt was for, they were willing to "settle" for $100 (the debt they claim we owe is $250). My husband does not recall ever even having an account with Alltel, not to mention it was 12 years ago.

  • Ro
      23rd of Jul, 2007
    0 Votes
    Afni, Inc. - Another bogus collection attempt
    United States

    I have just received a second collection notice from AFNI, Inc. This second one is a "Settlement Offer"; giving me the option of paying half the original bogus overdue account. This so-called creditor is Verizon California, Inc. Like everyone else who has posted here, this bill is 100% fake. The website "www.afnicollections.com" is also all wrong. One of things that's a dead giveaway about that is the VeriSign logo on the site. If you hover over the logo and watch the bottom of your screen, nothing happens. If the logo was legitimate, it would show a web address in the bottom of the screen for VeriSign. This is all outrageous!

    You cannot complain to the Attorney General of your state, either. This is mail fraud, and as such, is reportable to the United States Postal Service. DO NOT contact AFNI, Inc. To do so somehow gives their claim against you some kind of legitimacy.

    Instead, go to the following address:

    http://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/fraud/MailFraudComplaint.htm

    Copy and paste into your browser address bar. You can file a complaint this way. Be sure to ask for confirmation that your complaint has been received. It will take several weeks, but you will receive notification by mail. If enough complaints are registered, the USPS is far more likely to investigate these rip-off artists! Do it now!

  • Li
      25th of Jul, 2007
    0 Votes

    I also just received a collection notice from afni for over $500 from 1996 from a verizon account i had for 9 mos. I've been on the radar all this time and out of the blue i get this bill. It sound very fishy to me as they were not able to tell me anything about the original bill and i basically am just supposed to trust them and write them a check. I plan to write a letter to dispute their claim but if anyone has any advice i would appreciate it. I've recently gotten my credit all together and am saving $ for my future and i don't want this to screw up my credit.

    Help!

  • Un
      31st of Jul, 2007
    0 Votes

    Here's the deal. Verizon (or any other) can sell the information to collection agencies. The problem is that Verizon sold misleading, false, inaccurate info to Afni and now Afni wants all of us to pay up. Did you call Afni? Their agents are rude and they try to manipulate you or even harass you.

    I've complained to Verizon and they are SLOWWW on responding. Imagine if we sold their social security numbers try to collect money from 20 years ago, and not give straight answers.

  • Mi
      14th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    Afni sent me a collection notice for 144.25 from Verizon New York Inc. Called Afni two times and got two different answers. I told them we never had Verizon and the phone number listed was not mine. One rep. said it was from 1994 and the other said it was from 1981 again I stated I never had Verizon and their reply was I guess your disputing it and your not paying the 144.25. How stupid! Then I went to Verizon New York complaints and found numerous complaints on this company, shame on Verizon for letting this go on. Contact your state attorney and news stations about this!

  • Ha
      14th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes
    Afni, Inc. - Fraud and cheating!
    United States

    I received a collection notice from Afni, Inc. claiming to be collecting for Verizon Florida, Inc. and on an account I know is not mine. This feels like a scam to me and I want it known that this company needs to be investigated.

    I have worked very hard to be accountable for my financial obligations and this notice just comes at me blind sided. I have no problems paying what I owe, but I cannot tolerate scams.

  • Ki
      31st of Oct, 2007
    0 Votes
    Afni, Inc. - Collection notice for Verizon bill!
    United States

    I just received a collection notice from Afni, Inc for a Verizon bill for $271.44 for a telephone number that I never had. When I called and spoke to the rep named Natasha, she stated several addresses that I never lived at but seemed to have the last four digits of my correct social security number. She instructed me to go to their website and complete a fraud affidavit online. After reading several complaints about this company I am really scared now. I work in the financial services industry and see customers who are victims of Identity Theft all the time. Something should be done by Verizon and Consumer Affairs to stop Afni, Inc. from victimizing others.

  • Pa
      2nd of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes
    Afni, Inc. - Fraudulent collections
    United States

    well first of all i had gotten a bill stating that i had service in the name of Pamela Gabel well that had been my maiden name & i have been married for about 13 years. the company should have asked the person who was using my name for more description of who they had been. I have been trying to get my twin sister for fraud because, i have found out that she has been the one using my information quite a few times and i really don't appreciate being the one fault for what she has done. First of all she has lived in Clyde, Ohio quite a few times in apartments. I haven't lived over there and i dont like being the one getting blamed for something that i did not even do.

  • Si
      5th of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes
    Afni, Inc. - Fraudulent collection scam can be stopped by statute of limitations!
    United States

    I posted the following as a comment to another complaint about AFNI but, after seeing so many other complaints and comments, I thought I should repost it as a complaint so more people would see it. Whatever you do, DO NOT pay the debt and DO NOT even give them the impression that you might consider paying it.


    In late September 2007, I received a letter from AFNI addressed to my husband for a supposed debt to Contel South. We had never dealt with Contel South before, and my first thought was that someone else had created the debt in my husband's name. A few days later, I received another one addressed to me, also showing the creditor as Contel South and showing a different phone number, so I started researching. I found that Contel South was connected to GTE, which in turn became Verizon. A then realized that the phone numbers were legitimate numbers that we had more than 10 years ago through GTE, but we owed nothing on either of them. The P.O. Box on our letters was the same as some other I've read here, 3427, but they came from Bloomington, IL and I've seen other comments here that stated they came from other states with the same P.O. Box.

    I knew that it was a scam so, in each case, I went to their website and used their online contact form to dispute the debt, and simply said that it must be an error on the part of the original creditor, hoping that they would send me something else to use against them. Within three days of doing this, I received a form letter from AFNI for each case, enclosing a photocopy of a single page from an old bill, which looked identical to to the bill format that GTE used to use. In the meantime, I did some more research and found that, in most states, the statute of limitations on a debt of this type, even if it were legitimate, was three years.

    Once I received the second letter in each case, I sent a letter to AFNI by certified mail with a return receipt to prove that they received it. Both letters I sent were identical except for the specifics regarding the amount, account numbers, dates, etc. Here is what I said:

    "To Whom It May Concern:

    Responsive to your letter dated October 9, 2007 (copy enclosed), I must reiterate that this debt is hereby disputed. As stated in my communication submitted through the AFNI website on October 8, 2007 (copy enclosed), when the referenced account was closed at my request more than 10 years ago, the account was paid in full and there was no balance due. Further, the photocopy of the bill dated October 13, 1997 enclosed with your letter referenced above confirms the zero balance. The notation on that bill referring to the amount of $97.22 as “UNCOLLECTIBLE (WRITEOFF-ACTIVITY)” is quite obviously an error on the part of the original creditor.

    However, after sending the above referenced communication through your website, I contacted an attorney and verified that, even if the debt had been legitimate, which it obviously was not, the statute of limitations for debts of this type through Virginia courts is three years. Therefore, the statute of limitations for collection of this debt expired more than seven years ago.

    Accordingly, I hereby request that you take the following actions regarding this debt:

    1. Please contact any credit reporting agencies to whom you have reported this alleged debt, and inform them that I am disputing the debt; and

    2. Please also forward a copy of this letter to the creditor who alleges that I owe the debt at issue, and inform them that I am disputing the debt.

    Except as specifically outlined herein, I am hereby requesting that you immediately cease all contact with me about the alleged debt. Any further contact should be in strict conformity with the FDCPA. Specifically, it should be limited to informing me that you have ceased collection efforts on the alleged debt, or stating that you are taking a specific action in relation to the alleged debt such as commencing a collection lawsuit. Obviously, I would raise the statute of limitations as an absolute bar to any lawsuit.

    Any further contact should be made in writing, and should be submitted to my home address by mail."

    Regardless of whether or not your debt is legitimate, this letter should take care of it because it shows them that you are more informed than they thought, and there is no way that they will show their face in court. I received my return receipts and have heard nothing further from them, and I don't expect to. But, if I should hear from them in the future, I have copies of everything as proof, (including the name of their employee that signed for the both of the letters) and, if I have to, I will file a harassment lawsuit. The most important thing to remember is to dispute it from the beginning and never, ever give them the impression that you might be willing to pay or are even considering paying the debt because, as I understand it, the statute of limitations would then start over and they would probably harass you for another 3 years.

  • Su
      28th of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes

    My sister, who resides in Muskegon, MI, went to have a business phone installed. She was informed that she couldn't because of an outsatnding bill with Verison. The bill in question was paid years ago! Of course, she no longer has the proof of payment. Since that time, she has had a home phone installed, with no problem. If she had had some oustanding balance, she never would have gotten a home phone without paying it off PLUS a deposit. IOW, they are claiming she owes a bill that she does not.

    Does anyone know how to get this bogus bill off one's credit report? What to do???

  • Al
      20th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH ALL OF YOU WHO ARE COMPLAINING AGAINST AFNI, INC. !!!
    ANYONE WHO HAS A
    COMPLAINT ON THIS AFNI, INC. SHOULD IMMEDIATELY OR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE REPORT THIS TO THE POLICE AND I WOULD LIKE EACH AND EVERYONE OF US WHO HAS A COMPLAINT AGAINST THIS TERRIBLE CRIME OF FRAUD OF PEOPLE WHO ARE STEALING OUR IDENTITY & MONEY SHOULD STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    THERE ARE MANY MANY OF US COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS THIS IS A TERRIBLE CRIME THEY ARE DOING AGAINST US I WOULD LIKE ALL OF US TO TAKE THIS MATTER INTO SERIOUS CONSIDERATION BY CALLING THE POLICE AND EVEN BETTER TO CALL YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPERS, AND MEDIA TO TELL THIS TERRIBLE SITUATION AND FOR THESE CRIMINALS TO PAY FOR THEIR CRIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sc
      20th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    Is it a fraudulent account? Did you live at the address of service? Did you ever have the account/phone number with the original creditor? If you answered no, then you need to file an identity theft report through your police station. You can send it to AFNI and the credit bureaus.

    Pablo.

  • Ch
      3rd of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    I recently checked my credit report and Afni, Inc. has reported a $135.00 past due amount.

    "Seriously past due date / assigned to attorney, collection agency, or credit grantor's internal collection department"

    This is from a Verizon bill that was settled personally between me and Verizon over 4 years ago. I have never received any collections letter or anything else whatsoever from Afni so I will be following through with a letter to both Afni, Inc. and Verizon.

  • An
      26th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes
    Afni, Inc. - Supposed 10 year old bill!
    Afni, Inc.
    Georgia
    United States

    I received a settlement offer for a BellSouth Mobility bill and i have not had service with Bell South in more that ten years. there were no details, account number or what the charges were for, and they are threatening to report this to my credit rating... Can something be done to stop this false and surely illegal company from distressing innocent people.

  • Wi
      2nd of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    afni collection , fraud and cheating

    afni send me a collection notice for $1,169 from verizon
    in Georgetown D.E 19947 called afni three and go different answers .I told them we never had verizon and phone (302)855-1365 listed was not mine .
    I never had verizon and replay in the credit report two or three time . iI can`t pay 1,169 because the bill is not my .I live in wasilla Alaska 3001 w sakai st 99654 for 6 years and a never live in Delawere Georgetown.please remove this account #2017896807 from my credit report .and the account is affected my credit report .please send me a lettler at .p o box 871036 wasilla ak 99687 . i`m wigberto Gonzalez Morales , my numer is (907-357-5895 or (907-841-0479 )because someone is stealing my identity

  • Da
      4th of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    I just received a Bill for 102.oo but they will take 51.01 for a number I never heard of and never did I have verizon. I havent even had this name in years ( Glasspoole) it dosent say when it was even. And when I had this Name I couldent even get a phone from any one now I have a bill for it. NO I will not send them money for some thing that is not mine. So how do I get rid of this?

    Dawn Green

  • Pe
      3rd of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    I was called in January, 2008 by a representative of AFNI, Inc. informing me they were collecting a bill I owed Verizon for $29.20. I explained that I had never had an account with Verizon, I asked for a location and date, the date on the bill was Sept. 10, 1998 in Gresham, Oregon. I have never received a bill from Verizon previously, I have never lived in Gresham, Oregon. They ask me to confirm my soc. sec. no., which stupidly, I did, now I am concerned that they will scam me further. I have written the Oregon Attorney General, Verizon, NyS attorney general and the Minnesota Dept. of Commerce.

    I am so furious that fraudulent companies can harrass Americans and steal money and identity so easily. We have to band together and expose these kinds of people and stop them from preying on us.

  • Pe
      3rd of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    I had the exact same experience, a ten year old Verizon bill, generated where I have never lived and they also had my soc sec no. I am sending complaints to all their licensing agencies and also the attorney generals in my state as well as NY and Minnesota.

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