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