My mom just sent me a collection notice addressed to me but at her address (where I have not lived for 29 years) telling me I had a Chase bill of over $15,000. It is completely wrong as I took out a second loan years ago and one of the conditions was to have my Chase bill paid off.
My dad has the same name as I but he hasn’t lived at that address for over 30 years. My question is: should I write a letter to the collection agency telling them I don’t owe the money or ignore it as they sent it (technically) to a wrong address.
Thanks for any advice you can provide.
You may chose either way, it could be a phishing trip some collection agency is on. Here is a link to http://credit.about.com/od/debtcollection/qt/validationltr.htm about making them prove you owe the debt.
Someone posted a week ago or so where the collection agency sent the bill to her because the spelling of her name was very close to the original.
You may also want to look at the Statute of Limitations. Remember though, anything that smells like you agree to the debt could restart the clock.
Also, if you have proof you don’t owe the money then gather it together and respond to get yet another thing rocking on the overhead shelf out of the way. You truly don’t owe this money then this is a battle you can win, avoidance will just drag out the pain when you can get this cleared up. If you’re Dad owns the house or part of it then consider that your credit problems might become his if you’re not careful.
“IF” you have not already, it is time to start digging in and cleaning up your credit report. Mary Hunt’s book Debt-Proof Living chapter 11 Solving the Deep Dark Mystery would be a good place to start. This book is free at the library. While you’re at the library place a hold on or check out a copy of the Nolo Press Credit Repair Kit. You do need to get your credit report cleaned up. Even though you have credit problems you can still clean up the false information and get a good idea of who is gunning for you. It is nice to know who is coming after you. If you have had many years of problems there are usually battles you can win.
Start by cherry picking the easiest ones then work to the harder ones. An Attorney is usually not necessary it just takes some persistence and politeness on your part. Keep in mind most the people you’re talking to and addressing letters to are just doing a job to feed their families and diplomacy is key to getting the help you need. Both books I mentioned have sample letters and battle plans. It is better to be proactive then reactive since you will be in control of the timing that way.