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  1. #1
    Darla F is offline Junior Member
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    Debt Recovery Solutions, is it a scam?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA

    I had a SPRINT cellphone over 7 years ago for less than a month. The billing went haywire (I kept calling to check my balance and every minute, the amount kept doubling that I owed and I wasn't using the phone). I canceled the cell phone. Complained to SPRINT several times and they said they launch an investigation, but nothing came of it.

    I refuse to pay something that I don't owe. I've been receiving collection notices over the years and the amount keeps getting lowered to what they'll settle for.

    I know this is on my credit report, but I've just been waiting for it to finally come off.

    I just got a new letter from John Donnell at Debt Recovery Solutions, LLC.

    It says that my account was acquired by their company and the unless I notify them within 30 days to dispute it, they will consider it valid. The collection amount is for double what they were trying to collect before.

    Is this a real company? I was reading that it's an identity theft scam and that when people call the number they ask for their social security number.

    I don't intend on calling them at all, but I was thinking of writing them a short letter saying that I haven't had any dealings with SPRINT for several years and have no idea what these charges are for and consider them invalid.

    Would this be the best thing to do or would it be confirming my name and address if these people are actually identity thieves?

    I was hoping this would just be off my credit by now. Can they put it on there again even though I've had no dealing with SPRINT in several years?

    Thanks,

    Darla

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA
  2. #2
    cosine is offline Senior Member
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    Write back to the address on the letter you received. Do not call; just write. Tell them you dispute the debt (per FDCPA 1692g(b)). Say that the debt is not valid because of errors by the original creditor. Tell them to cease communications with you (per FDCPA 1692c(c)). Send this within 30 days of receipt of the letter you received from them. Send it certified, with return receipt. Keep a copy of the letter. Give them no other information than the information given in their letter, and the described dispute. Never provide your SSN or any other identifying info about you, your finances, or your business affairs, to anyone you have not established a trust relationship with. The letter should have a reference or account number. Identify the debt with that number only. If it does not have it, they will have to figure it out from the address they used to send the letter to you.

    This will push them to their next decision on dealing with the matter. That could be anything from sending the debt back for a refund as invalid, writing off the debt as uncollectible, selling it to another debt collector (causing you to repeat the above steps), or suing you to collect the debt. Certain collectors that do not abide by the law may try to continue to collect the debt in various other ways. If they decide not to sue, but do try to collect, anyway, you'll at least know they don't have enough to make it worth suing, and you'll know not to sweat over anything they happen to say as they continue to illegally communicate. If that happens, keep accurate records about everything they do.
  3. #3
    debtcollector` is offline Senior Member
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    The following "advice" is a perfect example of the dumb leading the blind.

    Quote Originally Posted by cosine View Post
    Write back to the address on the letter you received. Do not call; just write. Tell them you dispute the debt (per FDCPA 1692g(b)). Say that the debt is not valid because of errors by the original creditor. Tell them to cease communications with you (per FDCPA 1692c(c)). Send this within 30 days of receipt of the letter you received from them. Send it certified, with return receipt. Keep a copy of the letter. Give them no other information than the information given in their letter, and the described dispute. Never provide your SSN or any other identifying info about you, your finances, or your business affairs, to anyone you have not established a trust relationship with. The letter should have a reference or account number. Identify the debt with that number only. If it does not have it, they will have to figure it out from the address they used to send the letter to you.

    This will push them to their next decision on dealing with the matter. That could be anything from sending the debt back for a refund as invalid, writing off the debt as uncollectible, selling it to another debt collector (causing you to repeat the above steps), or suing you to collect the debt. Certain collectors that do not abide by the law may try to continue to collect the debt in various other ways. If they decide not to sue, but do try to collect, anyway, you'll at least know they don't have enough to make it worth suing, and you'll know not to sweat over anything they happen to say as they continue to illegally communicate. If that happens, keep accurate records about everything they do.
    OP: We don't have enough information to advise you. The easy answer is to say seven years is more than the statute of limitations, send them a cease and desist letter. But we don't know shat state you lived in when you got the phone. That makes a big difference. And how long you lived in that state before moving to California. Again, it makes a big difference.

    If you choose to send a cease and desist, don't add all that crap cosine blathered about. Keep it simple. Same thing for a validation letter. Keep it simple and direct.

    The company is not an identity thief. You recognize the debt. It is a valid debt, regardless of whether or not you disagree with it.

    You should factually determine the SOL first. If the debt is outside the SOL handle that.

    DC
  4. #4
    cosine is offline Senior Member
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    "If you can't dispute their words, just dispute the messenger"
  5. #5
    Darla F is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for your advice, everyone. I've always lived in California. This debt company is in New York.

    Does that help? How do I determine the SOL?

    I'm sending them collection agency a letter to verify the debt asking for dates. Will this help with determining the SOL?
  6. #6
    debtcollector` is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darla F View Post
    Thanks for your advice, everyone. I've always lived in California. This debt company is in New York.

    Does that help? How do I determine the SOL?

    I'm sending them collection agency a letter to verify the debt asking for dates. Will this help with determining the SOL?
    You don't need to. The SOL in California is four years. Seven years is the limit for credit reporting.

    Send them a cease and desist letter. Keep it simple. Send it certified.

    DC
  7. #7
    Darla F is offline Junior Member
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    Okay, I sent them a letter requesting information back in December of 2010. I just heard back from them today (as you can see it's October 2011, well beyond the 30 day limit I requested). It says something really simple about including the information that I requested and that I still owe them money..

    The only thing that was in there were about 5 copies of invoices (no contract). They looked like the ones that would be sent in the mail as a monthly bill. They were all dating back to the first part of 2003, well beyond 7 years.

    What should I do/send them now?

    Advice would be appreciated. Thanks for reading this.

    By the way, the letter I sent is the one that says:

    Per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, I am requesting written validation of this alleged debt, which includes:

    a copy of the original signed contract with my signature
    validation of the original "Date of Delinquency" for this alleged debt
    validation of the "Date of Last Activity" for this alleged debt


    Per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the burden to validate the debt falls on the debt collector. It is not my responsibility to validate this alleged debt for you. If your firm has the info to place this item on my credit report, then you need no further validation of my identity. Receipt of this validation request is being time stamped by the USPS.

    Responding to a debt validation request by sending a letter to me requesting that I file an identity theft report is not a valid response and any such response will be officially documented as a refusal to validate the debt per the terms of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

    Either validate this alleged debt within the 30 day time period as allowed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or remove it from my credit files

    If this notation is not removed, I will have no choice by to take legal action per my rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I will also file official complaints with the Attorney General and BBB of your state.


    Quote Originally Posted by debtcollector` View Post
    You don't need to. The SOL in California is four years. Seven years is the limit for credit reporting.

    Send them a cease and desist letter. Keep it simple. Send it certified.

    DC
  8. #8
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    first, verification is a very easily fulfilled demand. There is no requirement to provide a contract or anything of the sort. It amounts to little more than the collection company contacting the original creditor and saying "is this the person that owes this much?" and the original creditor saying "yep".

    Obviously is is a bit more formal but that is all the information required to fulfill a demand for verification.

    Per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, I am requesting written validation of this alleged debt, which includes:

    a copy of the original signed contract with my signature
    validation of the original "Date of Delinquency" for this alleged debt
    validation of the "Date of Last Activity" for this alleged debt
    they are not required to provide any of what you demanded they send.

    Either validate this alleged debt within the 30 day time period as allowed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or remove it from my credit files
    they don't have to comply with that demand either. They cannot report anything new once you dispute the debt until they comply with the demand of validation but once that is done, they can continue to report the debt.


    Due to the time since you had dealings with Sprint, I would simply send the collection company a letter telling them you have no intention of paying the bill and to cease all contact with you. It is beyond the time period where they can avail themselves of the use of the courts to sue you BUT you must respond properly if they do file a suit to be able to avail yourself of a statute of limitations expiration defense.

    The delinquency can only be reported for 7 1/2 years from delinquency. If it has been beyond that time, it cannot be reported on your credit report. If it is, send the reporting agency a letter demanding it be removed due to the time limitations on reporting.
  9. #9
    Darla F is offline Junior Member
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    I need some help in my response letter.

    In my response letter, should I mention that Sprint had a clerical error that I tried to resolve with them several times, but they never followed through (they actually put me on hold for an hour while they went to go get a manager to work things out with me, then hung up on me before they even picked the line back up. I went to the Sprint store and the clerk there even called in for me since she didn't have the power to do anything at the store and they hung up on the clerk too after putting her on hold).

    I could then mention that I have no intention of paying this and include a cease and desist letter.

    Should I also mention that I don't expect them to report this to the credit bureau because it's been over 7 years?

    Since they well, exceeded the 30 day limit to reply to my request, does that invalidate their claim at all?

    If someone could provide me an example of a response letter, I'd really appreciate it. It's my first time dealing with this kind of situation.

    Also, I heard that debts can be reset, even after the 7 years have passed, if the debt is passed to another creditor, so the cycle starts all over. Is that true?
    Last edited by Darla F; 10-21-2011 at 07:40 PM.
  10. #10
    Darla F is offline Junior Member
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    Bump. Can anyone help me with this? Please see questions in the post above this. Thanks.
  11. #11
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by debtcollector` View Post
    You don't need to. The SOL in California is four years. Seven years is the limit for credit reporting.

    Send them a cease and desist letter. Keep it simple. Send it certified.
    DC
    Great advice was given to you here.
  12. #12
    Darla F is offline Junior Member
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    I understand that I need to do a cease and desist letter, but when I do a google search, so many come up. I'm not sure what to include and what not to include.

    Do I say that it's been over 7 years since Sprint sent these bills? Do I point out that it should not be put on my credit report? Do I say that the bills were originally a billing error that I originally tried to resolve with Sprint, but was ignored?

    What example of a cease and desist letter would you recommend? Do I include any personal details like what I posted above? As I said before, I'm really new to this and can use some help. I'm trying to do the right thing here and I'm really grateful for your comments. I just need a little more clarification and guidance on this.
  13. #13
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    a cease and desist letter?



    do not contact me again concerning this debt.

    Darla F
    you do not need to make a letter all fancy. Too many of the letters out there have you write all kinds of unenforceable and irrelevant BS is the letters.

    Realize that a dispute letter and a demand for verification letter are different than what I stated above.
  14. #14
    Darla F is offline Junior Member
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    justalayman-

    Thanks, I totally agree, a lot of the letters I find for "cease and desist" and "verification" are quite verbose and seem unnecessarily fancy. I want to make sure I include the necessary info.

    "They cannot report anything new once you dispute the debt until they comply with the demand of validation but once that is done, they can continue to report the debt."

    So Debt Recovery Solutions can report to the credit agency again since I asked for verification of the debt and start the 7 1/2 year cycle all over again? That sucks. I was thinking that I could send the credit bureaus copies of the invoices they sent me that show the debts 8 years old if it's still on there. How does that sound? Is there anything else I can do about this old debt to make it go away? I still dispute the validity of it because of Sprints computer error. It was impossible to work with Sprint directly to resolve this.

    Also, I've only gotten two pieces of correspondence from Debt Recovery Solutions so far. One was the letter saying that they bought the debt, the other was the one with invoices. Should I wait to see if they send more letters before sending a "cease and desist" letter? It took them 9 months to even respond to my request for verification. I just ignored the last creditor for years and it didn't seem like anything was happening until they sold the debt to Debt Recovery Solutions.

    I did find this letter on the Internet which I thought sounded pretty good. Here's the body of it. What do you think? I don't want to prompt the debt collector to sue me by sending a cease and desist letter. I assume the SOL dates back to dates back to the invoices which was early 2003:

    Dear [insert collector's name or company name],

    This letter comes in response to your various attempts to contact me concerning the collection of the above referenced [account or date].

    I hereby dispute the alleged debt. I have also verified that the Statute of Limitations for enforcing the alleged debt through the courts in (insert your state AND the state in which the contract was signed) has expired. Therefore, please cease and desist all contact with me immediately.
    Last edited by Darla F; 11-12-2011 at 03:58 PM.
  15. #15
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darla F View Post
    Can Debt Recovery Solutions report to the credit agency again since I asked for verification of the debt and start the 7 1/2 year cycle all over again?
    CAN they? Sure. Would it be correct and legal? No.

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