• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Identity Theft and Debt Collectors

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.

#1

Hello everyone! First post, and a bit desperate, so I hope I'm doing everything right.

My husband was emotionally and financially abused by a parent for essentially his whole life. When he turned 18, this parent took out a loan on supplies for a business that is not at all related to my husband's current profession. This debt is now over 20 years old, but was turned over to collections within the last 5 years.

My husband knew about a lot of the debts, but wasn't sure he knew about this one. He was made aware of it about 5 years ago, and his parent paid. Then his parent stopped paying and left this state with limited availability for contact.

We have been contacted by a very aggressive debt collection service. We put them in contact with his father who agreed to pay off the debt, and has since disappeared and not responding to our attempts to communicate with him.

We have requested that the company validate the debt, which they say they do not have to do since the phone call with his dad proved my husband knew about the debt and is responsible for it. I was hoping to be able to use the validation to file a police report or report the debt as identity theft, but the debt collectors told me it is past the statutes of limitations for us to be able to do that.

Has anyone ben through something similar to this before? We do not have the money to resolve it and it's causing my husband a great deal of distress.

We live in Tennessee.
 


Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
#2
The debt collector must cease collection attempts (other than to file a lawsuit) under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) if your husband requests validation of the debt in writing until such time that validation is provided by the debt collector. That the debt collector thinks that the debt is valid still does not relieve the debt collector from the obligation to provide the validation information, though what is required for validation is pretty minimal anyway. Alternatively your husband has the right under the FDCPA to simply tell the collector in writing that the collector may not contact him further about the debt, after which the creditor may not contact him except to advise him of action it intends to take to collect the debt, e.g. file a lawsuit, etc.

As for identity theft charges against the father, if the father used the information 20+ years ago to obtain the loan then it is well past the statute of limitations to prosecute for that. It may also be too late to sue the father over this as well, even if the law in the applicable state has a discovery rule since your husband has known of the problem for at least five years.
 

FlyingRon

Senior Member
#3
I agree with TM. I should say that a lot of debt collectors are real scum and don't comply with the law, though there's not really much you can do (filing complaints does little to help). Note that the FDCPA only applies to collection agencies working on the behalf of the creditor, not to the person who is owed the money.

To add one thing to TM's statute of limitations comment. While the limitations period on the identity fraud likely has expired, so should likely the ability to pursue the debt itself (unless a judgment was obtained in court).
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
#4
To add one thing to TM's statute of limitations comment. While the limitations period on the identity fraud likely has expired, so should likely the ability to pursue the debt itself (unless a judgment was obtained in court).
I should have mentioned that. And if the statute of limitations to sue on the debt has expired the debt collector's efforts to collect the debt may itself be a violation of the FDCPA. At least some courts have held that circumstance to be a violation of the Act. Of course, if a judgment was timely obtained and is still open then the collector could indeed pursue that.
 
Sponsored Ad

Top