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    elwell's Avatar
    elwell Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    May 21, 2008, 07:21 PM
    Charged off credit accounts
    If a credit card account was charged off, can I stop collection agencies from calling and harassing me? What would I tell them?
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692
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    #2

    May 21, 2008, 07:47 PM
    You tell them when you plan on paying them, being charged off does not mean you don't owe them, The term charged off is merely an accounting term where they take a loss on them for tax purpose, you still owe the money, but when you pay they have to also pay new tax on the money.
    But charge off does not mean y ou don't owe the money.

    You can get them to stop calling by writing them and telling them not to contract you by phone any longer
    Loan_Guy's Avatar
    Loan_Guy Posts: 83, Reputation: 6
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    #3

    May 22, 2008, 07:59 AM
    First of all, the CAs should have sent you a letter stating that they are attempting to collect a debt. You have 30 days to respond before they can report it to the credit bureaus as a collection.

    If you have received the letter, send them a VALIDATION letter back (look on the internet) including that they are not to contact you except by US mail. Send it CMRRR and give them about 35 days to respond after they received it.

    Unless they can provide to you ALL the information required by law in the validation letter, I would not pay them one penny, nor would I make any agreements with them. If they report you to the bureaus, send the bureaus a copy of the letter you sent the CA and tell them since it is unverified, they need to remove the account from your file.

    Here's the kicker! People pay millions of dollars a year to collection agencies that have no legal ability to collect on the debt, but because of threat of liens, garnishment and even judgments, they pay. It is their job to prove you 100% guilty, not yours to prove yourself innocent.

    Hope this helps.

    LG
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #4

    May 22, 2008, 08:05 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by elwell
    If a credit card account was charged off, can I stop collection agencies from calling and harassing me? What would I tell them?
    You can stop them from phoning you and they are not allowed to harass you under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Just send then a letter stating that you want them to stop calling you. However you cannot get them to stop dunning you.

    It is a common misconception that a charged off balance means its no longer owed, but that is not true. Charging or writing off a debt is a tax maneuver used by companies to offset losses due to unpaid debt against their income. It doesn't have any bearing on the debtor especially on their obligation to pay. A debt never expires until its paid. So the owner of that debt can continue to dun you to pay the debt as long as they file the law in doing so.
    Loan_Guy's Avatar
    Loan_Guy Posts: 83, Reputation: 6
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    #5

    May 22, 2008, 08:27 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottGem
    You can stop them from phoning you and they are not allowed to harass you under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Just send then a letter stating that you want them to stop calling you. However you cannnot get them to stop dunning you.

    It is a common misconception that a charged off balance means its no longer owed, but that is not true. Charging or writing off a debt is a tax manuever used by companies to offset losses due to unpaid debt against their income. It doesn't have any bearing on the debtor especially on their obligation to pay. A debt never expires until its paid. So the owner of that debt can continue to dun you to pay the debt as long as they file the law in doing so.
    Scott,

    You are correct in the fact that consumers are protected from inappropriate collection activities, but it is under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You are also very correct that they can continue to send you letters and about the charge-off status. Many people think that a charge-off means that you no longer owe the debt, when it is only a profit and loss write-off for the company.

    Here's my contention: If the CA can not legally collect the debt from you, for whatever reason, at what point does the dunning constitute harassment under the FDCPA? How many letters does a person have to receive from someone who they do not legally owe a dime to before they consider it harassment?

    The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects the consumer from CAs that choose to report negative information about a consumer that cannot be validated. If the debt cannot be validated, you do NOT have to pay it legally.

    You may find yourself morally and ethically bound to pay, but you do not have to legally.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #6

    May 22, 2008, 08:31 AM
    Thanks LG, I always get the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act mixed up with the Fair Credit Reporting Act for some reason.
    Loan_Guy's Avatar
    Loan_Guy Posts: 83, Reputation: 6
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    #7

    May 22, 2008, 08:37 AM
    Scott,

    Pretty easy to do.

    You have posted a lot of great answers on this forum. Let's keep educating those that the CAs and other creditors try to take advantage of...

    LG

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