HellBill » Hell Bill Area: » Pay Bill/ Pay Bills » Please help! I don't know deal with Verizon and a debt collection agency

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: First off, Verizon is evil. I will never do business with them. Basically they have erroneously reported me to a collection agency, CBE for an unpaid bill. I moved from my apartment where, I had service with Verizon at the end of Aug 10 I paid my last Verizon bill due in Oct 09 (my contract was over as soon as my lease was over), I provided Verizon with my new address. I never received any bills from them at my new address, just statements showing my account had (- ) balance, in fact they sent me a check for $13. I call Verizon at least 3 times until Dec 2010, to verify I owe nothing and they confirm this. Fast forward to June 2011, I get calls from CBE collection saying I owe Verizon $258. Meanwhile, I try to speak to Verizon, but they can't give me any information because my account has been sold to CBE. When I looked at my credit report in June, Verizon reported my account against my credit history in October 10, before my account was even considered delinquent. I don't want to pay Verizon they are crooks, despite my documentation from them, collection agency still says I owe $258. But I have pristine credit, this is the only thing on my credit report.
If I don't pay, will this stay on my credit report? The collection agency said it was Verizon who reported it not them. Are there any other ways I can get this off my credit report? I have never dealt with a collection agency in my life, not sure how this works.

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  #2 (permalink)
: I had to deal with something similar with Comcast. It involved a change of address as well and the bills never getting to me; fortunately it was only for $24 so I paid it because it was not worth the amount to pursue anything, plus they did send me a complete payment history since the bills were easy to follow.

First off, write the collection agency a registered letter requesting proof of their right to collect the debt and proper documentation (I did take this first step in my own dealings). You can google formats on this letter, credit infocenter is a good website for some guidelines. They will have to send you those documents within 30 days; if they do not respond, they have no right to collect the debt (in fact, they may have already committed an illegal act by reporting it to the credit agency). If they don't respond within that time, you can send them additional letter requesting that they remove the blemish on your report immediately as they are in violation of the credit reporting act.

If they ignore your second letter and don't clean your report, your next step is to file a lawsuit in small claims court and serve the collection agency with papers. But you need to talk to the Credit reporting agencies and send your written proof before you take action to do so. They will put a hold on your credit rating until the case is resolved.

You can also find out if they are legally licensed to collect debts in your state; that will give you more legal ammo.

For a small amount like this, the agency may let the debt go depending on how many resources the company has and how thorough they are.

Check the website I referenced above for further guidelines.

Good luck!
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