Letter from Lawyer Regarding Cell Phone Debt

by Desere
(Whittier, CA)

I recently received a letter from an Attorney's office stating they are collecting a debt for Sprint. I also with in on week get a call from my father (I am 27) stating he received a call from a firm stating my account was going before a judge and they wanted to settle prior to a judgement. This was for an account I signed up for at 19 and ended at 21, they are trying to say I owe 989.00 for a bill that was originally 125.00??? I called the number and I knew they were not allowed to call my father (he was never listed on my account) and I live in California(community property state) and I informed the "rep" that they had violated my privacy by informing my father of my personal debt. We may have the same last name, but they called his cell phone and tried to collect from him! When I spoke with the supervisor, he informed me they did not break the law??? And what is with a law firm stating they are collecting a debt? I have read about these Junk debt companies that pay a lawyer to put the lawyers name on their collection notices to help improve collections. Can someone point me in the right direction?

Comments for Letter from Lawyer Regarding Cell Phone Debt

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Nov 23, 2011
Letter from Lawyer Regarding Cell Phone Debt
by: Debtcollectionanswers

Based on your question, there appear to be a couple issues going on related to your cell phone bill. First, based on my information, the statute of limitations (SOL) in CA for a written contract is 4 years. (The SOL is the period of time during which you can be sued for a debt.) Therefore, if you stopped paying on your cell phone account when you were 21 and you are 27 now, the SOL on that debt has expired. So, although you still owe the debt and you can be contacted about paying it, you cannot be sued. However, if you admit that you owe the debt to the attorney trying to collect from you, or if you offer to make a payment on the debt no matter how small, you will start the SOL running all over again and you'll be vulnerable to lawsuits again.

I don't know everything that you said to the attorney when you spoke to him, but if you admitted that you owed the money he wants you to pay, you may have unwittingly restarted the SOL on your cell phone debt. There are debt collectors, including attorneys, that are in the business of trying to collect on very old debts and one of their tactics is to contact consumers about the debts they owe to try to scare them into paying the money or to get them upset enough that they say or do something that restarts the SOL on their debt. This is what the attorney may be trying to do. I strongly advise you therefore, not to call the attorney again. You may say something that could get you into trouble.

You should also know that debt collectors (including attorneys who collect debts for clients) are prohibited by law from discussing your debt with anyone other than you, although they are allowed to call people you know to try to find out how to locate you. Therefore, the attorney who contacted your father about your debt violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act as well as California's own debt collection law and so you may want to talk with an attorney about any legal recourse you may have. Go here to access free and legal resources that can help you http://www.debtcollectionanswers.com/free-legal-advice-debt-collection.html">consumer law attorney


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