Debt that not ours

by Jess

My husband received a debt collection letter for a bill that incurred in early 2004. We were married in 2009. He states that its been taken off his credit report twice. The second letter by a different debt collection ageny was sent in 2008. It was removed by the credit bureau because they cannot prove it was him. This is the third time a collection letter has been sent about the same bill. We received the bill on May 7, 2011. No one can find the original sales agreement or contract for this debt. My husband denies that this bill is his. What is even worse is that my husband and his father both have the first and last name. They have a different middle initial. The bill is around 1500. What can we do?

Comments for Debt that not ours

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May 22, 2011
Debt not ours

Unfortunately, many consumers end up in your same situation, especially when a debt buyer has purchased their debt, does not have much information about the debt they have purchased and simply wants to make back its investment.

The first thing your husband should do is write a letter to the debt collector who contacted him letting the collector know that he does not believe that he owes the debt and asking for verification that he does. The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act gives your husband the right to make this request and the collector is legally obligated to respond to it in writing, although the law does not say how detailed and specific its response must be. So, if the collector's letter to your husband is not detailed enough or is confusing, he should send a second letter asking for a more detailed accounting.

Your husband should make a copy of every letter he sends to the debt collector. Also, he should send each letter via certified mail, return receipt requested.

If your husband is unable to resolve his problem by asking the collector for written proof of his debt, I recommend that you contact a consumer law attorney in your area who helps people resolve their debt collection problems. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here. Your husband's initial appointment should be free. The attorney can help him resolve his problem once and for all.

One other thing, although your husband is now married to you, given that the debt at issue is one he incurred before your marriage, you are not legally responsible for it. Therefore, nothing about that debt should show up in your own credit reports.

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