Two Debt Collectors for the Same Debt

by Alison
(Scottsdale, AZ)

My husband and I live in Arizona and received letters April 1st and April 9th 2010 from two separate debt collection agencies concerning the same debt. I assume it is the same debt because they both listed collecting for the same company, but the amounts differ one claiming we owe $133 and the other $88. How do we find out who to pay, and how much? Also, how can we keep this small debt from ruining our credit?

Comments for Two Debt Collectors for the Same Debt

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Apr 19, 2010
two collectors, same debt
by: Gerri

Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

Ugh, that definitely sounds messy situation. Here's what I would do if I were you. (I am assuming with this answer that there is a valid debt here. If that's not the case, let me know in the comments section below.)

First, I would exercise my right under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and ask a debt collector to verify the debt. While they are verifying the debt, you will have time to research it and figure out what to do.

Next, I would go to the original creditor, explain what's going on, and ask them to explain why two different collection agencies are going after the same debt. Since it's a relatively small amount, you may be able to get them to agree to pull it back from the collection agencies if you pay it off. Just be sure to get something in writing stating that there was a mistake, so you'll have documentation if these items are on your credit reports.

Actually, before you contact the creditor, I'd like you to pull your credit reports from Find out whether one or both of the collection agencies are reporting this debt already. Make sure you keep copies of your credit reports whether the item is on there or not.

Hopefully, you'll build a straighten this out without too much hassle. Make sure you keep good records of all correspondence and conversations about this debt. You can use our Free Debt Collection Worksheet for this purpose.

Please let us know how this turns out.

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