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10-04-2012 02:14 PM
My boss received some invoices from Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District for some false alarm calls that occurred because ADT's fire system equipment was malfunctioning so they kept calling the fire department. There was a total of 3 bills sent each of which was $321.83. After several months of fighting these charges, we were eventually able to get the Chief Financial Officer of Sac Metro to agree to allow us to pay 50% of the total charges ($965.49 x 50% = $482.75) which I have in writing in the form of an email. Once they agreed to this, we mailed a check for $482.75 the same day. The email also said to mail the 50% check payment to the address that the Supervising Fire Chief was at rather than sending it to the payment office listed on the invoices.
Fast forward one month and today we received 3 collection notices for the original amounts of $321.83 with interest added on. The notices themselves even say "SAC METRO FIRE DISTRICT has informed us that the PAST DUE status of this account could be a simple oversight."
I have contacted the collection agency and told them about the situation. They said they are waiting on a call from Sac Metro Fire District to verify that the accounts were settled in full (for the 50% payment). We settled this matter prior to the accounts being taken to collection. My question then, if the collection agency wants to continue to push for payment even though we already received it, what actions can I take to cease the collection efforts on these accounts?
10-04-2012 04:36 PM
The rules for consumers don't apply for businesses. In other words, the FDCPA doesn't apply. However, you can always pretend it does and proceed that they'd follow the same rules as if you were a consumer. If choosing that route, send a DV.
10-05-2012 08:00 AM
The ownership of the commercial site is actually in my boss' personal name rather than his business. Would the FDCPA still not apply in this case?
10-05-2012 10:29 AM - edited 10-05-2012 10:29 AM
It would still be business-related unless the CA is specifically mentioning the boss [as the debtor] w/out mentioning the company. That's not to say it wouldn't hurt to send a DV. No harm in doing so, IMO.
10-05-2012 10:33 AM
I'll add that the FDCPA defines a "consumer" (aka the debtor) as:
(3) The term "consumer" means any natural person obligated or allegedly obligated to pay any debt.
10-06-2012 02:30 PM
REgardless of whether the debt collector actions are covered under the FDCPA, if the debt is paid, there is no debt upon which any debt collector may continue collection activities.
While civil action might not be based on the FDCPA if not considered personal, which in this case it arguable could be, their would still be civil remedy under state law governing a business attempting to collect on a non-existent debt. Its just a venue issue.