AlliedInterstate interstate is attempting to collect an alleged debt by mail that seems to be 15 years old. This is in MA. There is a legal disclaimer at the bottom that notes that it is past the SOL and from my guess it could be 15 years old, obviously outside the credit reporting window.
Is the following a good plan:
Send a validation letter (asking for my sig on a document validate the debt is mine, and payment history to validate amount in question)
If provided with the above information, issue a letter to cease and disist collection attempts. (Is there any danger? I don't want the clock to reset again.)
Finally, is there a way to prevent them from selling my debt to another collector just to have to do this all again?
A CA can legally attempt to collect on an unpaid debt forever. They just can not sue you or put it on your CR.
Yes, you can send a C and D but, chances are, it will be sold to another CA. There is no legal way to have them not do it.
+1 How much is the debt? It's old, a zombie debt. Maybe offer them a small amount to kill it for good.
If the debt cannot be validated, can it still be sold?
Can anyone just sell alleged debts?
My suggestion would be to send a request for debt validation, PROVIDED it is timely.
However, if untimely, it imposes no requirement on the debt collector to cease their collection activities.
If they have not sent dunning notice, or you are still within the 30-day period of their dunning notice. then a request for debt validation will impose an automatic cease collection bar on the debt collector until such time as they provide the requested validation. That is much more comprehensive that a simple cease communication letter under FDCPA 805(c), which extends only to communications with you.
The demand for documentation as part of a request for debt validation is not recognized by most courts as a requirement of FDCPA 809(b). They can simply provide a statement that they have obtained verification that you are the responsible consumer, along with an itemization of the asserted debt. That would, at least in their opinion, lift the cease collection bar. To challenge their verification as inadequate by absence of documentation would require legal action, and an interpretation by a judge that such a requirement is part of the statute. Most courts dont make such interpretation.
If they verify, then I would consider sending a cease communication letter under FDCPA 805(c). You can do more via a DV at this time.
Failure to have verified is not the same as establishing that they cannot verify. Additionally, providing verification is not required under the statute. What is required is cessation of their collection activities until they have verified. That bar does not transfer to another debt collector should they sell the debt. Yes, they can sell a debt that they have not verified under section 809(b).
They seem to acknowledge it is out of SOL, and it cannot be placed on your credit report. So I would either do nothing, or send a S&D (or an FOAD) letter. Save the letter format on your computer and if you hear from another JDB change the address and send it again. Don't let this stress you.
While I agree that a C&D letter would stop their collection, it does not stop the debt. They tend to get passed around CAs and pop up later. Problem is, when they are zombie debts like this one, they tend to wind up with bottom feeder CAs that aren't as strict with the rules. That's why I alway suggest paying something to get rid of it. Even if it's $50 and they send you a letter that it's satisfied/settled.