I've spent the past two years working my butt off to repair my credit after a cataclysmic BK, and have had tremendous success, in part due to this board. HOWEVER, out of the blue, I discovered a Collection Account on my credit report, reflexively called the collection agency, and learned that they have been sending their letters to a PO Box I closed two years ago when I moved, and a cell phone I disconnected at the same time. I informed them of this, and offered to pay in full (without even verification, I was so desperate), if they would delete the report, which they refused. They claim I may have simply ignored their letters and hung up on their calls. I offered to show them a lease in a different city than their address, and a new cell phone in that city, and possibly to prove the other was disconnected two years ago. They said that was of no interest.
I need to know what is a reasonable standard for locating a debtor. If you Google my name, I'm the very first entry, so I'm easy to find! The credit bureaus have my correct address, so they probably could have gotten it there as well. The CA claims they have no obligation to do any of these things, though they advertise "skip tracing" on their web site.
I sent them a DV letter, which I copied the three credit bureaus on, and contacted the FTC as well as the California agency presumably in charge of these agencies. One of my problems is the agency is in Boston, and I'm in LA, so I don't know jurisdiction for a suit. So far, they've ignored my DV altogether. It is my understanding as part of the DV process they need to cease and desist all collection efforts, which would include reports to the credit bureaus. They have not withdrawn their report, or responded to me, but they still have some time in the 30 day window.
I would like to know if there is any way to force them to cooperate, namely, to withdraw their complaint until I'm given a reasonable chance to pay up, provided they are able to prove the debt. They debt appears to be an old medical lab bill--perhaps insurance didn't pay, I don't know. And, if they fail to prove, how do I enforce their obligation to withdraw their complaint? They may simply claim I have no right to the DV process, since I didn't respond to their initial letters; they don't seem to care that I didn't receive any of those letters, and basically blamed me for not maintaining a forwarding address with the PO for two years (which would cost about $20/month), and for somehow not answering a phone I disconnected two years ago.
I am very frustrated, and feel very helpless in this. I do not want this to take forever, as in the meantime, my credit is trashed; for example, Pentagon FCU turned down my request for a card, which I'm sure I otherwise would have received. I have no interest in a "paid" collection on my credit report; that is marginally better than an "unpaid" one; I need it to be withdrawn. Had these bozos actually contacted me, and substantiated their claim, I would have paid, and things never would have reached this point.