I have a 4 year old cell phone account that has been sent to 3 collectors now. The account originally went to collections because US Cellular charged me an early termination fee based on a cell phone I bought outright (rather than discounting to renew the contract). I had been in touch with US Cellular and sent them the receipt for the phone (full price) to show that the contract was not renewed at that time. However, at some point during our correspondence, USC sent my account to collections.
The first collector contacted me, I requested validation, and they provided a copy of the bill. I sent them the phone receipt. A couple of months later the account showed up as a collection account on my credit report. I disputed it and it was removed. I thought that would be the End. But...
Fast forward one year and I am contacted by a second collection agency. I request validation, they never send it, etc. The issue drops.
Now, 4 years later, I am being contacted by yet another CA. I am going to send the validation letter, but I'm wondering... is this within their rights? Can each CA just continue to sell the debt that they've been unable to validate?
What can I do? Anything other than continue to respond to their requests until the statute of limitations runs out?
Unfortunately they can do that. Sometimes they don't want to take the time to verify the debt and sell it off. Just keep records of everything and send everything certified so you know they got it. You'll have to keep doing this through not only your state's SOL, but also the 7-7.5 year credit reporting time period. In my experience I had up to 7-10 collecting on past debts before I got a handle on it.
I have a 10+ year old verizon account that is still sent to me.
No telling how many CA's have sent it.
I just throw them in the trash as they find my new addresses.