• Report: #697398

Complaint Review: AFNI Collections

  • Submitted: Sat, February 19, 2011
  • Updated: Thu, March 10, 2011

  • Reported By: Cheryl — Georgia U.S.A.
AFNI Collections
404 Brock Dr Bloomington, Illinois United States of America

AFNI Collections Anderson Financial Network Received Fraudulent Collections claim in the mail from AFNI Bloomington, Illinois

*Author of original report: Update on Responce from AFNI

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I am adding to the numorous complaints on this site for this "aollection company".  I got the letter just yesterday with the words "Settlement Offer" up at the top and as I read I realize this "debt" was back when I was married and I have been divorced for 9 years.  They claim they are collecting for T-Mobile, and I have read many other complaints that they seem to gravitate around the cell phone bill scam.  I am sending them a certified letter Monday morning that states the following:

Afni Collections, Inc.
P.O. Box 3427
Bloomington, IL 61702-3427  
To whom it may concern:  
This letter is being sent to formally dispute the validity of an alleged debt, in its entirety, of $$$$$ from a creditor known as “T-Mobile” for an account (Afni Collections account number #########-##). Pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, I am formally requesting validation—in full—of the alleged debt on which you are attempting to collect.  
Be aware that this letter is not a request for address validation; this letter is to formally dispute the validity of the alleged debt that is listed on the collection notice and demand that the debt validation is provided to me, by you, in its entirety in accordance with both federal and Georgia laws.  
All communications and correspondence pertaining to this matter are to be carried out via the United States Postal Service at the mailing address found below and not by way of telephone, e-mail, or any form of electronic communication. Furthermore, all forms of correspondence pertaining to this matter received at and sent from said mailing address have and will be photocopied and retained for any and all future legal proceedings if necessary.  
My specific dispute with the Afni Collections, Inc. alleged debt is based on the fact that the alleged account with T-Mobile was more than seven years ago. As such, I dispute the validity of this debt and formally request evidence of validation in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I am requesting that the following information be supplied by your agency: a detailed description of the product and/or service for which this alleged debt is owed; an itemized description of how the alleged debt was calculated; and copies of all documents showing that I agreed to purchase any product and/or service in addition to paying for a product and/or service from a creditor known as “T-Mobile.”  
Be advised that the hardcopy and photocopies of the Afni Collections, Inc. collection notice and all future documentation pertaining to this matter have and will be retained and/or photocopied for use by my attorney and each agency that I am contacting regarding this situation.  
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

I found a helpful blog that gave essentially step-by-step information on how to deal with this scam and copied and pasted the bulk of this letter from that site. http://afnifraud.blogspot.com/ I'm not trying to endorse anything, but having no clue where to begin, this was very helpful for me. One thing I have found that it is essential that a person respond within 30 days of the initial contact to dispute the fraud.  They take something that is SO old you can't remember if you've paid it or even if its valid and anticipate people just settling so it won't be a bad mark against their credit score.  This company should be investigated and SHUT DOWN for their illegal practices!!
Important to know:

"Here’s what it states in the FDCPA - Section 809 - Validation of debts [15 USC 1692g]:(b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector. If a collection agency can't verify a debt they are not allowed to collect or contact you about the debt. They are also not allowed to report it to the credit bureaus under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Doing so is a violation of the FCRA, and the FCRA states that you can sue for $1,000 in damages for any violation of the Act."

What I think is amazing is that they are actually on the BBB.org Better Business Buaera website as a company in good standing despite the Thousands of claims they have against them.  I found more contact info on them there as well:

Name: Afni, Inc. Phone: (877) 403-0670
Fax: (309) 828-0931
Address: 404 Brock Dr Bloomington, IL 61701-2654
Website: www.afnicollections.com
Original Business Start Date: January 1936
Principal: Mr. Ronald L. Green, President/COO
Customer Contact: Mr. Tim Carmazino, Compliance Associate - timcarmazino@afninet.com
Email Address: recoveryteam@afninet.com
Employees: 625
Type of Business: Collection Agencies
BBB Accreditation: Afni, Inc. is a BBB Accredited business.
Additional DBA Names: Afni/BloomAnderson Financial Network, Inc.Anderson Financial NetworkAFNI
Additional Addresses
PO Box 3097
Bloomington, IL  61702-3097
PO Box 3427
Bloomington, IL  61702-3427
Additional Phone Numbers Tel: (866) 425-1601
Tel: (866) 307-9197
Additional Email Addresses timcarmazino@afninet.com

I will update on the response from AFNI when I receive it.  I just want everyone to know they may be a collection agency but they are not above the law.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/19/2011 08:09 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/AFNI-Collections/Bloomington-Illinois-61701-2654/AFNI-Collections-Anderson-Financial-Network-Received-Fraudulent-Collections-claim-in-the-m-697398. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Update on Responce from AFNI

AUTHOR: Jobie - (U.S.A.)

I sent a Certified Letter on Feb 25 demanding that this scam collection agency provide me with proof of the validity of this claim.  I received a response dated March 4, 2011 with "proof" and the letter states exactly this:

"The attached information has been provided by the original creditor as validation of the above account.  Thank you for your attention in this matter

If you have any questions, please contact our office toll free at (888)804-2409 Monday through Friday 7am-9pm CT.  For proper credit on your account please write the number ##########-## on your payment.

This is an attempt to collect a debt.  Any information obtained will be used for that purpose.  This is a letter from a debt collector.

AFNI, Inc"

The attached "proof" only proves my case!  The date on the "final bill" is 8/20/2001!  So I now have proof that my debt is 9 years old, yet in my letter I CLEARLY stated that they stop collection because of the date of the debt.  Obviously they think that some people are just going to pay without knowledge of the laws, so this means I have to peruse this even further.  From what I have read, they can try to collect on the out dated debt, but cannot take legal action, or report it on my credit.  So I can send them a cease and desist letter with no repercussions and write them out of my life.  It's a good thing I know better, but I hate it for those who don't. NEVER send a collection agency money until you've done research about the debt AND the agency!
I found this sample of a cease and desist letter online, I will modify it slightly, but this is a GREAT way to legally get this fake collection agency me leave you alone.  And I WILL take legal action against them if they contact me further.
[Your Name]
[Your Mailing Address]
[Your City/State/Zip]
Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested # [Insert the Certified Mail Receipt Number here]
[Insert Date of Mailing]

[Insert name of collection agent, if available]
[Insert name of collection agency]
[Insert address of collection agency]
[Insert City/State/Zip of collection agency]
REF: Account # [Insert either the original account number or the collection agency's account reference number here]

Dear [Insert name of debt collector calling--if available--here]:
1. You are hereby notified under provisions of Public Laws 104-208, also known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, that your services are no longer desired.
2. You and your organization must CEASE & DESIST all attempts to collect the above debt. Failure to comply with this law will result in my immediately filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the [Insert your home state here] Attorney General's office. I will pursue all criminal and civil claims against you and your company.

3. Let this letter also serve as your warning that I may utilize telephone recording devices in order to document any telephone conversations that we may have in the future.
4. Furthermore, if any negative information is placed on my credit bureau reports by your agency after receipt of this notice, this will cause me to file suit against you and your organization, both personally and corporately, to seek any and all legal remedies available to me by law.
5. Since it is my policy neither to recognize nor deal with collection agencies, I will settle this account with the original creditor.
Give this matter the attention it deserves!

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