On Wednesday, June 19, 2006, I ordered a copy of my credit report from the three reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. When I received them, I found two collection claims in my report from AFNI, Inc. which don't belong to me. The collection claims were for the following accounts:
Acct # xxxxxxxxxx Acct # xxxxxxxx
Balance $904.00 Balance$715.00
On September 11, 2006 I called Cingular to find out more about those two claims erroneously posted to my credit report. I spoke to the Customer Service Representative by the name of Melissa Garza. She did not find any accounts under my name, address nor social security number. She then referred me to her supervisor Luis Garza to take a look at the issue. Mr. Garza did not find anything either. The both advised me to contact the collection agency that posted the claims (AFNI, Inc.) and have them address the problem.
That same day, September 11, 2006 I contacted Equifax and I explained to them the situation of two collection claims on my credit report that did not belong to me. They told me they would investigate the matter and gave me a reference number to follow up (Claim # xxxxxxxxxx).
After finishing my call with Equifax, I called the collection agency, AFNI, Inc. and I spoke to someone by the name of Jorge Dominguez. I informed him that I wanted to get more information about the two collection claims posted in my credit report by them. He asked me if my Social security number was xxx-xx-xxxx and I said no. He then asked me if my date of birth was September xx, 1xxx, to which I also replied No.
I explained to Mr. Dominguez that I was not the person that those accounts belonged to because none of the information matched my own. I requested to speak to a supervisor and I was transferred to Araceli Correa (Her phone # is 888-484-2407) to whom I explained the situation as well. I told her that I was not the owner of the Cingular debts. Besides the fact that I've never had service with Cingular, none of the information for the Cingular accounts matched my own (SS#, name, address, etc.)
Ms. Correa sympathized but said that in order for them to remove the collection claims; I had to prove my identity. They asked me for a copy of my ID and a police report for the last two years(prove of adress).
Today, September 18, 2006 I received a report from Equifax stating that those accounts posted on my credit report had been removed (deleted) and if I had any questions about those accounts I needed to contact AFNI, Inc.
They violated the law .Unfair practices. Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, collectors may not:
* give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit bureau; (AFNI DID IT)
Sincerely JOSE MARTINEZ
I AM GOING TO FOLLOW SOME OF THESE STPES
What can you do if you believe a debt collector violated the law?
You have the right to sue a collector in a state or federal court within one year from the date the law was violated. If you win, you may recover money for the damages you suffered plus an additional amount up to $1,000. Court costs and attorney' s fees also can be recovered. A group of people also may sue a debt collector and recover money for damages up to $500,000, or one percent of the collector' s net worth, whichever is less.
Where can you report a debt collector for an alleged violation?
Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General' s office and the Federal Trade Commission. Many states have their own debt collection laws, and your Attorney General' s office can help you determine your rights.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.