I got home from work today to a voice mail on my answering saying the following (I am paraphrasing) By continuing to listen, we assume you are **my name**. My name is Renee Hicks (sp) I am a debt collector with Asset Acceptance Corporation, contacting **my name** for personal business matters......etc etc....(a voice mail I think violates Fair Debt Collection Practices - I thought they could only say who they were and to call and could not say they are collecting a debt) basically saying I owed them money, and I need to call immediately. Background - I have owed money, made my mistakes, dealt with collectors in the past. I have been a "good boy" for a long time now, so a call like this certainly got my very angry attention. I just pulled a credit report 3 months ago - this place is nowhere on my credit.
I call back to talk to Renee, who conveniently isn't there, and spoke to a very condescending rep named Tricia I think, who proceeds to tell me I owe over $1000 to Citibank from an account opened in 1992, closed in 1999 - this is information she gave me. I have never had an account with Citibank that I recall, and I informed her of this. I also asked why they are contacting me 9+ years after the account was closed.
She proceeded to tell me that debt was debt, and that I need to make a payment arrangement with her today, or pay a settlement amount. I ignored the request and really started arguing with her about where/how they got my information (I am really not that hard to find), and why I have never heard about this before. She goes on to say they called me in 2005 (once) and 2006 (twice) and have sent letters, and also said that I should keep myself "straight" and take care of my debts.
Our conversation got really heated when she asked me to confirm where I worked etc. I said I wouldn't, if they were astute enough to track me down by my land line telephone, their records should be up to date, and by the way, where were you calling all this time to get in touch with me? They gave me a phone number I had in another state almost 10 years ago, and sent letters to addresses I lived in years before, but nothing really current.
I tell Tricia that I am really angry that they would be contacting about a debt that I do not recall having this many years after the fact. I haven't had many credit cards, and I am sure Citibank wasn't one of them, but this is also 16 years ago. After much heated discussion about what this criminal organization does, she tells me that this "blemish" was removed from my credit report 2 years ago, and no longer appears on my credit. My next question was why are you calling me for something that doesn't exist, that's this old, and isn't mine. She verified the last 4 digits of my social and said again, debt is debt and that I either need to contact the police department where I lived 16 years ago, file a police report, then contact Citibank and ask for an affidavit to fill out, sign, return to Citibank, then fax that report to her office, so she can close this out. I told her she was crazy if she thinks I am going to that, and she replies that this will reappear on my credit report unless I pay. She said she is sending "documentation" to their address on file (my current address) and will be contacting me shortly.
I have done some investigation online to find that the statute of limitations for consumer debt in any of the states I have lived in over the past 16 years is six years or less. This account was closed in 1999 - 9.5 years ago, and removed from my credit report 2 years ago. I have rebuilt my credit over the last few years and cannot have this debt "re-aged", it would ruin my good credit score.
Is it even legal for them to 1) Leave a message like that, 2) contact me about something that old 3) continue to pursue for a "debt" after I told them it wasn't mine 4) Require all of this documentation to stop their rather aggressive practices