debt collection question

Ok I got stuck paying off a relatives default on a credit line with a catalog company (long stupid story)

But its almost paid off but the company I was paying merged with another company and in sending me a notice about it they sent me about 50 other peoples debt/collection notices …

Cant people get in trouble for this? including me for reading them and realizing there someone elses ? and should I call the place and tell them to send me an envelope so we can send them back ? or just dump em and say nothing ?

I mean seeing how I’m always told that you cant even tell someone other than the person who owes on the account anything over the phone …

Read through this personal finance wiki, it gives you a bunch of information about what to do in various debt situations.

Hope this helps.

Good effort, but I gotta ask: Did you read the OP?

I think we can reasonably guess the answer to that.

If I were in the OP’s position, I think I would most likely simply mail back the information, with a letter explaining what happened. Sending it certified mail would be a good idea. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to keep some sort of log, including relevant dates.

As long as the OP acts in good faith, I don’t think that any legal issues will arise.

I see your point, fair enough. I misread the OP, I missed that she got 50 other people’s collection notices. Sorry for my mostly irrelevant information nightshadea,and thanks Mean Mr. Mustard for catching my mistake.

I do not see how you could get into trouble, debt collection agencies have tried to collect on the wrong people, and sent out enough wrong notices, that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lays out how to deal with similar situations. It also behooves the debt collectors to rectify this situation quickly and show that it was all just an internal systems error on their part, or else you can successfully sue them.

Basically, just keep records of everything (photocopies of the other’s debts, etc), send everything via registered mail, write a letter explaining what happened with the proof of what happened and proof that you are not those other people. Just treat it as if they had just tried to collect on you with one wrong person’s information. It is the same process x50 bundled into one thick envelope.

How do I dispute a debt that is not mine?

here you can see a sample letter for disputing a debt

still leave off your signature -or make a special weird looking one- if you feel that your collectors are shady and will try to transpose it onto other documents “proving” that you owe them

Other than a “hey you screwed up your mail merge” call the processing company I’d just trash them. They can re-issue them. The OP is under no conceivable obligation to mail them back or spend time or effort dealing with them. These are just dunning notices not checks or similar financial instruments of value.

I assume you’re not in collections, right? You just got all these notices by accident? Is your name or address on any of them? If it’s not, for example, if they stuffed them all in one envelope with the (non-collections) letter they were sending to you, I’d would just throw them out.

If they all had various other people’s names on them and your address, I’d either mail them back with a note that very briefly explains that there must have been some kind of mix up and all of these notices ended up at your house. Furthermore, I would not give them your name. Just doing that should give them enough info to realize they need to fix the addresses.

If you are now also in collections, that’s a different story, but my first question would be to ask you if your name is on the account. You said you were paying down a relative’s bill, but you didn’t mention if your name is actually on it or if you’re just making the payments.

One last thing, you may want to go to WhitePages . com and pull your phone number off their website. They may already have it, but they might not and if they want/need it, that’s probably the first place they’re going to look.

If you dislike debt collectors. Can’t imagine why.
Maybe you could notify all those people that the collection agency sent their private information out to you ( and maybe others ). Then they could decide if they might want to cause a fuss.

Years ago a local school kept faxing me stuff that wasn’t meant for me. I repeatedly called and explained what was going on, but every few weeks I’d get a fax.

I eventually got fed up, mostly because the damned fax cartridges were a pain to deal with.

So, I made a call to a parent whose daughter I’d recieved a fax about. Her phone number was conveniently included in the fax. I told her what had been happening, and that I now knew stuff she probably didn’t want me to know, including information about her daughter’s birth control medication.

Fixed my problem.

That is a violation of the FDCPA with a $1000 Federal statutory penalty plus whatever the state penalty is. In your hand is $50000 to $100000 worth of lawsuit judgements. I would contact each person, explain what happened and offer to split the judgement 50/50.

That’s along the lines of what I was going to say. Not sure, but maybe you should contact a local FDCPA attorney first. At the very least, I do not see how you could not get out of paying another penny.