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Collections agency claims they cannot send verification for debt because I sent them a "cease and desist" that must be rescinded.

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Good afternoon. There are a couple of old medical bills from 2010 which went to collections in 2014. The debt is out of the SOL for the state of Florida (five-years), and over the limit of seven years for reporting on credit reports. The collections agency is repoting erroneous information to the credit bureau by stating that the accounts are from 2014 when they received the account from the original creditor, rather than 2010. 

I sent an email regarding this and they told me to fax them due to privacy concerns, along with the power of attorney for my father (these are his debts, I'm acting as an agent). The letter was as follows:

"
XXXXXX. Inc.
XXXXs Avenue
XXXX FL 33912

Ms. XXXXX,

This cover letter is in response to your request for a copy of the Durable Power of Attorney granted to me by my father XXXXX, hereinafter referred to as “Principal” in this and all other communications from me to your company. For your records, a copy of the email sent to you on 02/18/2019 is attached to this fax along with a copy of the Durable Power of Attorney. In your request you also asked to be informed where you could send correspondence regarding this matter. Send all correspondence to the following address:

XXXXXXXX (My address)

As mentioned previously, I am requesting verification for any and all alleged debts which your company is attempting to collect on pursuant to Sec. 809 of the Fair Debit Collection Practices Act. I request to be provided with the following:

• Name and address of alleged creditor.
• Name on file of alleged debtor.
• Alleged account number.
• Amount of alleged debt.
• Date this alleged debt became payable.
• Date of original charge off or delinquency.

Let this serve as notice that any such alleged debts are disputed and you **must stop cease and desist all collection activities for these debts pursuant to Sec. 809 of the Fair Debit Collection Practices Act.** This includes communication to me or the Principal for any reason **other than** written verification of this debt or confirming receipt of this letter and Durable Power of Attorney, and reporting of inaccurate or erroneous information to any credit reporting agency. 

I appreciate your time and attention.

Sincerely,

XXXX as Agent for XXXXX

 

"

 

As I had not received an email back from them concerning receipt of this fax, I gave them a call letting them know they were being recorded. I was calling simply to know if they were going to send verification of the debt and if they had received the power of attorney. The representative on the phone told me to hold (I imagine she was speaking to their legal department) and then told me that they could not speak to me because "I had sent them a cease and desist". I imagine they are referring to the bolded statement above. According to them, because I sent this, they cannot speak to me, nor can they send verification of the debts that they are attempting to collect on. They say I must rescind the "cease and desist" in writing by faxing them another letter doing so. 

I obviously know they received the fax now so I don't care to speak to them. Question is are they still obligated to send validation/verification of the debt to the address I provided them in the letter as per the FDCPA

My next step is to send letters to the 2 bureaus they are reporting to for erroneous information and that the debt is past the SOL and date for reporting to the credit file. When the bureaus request verification of the debts, will they also refuse to verify with them due to the cease and desist? I feel like they're pulling my leg here.

I appreciate any advice. Thank you.
 

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They can verify with the CRAs. The C&D only applies to you. There have been a few lawsuits in years gone by where people did exactly what you did, then tried to sue the CA for violating the C&D. Most judges view this as a cheap trick and the case gets tossed, but I suppose they are just covering their bases. I would rescind it, then when you get whatever you need send a new one. Also be advised a power of attorney does not come with a law license; be careful what you try to do.

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DO NOT send generic tripe.  EVER! 

 

An entity is absolutely within their right to not discuss anything with you after you have applied C&D language in a letter to them.  As noted, too many people historically have filed frivolous litigation after they sent a C&D but requested materials, with the suit being filed the moment the entity replied with a response to the request. 

 

Further, you should avoid email as a means of communication in such matters.  Even a fax is not a preferred mode of communication when dealing with faceless/nameless entities.  It is different when involved in litigation and you are communicating with counsel.  Send important communications using a common carrier and with a means of tracking, whether a simple tracking number or whether CMRRR.  Otherwise, you have no means of proving you exerted certain rights...

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