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How to sue for an account thats been deemed fraud..Cingular California

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  • How to sue for an account thats been deemed fraud..Cingular California

    Today I received a collection notice from a collection agency for an old cingular account. I fought this account with a police report and in may 07 received a letter from cingular stating it was fraud. In the past it was reported to all 3 credit agencies and eventually was removed(after a lot of stress and my leg work). So I notified cingular fraud dept today that I STILL was receiving collection letters! They stated they bought the account back and wasn't sure why the collection agency was trying to collect but to send them the letter stating it was fraud to the collection agency. My question is what can I do to both companies for all the stress and time they have costed me? This could have affected my rates on my home and who knows what else. I want to be compensated for all the stress they have caused. Please help and TIA. I have kept a file of all documents sent and received as well.

    Mo in California

  • #2
    You can't sue for what might have happened. You can only sue for actual damages and, at this point, you don't have any. You need to notify the collection agency in writing that you dispute the bill under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!


    • #3
      hmmmm. . .

      Markateer is not NECESSARILY wrong. However, the FCRA and FDCPA are strict liability statutes. That means a violation is a violation is a violation, without regard to intent or negligence. Intent (or willful ignorance, or actual damages) may make the claims more attractive, but are not necessary to make the claims viable.

      The problem is that most debt is purchased by the collector, meaning they have all the rights to collect that the original creditor had. This means that when you claim "fraud", the original creditor (or collection agency) can claim. . . "that's just your story, what we really have here is a fact dispute over whether the debt is really yours!" Even if the collection agency does not buy your theory (and let's face it, they talk to a heck of a lot of people who have all kinds of stories about how they really don't owe the money), you still have a very large hammer to swing. . . the attorney fee provision of the FCRA and the FDCPA! Most claims, whether under the FCRA or FDCPA, settle not because of actual damages incurred by the consumer, but because of the fact the defendant (this means THEM, not you!) have to pay attorney fees to defend the claim whether they win or lose, and also have to pay YOUR attorney fees if you win or they make an offer of judgment for a set sum excluding fees to be determined by motion. In other words, why would they want to pay a lot of money simply to win? That's a bad business decision. I recommend finding a NACA attorney in your state who will sue them. Google NACA, you'll find one, and they should never ask for a retainer up front to handle the file.

      Chris Gonko
      Scrimshire, Martineau, Gonko & Vavreck, PLLC