Valley man gets unexpected collection notice
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- We all know, staying on top of your credit card bills is so important. So imagine how you'd feel, if you were unexpectedly slapped with a debt collection notice.
In tonight's Contact 13 Consumer Alert, Tricia Kean looks at what you should know, before forking over any money.
"I almost flipped out of this chair," says Josh Brizzi.
He says he couldn't believe his eyes, when he got this notice in the mail.
"I'm looking at a debt, and I'm saying $8,000," says Josh.
According to the notice from a collection agency, Josh owes more than $7,800 for a delinquent credit card account. Josh admits he's done business with the credit card company listed on the notice, but says something didn't seem right, so he pulled up his credit report.
"It showed all the accounts were inactive. They were never late," says Josh.
The report shows his account is in good standing with no balance due. So Josh called the collection agency.
"I asked him are you based out of Canada? Your phone number says Washington DC. Where's your office at," says Josh.
But Josh says the representative wasn't willing to share any information about the company. So Josh didn't feel comfortable sharing any of his own information.
Here's another thing he didn't understand.
Josh's credit report shows he's had four different accounts with this credit company. But he wanted to know how he could owe so much when the highest balance he ever had on any of the cards was only $173.
"Any company that lacks transparency, that's trying to collect on a debt, I would also be wary of," says Katie Robison with the Better Business Bureau.
She says Josh did the right thing by not giving this company any of his information. And she says you should always verify a debt by checking your credit report, just like Josh.
"See if that debt is listed on there. If it's not, you do not owe that debt," says Katie.
Josh says that's exactly why he isn't paying this company. And he wants others to be careful when they get a similar letter.
"If people don't do their homework, if they don't study the law, look into their state laws and what a collection agency can and can't do, then they're going to be targeted and sending money off to people they don't even know," says Josh.
So here's the Contact 13 bottom line. Remember you can get one free credit report each year from each of the major credit reporting bureaus Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.
We did speak with the company who sent this letter, but they wouldn't go into any specifics about this case.
If you have an issue with a credit agency, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Nevada Attorney General. For Contact 13, I'm Tricia Kean.