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August 2019

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It May Not Be NCTUE

I think we're starting to get a sense for the scam here, as mentioned in my entry for yesterday, 3/10/2012. The scam involves NCTUE, but may have have been initiated by one of several collection agencies, including the AFNI collection agency of Bloomington, Illinois. (AFNI is by no means the only one.) It works like this: a debt collection agency "re-ages" an expired debt (that is, a debt that is older than the statute of limitations) and attempts to collect it. They send notification of the debt to credit reporting services like Equifax, and then attempt to collect the debt, using the bad credit mark as a sort of threat. Enough people apparently send such agencies money to keep the business model alive.

That sounds illegal to me, but it can get worse: Some collection agencies have been known to invent debt from whole cloth and then attempt to collect it, which, of course, is a species of fraud and should be prosecuted.

I'm not sure what happened in our case, since Carol and I have never let any bill go unpaid. Nor am I sure (yet) that this is what happened. We're still looking into it, and as you might expect, not much is going to be resolved on a weekend.

There is evidently some connection with Verizon Wireless, which Carol and I contracted with for the very first time ever last fall, when we bought new smartphones. Needless to say, we haven't missed any payments. AFNI apparently bought some ancient debt from companies that Verizon later purchased back in the 1990s, and has been trying to collect on it. (More here.) The number of accounts purchased by AFNI is immense.

I'm seeing a lot of reports of letters received in Colorado over the past couple of days, so whatever agency is doing this may be mounting an effort on a state-by-state basis, and this week it was just our turn.

What this may mean (again, we don't know yet) is that some collection agency may have submitted a mass of fraudulent debt notices to credit reporting services (like Equifax's NCTUE) which is now dutifully notifying people that a negative entry has been added to their credit reports. If that turns out to be the case, NCTUE is not scamming at all, but just doing what they're supposed to do, and may be required to do by law. We may object to how they do it, but it may not be NCTUE engaging in malfeasance, but the collection agencies.

Be sure to read up on how to deal with collection agencies generally, and send no money to any of them unless you're absolutely sure that you owe it. Fight them like a cornered animal. Here's one report from a person who did it successfully.

Good luck.

Comments

This buying of old dubious debt for mils on the dollar in hopes of collecting from someone somewhere is a rats' nest of baroque incompetence and Dickensian dishonesty both.

(Anonymous)

NCTUE Clarification

ATLANTA, March 16, 2012 – The National Consumer Telecommunications and Utility Exchange (NCTUE), a credit reporting agency (CRA) operating in compliance with the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Colorado state law, began mailing notifications to certain Colorado consumers that they were eligible for a free copy of their NCTUE report.

Colorado state law requires that any credit reporting agency must notify Colorado consumers with instructions for obtaining a free copy of their credit report if there have been eight credit inquiries and/or they have had negative information added to their file in the past 12 months.

Initial mailings did not include NCTUE branding, which caused some consumers to question the authenticity of the notifications. All mailings beginning on Monday, March 19, will clearly show NCTUE branding as well as more detailed information within the letter regarding the NCTUE.

The instructions and process for contacting the NCTUE are at www.nctue.com. In addition, consumers can write or call for more information at:

Exchange Service Center - NCTUE
PO Box 105161
Atlanta, GA 30348
Phone: 866-349-5185.
Email: nctue@equifax.com

The NCTUE database is housed and managed by Equifax Information Services, LLC. It does not include Equifax credit information and Equifax is not a member of NCTUE nor does it own any aspect of NCTUE.
Interesting discussion . I learned a lot from the insight . Does anyone know where my assistant can obtain a sample a form document to fill in ?