Ana: Debts you don’t owe
“My grandmother’s in her seventies and to receive multiple letters on a debt that she doesn’t owe is extremely stressful for her.” –Christina
Ana told us that she received letters in the mail requesting she pay over $30,000 in homeowners’ association fees—fees she had already paid.
Ana is not alone
Over a quarter of consumers contacted by a creditor or collector about a debt in collection said that they did not owe at least one of the debts for which they were contacted.
Source: CFPB research report: Consumer Experiences with Debt Collection, 2017
Share your debt collection experience
The more we hear from
you, the more insight we gain into what’s happening in the financial
world and how it’s affecting you. Your experience will help inform how
we work to protect consumers to create a fairer marketplace.
Steps you can take if you’re in a situation like Ana
Get help replying
Do you need to write a debt collector about a debt or dispute? Do you want them to stop calling you? We have action letters that can help.
Here are some commonly asked questions related to debt you don’t owe or have already paid:
- A debt collector contacted me about a debt I already paid. What should I do?
- If I dispute a debt that is being collected, can a debt collector still try to collect the debt from me?
- What if I believe I do not owe the debt or I want proof of the debt?
Submit a complaint
Having an issue with debt collection and need a response from a company? Submit a complaint – we’ll forward your complaint to the company and work to get a response from them.
Learn more about debt collection
Our resources will help you understand how debt collection works, what your rights are, and help you address other questions you may have about debt collection.
What we’re doing
In July 2016, we outlined a number of proposals under consideration regarding debt collection, including:
- Improving the quality of information about the debt being collected
- Limiting the frequency with which debt collectors may contact consumers
- Improving the information that consumers have at the outset of collections
- Improving consumer understanding of the debt collection process
Higinio: Credit card errors
After closing a credit card, Higinio was continually charged for debts he had already paid. Three years and hundreds of dollars later he decided to take action.
Venida: Credit reporting
After finding a $7,000 charge on her credit report, Venida took action and submitted a complaint.
Danieshia: Threatened with jail
After losing her job, Danieshia explains that she was unable to pay her debts and soon found herself being threatened with jail by a debt collector.
More stories about debt collection
Consumers across the country shared their experiences with debt collection.