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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/first-off-i-really-appreciate-the-honest-and-22110696.aspx

Subject:  Re: Collection Agency Settlement Letter Date:  2/23/2005  10:57 AM
Author:  Shirtless1 Number:  198047 of 308782

First off I really appreciate the honest and helpful commentary for my questions on this. All responses have been by people that, while I understand probably aren't lawyers, seem truly well-informed. I do understand they're just opinions, but all of your opinions are better informed than mine on this matter. And this is the first Internet Forum I've ever been on that I could say that about. The Motley Fool really has it goin' on. Thank you.

And thanks for sounding in xtn.

I think I understand the difference between yours and Fuskie's perspective on it.

One irony for me is, that I seperately get collection letters once or twice a year about a $179 unpaid phone bill from MCI that I truly never owed. I never was a customer of MCI, I wasn't living in the city where the phone supposedly existed. But I keep getting letters trying to collect that debt. It's like, once your name gets in this collection agency system, you can never get out. Kind of like email addresses on spam lists.

So I have one that MIGHT be legitimate for $3600 (my father told me he paid them for me years ago, but I have no records or proof, he might have missed one - it's a sore spot for us and I can't ask him). And one that is defintely not legitimate for $179. I was wondering what to do about these. How at risk am I for one of those court settlement things? I don't always open every letter I get about these as some of them look like junk mail.

If I were to get sued, don't they have to serve me papers? They can't just send me a letter and then get a court judgement without me even knowing it's going on can they?

I don't know how this element works. I'm inclined to take the earlier advice to "walk" because of too many unknowns. But one of the unknowns if I just keep throwing the letters out is this new court thing. I don't know what the wisest thing for me to do is.

Shirtless1
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