Ifacollection agency sent me a demand for payment of a parking ticket, can they threaten to report the debt to the credit bureaus?

UPDATED: May 26, 2011

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Ifacollection agency sent me a demand for payment of a parking ticket, can they threaten to report the debt to the credit bureaus?

I don’t own the car they describe (a Chevy and mine is a Ford) nor did I ever receive the ticket from the parking authorities. This all seems very strange. I’m almost considering just paying the $35 because it isn’t worth my time and effort to dispute it yet since this seems very wrong I’m not sure what to do. Is threatening me like that legal? I have nearly spotless credit and I don’t like this one bit. Shouldn’t the parking authority have tried to contact me first? They didn’t and this also seems like a lack of proper procedure. Finally, I am moving out-of-state in2o months. Will this “follow me”?

Asked on May 26, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If they had a valid or true debt, they could of course take action on it and also report it. But clearly, they should not try to report or take any action on a debt that is not and cannot be yours. You should send them a written letter, by some means that you can prove delivery, letting them know that this debt is not yours--that you do not own the vehicles in question and have never received any tickets whatsoever. State in the letter that  if they have any questions or require any documentation, you will be happy to provide it, but that if they attempt to take any action you over a debt which is not yours, you will in turn take the appropriate action against them, including suing if appropriate.

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