Last week I received my first call from Afni, though I didn’t know it at first. The person who left the voicemail mumbled and slurred the word “Afni” so much that, even after replaying the message several times, I thought it was “Acme.” Thanks to Google search suggestions, I was able to find the wealth of information available on Afni collections fraud, such as this helpful blog. I received one more call before I blocked them via my mobile carrier (love that feature).
First, the most important things:
- Do not pay Afni.
- Do not call Afni. Conduct all correspondence in writing and via mail correspondence you can track.
- Do your research if you’re concerned about any of this. You’ll find that Afni has lost myriad lawsuits and numerous resources describe their fraudulent activity. I marvel that they’re still in operation.
After two calls from Afni I received a letter about this alleged debt to Sprint. They claim I owe Sprint $76.19. I have never in my life had Sprint service but, just to be sure, I reviewed all of my credit reports for any outstanding debt I may have missed. I have annual credit reports from all three agencies dating back to 2001 (yay scanners, yay Dropbox), in addition to more detailed credit reports from lenders in years when I either purchased or refinanced property: 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2013. Sprint does not appear in any form on any credit report between June 2001 and February 2014. As someone who has worked very hard to become debt free, as chronicled here, I’m pretty sure I would have noticed a debt like this and paid it off.
I modified the letter posted on the Afni Fraud blog and sent it to Afni via trackable and signature required FedEx today. Here is my letter for your own use. I also sent a letter to the California Attorney General’s office to alert them to this fraudulent collection practice in the state. They have some very helpful resources on what to do in circumstances like this, by the way:
- What to do if you believe you are being harassed by a collections agency: http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general.php
- Here is a link to the section of the California civil code that deals with debt collections practices: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=civ&group=01001-02000&file=1788-1788.3
I’ll definitely post updates as to what more, if anything, I hear from Afni.
P.O. Box 3517
Bloomington, IL 61702-3517
To whom it may concern,
This letter is sent as a formal dispute of the validity of an alleged debt, in its entirety, of $76.19 from a creditor known as “Sprint” (dated 05/01/2014, AFNI, Inc. account number #######-###). Per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, I formally request validation—in full—of the alleged debt on which you are attempting to collect.
Please note that I have a copy of my credit report, from all three credit agencies, for every year from June 2001 through February 2014. As none of these contains a single item from Sprint at any time during the past 13 years, I have also contacted Kamala Harris, the California Attorney General, to express my concerns about fraudulent debt and collection attempts.
Be aware that this letter is not a request for address validation: this letter is a formal dispute of the validity of the alleged debt that is listed on the collection notice, part of which is enclosed herein. I demand that debt validation is provided to me, by you, in its entirety in accordance with both federal and California state laws. My dispute with the debt alleged by Afni Collections, Inc. is based on the fact that I have never held any type of account with Sprint, nor has any Sprint debt appeared on any of my credit reports spanning a 13 year period. As such, I dispute the validity of this debt and formally request evidence of validation in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
I request that the following information be supplied by your agency: 1) a detailed description of the product and/or service for which this alleged debt is owed; 2) an itemized description of how the alleged debt was calculated; and 3) copies of all documents showing that I agreed to purchase any product and/or service in addition to paying for a product and/or service from a creditor known as “Sprint.”
All communications and correspondence pertaining to this matter are to be carried out via the United States Postal Service at the mailing address found below and not by way of telephone, e-mail, or any other form of electronic communication. Furthermore, all forms of correspondence pertaining to this matter received at and sent from said mailing address have and will be scanned and retained for any and all future legal proceedings if necessary.
Be advised that the hardcopy and scanned digital copies of the Afni Collections, Inc. collection notice and all future documentation pertaining to this matter have and will be retained for use by me, by my state’s Attorney General, and by any attorney or other agency that I may contact in regard to this situation.
Thank you for your prompt cooperation.
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