Check out the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ( FDCPA )  15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., is a United States statute added in 1978 as Title VIII of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Its purposes are to eliminate abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts, to promote fair debt collection, and to provide consumers with an avenue for disputing and obtaining validation of debt information in order to ensure the information’s accuracy.The Act creates guidelines under which debt collectors may conduct business, defines rights of consumers involved with debt collectors, and prescribes penalties and remedies for violations of the Act. It is sometimes used in conjunction with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Some thoughts:

  1. Statute of Limitations in California is four years.  After that they can try to collect but can’t take anyone to court.
  2. Write a letter – send the obnoxious collector a certified letter with return receipt asking for validation of the debt.  They have 30 days to do this.
  3. If they can’t show proof of the debt, then they can’t try to collect or report the account on your credit report.
  4. If they continue, you can file a lawsuit, check on their licensing in California, or contact the Attorney General’s office and the Federal Trade Commission.  If they call, tell them to have a nice day and hang up and contact an Attorney or credit counselor.

More questions we can help you, at County Properties, 24 years of brokerage experience, trust and a Member of the local Better Business Bureau!