Afni Collections is a debt collector that takes on delinquent cell phone accounts. They’re a debt buyer, which means they purchase delinquent accounts from companies for pennies on the dollar — often for as little as 4–5 cents on the dollar.
At a certain age—which differs by state—a debt becomes too old for collection agencies to sue consumers over. Often Afni will continue to attempt collections on very old accounts long past the statue of limitations; a practice known as zombie debt collection.
Afni has a reputation for attempting to collect on ridiculously old debt and for making a significant amount of billing errors even when dealing with valid debt.
Afni Collections Blog Roundup
Afni Collections is a Zombie Debt Collector, Here Is Why. I detail a collection attempt from Afni regarding an allegedly delinquent account with T-Mobile. The catch? I hadn’t used T-Mobile in nearly a decade.
How to Handle Zombie Debt Collectors Like Afni. I step through my investigation process: contacting the original creditor, T-Mobile, and challenging the collection attempt with a letter requesting validation.
How I Got Afni Collections to Go Away. Lots of consumers struggle with collection attempts they wish would just stop. I made Afni go away with just a single letter. I explain how I did it and, if you exercise caution, how you can too.
One Last Trick All Zombie Debt Collectors Have Up Their Sleeve. This post details the practice of zombie debt collection and how to fight it. I include this post in this blog roundup for completion sake.
So Why Didn’t I Just Pay Afni? Details why I didn’t just pay Afni and make it go away. I have my reasons, and they have everything to do with not wanting to see this debt end up back on my credit report.
Why Do Zombie Collectors Exist?
Just about everything in business is a numbers game. Collections is especially sensitive to statistical metrics. If you send out X amount of letters to consumers about ancient but once upon a time valid debt, a certain percentage will pay it.
The money that comes in from attempting to collect on expired debt exceeds the amount of money it costs to send out mail. The price of a postage stamp would have to rise significantly to tip scales in the other direction.
What Can Be Done About Zombie Debt Collectors?
Unfortunately, the problem isn’t likely to go away. But there are things that every consumer can do to make it more difficult for zombie debt collectors to operate.
Challenge everything. When you get a collections notice in the mail, you really should make sure it’s valid and not a billing error. Money spent staffing call centers and making staffers do menial work looking for invoices and other documentation is money out of a collection agency’s pocket.
Demand the collection agency not resell the debt. Often a favorite trick of collection agencies is to resell debt that they have been barred from collecting on. I have had good success demanding collection agencies not resell invalid debt when I send them a cease and desist letter demanding they stop attempting to collect the debt. Your mileage will certainly vary, but it’s better than nothing.