Author Topic: Violation letter for person with similar name  (Read 1277 times)

Frankies Girl

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Violation letter for person with similar name
« on: October 24, 2018, 04:05:27 PM »
I'm sure this isn't a big deal, but I have pretty terrible anxiety about stuff in general and it's flaring bad now, so gonna ask what others would suggest doing.

Received a letter in the mail today from a law firm addressed to someone with a similar first name, completely wrong middle name and same last name. Think "Roberto Lamar Jones" when the husband's name is actually "Robert Reginald Jones."

It's for a toll roll violation that is in collections apparently, on a car license tag that is not even close to any vehicle we ever owned.

We know the company is real as they are one of the asshole debt collectors out there that the toll road authority sells their violations to (looked it up, they're definitely assholes, but legit assholes).

We'd opened it without noticing the wrong name and then realized after reading it that it was wrong, and it wasn't for us. There is 100% no way this is an accident/husband did it but is lying - wrong (but similar) name, wrong tags, wrong person, our address tho.

So I'm taping it back up, wrote on the envelope "return to sender - person has never lived at this address/vehicle not owned by any resident/names similar but mistaken identity" and will drop it into the mail later. I am quibbling over doing this, as I think it likely that the mail service won't forward it anyway and if they do bother, the company will just trash it without even reading the note on the outside or consider it lying?

I kind of want to call, but worry that they'll take any signs of contact as the perp just lying to avoid the bill at this point. But I'm worried that they'll somehow decide that this person DOES live here, or maybe this person registered their vehicle at our address somehow? But we've received no mail with this name ever.

Only way otherwise this could have happened is a lazy clerk at this agency did a name search and decided to send out bills to all the Robert Jones name variations in hopes of hitting the right one?
« Last Edit: October 24, 2018, 04:07:57 PM by Frankies Girl »

Rob_bob

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Re: Violation letter for person with similar name
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2018, 04:20:06 PM »
At this stage I would just throw it away.  If you get a second letter don't open it and mark it return to sender.

saguaro

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Re: Violation letter for person with similar name
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2018, 04:34:58 PM »
I kind of want to call, but worry that they'll take any signs of contact as the perp just lying to avoid the bill at this point. But I'm worried that they'll somehow decide that this person DOES live here, or maybe this person registered their vehicle at our address somehow? But we've received no mail with this name ever.

I don't know about calling as then they have your phone number for sure and they can start calling if they want to think you are lying.  At this point all they have is a wrong address for whom they are looking for. 

Years ago, I got several collection calls on my cell phone for 3 different people, one of the them even lived out of state.   The call instructed to "press 1" if you are the person they are looking for and "press 2" if you were not.  I didn't press 2 because of the same thing you thought: they might think I was lying plus now they had my number, plus they know it's a real number with someone at the other end.  The person they were looking was probably lying if they were looking for him/her by calling my number so pressing 2 might not mean much to them.  I had my number for years, so it wasn't like I just got it and this was the person who had been assigned the number previously.   So I simply deleted the calls, never got call backs.

Just sharing somewhat of a similar scenario. 

bacchi

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Re: Violation letter for person with similar name
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2018, 05:23:27 PM »
This has happened to me. The city sold unpaid parking tickets and something got crossed. I was getting ticket notices for someone 20 years older than me, different race, but the same car.

Write "WRONG PERSON" in red and return the payment coupon to them.

Unless you feel like fucking with them, ignore the rest of the notices coming your way.

hops

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Re: Violation letter for person with similar name
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2018, 06:16:28 AM »
Sorry you're going through this. It really is stressful, even though you know your husband's in the clear. Hopefully there will be no followup letter.

For seven months a few years ago I was sent increasingly aggressive letters from a debt collector over a bad check someone with my name (but different middle initial), from my state (but a faraway town), passed at Walmart. After verifying my identity hadn't been stolen, I was able to find the woman in question pretty easily online.

For months I tried returning the mail to sender unopened, writing "Same name, wrong person," but it never worked. Eventually I responded with a few similar, brief letters explaining their error. Either no one read them or they assumed it was BS. Sending the company's president a registered letter accusing them of harassment and incompetence (the person they were looking for wasn't hard to find) finally did the trick.

magnet18

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Re: Violation letter for person with similar name
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2018, 07:13:17 AM »
The opposite happened to my parents
Back in the 90s they bought a VCR and put it on one of those 0% payment plans where you don't pay at all for a few months (not mustachians)

They totally forgot about it, and the bills started getting sent to someone with the same name one state over, and that guy ignored them.  Eventually they sent the guy one state over to collections, and he still ignored them. 
Eventually the collections company figured out they had the wrong person, so like a year after being "sent to collections" they finally got in touch with the right people... I forget how it went after that, but i think there was some back and forth about how you can't accuse someone of not paying a bill if you never actually sent them a bill...


Anyway, moral of the story is you have no reason to be stressed! If you get a second letter just send it back

FIRE@50

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Re: Violation letter for person with similar name
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2018, 07:21:47 AM »
I had a similar situation after moving to a new state. We started getting some mail for a guy with the same last name. One day, bounty hunters actually showed up at my apartment looking for him. That was a little crazy. It has been 15 years since then and a handful of moves, but we still get mail for him every year or two. We always just throw it in the trash. It certainly isn't my job to straighten out their records.

AMandM

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Re: Violation letter for person with similar name
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2018, 02:41:47 PM »
Does the envelope say "Mail service requested" or something like that under the return address? Because if so, I think the PO has to return it.

Regardless, I would mark it "Return to sender, No such person at this address" and drop it in the mail. I'd do the same with any subsequent letters/bills (without opening those, though).

bacchi

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Re: Violation letter for person with similar name
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2018, 03:30:39 PM »
I had a similar situation after moving to a new state. We started getting some mail for a guy with the same last name. One day, bounty hunters actually showed up at my apartment looking for him. That was a little crazy. It has been 15 years since then and a handful of moves, but we still get mail for him every year or two. We always just throw it in the trash. It certainly isn't my job to straighten out their records.

What's the recourse if a bounty hunter doesn't believe you and hauls you to the courthouse? You're FIRE@50 but they're looking for FIR@50.

Can you sue them? Get them charged with kidnapping?

Frankies Girl

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Re: Violation letter for person with similar name
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2018, 03:41:34 PM »
Wow it's crazy how much billing/identity mistakes happen just from the stories here.

I'm better anxiety-wise. Seeing others' experiences and the incompetency stuff really helped.

Wrote the "mistaken identity - wrong person/vehicle and person unknown and never resident at address" or some such and RETURN TO SENDER highlighted and dropped it back into the mail.

I'm sure we'll likely see it again, but straight into the recycle bin.

mm1970

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Re: Violation letter for person with similar name
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2018, 04:13:24 PM »
The opposite happened to my parents
Back in the 90s they bought a VCR and put it on one of those 0% payment plans where you don't pay at all for a few months (not mustachians)

They totally forgot about it, and the bills started getting sent to someone with the same name one state over, and that guy ignored them.  Eventually they sent the guy one state over to collections, and he still ignored them. 
Eventually the collections company figured out they had the wrong person, so like a year after being "sent to collections" they finally got in touch with the right people... I forget how it went after that, but i think there was some back and forth about how you can't accuse someone of not paying a bill if you never actually sent them a bill...


Anyway, moral of the story is you have no reason to be stressed! If you get a second letter just send it back
Happened to us twice.

We were sent to collections for an unpaid traffic ticket for running a red light (camera ticket).  We called the company.  We called the police.  We had no idea what they were talking about.  They said "you live at XXX First street".  We said "no".  They said "you used to live at XXX First street".  We said "no.  We have never lived there.  Our former next door neighbors live there, and they moved there a year ago."

So...when the next door neighbors moved, they filled out a change of addy form with the post office.  Now, our street address is 1234.  Theirs was 1234 1/2.

Apparently, this was enough to trigger a whole lot of our mail AUTOMATICALLY getting sent to their new address, even though the name didn't match.  INCLUDING MY 401K DOCUMENTS.  Some companies just routinely check the post office database.  So, that's what happened.  Eventually, we get the CHP to forward us a copy of the ticket.  Yep, it's totally us.  We pay the original bill only, to the CHP.  They waived everything else, obviously.  Funny thing though, the DMV, voter registration, AND the collections agency were able to find us.

Even before then, we were in a new rental.  About 7 months in, our electric gets shut off.  Why?  It got shut off on a Friday night after close of business.   We call the electric co.  "You haven't paid your bill!"  Okay, where are you sending it?  "PO BOX..."  We don't have a PO box.  Further, when we moved in, we called to change the electric bill over to our name.  They goofed and sent it to someone else.

Now, wouldn't you think that if someone didn't pay their bill, you might want to bill them ... I dunno... at the actual address where you are providing power?  No?

In any event, we spent the night in a Motel 6 and they reimbursed us for that, dinner out, etc.  But they didn't reimburse me for lost ice cream.


We have gotten many many collections calls for "other people" and we just tell them that they have the wrong address.


My husband has a very common name.  One time, a guy with his name was kidnapped.  Those were some strange phone calls from the press.