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Don't ignore the bill.  It is important that you respond as soon as possible. If you don't rsponnd, the agency may keep trying to reach you to collect what they believe is a valid debt. lf you legally owe the bill, you should arrange to pay it. If you don't owe the debt you need to communicate your dispute in writing to the agency within thirty days - so don't delay!

You must communicate your dispute and send your payments to the collection agency.  In California, once the debt has been assigned to the collection agency, it is the collection agency that is entitled to receive all payments. The collection agency becomes the "owner" of the debt you owe. The collection agency is responsible for collecting the debt and is the only one who can agree to payment terms.  The collection agency must also try to resolve any dispute you have with the original creditor.

If you have additional questions concerning your dealings with a collection agency contact The California Association of Collectors: http://calcollectors.net/consumerinfo/faqs.asp

The California Association of Collectors offers an 800 hotline for consumer inquiries about the industry, and provides a liaison between consumers and member agency owners when complaints or questions arise. The Association represents collection agencies within California, making it uniquely positioned to serve as the liaison between the industry and the public. With its toll-free hotline, CAC is helping to maintain overall professionalism in the industry.  You should always try to resolve a problem directly with the agency and its management, if that fails call CAC's Consumer Hotline at (800) 316-2262. 

 
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