local bar association
Local law schol
Do NOT call them.
How old is the charge off? Is it past your state's SOL for a creditor/collection agency to sue? This is your line of defense.
Send another letter requesting debt validation; clearly state that this is your second request for validation of the alleged debt. Enclose a copy of the first letter as well as a copy of the certified mail receipt.
If the debt is past SOL to file suit, make sure you state clearly that this debt is past your states sol to file suit. Check out Creditboards.com and ask the forum which letter you should use
Since you have only 10 days, send the second validation request with copies of the first validation request and certified mail receipt by Fed Ex or UPS overnight signature required.
In the mean time, submit a complaint to the FTC, your state's Attorney General and the Collection Companies state's Attorney General stating that you requested validation of this alleged debt but Mann Bracken refused to comply and instead, sent you a letter regarding litigation, yada, yada, yada. Enclose copies of all letters. Do not wait on responses as these complaints are simply to create a paper trail.
Keep an eye out for litigation papers. They may be bluffing, they may not be. It all depends on the amount of the charge-off. The larger the dollar amount, the more likely they are to sue.
Also, collection agencies love to send papers to your last address. That pretty much guarantees that you won't receive the papers so you won't show up in court. That's an automatic judgement against you.