Q: A collection company has filed 1099 C or cancellation of debt forms with the IRS on past due debts they claim are mine. They have never taken legal action against me, I talked with them once after statute of limitations expired, I have never acknowledged owing debt, I have never offered any settlements and they do not have court ordered judgements for these debts. I am from Wisconsin. The statute of limitations on these debts have expired. They are not the original creditors on any of these accounts. They also sent me a 1099 C form on a debt that I have court judgement on for another company!
A: Yes. Court action is not a prerequisite for issuing a 1099C. Nor is acknowledgment of the debt, nor even having had any prior negotiations. The expiration of the statute of limitations does not prevent the issuance of the 1099C. In fact, it may even have been the reason for issuing the 1099C.
If the collector is reporting anything falsely you may have claims under the Federal Fair Debt Collections Act or the Wisconsin Consumer Act. Or maybe even the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. These claims will depend upon th f acts of your case.
The issuance of the 1099C does not even mean that the creditor cannot still collect the debt.
There are ways to avoid having to pay tax upon the amount of debt written off or forgiven, though.
This question and answer can also be found on Justia’s “Ask a Lawyer” page. The answer was submitted by Attorney David Krekeler.