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Topic: Question about returning mail b/c former occupants no longer live here

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Subject: Question about returning mail b/c former occupants no longer live here
Date Posted: 9/18/2008 8:34 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2007
Posts: 3,773
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I'm not sure if the former occupants of our house changed their address at the post office b/c we still get their mail from time to time. It's been about 2 months since we moved in and we still get magazines, letters, junk mail. We've set it aside just in case they come back but they haven't contacted us at all. 

We just received what looks like a wedding invitation for them. The other stuff they've gotten hasn't looked important but since we have no way of contacting them I would like to send the invitation back to the senders.

My question is , the return address is on the back of the envelope. If I stick it in the mailbox saying Addresse no longer lives here, will the post office know to look at the back of the envelope to return the invitation to? Should i draw arrows, say return address on back?  I'm only doing this one b/c when I send out my wedding invitations next year, I know I'd freak out if I still hadn't heard back from someone.

Date Posted: 9/18/2008 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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You do not need to put arrows. You can put out the other mail you have gotten and the post office will return it to the sender if the person did not do a change to address.

Keep or throw out the mail that says "or current resident". Your mail carrier is required to deliver those to you.

Date Posted: 9/18/2008 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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you can also throw away and mail that is sent presort standard rate. the post office will just throw this class of mail away anyway if you return it. all other classes you should return to the PO as soon as you get them. stick it back in your box with a sticky note on it, put it in a collection box with a sticky note on it. dont write on the mail itself, its not your mail and you are defacing someone elses mail.

Put an address sticker on the inside of your mailbox where your carrier can see it when they deliver. Make sure you list all the names that do receive mail at your address. This gives the carrier a visual check to see if any mail to be forwarded or "killed" is in your bundle.

"kill" mail is mail that the PO cant forward for whatever reason, it is returned to the sender with the reason for nondelivery.

Date Posted: 9/18/2008 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2008
Posts: 284
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I get tons of mail for previous residents.  I don't understand why they don't tell people where they live now.  Every month they get a GMAC statement.  Over the course of a week, I get about 10 pieces of mail for them and this is not counting the 'or current resident' stuff.  I've lived here for a year and a half now - too long to still be getting their mail.  They have had plenty of time to change their address.  I doubt they ever will.  The sheriff was here looking for the guy one day.  Another time someone was here to reposess their car - surprise, surprise. 

The bad thing is that the sheriff and the repo guy accused us of covering for these people - we don't even know who they are!

I just write 'not at this address' on the envelope and drop it back in the box.  I'm not wasting money on post its because of other people's irresponsibility about moving.

Date Posted: 9/18/2008 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 2,027
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About a week, we got a Country Curtains for the lady who owned my house before my parents.  They moved in when my mom was pregnant with me.  I'm 25 now.

Subject: What to do with mail to previous residents.
Date Posted: 9/19/2008 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2008
Posts: 562
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Any first class mail for someone else and If the mail is Standard mail and has the following endorsements please put it back in your mail box for your carrier. Don't throw it in a blue box because then it will be mixed up with regular collection mail and you may just get it right back. Flats with these endorsements or periodicals (magazines) also need to be treated the same way.

Return Service Requested, Address Service Requested, Change Service Requested, Electronic Service Requested or if right above the name you see what we call "ACS" or 3 pound mail should go back for proper endorsement.

3 pound mail would look like this:



Joe Smith

123 Anywhere Lane

Anytown, state zipcode

You can see the 3 "#" symbols which is why it's called 3 pound mail :) I would suggest just drawing a single diagonal line through the address block. This mail will be sent back to the mailer or an address correction will be sent back so that the mailer can correct their data base. Which would imply that you would stop getting that mail anymore.

The "or current resident" is required to be delivered unless the house or apartment is vacant. Since the standard mail without any endorsement is never sent back (it's destroyed) you are just stuck with still getting it. I have seen mail for people who had moved out over twenty years prior.

If the mailer of a standard letter or flat never bothers to put on an endorsement to get it fixed you are just stuck with it.

The next question you may ask is "why am I still getting this mail?" A lot of times you may only get a piece of mail on the same day of the week everytime which would imply that is your regular carriers off day. When you mail comes extremely late or more than an hour before or after the usual time your route may have been split up between several carriers and they may not know all of the proper forwards on your route.

You wouldn't believe what some people will write on a mailpiece because they are upset :)

Sometime you will get a piece of mail that is no where close to your address which is usually caused by that letter being stuck behind a letter to you. Getting one house off can also happen as well as getting the same house number but wrong street name.

Sometimes it's the fault of the machinery, sometimes it's the carriers fault.


Last Edited on: 9/19/08 6:18 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/19/2008 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I have lived in my home for 11 years and still get mail addressed to someone that hasn't lived here in at least 15 years!  I put on the envelope "return to sender, hasn't lived here in 15+ years"

I know that I went to my PO and complained about the amount of mail I was receiving that wasn't for anyone that lived in our house and our mail person has gotten much better...but there are some that still delivered (and it isn't "current resident" mail either!) so my guess is that it is a sub that day.

I do know that when hubby  moved in that the mailman came to the door to make sure that was right because he knew I had complained in the past.

Last Edited on: 9/19/08 1:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/19/2008 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,050
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I mark it "Addressee not at this address" and put it back in my mailbox.  I've been in my house over 4 years and still get cards and mail for the previous owner's deceased father.

ETA: We are friends with the previous owners, so for 2 years or so we sent them any mail of theirs that we got.  After 2 years, we figured it had gone on long enough!

Last Edited on: 9/19/08 2:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1