How do Collection Agency claims work?
As you are aware, defaults on credit card accounts are at an all time high. The number of delinquent or defaulted credit accounts continues to rise at an alarming rate. This makes collection of delinq...
As you are aware, defaults on credit card accounts are at an all time high. The number of delinquent or defaulted credit accounts continues to rise at an alarming rate. This makes collection of delinquent debt a big business.
What often happens after a default is that the original creditor makes a few attempts to collect. This may come in the form of a letter or two, and a phone call or two. If the account is not satisfied at that time, it is turned over to collections. Most likely, the account is sold for a fraction of the amount allegedly due and owing, often times mere pennies on the dollar.
The first collection agency works the case vigorously, but mostly only for a very short time. If they cannot collect on the account, they often sell the account to a second collection agency for even fewer pennies on the dollar, sometimes even less. The second collection agency is often the agency that engages in illegal debt collection practices. This can come in the form of harassing letters or phone calls to your home, employer or relatives. If payment is not made, the collection agency either sells your account again or files a lawsuit against you.
The sale of your account is actually beneficial to you. What often happens in these situations is that only limited information is sold, rather than the entire account. To put it another way, the collection agency that is allegedly acquiring your account is not acquiring everything that it needs. Often times, the only information that is transferred is your name, address, account number, balance due and owing and a statement or two. This is simply not enough information to form the basis of a lawsuit against you.
These lawsuits are generally very easy to defend. I call them Kmart lawsuits, because it looks like the agency simply went to Kmart and ordered a sample lawsuit to file against you.
When filing its lawsuit against you, the collection agency is hoping that you will not respond. If a lawsuit is filed and you fail to respond in writing to the court, the agency will obtain what is called a default judgment against you. This default judgment terminates your right to be heard by a judge and grants victory to the collection agency with little effort on their part. If you have a lawsuit filed against you by a collection agency, you MUST file a timely written response to it.
The best advice that I can give to someone who is facing a delinquent credit card account lawsuit is to consult an experienced consumer attorney in his/her area and be sure to respond. Consumer attorneys have tremendous success in defending collection agency lawsuits.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Artim is a Consumer Attorney with offices located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For more answers to your credit card defense or other legal questions, please visit his website at Collections Defense Attorney