Westland, MI asked in Consumer Law and Collections for Michigan

Q: I've been contacted by a law firm to collect a debt i was unaware of until another debt collector threatened to sue me??

I never received a bill from the original creditor. The first letter i got from the debt collector was them threatening to sue me, so i sent 2 letters requesting validation. The first time, they didn't provide all of the information i asked for. The second time, they didn't respond and i received a letter from a law firm a week later, which was the typical initial contact letter debt collectors send. I thought they purchased my debt, so i responded with a debt validation request letter and they provided more documents that i requested than the other debt collector, but still not all of what i requested. One of the documents was a "suit authorization" between the original creditor and the first debt collector. So now I'm unsure if this law firm purchased my debt to collect or if they're representing the other debt collector i was previously dealing with. How should i go about handling this?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
Answered
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: You could call the law firms for both debt collections, and ask them who the original creditor and the original account number was for each. You could also send them a letter asking the same questions. Keep in mind that when you talk to them on the phone, they will be recording the phone call. You don't want to come out and admit that the debt is valid, or that the amount you say you owe is correct. Debt collectors with fewer scruples will turn around and try to use that against you in court. So basically, just say that you are only looking for information. Then you can see if they will give you the information you seek. They should, but if they play dumb they might not.

If that doesn't work, contact an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in your area for a consult. They can help you get the information. Most, like myself, offer free initial consults.

1 user found this answer helpful

Adam Alexander
Adam Alexander
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Southfield, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: You may have the makings of a potential Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuit here. I suggest you contact a FDCPA lawyer and provide your letters and the responses you refer to. Review of these documents is necessary to provide you with meaningful legal advice. The very first collection communication must contain specific language and comply with the FDCPA. You mentioned the first letter you received was a threat to sue. That doesn't sound right. (Often my clients received prior collection letters they were unaware of, either because they moved, or simply discarded prior letters). In any event, how should you go about handling this? Again, I urge you to consult with a lawyer who can quickly assess your legal rights based on review of these documents.

Trent Harris agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

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