When you’re drowning in debt, it may feel like you have no options. This feeling is only exacerbated by a lawsuit for a debt previously deemed uncollectible. However, you should not panic just yet. If you are being harassed by junk debt buyers, you’ll want to contact a California debt collection defense attorney to explore your options before making any decisions. The following blog explains everything you need to know about this type of collection and some of the most common legal actions you may be able to take.
Are Junk Debt Buyers Legitimate Debt Collectors?
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, junk debt buyers are protected as collection agencies.
These buyers will purchase bulk uncollectible debt from creditors like credit card companies for pennies in hopes of receiving the full amount of debt owed from the creditor. Generally, they will use harassing and unfaithful methods, like re-aging the debt, which makes it appear more recent than it actually is.
The debts these agencies purchase are often written off as uncollectible debt, dismissed due to a filing error, or the result of identity theft and, therefore, not the responsibility of the named debtor.
Do I Have Any Legal Options?
As these companies are considered legitimate businesses, they do have the right to pursue some forms of the debt they purchase. However, the practices they use often violate the FDCPA, which can void their right to pursue.
One practice that junk debt buyers rely on is getting a debtor to pay a portion of their owed amount in hopes that it will renew the debt, making it eligible to pursue again. This is why you should avoid paying until you speak with an attorney, as you may be paying for an old debt or one that is not actually in your name.
As a consumer, you have rights in terms of debt collection. When you are notified that you owe a debt or have a suit filed against you by a junk debt collector, taking the correct steps is crucial. You can and should ask the company to provide proof of the amount owed and that they are the owners of the debt in question. Because they purchase large amounts of debt, it is likely they will be unable to locate this information.
Similarly, examining the agreement you signed can help you determine whether or not the debt you are in question has expired. If it is passed the statute of limitations, the company can no longer pursue the debt. In California, this statute is typically four years, but there may be stipulations in your agreement that change these terms.
When you need an attorney to help defend you from junk debt buyers, Loker Law is here to help. Our dedicated debt defense team will work tirelessly to explore all possible avenues for your defense. Contact us today to connect with one of our competent attorneys to learn more.