We Asked a Foreclosure Lawyer in Clearwater FL What to do With Your Sold Debt
Ziegler Law Office has the knowledge, experience, and authority to represent you as your debt collection or foreclosure lawyer in Clearwater FL.
Often, when you have owed money for an extended period of time, the original lender or collector will hand your debt to a debt collection company.
That debt collection company can then sell your debt to other companies. Your debt can actually change hands multiple times.
This leaves a confusing trail and uncertain pattern to follow if you are trying to find out specific information about the debt.
Our Foreclosure Lawyer in Clearwater FL Says “Do This!”
First, confirm that the debt has actually been sold. If you are unsure, it could be that the new debt collector is simply acting on behalf of the original lender and is not actually in charge of the debt.
When a debt collection company buys a debt, they have paid the original lender a portion of the debt so that they can now own the debt and, hopefully, collect the balance.
To determine whether your debt has been sold, you can ask the company if they own the debt, or check to see where the payments are going. If letters instruct you to pay the company directly, then the company probably owns the debt.
Did You Know?
Second, find out when the last time you made a payment was. Most debts have a statute of limitations, and when a new company purchases the debt, they will try to collect whether the statute is up or not.
If you ask if the debt is time-barred, or subject to a statute, the collector must respond truthfully, as required by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
If you believe the debt has been in existence for a long period of time, hold off on communicating with the company before seeking legal counsel.
Never make a payment or acknowledge your debt without speaking to a professional attorney. You may be putting yourself in a vulnerable position, and paying a debt that no longer applies.
More Good News
Third, if you do come up with a payment plan that works for you, you will pay the debt collector directly. You cannot pay the original lender, as they no longer own the debt.
Remember that all communication, including payment, will now go to the debt collection company.
If you are sued by the debt collector, contact an attorney right away. Don’t panic. By selling your debt, your original lender has actually put you in a better position.
Your original lender would have more access to your information and payment history that would help them build a case than a debt collection company. If you seek experienced legal counsel, they should be able to help you.
At the Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, we take your rights under the FDCPA seriously. For a debt collection, bankruptcy, or foreclosure lawyer in Clearwater FL, contact our office for your legal needs.