Categorized | Collection Agencies

Can a Collection Agency legally buy my account?

I get asked this question alot and the truth of the matter is Yes, a collection agency can buy a delinquent account from a credit card company.  An account, of any sort, is a “legal interest” in something.  Any legal interest can be sold at any time, for any price.

It’s actually a good thing when your account is sold to a junk debt buyer.  Generally, the only things that the debt buyer acquires are your name, phone number, account number and the amount that is alleged due and owing.  That’s it!  How can they prove a case against you in a Pennsylvania court of law when they don’t have the documentation to back it up?  Most times, they can’t (as long as you file the proper response to the lawsuit and have the right legal representation). 

In further discussing the purchase of an account, there is a burden on the collection agency to prove that they actually purchased your specific account.  This purchase is often called an assignment.  Without this proof, the collecton agency does not have standing to move forward with a lawsuit.  Standing is generally defined as the legal right to sue someone. 

These agencies often have difficulty in establishing standing in these matters because they purchase so many accounts at one time.  I have never seen a collection agency purchase an individual creditor’s account one at a time.  Instead, they purchase these account in bulk, by blocks of money.  For example, maybe they purchase $2,000,000 of delinquent accounts for $40,000.  There could be 10,000 accounts in that sale, and its not feasible for the collection agency to include that list in every lawsuit that it files.  Our argument, which has been successful, is that they cannot prove standing without providing that list. 

If you would like a free, no obligation consultation on a credit card or collection agency matter, please call my office at 412-823-8003 or 1-888-536-6644.

One Response to “Can a Collection Agency legally buy my account?”

  1. P.A.'er says:

    I love the site and greatly appreciate all the knowledge and experience you share. Say they did provide that list, wouldn’t it need to be authenticated? Generally it’s just a spread sheet isn’t it? Couldn’t they just add and remove names at will? Not that I would ever accuse a JDB of doing that!

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