The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was approved in 1977 to protect you from debt collectors that may be calling you day after day. FDCPA is there to protect consumers and their rights even if debt is still outstanding. The guidelines set do not allow debt collectors to call you all hours of the day and night. They are not allowed to threaten you or your home, with repossession. They also cannot call you constantly. The FDCPA allows you to ask for pertinent information pertaining to your debt and allows time for you to prove any payments already made.
“Chain of Title” Regarding Debt Collectors
Did you know that the person on the other end of the phone trying to collect on a past debt is probably not the original person you were in debt with? This happens because there are companies out there waiting to buy up old debt for really cheap, and then they have the opportunity to collect your debt no matter how great or small. Debts can be sold and resold over and over many times through the years. However, each time the debt buyer must prove each assignment to a debt all the way back to the original creditor, this is called “chain of title.”
The Proof is in the Pudding
Part of a debt collector being able to legally collect on your debt they must prove this “chain of title” and each and every person that had been assigned it. If for any reason the information is irregular, untrue or even a little bit misleading the debt may potentially be cleared and you are free. In order for that debt buyer to sue you for the debt you owe, they must prove that the debt is truly yours, and the debt remaining is the amount they are suing for. If any of these are not proven then the case can easily fall in your favor.
Who owns the Debt?
At this point it may be established that you owe some unpaid debt. However, the person who is trying to collect on that debt may not be anyone you have ever heard of. If the burden of proof is there regarding the debt then it must be paid. Then there may be times when it is not proven and the debt will never be paid. Honestly, the end result of who owns the debt does not matter. It matters that the “chain of title” is in line and debt buyers can be proven from the beginning of the debt.
FDCPA and your rights
Having a cased filed against you for back debt can seem like too much to handle. Keep in mind a couple things, first the debt collector must prove their case and second the FDCPA has your back. If you or someone you know feel your rights have been violated by a debt collector then feel free to contact your state Attorney General’s office, Federal Trade Commission or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There are many agencies out there to help you take advantage and utilize them to the fullest!