February 16, 2021
Summary: What are your options when your debt has been assigned to a debt collector? Find out why a creditor might have assigned your debt and how to deal with it.
Debt assignment refers to a transfer of debt. This includes all of the associated rights and obligations, as it goes from a creditor to a third party. Debt assignment is essentially the legal transfer of debt to a debt collector (or debt collection agency). After this agency purchases the debt, they will have the responsibility to collect the debt, meaning you will pay your debt to them.
When a creditor or lender no longer wants to be responsible for attempting to collect your debt, they will sell your debt to a third party. When this occurs, a Notice of Assignment (NOA) is sent out to you. This should inform you of who is responsible for collecting the rest of your loan or debt.
Legally you must be notified if your debt is assigned to someone new. This is to ensure that you know where to make payments to. If you are not aware of the new assignment, you may send payments to the wrong location which could force you into unintentional default.
Third-party debt collectors must act according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This federal law restricts the methods by which a debt collector can contact you, and attempt to collect debts. The FDCPA regulates the time of day or night a collector can make contact, how often they can call, as well as what they say and how they say it.
If you believe that a debt collector has violated the FDCPA, then you may be able to file a suit against that company. You may also be able to sue for damages or attorney fees.
There are a few reasons why a creditor may assign your debt. Typically, the most common reason is to reduce their risk. By assigning and selling the debt it is no longer their liability. They can ensure they recoup some of their money, and appease investors as well.
The purchase of debt occurs before assignment. Before the assignment of delinquent debt, a collection agency will be required to purchase it. This is often done at a far lower price, while they still attempt to recoup the entire debt. Because of this, it allows you to attempt to settle your debt for less.
The process of assigning debt is often seen as unethical. With threats, harassment, and lies of all kinds, many debt buyers have been accused of violating the FDCPA. Because of this, debt assignment has seen a good amount of criticism. Some cases have even seen consumers charged with debts that have already been settled or paid.
Nevertheless, this shows how important it is to be on top of your debts. The number one choice you should make with any debt or debt assignment is to respond to all correspondence. This will ensure that you stay in compliance, and act when you need to.
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? We're making guides on how to beat each one.
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Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.