One day, you are relaxing on the couch after work and you hear a knock. You’re handed paperwork by the person at the door saying you’ve been sued by a company called “Midland Funding,” “Portfolio Recovery Associates,” “Asset Acceptance,” or some other vague sounding entity you have never heard of. You read the complaint and discover this company suing you has purchased a debt from Citibank, Chase, Wells Fargo, or some other company. Problem is, you never had an account with that company. Or, you had an account, but you paid off your balance years ago. Or, you had an account with the original company, but the balance you owed is significantly different than what the new company is asking for.
These are common scenarios faced by thousands of Idaho residents. I help people all over the State of Idaho defend themselves against these third-party debt buyers. Here’s what happens: When a bank or other credit card issuer decides it can no longer collect on an account, it “writes it off” which means it declares the debt as uncollectable and receives a tax break. Then it bundles all its uncollectable debts and sells them to debt buyers for pennies on the dollar. The debt buyers then come after people for these debts with little to no evidence.
I have been successful at having cases dismissed because the debt buyer lacks adequate proof of the debt and I have been able to reach reasonable settlements when consumers have been able to make little headway on their own.