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Collection Agencies - do they sue for debt under $500?

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Do collection agencies actually sue people? And, do they sue for debt under $500?

Yes they do unfortunately as far as I know. If you receive anything from a collection agency you want to send a debt validation letter in regards to it to make sure it is yours and the amount is correct.

Sub: #1 posted on Sat, 06/14/2008 - 03:46

ladybug ladybug

(Posts: 2757 | Credits: 282.45)

Yeah, collection agencies can sue people to collect debts. There are several examples in the site where people were sued by the collectors. If the collector successfully manages to get a judgement against you, he can garnish your wage and can even put a lien on your asset.

Are you facing any such threat form a collection agency? pls let us know that, so that can help you further .

However, the agencies often use this as a scare tactics to influence the debtor to pay the debt. If they have a proper intention to sue you, they've to serve you a subpoena first.

Sub: #2 posted on Sat, 06/14/2008 - 13:25

tweetyturner tweetyturner

(Posts: 278 | Credits: 32.99)

Umm... That would be Summons and Complaint. A subpoena is a requirement to produce info, docs, a person, or what have you.
To the original poster: If you've got a CA after you, we can help you figure out what your options are. If you want help, just ask.

Sub: #3 posted on Sat, 06/14/2008 - 17:11

unclewulf unclewulf
(Posts: 3173 | Credits: 315.03)

Technically no. They are not capable of doing so. They must hire an attorney in your jurisdiction to do the actual legal work.

Sub: #4 posted on Mon, 06/16/2008 - 05:25

Moderators Cum Industry Expert
(Posts: 17214 | Credits: 4746.7)

Well..what if the CA's DO NOT live in your jurisdiction? Do they have 'sister' companies, in your area, that they go through? I often wonder about that.

Sub: #5 posted on Mon, 06/16/2008 - 05:34

sdchargers_63 sdchargers_63

(Posts: 1798 | Credits: 179.17)

Well..what if the CA's DO NOT live in your jurisdiction? Do they have 'sister' companies, in your area, that they go through? I often wonder about that.

Excellent question and a very hard one. Every state is different. Some require licensing by debt collectors and bonds, they must be a registered corporation and have a registered agent.

If you refer to my topic on LVNV Funding Questions pages 6 and 7 have more information.In my state I am disputing the legality of a lawsuit.

In Massachusetts, debt collectors must be licensed and bonded. The attorney says they the Plaintiff doesn't have to be because they don't conduct business in this state, send letters, make phone calls, have no employees and no place of business.

Under the licensing rules, they must be licensed as a debt collector. Furthermore they are a foreign limited liability company who's main purpose is acquisition of loans, or debt collector.

So the order of the laws are as such.

chapter 93 sec. 24 is the definition of debt collector.
chapter 93 sec.24a is the terms of license if you fit the definition of debt collector.

As far as a LLC and in this case a foreign LLC.

chapter 156c sec 48 deals with the registration of a Foreign LLC and says they are doing business with this section if they are considered to be doing business under 156d sub.A part 15, which they do fit.

also under 156c sec.5 they must maintain an office, not necessarily a place of business in the commonwealth, to keep records for inspection.

Now what I have is a sworn statement from an attorney who said that lvnv funding llc doesn't conduct business of any kind in Massachusetts, remember from above?
But according to the state, they are considered conducting business in this state.

Also I have a dunning letter dated from 10/2007 from this attorney stating that LVNV Funding requested the law firm to help in collecting the debt because I am unwilling or unable to pay or make arrangements with LVNV Funding LLC to pay my account. So the attorney office just contradicted itself because if in fact LVNV Funding LLC doesn't contact people, then how would I be unwilling or unable to pay them? Truth is I have been called by LVNV Funding in the past, and I think I got one letter before they where a FLLC in my state.

Also attorney's at law acting on behalf of a client are exempt from the licensing in my state UNLESS the attorney is collecting solely through his law firm. The letter dated 10/2007 says to pay the law firm only and if I wish to discuss call the law firms recovery area.

So basically this is a single situation on how a debt collector from out of state can or can't sue. In my situation I am trying to get it thrown out and I have all the evidence as I have posted above.

People really need to read their state laws. If you can catch the attorney or debt collector violating laws you may win your case. I spent countless hours and many sleepless nights. Some states are real easy for debt collectors to sue in. In Massachusetts there are 512 licensed debt collectors, some are multiple companies with say 5 different offices in the USA. I think about 30 of them expired. I messed around the debt collector forums and debt collectors hate Massachusetts because of the strict laws and the harsh licensing standards.

Hope this helps.

Sub: #6 posted on Mon, 06/16/2008 - 06:50


Lots of information!! Thanks a ton!1 Also..forgive my 'stupidity', but, what is a Dunning Letter? I never heard of one. What's the purpose for one?

Sub: #7 posted on Mon, 06/16/2008 - 07:42

sdchargers_63 sdchargers_63

(Posts: 1798 | Credits: 179.17)

that was me previously sdchargers.

Dunning is the process of methodically communicating with customers to ensure the collection of accounts receivable. Communications progress from gentle reminders to almost threatening letters as accounts become more past due. Laws in each country regulate the form that dunning can take. It is generally unlawful to harass or threaten consumers. It is acceptable to issue firm reminders and to take all allowable collection options.

The word stems from the 16th century verb dun, meaning to demand payment of a debt.

The problem is the context and actions in the letters, some follow the fdcpa and some make major and minor violations.

A great case in point, Nielsen v. Dickerson it talks about how letters which appeared to be from an attorney who knew all about the books and records of debtors in fact knew hardly anything of debtors and spent,,,,,,,i think less than a minute on each case but only had such information as addresses, names, account numbers and amounts due. all the letters where on his letterhead with his facsimile signature but where printed and mailed from a different company.

just yahoo Nielson v. Dickerson I think it's the first one that comes up.

Sub: #8 posted on Mon, 06/16/2008 - 08:07


The actual collection agency can be located anywhere in the us...the CA does not have to have a local presence to collect in your state provided they have all the required licences etc. The would simply hire an attorney licenced in your state to file the paperwork and appear in court.

Sub: #9 posted on Mon, 06/16/2008 - 18:29

Moderators Cum Industry Expert
(Posts: 17214 | Credits: 4746.7)

Well, I guess I gotta be that guy again and ask all of this worth $500? I mean, if I were to apply myself on a Sunday afternoon, I could probably make $500 mowing grass and/or cleaning gutters. Not judging but thinking that maybe you could do something to earn some extra cash and get these people out of your life instead of worrying whether they will actually sue you?


Sub: #10 posted on Mon, 06/16/2008 - 18:54


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