Does a out of state debt lawyer have to have a collection agency in Washington State when collecting a debt out of state?

I received a 30 day demand letter from a debt lawyer out of state, Someone bought the debt and gave it the attorneys for collection. Since they are acting like a collection agency as well as an attorney, do they have to have a collection office here run by a WA. resident?

Seattle, WA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Jacob D DeGraaff

Jacob D DeGraaff

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Attorney - Seattle, WA
Answered

The Washington Collection Agency Act requires collection agencies who operate in Washington to be licensed in Washington, but it does not to my knowledge require a presence in Washington. There is at least one large collection law firm in Oregon that does this.

This answer is in the nature of a general legal analysis and is not tailored to the facts of your specific... more
Jeffrey Scott Hyslip

Jeffrey Scott Hyslip

Debt Collection Attorney - Chicago, IL
Answered

There might be some other issues here with the lawyer reaching across state lines to collect a debt. I'd be happy to look at the letter ad give you some free advise afterwards. Further, I know a great lawyer in Washington if I think the letter is actionable. Seems dangerous for me for a law firm to be collecting in debts in states they are not licensed to practice.

I am an attorney licensed to practice law in Ohio and some Federal Courts throughout the United States. I am not... more
Tregg Robert Lunn

Tregg Robert Lunn

Debt Collection Attorney - Lincoln, NE
Answered

I think Mt. Hyslip is correct. If the collector has no ability or intention of filing suit against you then you may have an FDCPA claim against them. If the collector is not licensed to practice law in your state, that might be the case. You should speak to a competent consumer lawyer in your area. If Mr. Hyslip has a name, I would call that lawyer. It typically costs nothing to see if you have a claim.

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