How can I find out if a collection agency / law office is actually working for the original creditor. if it has been sold, legally can the collection/law office say they are representing the original creditor?
Call the original creditor and ask.
Mr. Larkin is licensed to practice law in CA and is located in San Diego. His response here does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Larkin strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information about the specifics of their case.
Debt Collection Attorney
If you ask the credit card issuer whether they sold your account, they may or may not answer your question honestly.
If they admit they sold the account to a third party collector, they will likely tell you "we sold your account to Co. X." If a debt collector is identifying themselves as being the original creditor, the debt collector would be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Another situation is also possible but would require investigation to uncover. Third party collectors ("Debt Collectors") often attempt to conceal their identity from consumers. In order to begin to determine whether your account is actually placed with third party collectors and what violations may be occurring, I'd need to discuss the identity of the credit card issuer, the telephone numbers that you are receiving calls from, the age of the account, review your credit reports and any collection letters that you saved, and interview you.
If you have not already done so, start keeping a log of your any calls you receive (even hangups) on any telephone number(s). Be sure to memorialize the date, time, and which phone number they called. (If you contact my office, we will send you our informational letter and instructions how to preserve your telephone messages so that they could be admitted in an action against the debt collector(s).)
I do not charge central Florida consumers for an initial consultation concerning this type of situation.