Skip to main content

I'm going to file a law suit against a collection agency for violating my FDCPA rights... Quick question: If I file suit

Los Angeles, CA |

against the collection agency for FDCPA violations, can they counter sue me for the balance owed on the underlying debt (credit card)?

A collection agency (third party debt collector) purchased my account from the orginal creditor. As soon as the collection agency purchased the account, they have been calling me threatening to sue me, take my property, calling friends and family that I owe them money, etc. I know they can't really do the aforementioned, but I want to punish them for this conduct; hence, the reason for a lawyer. Now that I clarified my position, is it common/likely/possible for a collection agency, like the one I described, to counter sue me for the balance of the account?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Your FDCPA claim would be against the collection agency, not the creditor, so at first blush the agency can not bring a counterclaim. Having said that, if the collection agency is smart, it would take the debt by assignment and then counter-claim.

I hope you found this response to be of assistance. This response shall not be considered the rendering of legal advise but instead a general response to a general question. While Avvo is a wonderful resource, nothing can be a substitute for an in-depth consultation with an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the law is to be applied. This response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

8 comments

Asker

Posted

The collection agency purchased my balance from the original creditor. The collection agency, not creditor, has been the one harassing me. Is it likely that the collection agency would counter-sue for the balance owed?

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Posted

I I can see no reason why they wouldn't. What do they have to lose by doing so? Remember, you have a 1-year statute of limitations to bring suit on an FDCPA claim. There is an interesting dynamic at work here. If you prevail on the FDCPA claim, you will be entitled to an award of attorney's fees. If the creditor resists the claim, your fee would be much higher and that could offset part of the amount owed. The problem with that concept is that you might find it hard to find an attorney to work on the case knowing there would be an offset.

Asker

Posted

Is it safe to assume that most people who hire an attorney for FDCPA violations still owe a balance within the statute of limitations? I'm wondering if collection agencies get a little hesistant to counter sue for the balance knowing that they might not have all the required documentation when the person is represented by an attorney? Also, in the case of a counter suit, would I be responsible my attorney's fees to defend?

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Posted

1) Typically yes, but not necessarily so. Some collection agencies are working debt so d, so beyond SOL. it is referred to as "zombie debt" 2) a reasonable concern; but they may know that your FDCPA attorney won't be working for free 3) your question is whether you can have attorneys fees assessed against the creitor

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Posted

1) Typically yes, but not necessarily so. Some collection agencies are working debt so d, so beyond SOL. it is referred to as "zombie debt" 2) a reasonable concern; but they may know that your FDCPA attorney won't be working for free 3) your question is whether you can have attorneys fees assessed against the creditor if you succeed in your defense. The answer is that it depends, on the docs that exist and the laws of your state

Asker

Posted

My question is whether I can have attorney fees assessed against the collection agency, not creditor, for prevailing on a counter suit for the balance owed. Remember, the collection agency owns the account.

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Posted

1) Typically yes, but not necessarily so. Some collection agencies are working debt so d, so beyond SOL. it is referred to as "zombie debt" 2) a reasonable concern; but they may know that your FDCPA attorney won't be working for free 3) your question is whether you can have attorneys fees assessed against the creditor if you succeed in your defense. The answer is that it depends, on the docs that exist and the laws of your state

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Posted

I have not forgotten that the collection agency purchased the account. That makes IT the creditor, now. It is not as though there is a creditor and THEN the collection agency. If the account has been sold to the agency as you have indicated, then the agency is the one to whom you owe the money, which makes it the creditor.

Posted

Yes. You might be able to sue both the original creditor and the collection agency, if the collection agency is acting as agent. If the collection agency "bought" the account, the original creditor is out of the loop. As to what some unnamed collection agency might do, based upon some unknown facts, I am not a psychic. My crystal ball is broken and out of warranty.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

2 comments

Asker

Posted

So, I will elaborate... A collection agency (third party debt collector) purchased my account from the orginal creditor. As soon as the collection agency purchased the account, they have been calling me threatening to sue me, take my property, calling friends and family that I owe them money, etc. I know they can't really do the aforementioned, but I want to punish them for this conduct; hence, the reason for a lawyer. Now that I clarified my position, is it common/likely/possible for a collection agency, like the one I described, to counter sue me for the balance of the account?

Bruce Allan Wilson

Bruce Allan Wilson

Posted

yes.

Posted

As Counsel Lysell and Lampert point out. The answer is dependent upon whether or not the collection agency is the owner of the claim/account. Without that info. an answer cannot be given.

BW

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

1 comment

Asker

Posted

Please see the comment I posted under Lysell's answer for more clarification.

Posted

Hire a lawyer

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

1 comment

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your insightful answer. Hope this answer boosted your level up a couple notches...

Sued for debt topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics