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What is a debt collector required to supply to the debtor prior to filing suit, etc.

Maplewood, NJ |

Is a pre-suit demand letter required prior to a debt collector filing suit? When debt collector (who is not the original creditor) files suit, are they required to identify the original creditor and also provide proof of ownership of the debt?

I last heard from this debt collector (phone call) in mid -2009. I asked that they stop calling and to contact me in writing. I never heard from them again. I never received a 30 day letter giving me an opportunity to dispute the debt. Last year they filed a complaint. They did not identify the original creditor and though it has been brought to their attention several times, they have not provided any proof that they still on the debt.

What can be expected if the matter goes to trial?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If you have filed an Answer to the complaint, you are entitled to discovery from the creditor's attorney as to the nature of the debt, the original debt holder and the calculation of the damages.
    The debt was probably assigned by the original creditor - but there would be a paper trail for that somewhere.

    Good luck.

    MARY TOM, ESQ.
    HUNZIKER, JONES & SWEENEY, P.A.
    Wayne Plaza II
    155 Route 46 West
    Wayne, NJ 07470
    Phone No. (973) 256-0456
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  2. What must the debt collector tell you about the debt?
    Within five days after you are first contacted, the collector must send you a written notice telling you the amount of money you owe; the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money; and what action to take if you believe you do not owe the money.
    May a debt collector continue to contact you if you believe you do not owe money?
    A collector may not contact you if, within 30 days after you are first contacted, you send the collection agency a letter stating you do not owe money. However, a collector can renew collection activities if you are sent proof of the debt, such as a copy of a bill for the amount owed.

    The previous information is solely for informational purposes only. If you have further questions, please contact an attorney in your area for more specific answers. Responding to your question in no way creates an attorney/client relationship, and none of the specific guarantees of privacy exist. If you have found this information helpful, kindly check the "helpful" box.


  3. Yes, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires a 30 day demand letter be sent advising you that they are attempting to collect a debt and giving you an opportunity to dispute. Once they have sent that letter, they are not required to send a supplemental letter unless you dispute the original debt in writing.

    If they called you in 2009, chances are there was a letter prior to the call. If you only gave them a verbal request to put everything in writing, you have no sufficiently protected yourself prior to suit.

    At this time you should be sending discovery requests to the Plaintiff asking for all correspondence to you, proof of debt, chain of title, application, invoices or statements, etc.

    The above should not be construed as legal advise. You should make an appointment with a qualified attorney in your state to discuss the specifics of your case. Additionally, nothing in this writing should be construed as a retainer agreement. Should you wish Veitengruber Law to be your attorney, please contact us to make an appointment.

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