Ms. Bunce's posting hits the nail on the head with her suggestion that you obtain your credit reports. I have linked to my blog on how to get your free annual credit report information below and why you should do this each year. Now is the perfect time to check your credit for any and all errors and properly dispute any errors.
Mr. Sullivan's idea to ask for the documentation is okay, but most of my clients tell me that they spoke with the debt collector and asked for documentation, but it either never arrived or the documents sent was simply a letter with general information about the debt, not specific proof of assignment. There is no legal way for a consumer to enforce a demand for this information, without a lawsuit being filed for the unpaid debt against you or by you (and your lawyer) for any debt collection harassment.
Getting back to Ms. Bunce's idea to order your credit reports: they will show the original creditor's trade line for this account and any other companies that now own the account or are collecting on behalf of the creditor. If the original creditor no longer owns the account, their trade line show indicate that fact by stating something such as: transferred to another entity. I hope you take a look at my blog posting on the "Don't Pay a Dime Strategy."
Robert Stempler (please see DISCLAIMER below)
NOTICE: The above statements are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended as legal advice or advice of any sort for a specific case or legal matter. If you do not have a signed attorney-client fee agreement with the Consumer Law Office of Robert Stempler, APLC ("the Firm"), then until such written fee agreement is provided and signed by both a prospective client and attorney for a particular case, neither Mr. Stempler nor the Firm will represent you nor will they be your attorney in any matter and you remain responsible for retaining your own attorney and for compliance with any and all deadlines and for any statutes of limitations that may pertain to potential claims. Comments made on a public forum, such as Avvo.com, to not have any confidentiality because others may read them. If you desire a private consultation with Mr. Stempler that is confidential, please go to www.StopCollectionLawsuits.com and submit a free eCase Review.
Sometimes debts are sold to collectors, and sometimes debts are only assigned to a collector, while the original creditor still owns the debt.
From your perspective, why does it matter?
Another way to find out would be to check your credit report, although the information may take time to appear on the credit report. I am posting a link to the free annual credit report site so you can investigate this further.
Hope this perspective helps!
Capital One is not known to sell debts. The third party collectors are very likely doing so as agents of Capital One rather than on their own or for anyone else.
American Express doesn't sell either.