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How much is a debt collector allowed to charge in fees and interest on the debt they purchased from the original creditor?

Miami, FL |

I am writing because I am dealing with a debt collector who has refused to send me any information in writing concerning the settlement that we agreed on. Although by telephone and by e-mail they have sent me a letter stating the settlement agreement, the balance remains the original balance(including fees). The original debt was just for over 7000 or 8000 i believe and the debt collector is saying that i owe them well over 14000. i have already paid them just over 7000 but i realized recently that this creditor is not even listed on my credit report so now i don't know if i have been paying in vain. PLEASE HELP! I want to make good on the settlement but because i am just around 600 away from paying the "settlement". Something feels wrong and I need help PLEASE.

The debt is valid but for about 1/2 of what the collection agency says that I owe. I live in the state of Florida and have checked to validate their license on the FL office of financial regulation website. Because the debt is valid and because I've been working very hard to clear up my credit, I wanted to pay and resolve the issue. I just don't want to pay all of this money to find out that the debt won't be settled as this was my largest debt to pay off. I only owe a bit more so I have 3 more payments and I should be done but because they won't send me the true settlement balance after each payment I feel as though they might try to come after me for twice what I originally owed. Everytime I call I get a different answer from each person and they won't send me what they say they will send me in writing.

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Attorney answers 2


The amount a debt collector can charge is no more than that provided in the original contract with the original lender, unless your state law provides differently.

If something smells fishy, trust your instincts. You may not owe anything at all. Your credit report is not a reliable source of all your debts and does not guarantee that you do or do not owe money.

In my state, there is an agency that regulates & licenses collectors. You may want to check to see if your state has a similar agency, and if so, whether this creditor is licensed to do business in your state.

Good luck!


Dispute the debt in writing. Send the letter certified, return receipt requested. Then, consult with a local attorney about possible Fair Debt Collection Practices Act issues.

[I am a Virginia-licensed attorney. This communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]