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Collections Law/Made court-ordered payments to collection agency; they transferred my account to another collection agency without any notification to me


QUESTION: Hi Mr. Miller,

I fell behind in court ordered payments to a collection agency.

I called this collection agency to see if I could pay all I owe them now at this point in time to bring the account current, only to find that since the last time I had paid this collection agency, they had transferred my account to another collection agency! I have not received any notification that this transfer had taken place. I have not received any late notices on payments, nothing regarding this matter from this current collection agency holding this debt. This has been since 10 months ago.

What do I do now? What can I do at this point in time? This is taking place in CA. I would like to try to bring this account current without getting penalized for being late with my payments.

Thank you, Mr. Miller, for your time and attention to my message.



ANSWER: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) states that a collection agency must send you a letter to validate the debt. The letter should look something like this:  Collection Agency Letter

Posted in  Collection Letters
Collection Agency Letter

Collection Agency Letter

Collection Agency Letter is free for your use. The Collection Agency Letter is an example of softer collection letter. The Collection Agency Letter is an example of what a collection agency could send as a payment reminder when the debt is not that old.

Collection Agency Letter

ABC Collection Agency
[Street Address]
[City, ST ZIP Code]
800 555-1212
October 21, 2013

[Recipient Name]
[Company Name]
[Street Address]
[City, ST ZIP Code]

Dear [Recipient Name]:

As a professional courtesy, XYZ Company has requested out involvement in the unresolved account #1234567 in the amount of $431.21.

Both XYZ Company and ABC Collection Agency understand that in your everyday activities this could certainly be an oversight. We wish to encourage the resolution of your account.

We understand there might be a misunderstanding and utilize the debt verification process described below. Our request does not affect your right to dispute this debt.

Send correspondence, other than payments to:

ABC Collection Agency
[Street Address]
[City, ST ZIP Code]
800 555-1212

This communication is from a debt collector. This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.

Unless you notify this office within 30 days of receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid. If you notify this office in writing within 30 days from receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgement and mail you a copy of said judgment or verification. If you request this office in wiring within 30 days of receiving this notice, this office will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor if different than the current creditor.


This debt may be settled by utilizing the attached remittance slip and envelope.

Collection Agency Letter

This letter must be sent no more than 10 days from the date of first contact.  You need to keep a collection diary, documenting all dates of contact and the method in which they were delivered. This way, should this end up in court, it will not be a case of "who said what".

I would suggest that you call the original collection agency requesting the date the debt was sold. Then send them a certified letter informing them that you were not notifed and that you intend to report them and the purchasing agency to the Federal Trade Commission and your staates Attorney General. Then send the agency  that purchased the debt a certified letter informing them that you intend to report them to the FCT and your states Attorney General, for failure to notify you of your right to dispute this debt. At this point, you may want to contact an attorney and explore your legal options. Here is a website that explains your rights when dealing with a collection agency:

Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General򳠯ffice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

To find your states Attorney General use:
To report this situation to the CFPB, use this site:

I realize this is a lot of information for you but I want you to be prepared to finish this once you start.  I wish you the best with this situation.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Mr. Miller,

Thank you so much for your response. I will be contacting an attorney regarding my options in this matter.

I know that you are not an attorney, but I would like your opinion on this:

I would like to file for bankruptcy, Chapter 13, because of this situation. Given what you have told me, and with what I know, both agencies had dropped the ball on this one in regard to keeping me informed.

But, to protect myself from anything legal the new agency may want to bring forth against me, I am thinking that if I can obtain Chapter 13, I would be very ok with Chapter 13 in putting an end to this situation.

Again, thank you for your timely response to my questions and comments.



If it were me, I would immediately contact a FDCPA Attorney and see what my options are in regards to suing the collection agency.  It could be, that if you have a case, the agency will opt to drop the debt instead of going to court. If you have other debt that is pressuring you then you might consider bankruptcy.  I hate to see anyone file unless they have too. If the attorney says you do not have a case and the agency decides to sue, you can file bankruptcy at that time. As I said in my first correspondence, keep a record of everything you do concerning this debt.

I hope you can get this worked out to your satisfaction.

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Ray A Miller


I am qualified to answer questions on the following subjects: FDCPA, FCRA and HIPAA as well as medical collections, general collections and collection agency related issues. I trained these subjects at a nationwide collection agency and customer service call center and audited around 150 representatives for compliance to the laws. I have been in the Collections Industry for over 30 years. I feel that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with compassion and that is the way I trained collectors. Even though I worked for a Collection Agency, I get great satisfaction in helping those who have been mistreated or in need of help with these confusing issues.


I was the Compliance Administrator with a nationwide collection agency and customer service call center-I have trained hundreds of collectors on the above referenced topics. I have been in the medical collections industry for over twenty years and research these topics on a daily basis.

ACA International

Some college ACA Certified Collection Specialist

Past/Present Clients
I am retired due to medical conditions and spend a good deal of time keeping current on collection issues.

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