Can a collection agency lawfully refuse to provide proof of the debt?

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2010

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2010Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a collection agency lawfully refuse to provide proof of the debt?

Under § 809. Validation of debts of the FDCPA it says that documentation must be provided within 30 of initial contact if “the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed”. This debt is my wife’s (from before we were married) and they have named me on a lawsuit over it which was the first I had heard of it. So for me this lawsuit is the “initial communication”. I requested copies of the statement including the original debt, fees, interest and so on but they refuse to provide it. Can they do that? How to I make them release this information? I just want to make an informed decision.

Asked on July 19, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

No, they can not.  If they have named you in a lawsuit then you should answer the suit and raise an affirmative defense that you are not a proper party to the lawsuit.  They when you get before the Judge you can request that they produce a copy of the original contract and all the debt they say that you are responsible for.  You name and signature will not be on the contract, correct?  So then they will have to dismiss the matter as against you and everything else will be moot.  Also check your state Statute of Limitations as to their ability to bring the suit.  How long have you been married?  They may have blown their right to sue your wife too. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption