Can a delinquent account be submitted to collections without the original company trying to notify the person first?

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2011

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Can a delinquent account be submitted to collections without the original company trying to notify the person first?

I apparently owed my old school some money but was never notified by them of any remaining balance that I was responsible for. Then out of the blue a year and a half later I get a collection call.

Asked on February 10, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no laws stating that a creditor (including a school) has to first try to contact a someone who owes it money and work it out with them before submitting matters to collections; a creditor may go immediately to collections if it choose. If it's been given a third-party debt collector (i.e. not a department or employees of the school), then there are certain limits on how they contact you, what they can say, or how they can try to collect the debt: if you look up the federal "Fair Debt Collections Practices Act," or FDCPA, you can find out what these limitations are. But subject to those limitaitons, if applicable, you can be sent straight to collections without prior contact or notice.

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