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What happens if you send a scavenger debt collector money? Iowa

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  • What happens if you send a scavenger debt collector money? Iowa

    I know it's a huge mistake, but my boyfriend... in a not-so-smart move, sent a scavenger debt person $200 because he got scared when he read the word "sue" in the stupid letter. Instead of consulting anyone about it, he sent the money and they cashed the check. He's talking to a lawyer next week, but what happens if you send them money? Does it reactivate anything? Do these firms have the ability to report to credit bureaus? This was regarding a debt he owed back in 1997 in California. We live in Iowa now.

    Remember this is not a collections agency. It is a law firm that buys debt from CAs.

    My main concern is can companies like this (who are NOT collections agencies or creditors) report to credit bureaus? He has worked so hard to repair his credit.

    Also, he's talking to a lawyer next week. What kind of process can we expect?

  • #2
    It could be construed as a reaffirmation of the debt. The statue of limitations on a debt begins on the date of last activity. The payment he made is the last activity.

    If the law firm has purchased the debt from the original creditor, it is now the creditor and can report to credit bureaus.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!


    • #3
      Agree. Paying on the debt would be an acknowledgment of the debt & would have restarted the SOL.

      They can report to the credit bureaus.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


      • #4
        good to talk to lawyer

        He is doing the right thing by speaking to a lawyer. The prior posts are correct in that payment of a debt after the Statute of Limitations has run is a re-affirmation of the debt obligation. What is a Statute of Limitation, you ask? Every type of claim has a time period in which a court action must be brought or a party loses the right to take legal action to enforce their rights. Depending on the type of claim and the state you are in, the Statute of Limitation varies. Where I practice in Minnesota, debt collection is governed by a 6 year Statute of Limitation. That means if no payments are made for over 6 years, whoever owns the debt can no longer begin a court action. It doesn't mean the debt isn't owed anymore or mean the plaintiff can no longer collect, but it does mean they cannot sue you or threaten to begin a lawsuit. If they were to do either, it would be a violation of the FDCPA because the collection agency or law firm is threatening legal action in spite of their legal inability to do so. If your friend cannot get the info he needs from an attorney in Iowa, feel free to give me a call and I'll point you in the right direction. I can’t represent him, but could at least point him to resources that may help and possibly point you to a qualified FDCPA attorney in your state.

        Chris Gonko
        Scrimshire, Martineau, Gonko & Vavreck, PLLC


        • #5
          It sounds like he reaffirmed the debt with his payment. There's another place in addition to this that you can pose your questions:

          Someone there can also help. Looks like you are on the right track getting an attorney.


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