The collecting, buying and selling of debt has become a multi-billion-dollar industry. Debt Collectors will do whatever it takes to collect a debt. Sometimes called “debt buyers,” these organizations purchase charge-off debts for pennies on the dollar then often repackage and resell the debt, or portions of the debt to other agencies or firms to make more profit. The result of changing owners several times is the loss of important details associated with the original credit document. In the event that a debtor is sued, it can be very difficult to track and verify original creditors, account numbers, dates, etc. The FTC has made state recommendations which would essentially make it easier for debtors to verify the debts they are potentially being sued for. (Name and terms of the original creditor, last 4 digits of original account number, amount and date of the original default or charge-off, and amount currently due including principal, interest and fees.)
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Wisconsin Consumer Act Revised: As of March 1st, 2016 parts of the Wisconsin Consumer Act have changed, but not enough to appease the FTC’s recommendations to fully protect the debtor. For example, the new Wisconsin law does not require creditors to provide the original account number, the default or charge-off dates, or the terms of the original contract. In addition, “specific itemization” is not required in the new law. Many consumer advocates are disappointed in the new law because these missing details will continue to hurt consumers in the event that they are sued.
Bankruptcy Attorney Chad Schomburg: “The Wisconsin legislator did not make the Wisconsin law strict enough on debt buyers or collection agencies. They still have only minimal requirements when filing lawsuits against consumers, making it very confusing as to what debts they are actually collecting on. The debtors then do not have much recourse under the Wisconsin Consumer Act. They might be better off seeking protection through the Federal Consumer Protection Act, or more importantly, through bankruptcy.”
Debt Advisors Law Offices: Your situation may or may not benefit from bankruptcy. To find out what your best options are, call Debt Advisors Law Offices at 414-755-2400 or find us online at MyDebtAdvisors.com. For your convenience, we offer six Wisconsin locations. The attorneys at Debt Advisors are experienced in dealing with credit agencies, and will steer you in the right direction.