This is one of the biggest questions we’re asked.
Simply put, yes, a collection agency can sell or transfer the rights to your accounts, and this can happen at any time and without your permission.
However, when working with professional collection agencies, if accounts are indeed passed over to a new collections team, the new team in question will contact you to confirm details and validate the debt.
Selling and transferring debt is a complicated aspect of financial law, and it is always worth speaking to a professional if you are ever in doubt.
To learn more about collection procedures, rights, and responsibilities, check out our website – www.directroute.co.uk.
Why are debts sold?
Debts are often sold if that person deems them as unrecoverable or difficult. In fact, many businesses may opt to sell their debts to professional debt collection agencies, as receiving a fee for the debt is better than receiving nothing. In addition, debt recovery agencies have a much higher success rate when it comes to collecting overdue and outstanding debts.
Debt buyers is often a term that is used to refer to the agencies that buy debts.
Debt transfer rights refer to a debt sold or transferred to a third party. Once this transfer is complete, the third party is the sole owner of the debt.
Debt buying and selling is not new. It is a service that provides an opportunity for businesses needing help to collect unpaid invoices.
Supporting small business debt collection, a debt recovery agency will have stringent collection procedures and processes to help in the successful collection of monies owed.
Can debt collectors sell or transfer rights to your accounts?
Debt right transfer, also known as debt assignment, means that collectors can sell or transfer the rights to your account to another collection agent.
It’s also important to be aware that debt collectors have no legal responsibility to offer payment plans or settlement arrangements if this happens.
When it comes to having access to your personal bank accounts and acquiring funds to repay debts through other means, debt collectors can’t simply dip into your bank accounts because they feel like it.
They must go through the correct legal channels and apply for a judgement from the courts to gain access to bank accounts and take money from these accounts to offset the debt you owe.
A typical process in this instance may look like:
- You have a debt – the debt is considerably outstanding
- All reasonable action has been taken to attempt to collect the debt, i.e., letters, reminders, statements, etc
- Debt is/can be passed to a collection agency which also tries to collect on the debt
- If the debt is not collected, this can then be escalated to the courts
- If the creditor wins, a judgement is set against the debtor
- At this stage access to bank accounts can be accessed and used to repay the debt.
This process is considerably long and should always be handled by experienced teams who know each stage.
(Check out our latest post on “Are you liable for your spouse’s debt,” which also covers access to joint accounts and more.)
Your credit file is also affected
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, debt collectors can also access your credit report, again without requiring your permission.
They use the information in your credit report to ensure the contact information they have for you is correct and to determine the likelihood of you paying off the debt.
When your credit file is viewed, it does create a temporary hit to your overall credit score.
This means there will be a short-term, negative impact on your credit score but no lasting
What can you do?
- Pay attention to who is looking at your credit report, and keep a check on your own report regularly (ideally quarterly). Your credit report tells your financial life story. Make sure your story is a true reflection of reality.
- Don’t ignore debts; they’re unlikely to go away. Instead, work with the collection agent – working toward a beneficial solution for both parties.
- Keep your payments up to date.
- Pay invoices on time, every time.
- Confirm that the debts in question are indeed yours.
- If you have a joint account, make sure the person you share the account with hasn’t run up a lot of debts, as the bank account you share, with joint funds, can be used to repay these debts later down the line.
Debt collection services
At Direct Route, we provide a range of collection services to support businesses further in today’s economic climate.
If you need help collecting overdue invoices or if unpaid invoices are causing you a headache, drop us an email with your requirements at email@example.com or call us today at 0330 229 1991.