Can a debt be sent to collection if we never recieved any notification of a debt?

by Malcolm
(Petaluma, California)

I received a collection notice from a debt collector for a school tuition debt owed by my stepdaughter's father. At no time did the school ever contact my wife and I to request any payment or inform us that payments were not being made by her father but the debt collector insists it is now our debt. The school sent all other communications (report cards, progress reports) to us but at no time informed us that fees were not being paid. Is it legal for them to release our name and address to a collection agency despite the fact that they confirm that the debt is owed by her father?


Comments for Can a debt be sent to collection if we never recieved any notification of a debt?

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Sep 17, 2010
Debt Collection for Relative's Debt
by: Gerri & Mary


We aren't aware of a specific requirement to notify you before the account is sent to collections.

But the real question is whether you can be held liable for this bill or not. It may depend on the contract, custody of your stepdaughter etc.

We would recommend you talk with an attorney before you pay or agree to pay the debt. Fortunately, the co-author of the California edition of our e-book, attorney Robert Brennan, practices in California and he has extensive knowledge of credit related and debt collection cases. We would recommend you go ahead and reach out to him at

If you are not responsible for the debt, then you can send the agency a cease contact letter to stop a debt collector.

Please do let us know what you find out. It may be helpful to others facing similar situations.

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