My student loan now has a 3rd party debt collector involved...

by Arayal

I have 2 questions:

1) If I ask for verification from that 3rd party debt collector and they take over 30 days to respond, does that mean anything for me?

2) Since I'm only dealing with the debt collector at this point, can I include this debt in bankruptcy proceedings or is it still treated differently?

Thank you for any info you can offer!

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Dec 19, 2011
My student loan now has a 3rd party debt collector involved...

The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) entitles you to request that a debt collector provide you with written verification of a debt and the collector is legally obligated to respond to your request within 30 days of your request. However, these provisions of the FDCPA only apply if you make your request within 30 days of being contacted by the debt collector for the first time about the money it says you owe. In other words, if you make your request on day 31, day 32, etc. the collector is not obligated to verify your debt.

Also, you should put your verification request in writing so that you have proof that you made the request and the date of your request. If you make the request by phone, protect yourself by following up in writing. Without written proof that you asked for verification it will be difficult to prove that you did.

If you requested that a debt be verified within the legally required time frame and the collector did not respond on a timely basis, you may have grounds for a lawsuit, which means that you may want to consult with a consumer law attorney. However, it's unlikely that an attorney will be willing to take your case if you did not put your request in writing. if you want to talk with an attorney, go here to schedule afree consultation with a consumer law attorney.

As for whether or not you can include the debt in bankruptcy, I recommend you consult with your bankruptcy attorney about that. I assume you are working with one if you are getting ready to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a very complicated process and we do NOT recommend handling it yourself. If you do, you will probably not gain maximum benefit from filing and you risk making mistakes that could even cause your bankruptcy to be thrown out. To become more informed about bankruptcy, I recommend you read this article and the other ones in our series on the subject, bankruptcy exemptions.

Also, if you are not working with a bankruptcy attorney and you want to schedule a free initial consultation with one, go here: bankruptcy attorney.

You should also know that if your debt is a federally-guaranteed student loan (as opposed to a private student loan), you cannot use bankruptcy to wipe it out. However, you may be able to get rid of enough other debts through bankruptcy that you will have enough money each month to pay your student loan.

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