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What is a Scavenger Debt Collector?

Michael Rapp Sept. 3, 2014

What is a scavenger debt collector?

A scavenger debt collector is a debt collection agency that purchases a consumer’s debt from another company that was unsuccessful. Reasons for a company unsuccessfully purchasing debt include expiration on the time to collect the debt, or the debt may have been un-collectible at the time of purchase.

How can scavenger debt collectors affect consumers?

Scavenger debt collectors can use very aggressive tactics in an attempt to get consumers to pay their debt. Many of the tactics that scavenger debt collectors use are violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Since one of the goals of debt collectors is to collect debts as soon as possible, many are relentless in their efforts.

Several scavenger debt collectors have been sued by the FTC and other organizations.

What are my rights?

In many cases, you may not be legally obligated to pay debt that was purchased by a third party collector, or even maintain contact with the collector. If you are unsure of your rights, it is best to contact a consumer protection lawyer for legal advice.