Beware of debt collectors posing as companies that no longer exist

Debt collectors may be breaking the law
Posted at 6:12 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 18:12:28-05

Sometimes credit card companies sell old debts to debt collectors for pennies on the dollar.

For Mark Harrison, a long forgotten 10 year old account came back to haunt him.

A letter arrived last year to remind Harrison about an $862 judgment from Great Seneca Financial Corporation. After this consumer paid the bill, he learned Great Seneca no longer exists. It dissolved back in 2009.

Consumer law attorneys Steve Hofer and Keith Hagan say Harrison is among thousands getting hit with these bogus letters. They've filed a class action lawsuit alleging the debt collectors are not fully disclosing they represent companies that are long gone.

The attorneys say the debt collector is making a bet they can buy this debt for pennies on the dollar and collect on it. But if they don't have the right paperwork, they can't.  

We dug through Hillsborough County court records. In under an hour we found a dozen cases where debt collectors representing dead companies had sent final judgment notices to the plaintiffs.

Some of the cases were over twenty years old which is past the statute of limitations.

Parker Moss, one of the defendants in the class action lawsuit released this statement:

"We do not believe that we did anything wrong and intend to defend this lawsuit to a successful conclusion. However, we prefer to try this case before the judge and jury and not in the press.”