Illinois Debtor’s Rights Attorneys/Debt Collection Defense

Debt buyers buy debts from other companies and then try to collect the debts themselves. Just because a debt buyer claims they are owed money from you in court or in a letter does not mean they are entitled to anything. Many of the debts they purchase are undocumented, beyond the statute of limitations or legally invalid.

If you have received court papers or other notices from a debt buyer, the experienced debt collection attorneys of Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC, encourage you to contact us and fax your collection letters and other relevant documents to us at 312-419-0379. You are also welcome to contact us at 312-739-4200 to schedule a free consultation. If you have a pending court date, please contact us by phone before faxing any documents.

Know Your Rights and Steps to Take

If you are being contacted or sued by a debt buyer, it is important for you to understand your rights as a consumer and the steps to take after receiving a collection letter. You may have a valid defense to the claim — or you may have a claim against the debt buyer. If you contact us early enough, we may be able to get the case dismissed.

  • You have the right to know that the debt buyer actually owns the debt: Even if you know the debt is valid, you have the right to know that the debt buyer actually owns the debt. The debt buyer must be able to provide you with a copy of an assignment of the debt that specifically refers to the debtor by name, address and account number. See this document for an example of why you cannot assume that a debt buyer owns the debt it is trying to collect: United States of America v. Steven D Goldberg.
  • Do not delay, and do not ignore the summons or court date: If you do not appear in court, the court may enter a judgment against you, and the creditor may attempt to collect from your wages.
  • Do not make any payments towards the debt prior to obtaining legal advice: Making even a small payment may revive the statute of limitations on an old debt, which would otherwise be uncollectible.

Debt Collection News

The Federal Trade Commission reported with regard to a lawsuit filed in 2004 that accounts enforced by the debt buyer may come from “consumers who never owed the original debt in the first place. Many consumers pay to get [a debt buyer] to stop threatening and harassing them, their families, their friends and their co-workers.” (

Likewise, the Attorney General of Minnesota in 2004 sued two collection agencies that represent debt buyers. According to the Attorney General, the companies used illegal tactics such as ignoring written disputes filed by consumers to coerce those consumers into paying invalid debts.

For more information on debt buying and your legal rights, please see the defense of collection cases and Ethical Issues Involved in Debt Buyer Suits Against ConsumersDaniel A. Edelman and James Latturner. (Note: PDFs may take a while to download.)

Call, E-mail or Fax Us Today

Contact the debt collection attorneys of Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC, in Chicago, Illinois, for a free initial case evaluation by calling 312-739-4200, by emailing us through this Web site, or by faxing us your debt collection letters at 312-419-0379. We assist individuals who have been hurt by debt collection companies.

For more information, see Your Rights When Dealing With Debt Collectors

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The consumer protection and class action lawyers of Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC, represent clients throughout Illinois, and in Federal Courts in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan, and will consider substantial cases in other jurisdictions.