How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask ScottyMacEsq Your Own Question

ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13747
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Type Your Legal Question Here...
ScottyMacEsq is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How do I properly use lack of privity in response to a debt

Customer Question

How do I properly use "lack of privity" in response to a debt collector lawsuit?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 5 years ago.
You don't. There is not a lack of privity, most likely. On the underlying debt, you agreed to let them assign the debt should they want to. What that means is that they have the right to assign their right to be paid under the debt to another company, and even though you did not enter into a contract with this third party, you are still legally required to pay them (but only under the same terms and conditions as the original contract; nothing but the payee changes in that contract). I wish that I could give you better news, but this is the law, and the courts are not going to turn over hundreds of years and thousands of cases of established precedent now. This is literally the law all over the world. If they have the right, contractually, to assign the interest to getting paid, then they can do that.

Now you might have some other defenses, such as statute of limitations. This varies depending on the debt, but for instance, if it is an open account (such as a credit card) then if it has been more than 4 years from when you stopped paying until when the collections company sued you, then you can claim the defense of statute of limitations.

Otherwise, if the lawsuit was filed during the statute of limitations, then based on the limited facts that I have, you're not going to have a valid defense to stand on here (to absolutely win, that is).

I know that this is probably not what you want to hear, but it's the law. I hope that it clears things up anyway. Good luck to you!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
This is true even if he original creditor "has no further interest in the account?" What about this plaintiff admitting to purchasing bad debt. I have no contract with this company.
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 5 years ago.
That is especially true. When one party assigns their interest to another, then that interest does not "double". There can't be two claims against you. So if a creditor decides that he doesn't want to go after you, they can "write off" that debt as bad. Tax rules allow companies to do this, and claim them against their profits. Another company, thinking that they can recover some money from you, comes in and buys that debt from the original company, for pennies on the dollar sometimes.

This literally happens all the time. Companies write off bad debt, sell it to these companies for pennies on the dollar, and these companies try to recover as much as they can. If you buy a debt for 5 cents on the dollar, if you have a 10% chance of recovery, that's still a good investment. So the debt was "bad" in the sense that the original company didn't want to pursue it, but in doing so, they did not give up the right to pursue it in the future. They instead sold that right to pursue the debt to the company that is now trying to recover against you.

That being said, this company is trying to make money. If they think that they're not going to get much out of you, even with a judgment, then they will be more likely to work with you. You can call them up and threaten bankruptcy, unless you can come to some sort of settlement. If you go into bankruptcy, they might not get anything, and if they do, it could be a long way down the road. A buck now is better than a small possibility at two later on. Something to think about here.

I hope this clears things up, even if it doesn't help much.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, this company bought my 7K debt for pennies on the $ and I shouldn't owe him more than pennies on the dollar!!!! you haven't really told me anything I didn't know. I don't really think the courts want to force people like me, No assets...into bankruptcy...there's got to be another way!!!!
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 5 years ago.
I am sorry if I haven't told you anything you don't already know. That's just the law. Contract law is not about compassion, it's about two parties making an agreement, and if either side doesn't abide by the agreement, for whatever reason, the court is going to enforce that agreement. I agree that they don't want to force you into bankruptcy. Even the attorney and the people working for the collection company don't want to force you into bankruptcy. They're just trying to make some money collecting against a valid promise that you made (to pay back money to the original debtor).

Again, I'm truly sorry that there's not some trick that I can give you, but there's not. I would call up this company and see what you can work out with them. Otherwise, if they take you to court and get a judgment, they WILL come after you with that judgment.

I truly wish you good luck, and hope that you find relief.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan

Meet The Experts:

  • Tina


    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • JPEsq's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • FiveStarLaw's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.