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Do collection agencies need to provide original agreement for debt validation?

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  • Do collection agencies need to provide original agreement for debt validation?

    I knew and also found in a website that to validate a debt, a collection agency has to provide a copy of the original contract, to the debtor, to collect the unpaid amount.

    “Copy of your original contract:
    This is intended to prove to you that you agreed to the debt. If they do not provide you with a copy of the original agreement, the CA may also provide you with the account statements from the original creditor.”

    But, recently, one of my friends has suggested that under UCC laws, there is no proof of claim without original wet signature contract. Example: Wells Fargo and their mortgage scheme 2013. He told me that the debt collector has to provide original contract to collect unpaid credit card debt as well.

    So, will a debt collector have to provide original contract in case of unsecured debts, such as, unpaid credit card debt?

    I am confused. Please help.

  • #2
    Hi, Christopher. Please bear with me... UCC is not my forte.

    I think that your question about collection agencies takes this out of Article 4: Banks Deposits and Collections, and puts it into Article 9: Secured Transactions. I think that the collection agency would have a secured interested in the debt. Here is a link to our Article 9: https://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/9 ... From there, I think section 9-607 Collection and Enforcement by Secured Party might have some valuable information: https://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/9/9-607
    If that is the appropriate section, the ABA published some potentially helpful explanatory information about this section and some of the surrounding sections: http://www.americanbar.org/publicati...03_cabral.html
    Another potentially helpful article is here: http://jsmith.cis.byuh.edu/books/leg...-default-.html
    If you are able to view this Law360 article, it might also be helpful: https://www.law360.com/articles/5330...rticle-9-sales

    From there, because these are merely uniform laws, individual jurisdictions may adopt the uniform law in whole or in part, tailoring it to their jurisdiction, or they may not adopt it at all. Some of the information on our table about the adoption of specific Articles by specific jurisdictions maybe be out of date, but what is not should link you to a particular jurisdiction's code provision that is synonymous with the uniform law provision(s). https://www.law.cornell.edu/uniform/ucc#a9

    The UCC is proprietary material, and so, while we offer an older version, in order to view an up-to-date version, you must either purchase it yourself or visit a public law library. Public academic law libraries are more likely to have the uniform text, and also potentially some materials that provide commentary on the texts. The commentary is valuable information for understanding the interpretation and applicability of these uniform laws.

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    • #3
      Thanks Charlotte but my confusion still remains the same. My main question is, at the time of debt validation do the collection agencies need to provide the original contract with wet signature or a copy of this original contract is enough?

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      • #4
        Hi, Christopher. I apologize if I was unclear towards the end of my post. The type of information that you seek is probably found in the commentary to the UCC Articles and sections. Because the UCC is a uniform law, the commentary following each section often goes into different scenarios that may arise, and how certain jurisdictions have dealt with them. However, if you can find the statute within your jurisdiction that mimics the appropriate section of the UCC, you can try to search for case law to see how that law has been applied and interpreted. Google Scholar offers case law search, which you can limit to your jurisdiction. Search for the statute citation in quotes. But, in the event that your jurisdiction has not adopted the UCC provision in whole or in part, public academic law libraries tend to have UCC books available (for students).

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