The Collection Agency Failing To Register In The State of The Consumer They're Trying to Collect On.
Yes, most state's debt collection laws require that collection agencies be licensed and bonded in the state of the person they are trying to collect money from. You'd be surprised how many either forget, or pursue the customer anyway because they know most people don't know this, but now you do (Yay!).
I post this all the time, the steps to take when a collection agency contacts you by either phone or mail:
1. See if the debt is within your state's statute of limitations. This is helpful because it lets you know if the collector still has time to sue you to enforce the debt.
2. Look up the company. See if they are legit, if they have a past or open FTC violations, if they are sue-happy, what successes/trials other persons have had in dealing with them. IF THEY ARE REGISTERED IN YOUR STATE. It helps to know what type of company you are dealing with.
3. Send them a validation letter. Unsigned, certified mail return receipt asking for proof that they own or have been assigned the debt, a full accounting of the debt, proof of state/city license and bonding, to name a few.
(Never admit to the debt or confirm any personal info [they are calling you right?]; get their mailing address/fax number, feel free to confirm your mailing address to them to mail correspondence to, but absolutely no income, social, expense, employment or family size info).
Hope this helps!