Q:

What is asset acceptance?

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Quick Answer

Asset Acceptance is a debt collection agency that buys consumer debt from other companies at a deep discount and attempts to collect the debt, often after the statute of limitations has lapsed. Formerly a subsidiary of Asset Acceptance Capital Corporation, the company was acquired by Encore Capital Group in June 2013.

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Full Answer

Asset Acceptance pays pennies on the dollar for uncollected debts from businesses, such as credit card companies, utilities providers and health clubs. Often they are old debts that other collection agencies have given up on.

In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Asset Acceptance for deceptive practices. One of the main allegations of the Federal Trade Commission was that Asset Acceptance coerces consumers to pay their old debt without telling them that the statute of limitations had elapsed on the debt, and the consumers could not be sued to collect it. Other allegations include the misrepresentation of the details of debts, failing to verify authenticity of debts, giving credit reporting agencies negative information without notifying consumers, not conducting investigations after receiving notifications of disputes, and calling and giving information about debts to uninvolved third parties.

The settlement involves a fine of $2.5 million. It also requires Asset Acceptance to inform customers that they could not be sued for old debt. It prohibits the company from misrepresenting debts to consumers, pursuing collection efforts before resolving disputes, placing debt on a credit report without notifying the consumer and violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in other ways specified on the complaint.

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