Learn to Fight Against Debt Collectors

31
August

Collection agencies use all sorts of unfair tactics to intimidate people into paying when they can’t afford to do so or don’t deserve it. It is possible to fight back and use the laws that favor the debtor. It’s not complicated to learn a few legal tips to put debt collectors in their place. Consumers should learn their state’s collection laws, collector’s tactics and consumer’s rights.

Some of the devious tactics that debt collectors use are perfectly legal but extremely annoying and unfair. Repeated calls throughout the day between 8 am and 9pm, finding information on Facebook or other social network sites and using an unknown number are a few of collector’s tactics. Calling a relative or employer to get contact information is legal but can only be done once, and the reason for the request cannot be told.

For those who owe a debt, it is better not to avoid collector’s calls. Avoiding the calls may make things worse such as a court order to garnish wages. When talking to a collector, the consumer should not talk about their financial situation in detail. The collector can use this against them. A certified letter demanding the collector stop calling should end harassing phone calls.

Always ask to have the debt verified in writing. This is important because they may be trying to get an old debt where the Statute of Limitations (SOL) has expired or a debt that has already been paid.

If possible, it is a good idea to record all conversations with collectors. This will inhibit them from violating the law. In 35 states and Washington DC, secret taping is allowed. Otherwise, permission to record should be sought first.

Ask for time to repay the debt. It is perfectly legitimate for consumers to need time to figure out how to consolidate debt or make a budget so payments can be made.

Consumers who have already repaid a debt that a collector is asking for, should dispute the debt. This must be done within 30 days of the date the collector sent a notice of the amount owed. This dispute letter should be sent by registered mail or fax so the consumer has proof it was sent. Also, proof of the debt repayment should be sent with the dispute letter.

A collector has to prove a debt, so if they receive proof of repayment, they should stop trying to collect the debt. If they don’t, a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the state Attorney General should be filed.

If the SOL date has expired for a debt, the consumer is still responsible to pay the debt, but they cannot be taken to court under federal and state law. If a collector calls about the debt, the consumer should not acknowledge it. They should simply state that they are aware the SOL has expired and ask the collector not to call them.

If a collector ignores a discharge order stating that a debt was discharged in bankruptcy, a complaint can be filed with the bankruptcy court.

Sometimes collectors try to collect money even when the consumer does not owe the debt. In this case, the consumer should send a register letter or fax requesting validation of the debt. The collector has to respond with proof of the debt or stop harassing the consumer. If they still harass, a Cease and Desist letter can be sent. If they still harass, the consumer should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the state’s Attorney General.

If it becomes overwhelming to stop harassing debt collectors, consumers should get legal help. All of the collector’s communication will have to go to the lawyer, and the consumer’s rights will be protected.

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

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