20 Apr How to Deal With Debt Collectors
If you find yourself falling behind on your bills, the debt collectors will likely come calling. Debt collectors are legally obligated to follow certain guidelines when collecting debts. Getting calls or a notice from a collections agency can be stressful, but if you know your rights and understand how to handle debt collectors, you could save yourself a lot of unnecessary stress.
Don’t Ignore Debt Collectors
You may think that avoiding and ignoring your debts and debt collectors will work, but it will just make the situation worse. Ignoring phone calls won’t make them go away. If you ignore them long enough, your situation could deteriorate to the point that your creditors will choose to sue you for refusing to pay up on your balance.
Know Your Rights
Luckily, The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is in place to dictate what debt collectors can and cannot do when working with consumers. Legitimate debt collectors will typically comply with federal and state laws, but there are also lots of shady debt collectors and scammers who don’t always follow the rules. Knowing what debt collectors aren’t allowed to do can help you deal with them better.
Things Debt Collectors Aren’t Allowed To Do:
- Call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. in your time zone.
- Contact you at work if you’ve notified them verbally or in writing that your employer does not allow collection calls.
- Harass you or anyone else they are in contact with about you.
- Lie about the amount you owe.
- Contact a third party for any reason other than obtaining your contact information.
In addition to this, they can’t lie or use sneaky methods or scare tactics to collect, such as:
- Posing as law enforcement.
- Threatening to arrest you if you don’t pay.
- Giving false credit information about you to others.
- Using a fake company name.
You also have the right to request in writing that you’d like the debt collector to stop contacting you and the debt collection agency will have to honor your request. However, stopping the calls doesn’t change anything, you can still be sued for what you owe if you don’t pay up.
Be Sure To Get Everything In Writing
The first time that debt collectors contact you, they are required to give you certain information about your debt, including the name of the creditor and the exact amount that you owe. They are also supposed to inform you that you can dispute the debt and you can request the contact information of the original creditor.
If you do not get all of this information in your first call with the collection agency, they are required to send it to you in writing within 5 days of when they first contacted you. Even if it is provided verbally up-front, always be sure to ask for written verification of the debt.
For anything regarding your debt collection, it is best to put everything in writing and keep a copy for yourself in case you ever need to have proof of anything down the road. If you want to be extra cautious, consider recording phone conversations as well.
Get Help From a Debt Reduction Company
Pivotal Wealth helps ordinary people become debt free. Whether it is credit card debt or student loan debt, owing money means you’re not able to invest in yourself and build wealth. Debt robs you of financial freedom and can put you in a vicious circle of playing catch up, while trying to reduce your debt. We want to change that. Give us a call today.