The purpose of a debt collection agency is to pursue unpaid debts on behalf of the lender. Medical expenses, credit card balances, loan payments, and similar obligations would fall into this category. To get people to pay off their debts, collection agencies sometimes resort to harassing and threatening tactics.
Even if you pay off your debt with a debt collection agency, they will take a portion of the payment as compensation for their services rendered to the lender. It's also possible to buy old debts from debt collection agencies, which will then pursue full payment. Even when collection agencies make another attempt, some of these loans are removed from the consumer's credit report. It is common knowledge that organisations of this kind have a reputation for being exceptionally unpleasant. If a debt collector has harassed you, follow these recommendations and seek help from a bankruptcy attorney.
Communications Through Telephone
You must use extra caution when communicating with debt collectors over the phone. You may receive calls about a debt that are decades old or don't even belong to you. If you call them up and, in your confusion, admit that you owe money to them, you may find yourself legally obligated to pay off that obligation. Debt collection companies should not be contacted by telephone. Tell them you don't recognize the debt they're referring to and want documentation and further details, even if you're familiar with the company that owes you money.
Find Out Which Collection Firm Is Responsible
Obtaining the identity of the debt-collecting firm is also crucial. You can then use this information to learn more about the organisation and its policies. Many collection agencies have a shady reputation for utilizing dubious tactics to coerce debtors into paying on old debts or obligations that don't rightfully belong to them.
For example, NCO Financial, a well-known debt collection service, has been accused of falsely threatening customers with arrest unless they quickly sent full payment. Naturally, this is not the case; you cannot be arrested for failing to pay a debt to a collection agency. Before you give them any money, be sure you've verified their legitimacy.
Certification Of Debt
Do not give any money to a collection agency if they approach you about a debt you are unaware of. If you dispute a debt, the corporation is legally obligated to provide "debt validation," or evidence that the debt belongs to you. You can expect them to mail you proof of the debt's validity. In most jurisdictions, you are not obligated to pay a debt if the creditor cannot provide proof that you owe the money. Another option is to dispute the entry and have it deleted from your credit report if you can't prove that the debt is yours.
The Federal Trade Commission regulates the debt collection industry to ensure consumers are treated fairly. Some laws prohibit debt collectors from contacting someone in certain ways, such as at work or after they have asked not to be contacted or if they have made threats or have been asked to stop calling. If you are harassed or treated unfairly by debt collection companies, you should research your legal rights and options.
Notices To Cease And Desist
Send a cease and desist letter to the debt collector if they continue to contact you after you've requested them to stop. You might think of this letter as a formal request to the debt collecting agency to end their harassment. Keep a copy of this letter for your records, and fax the original to the company. You can also send certified mail to ensure delivery and obtain a signature. If you are still being harassed after they have received this letter, you may want to consider seeking legal counsel.
Debt collection companies are extremely persistent, frequently resorting to unfair and even criminal practices to recover outstanding debts. Here are five suggestions to help you handle the situation effectively.
Published by Samantha Brown