Debt collectors make their living by harassing you for money owed to creditors. Unfortunately, the debt collector on the other end of the phone is simply the messenger; subjected to the emotional pleas of the debtor. While debt collectors can be relentless and rude at times, you do have rights when it comes to dealing with debt collection efforts. Here is what you need to know about dealing with credit collections:
First, you have rights to direct negotiation with the creditor. In most cases, a debt collector will tell you that a payment in full is due over the phone at the time of calling to collect the money. This is misleading. Although your debt may have been passed to a third-party creditor, it doesn’t mean that you can’t resolve your debts directly with your original loan holder. It is a good rule of thumb to always contact your creditor directly when possible to discuss your debts. Send a certified letter to your original loan holder to negotiate your debt payments, rather than making a payment to a third-party collector when at all possible. However, if you have already been contacted, sent letters of repossession or foreclosure over a debt; contact one of the local Sacramento bankruptcy lawyers in town about next steps.
Secondly, you have rights to appropriate and fair debt collections. The Federal Trade Commission has outlined rules that debt collectors must follow when attempting to collect on a debt. This is known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If a debt collector doesn’t adhere to these rules or you feel is being unfair, you can file a complaint with the FTC for violations such as:
- Misrepresenting who they are or which creditor they are working for
- Falsifying information about the debt, amount to be owed, or the status of your account
- Contacting you outside of the hours of 8:00a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
- Making repeated phone calls or collection attempts
- Making threats of violence or legal actions for nonpayment
Finally, you have rights to halt debt collections. There are a few ways you can terminate contact from collectors and resolve the debt. You can dispute the debt with the collector by requesting written verification of the debt or you can file for bankruptcy to issue an order of automatic stay. Debt collections are tough, but you do have rights and options. Contact us to learn more at 916-459-2364.