Anyone who’s ever dealt with a debt collector knows how creepy and persistent they can be. For many people, they call daily and can be a real pain to deal with. Fortunately, you have plenty of rights when it comes to debt collectors. Here are a few tips to help you deal with them when they call you.
1. Get All Information In Writing
Debt collectors are required to send you a written notice including the amount of money owed, the creditor’s name, and the action required if you believe you don’t actually owe money. Before you begin engaging with a debt collector, demand they send you the written notice.
2. If You Think You Don’t Owe The Debt, Dispute It
Within 30 days of receiving a written letter from a debt collector, you may send the collection agency a letter claiming you do not owe money. If you do this, debt collectors will not be allowed to contact you. Gerri Detweiler, the co-author of “Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights,” says to always keep a copy of the letter as part of your paper trail. You must send the letter via certified mail, otherwise, the collection agency might deny they ever received it.
3. Know What The Debt Collectors Aren’t Allowed To Do
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has clear, set rules on what debt collectors aren’t allowed to do. Your debt collector may face legal problems if they do or say any of the following;
- Harass you by calling repeatedly.
- If you’ve asked them not to, call you at work.
- Lie about the size of your debt.
- Claim to be a credit bureau representative.
- Unless they actually intend to do so, threaten to garnish your wages.
- Use abusive language.
- Call you before 8 in the morning or 9 at night.
- Talk to anyone besides you or your attorney about your debt
4. Keep All Conversations Short
Debt collectors are looking for any kind of information they can use against you. Essentially, they’re interviewing you. When the debt collector calls, keep the conversation short and only answer the bare minimum.
Don’t let debt collectors stress you out. You have options, and Shoreline Finance can help you work out those options.