Creditors who have made multiple attempts to collect old debts often appoint collection agencies to help them in recovering the money. The collector can call you everyday or even many times a day, leaving you with threatening messages. You might have only little money to offer. Whatever the reason of your debt is, you might have to deal with a collection agency.
Dealing with debt collectors is very difficult, but fortunately, not as much as dealing with the legal systems or getting sued by the creditors. Anyway, collectors calls can be very harassing and disturbing. There are few ways where you can take control of the situation and prevent further botheration.
1. Validation of your debts
Sometimes you might get calls from collectors demanding money that you don’t even remember spending. You’ve the rights to ask for validation of the debt they are seeking for in written or mail. Within 5 days of contacting you, the collector must provide written verification of the name of the creditor, the amount of debt, and steps you can take to dispute the claim. If you don’t find the proofs to be sufficient, you have 30 days to respond. You need to reasonably sound on why you don’t believe the collector’s information to be true. However, debt collectors can contact you if they are sending validation of the debt. You must speak to the collector to get all the facts about the debt.
2. Know your legal rights
Collectors do have the rights to contact you between 8:00 am to 9:00 pm, but you can also stop them. You must write down all details like the time of the call, date of the call, what they want, what they offering, etc. If they speak to you in an objectionable way, warn them. They are not obligated to harass you. This can be frustrating, debt collectors can be rude, unwilling to negotiate, asking you questions about your finances. However, you must speak to them calmly and in a very well modulated manner. No debt collector has the right to garnish your wage or bank accounts in order to settle your debt before filing a lawsuit. Only a court of law has the right. The debt collectors do have the rights to sue you.
3. Harassment can be reported
The Federal Trade Commission enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, so you can file complaints at FTC.gov. Different states have their own collection laws, so you can contact your state attorneys to know the details about the protection and steps you can take to fight a disgraceful collector.
4. Reduction of your debts
Prepare a budget and stay firm about the amount you can pay to the collector. However, you need to be very sure of the amount and that its reaches the collector on time every month. Once you are firm in your head about the payments, call the creditor yourself. Try explaining your situation and negotiating for the amount you’ve decided to pay. They will surely to try to push for more. Be persistent, and try to explain that this is the amount you’ve and you won’t be able to pay more.
Once they agree for a fixed amount, ask them to make an agreement and be sure of asking for receipts every time you pay the debt. Ask them to confirm once the amount is paid in full.
You must understand a debt collector can go to court to seek legal action against you which can lead to trials, judgments, garnishment of your bank account and even your wages. be sure to respond to any legal actions taken against you. You can appoint an attorney if necessary. Make sure that you keep all receipts, bills, any written or verbal correspondence with the creditor handy, so that you can show up in the court.