Consumers frequently fall into debt. Unfortunately, debt is more than just a number and an asterisk beside of your name. It can have real, long-lasting consequences that will haunt you for the rest of your life. Once you’ve fall into debt and have been unable to pay your bill, there is a good chance that the debtor will refer your case to a debt collector. This individual will come after you relentlessly and they could easily turn your life upside down. The good news is that you can protect yourself from aggressive debt collectors. You’ll learn what you can do to protect yourself below.
The Initial Contact
Believe it or not, there are laws that control the actions that debt collectors can take. First and foremost, these companies will be required to contact you through the mail, before they call you or visit your home. Be on the lookout for a letter in your mail box. The letter will include information about your debt. It should contain the name of the agency responsible for collecting the debt, information about the company or person that you owe money and the amount that you currently owe.
Once you’ve received this letter, you can contact the debt collector and try to work out a solution. If you do not, there is a good chance that you’ll receive a phone call from them soon enough.
After you’ve received a letter from the debt collector, you will have several options to choose from. You can simply refuse to respond to the letter. This will likely cause the situation to escalate further. This could result in a lawsuit and you may even be required to appear in court. Depending on the outcome, the court may decide to garnish your wages, until they’re collected the money that is owed. Or, you can get in touch with the company and set up a payment plan. There is a possibility that you might be able to pay a small fee monthly, until the debt is paid off in full.
Finally, you can also pay a small amount as soon as you receive the letter. This may help to prevent the debt from being transferred to a debt collector. It is in your best interest to take action and avoid getting slapped with a lawsuit.
Repaying The Debt
When dealing with a debt collection agency, it may be best to go ahead and pay the bill. If you’re going to do this, you should make sure that you proceed in the correct manner. Make sure that the debt is actually yours. Then, you should make sure that you send in a check. Never send in cash! Also, make sure that you receive a receipt. When making payments and checking the balance due, be sure that you’re speaking with the collector that is in charge of your case. Protect yourself to avoid falling prey to potential scammers!
Record The Calls
There are plenty of rules governing the behavior of debt collectors. These agencies are not able to threaten the consumer and they cannot use extortion tactics. It is a good idea to record each and every conversation you have with the agency. Every time you get a call or letter from the debt collector, you should take note of it. Record the conversations and keep a copy of their emails and letters. You may very well be able to use this information to your advantage sometime in the future.
Know What They Cannot Do
Finally, you should familiarize yourself with the things that debt collectors cannot do. They’ll want to get their money and they may attempt to use shady tactics. Remember that debt collectors cannot call you before 8 AM or after 9 PM, unless you’ve agreed to it ahead of time. They cannot use abusive language either. Also, repeated calls are a big no-no. If the agency is calling your house repeatedly, there is a good chance that their behavior could be considered harassment. Finally, these individuals cannot threaten to sue or pretend to be an attorney or member of law enforcement. If your debt collector is doing any of these things, you should report them immediately.
If you report their behavior, there is a good chance that they’ll leave you alone in the future.