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When you are late paying your lenders, debt collectors will come calling. It is a surety, like death and taxes. Fortunately, you do not have to succumb to the high-pressure tactics of debt collectors. Instead, you should pay attention to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and flex your rights when the debt collectors won’t leave you alone.
Stated by a credit repair specialist, as soon as a debt collector contacts you, ask them to send you the information in writing. The rules state that they must send that information without five days of their first contact with you. The written information should include who the lender is and how much you owe. Don’t have small talk with them, just ask for the letter.
While the legality of recording a call is questionable, you should keep a record when debt collectors contact you. Note the date and time, and the name of the collection agency that is calling you. It doesn’t hurt to write down the name of the person you spoke with, too. You should also save any voice mail message you receive, too.
Once you receive the written information from the debt collector, you can also reply via letter. In the letter, you can dispute the debt and begin a paper trail of proof. Once the collection agency receives the letter, they can no longer contact you. It is in your best interest to send the letter through certified mail, so you have proof that the collection agency received the letter. Otherwise, you can trust that the agency will say they never received it. And they will continue to pester you until you cave and pay.
Collection agencies have restrictions on what they can say, when they can call, and what they can do. If they violate any of those rules, they can get into legal trouble. If you know that you are going to have financial troubles, you should know what your rights are when the creditors come calling. They cannot use abusive language or harass you with constant calls. They can only call between 8 AM and 9 PM. They can only talk to you or your attorney, and they cannot bother you at work if you have asked them not to call you there. They cannot represent themselves as anything other than a debt collector. Most importantly, they cannot threaten you with a legal action or wage garnishment.
Another important right that you have is to stay quiet. You do not have to give up any information to the debt collector who calls you. In fact, you don’t have to answer questions or give them any helpful information. After you have asked for the information in writing, you don’t have to say anything else. It is vital that you do not share information willingly because they can use that information for their next steps. When working with debt collectors, it is in your best interest to just be quiet.
If you continue having issues with debt collectors, you might want to look into hiring a credit repair company to help you even further!
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