Debt Collector Hassles?
If you’re past due on a legitimate debt, you probably have heard or will hear from a debt collector. Especially if you’re new to the wild world of debt collection, you need to get up to speed on your rights as a debtor. Just because you’ve gotten behind on a debt doesn’t give a debt collector the right to kick the crap out of you!
Yes, absolutely, a debt collector has the right to work at getting you to pay up, if the debt is legitimate. But there are legal limits to what the collector can do and say. And based on the FTC’s complaint rankings, evidently debt collectors flagrantly and routinely disregard those limits.
Debt Collection No-Nos
Here’s just a sampling of illegal debt collection tactics:
- A debt collector may not contact you at inconvenient times or places, unless you give your permission.
- Within five days of first contacting you, a debt collector is required to send you a written “validation notice.” The notice must tell you how much you owe, to whom, and what to do if you believe you do not owe the debt.
- Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt.
- The collection agency cannot try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe unless the contract that created your debt—or your state law—allows the charge.
- A debt collector may not send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency if it isn’t.
- Debt collectors also are prohibited from saying that you will be arrested if you don’t pay your debt, or that they will seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so.
These are just a fraction of the prohibitions debt collectors are supposed to observe. But if you are in ‘debt collection world,’ I’d bet you have already experienced at least one of these, and probably more that I have not included in this abbreviated list.
Fight Back Against Debt Collectors!
Debt collectors know that few consumers understand their rights as a past due debtor. Even fewer of us know the laws that restrict debt collection tactics and are ready to fight back if we’re abused by a debt collector.
But I’ve made it easy for you to get smart and know when and how to fight back against debt collectors. One of the five volumes in my Simple Guides to Debt, Credit, and Wealth series is titled “WIN the Battle with Debt Collectors!”
In this Simple Guide you’ll learn how to know if the debt you’re being told you owe is legitimate. I explain how statutes of limitations apply to past due debts and how to avoid being tricked into re-starting the statute of limitations clock. I outline your options for dealing with a past due debt (including debt settlement) and suggest what you might do if you’re sued for collection of an overdue debt. I suggest how best to communicate with a debt collector, and I detail illegal debt collection tactics and make it easy for you to recognize when you’re being victimized. Most importantly, I offer step-by-step guidance for fighting back and ending illegal debt collection tactics. You may even be able to turn the tables, sue a law-breaking debt collector, and get a cash settlement!
To make fighting back as easy for you as possible, you will get exclusive access through this Simple Guide to Money Counselor ActionSheets™ to help you document your contacts with collection agents, quickly identify illegal collection tactics, and choose the best way to fight back against abuse.
Don’t Just Take Debt Collector Abuse!
If you’re overdue on debt, the creditor has a right to try to collect, and you should do your best to pay off all of your legitimate debts. But while you’re working to reach that goal, you shouldn’t have to put up with illegal debt collector abuse.
If you have any questions on how best to deal with a past due debt, please write to me!