It is a nightmare to be contacted by a collections agency. No one likes to be harassed. Continuous disturbing phone calls are asking for the payment of bills you can’t afford. Calls to your friends and family become embarrassing and stressful.
To deal with debt collection agencies is not a piece of cake. You should be aware of your legal rights while dealing with them. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) restricts them from using abusive or deceptive tactics to collect a debt. Strict rules and regulations are made by US government about what they can and cannot do to collect a debt.
- The FDCPA gives you the right to debt validation. You can ask for the information about your account, its balances and its responsibility to the creditor.
- Collection agencies cannot harass you by continuous calling or publishing debtors list in public. They cannot threaten you to get you arrested or annoy you by calling often. These are not their legal rights.
- Never answer the debt collectors by phone. Politely ask them to contact them in writing as per the legal laws. As they still continue to call, send them a cease and deceit letter.
- During debt validation, do not negotiate or pay them. Make sure that the debt validation process is over before paying for them.
- Do not apply to new lines of credit. If you have a pending debt, it is considered fraudulent to apply for new credit because you are not able to pay your current debts.
- They may be annoying, but you should not ignore them. By ignoring them, you give them a chance to file a suit against you.
- You can file a complaint against the collections agency with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with the appropriate proof.
- Try to negotiate and stand firm. Don’t forget to get the details of the deal in writing.
Another strategy is a payment for deletion deal. You make the full payment of the debt and ask them to erase your collection account from your credit report. The collections agency will directly contact the credit bureau to remove your account.
You should not be afraid of the collections agency. Just stay firm and know your rights. Follow these tips and try to always maintain your credit score.