In these hard economic times there are thousands of people being harassed by debt collectors. Many times people will ignore the calls, or letters, or
simply get used to it.
This doesn't have to happen if you know what to do. Who they are, and how to make your life easier.
Many people are unaware that this is one of the few things that law is on your
side about. When people are hurting financially there are always
people out there that look to feed off of you.
One of the simplest things to do, if you dont want to go through the more detailed steps, is let the debt collector know that you can only pay a
certain amount. There is room for haggling in this area. There primary objective is to get money... even if its not the full amount.
Ever wonder why you see commercials where the IRS will lower your payments by thousands, well thats because they rather get some.. then none. Its
easier to settle the debt, then to go through hours of paperwork.
Now for those that want to fight the charges, then the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act debt VERIFICATION is your friend. Many are unaware
that debt collectors have to follow rules, and many of the break them, because they figure you know no better. But come back with valid information,
and you can stop them in their tracks!!
You have full rights to dispute your debt. Many collection agencies will add extra charges to your bill, so if you know you owe $100.00 but when they
call its $150.00, this is ILLEGAL!!
Many people today are able to get their credit scores easily. If you dont want to do it electronically, you can go to any store, and apply for credit.
Of course if you know you have bad credit, they will inform you through the mail why you cannot get it. It will also give you a number or address to
get full information.
This is a great starting point. Call or send a letter requesting the info, and its free, and look over all charges. Many of them will surprise you.
You may see added charges, or things you dont even remember doing.
If this is the case, you can contact those agencies and dispute the charges, or course do this through certified mail, and in writing. When they
receive this letter, and you will know when as it is through certified mail, they can longer call or hound you about it.
This letter can be of full dispute of all charges, partial charges, and of course the most important the "ORIGINAL" creditor's debt, and NOT the
debt collector. Again you can give them 30 days in writing, to give you this information.
Here is the bonus, they cannot call you to verify, and they cannot send you a computer printout of the charges! It has to be in writing, and within
the 30 days.
If this is NOT sent to you within the allotted time. You have the right to call the credit agency, send them a letter detailing the effort you went
through for the validation of the debt, with a copy of the certified letter, and the fact that it has been 30 days or more, and you have not received
The agency that originally went through the process can no longer ask for the debt, and they have to remove it from your credit report!! If this does
not happen you can let them know that you will then file a complaint with the FCC, and they can be fined for illegal practices.
Here is a sample of the debt verification letter.
City, State Zip
Debt Collector’s Name
City, State Zip
Re: Account Number
Dear Debt Collector:
This letter is sent in response to received by you on . I am requesting that you provide validation of this debt.
If you do not comply with this request, I will immediately file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the [your state here] Attorney
General’s office. Civil and criminal claims will be pursued.
Here are a few links that may help as well.
I am NOT a lawyer! I am a researcher, as well as you should be concerning the above information!!
Cease and Desist Letter Template For Debt Collectors
What's the Statute of Limitations On Debt
Debt Collection FAQs: A Guide for Consumers