Dealing with Debt Collectors Firmly

Have you received a call and written notices from a debt collection agency informing you that it will take over the collection of your debts from another creditor? Yes, creditors usually pass on delinquent accounts to a debt collection agency.

Nonetheless, some agencies are known to violate the provisions of the Fair Debt Collections Act, treating borrowers in an offensive, forceful manner. Some debt collectors may even use threats in order to force payment. When confronted with this situation, what can you do?

Remain calm. When you first receive a call from a debt collection agency, remain calm. Do not make excuses about your debts or deny that you owe anything. Instead, listen carefully to what the collector is saying.

Ask the name of the caller, the debt collection agency he/she represents, and the original creditor that it claims to be collecting debts from. Write down all these information, including the date and time of the call.

Tell the collector that you want to request an official debt collection letter from the agency with all the details of your debts so you can validate the information. Politely end the call and wait for the written notice. In case you receive another call from the same agency, simply inform them that you are waiting for the written notice to arrive.

Know the details of your debts. As you wait for the letter from the debt collection agency, start doing some investigation on your own. Order a copy of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus so you can evaluate all your accounts.

In case you find error in any account such as paid charges still appear in your report as unpaid or unauthorized transactions, send a dispute letter to the credit bureau that issued your report right away. In your letter, enclose photocopies (NOT ORIGINALS) of receipts or documents that support your claim. The bureau will conduct a 30-day investigation on your complaint then you will be informed about the result. If your dispute is valid, you will also be sent an updated copy of your credit report for free.

When the debt collection letter arrives, compare the details of your debts with the information in your credit report. If the debt collector’s information is inaccurate, send a dispute letter to the debt collection agency. Upon receipt of your dispute letter, the agency must seize its attempts to contact you until the errors have been corrected.

Do not ignore debt collection. If the details of your debts are correct, then you have the responsibility to pay them. Instead of not answering calls, inform your debt collector that your current situation prevents you from sending payment but that you will pay as soon as you have the money. Then, end the call politely.

Always jot down the date and time of the call, the person you have spoken to, and the details of the conversation. You may also record the telephone conversation for your reference. If the caller becomes abusive in any way, send the agency a letter, quoting your consumer rights according to the FDCPA and tell them to stop all its attempts to contact you again. The agency must stop the collection but you still have the obligation to pay for your debts.


About the Author:

Suzy Vanstrusen is a credit analyst and a writer on the website She has been providing consumers with tips and wise information about credit repair as well as helping you out more with your bad credit loans.  Copyright © 2010

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