When a debt has been left unpaid for a long time, creditors will usually pass on their duty to collect to an independent debt collection agency. However, there are debt collection agencies that violate consumer rights as stipulated in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If you are in a similar situation, below are smart tips for you:
1. Try to negotiate with your original creditor. As much as possible, negotiate with your original creditor before your creditor assigns a debt collection agency. It will be more difficult to come up with a negotiation with a third-party debt collector since they make money through collection.
2. Know your consumer rights. Read the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and if you think your debt collector is guilty of a violation, you can file a complaint to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and the Attorney General’s Office in your State.
3. Face up to the challenges. The FDCPA states that a debt collector must first notify the borrower about the arrangement prior to debt collection. When you receive the notice, review the details of your debts to make sure that you are not being made to pay for more than the amount you owe. As a borrower, it is your right to request for verification of your debts by sending a credit dispute letter to the debt collection agency. Upon receiving your letter, the agency must cease all its attempts to collect debts until the investigation has been completed.
4. Seek help from an attorney. If you receive a notice of lawsuit, hire an attorney to represent you to make sure that your consumer rights will be protected.
5. Keep copies of correspondence. See to it that you keep all records of your correspondence with your creditors and debt collectors in a safe place for your future reference.
6. Seek professional credit counselling. Some consumers may dislike the idea of seeking credit counselling but in extreme situations, the best thing to do is get help. You can find a trusted a credit counselling agency by checking with the National Foundation for Credit Counselling and the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counselling Agencies.
7. Do not give banking details. Never give out your personal bank details to debt collectors. Instead, send in your payments through a third-party payment service or money order system.
8. Record conversations. To protect yourself against harassment or threats, record phone conversations with your collector. In some States, you will need to inform the other party that the conversation is being taped. In any case, informing your debt collector that you will be recording the conversation will surely discourage abusive harassment.
About the Author:
Suzy Vanstrusen is a credit analyst and a writer on the website EZCreditRepairSolutions.com. 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