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Getting behind on your bills is easy and happens to many American families. When it does, there is bound to be some communication from the creditor in attempt to collect on the debt. Sometimes the communication is expected because we either knew we were behind or are late. But, when creditor contact is unexpected and the debt they say you owe is not yours, there are certain steps you should take right away.

Consider contacting the creditor directly. Many times there are safety measures credit card companies and other debtors have in place to help consumers in cases of identity theft and fraud. If the debt balance has been sent to a collection agency, consider contacting them. Sometimes a debtor will provide the collection agency with important information about the debt that is not readily available to consumers.

If looking into the debt on your own has not helped, consider asking for a verification of the debt. The creditor has to send the basic information of the debt including the name of the creditor and the amount of the debt. Consumers should ask for a verification of the debt as soon as possible, within 30 days of the contact. Once you have asked for a debt to be verified, the creditor must stop communication with you until they have provided it.

If you have received verification of the debt, and still believe it not to be valid, it may be time to contact a skilled debt collections attorney. With their help, you may be able to get the debt sorted out and end the harassing creditor calls.