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Anyone who has or is receiving calls from debt collectors knows how unpleasant and stressful they can be. The people who call often do whatever they can to get money from you. They can be verbally abusive and intimidating. They also sometimes lie and even break the law.

There are limits under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act to what debt collectors can legally say and do. However, that doesn’t mean they all adhere to the law. One personal finance expert lists some lies that debt collectors use to extract payment.

Some say that they can tell your friends, family members and/or employer about your debt. They cannot disclose specific information about your debts to anyone. Further, if they are calling you at work, if you tell them that you are not allowed to receive calls while on the job, they are supposed to stop.

A frightening lie that some collectors use is telling people that if they don’t pay their debt, they will be taken to court. If the collector has no grounds or intention to do so, it is illegal for him or her to make that threat.

Often, collectors do what they can to get a check from you. If they say that they will fix your credit report if you send a check, beware. If your debts have gotten to the point where collection agencies are calling you, there is probably no way to repair your credit score quickly. If someone promises that, ask to get it in writing.

Speaking of checks, some collectors will ask you to send a post-dated check. Overdue debts should not be made with a regular check, post-dated or not. This can give the collector access to your account. Further, they can change the amount on the check. Whenever you make a payment, send it through the mail using a certified check or money order and get a return receipt. Do not give your bank account information over the phone.

People facing an overwhelming amount of debt may have feelings of guilt and shame. However, it happens to a lot of people at one time or another in their lives. It is important to remember that you have rights and to know what those rights are under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.

It may be worth exploring the option of bankruptcy. Florida bankruptcy attorneys can review your situation and advise you on whether that is the best option for your situation.

Source: EBONY.com, “Beware These 5 Debt Collector Lies” Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, Sep. 25, 2014