Debt is manageable, but it can quickly turn into a crushing burden if it is not carefully controlled. If you are being stalked by debt collectors, you have rights. The Fair Debt Collections Act (FDCA) enumerates a series of rights that protect consumers from predatory debt collectors. This post will go over some helpful tips to deal with debt collectors.
First, the FDCP guarantees you the right to get information about the debt collection in writing. The debt collector, within five days of contacting you, must send you written notice containing the following information:
- The amount that you owe;
- The name of the creditor; and
- What actions you can take if you believe you do not owe the money.
Therefore, if a debt collector calls you, you can respectfully ask that they send you the information in writing.
Second, you are permitted to dispute the debt in writing. Within 30 days of receiving notice by mail, you may send in a letter stating that you do not owe the debt. You must send the letter by certified mail. Upon receiving your letter, no debt collector is permitted to contact you until the creditor supplies you with proof supporting why you owe the debt. Additionally, keep copies of all letters as part of your record.
You should also keep copies of all phone calls and messages. Note the date, time, duration, whom you speak with, and the content of the conversation. Debt collectors often lose paperwork or ignore the rules, so these records may become critical in protecting your rights.
If you are the victim of predatory debt collections, then you may want to contact a lawyer for assistance. While the FDCA enumerates your rights, only you (or your lawyer) can ensure that the debt collectors respect your rights. You don’t need to face these unscrupulous protections alone; an attorney can protect you.