A debt collection company is a company or agency that collects payments on outstanding debts. Debt collectors work for creditors, such as banks, credit card companies, and retailers. They may also be buyers who purchase debt at a fraction of its face value with the intent of recovering the entire debt owed.
If you have defaulted on your payments or any outstanding debt, you may have received regular phone calls and letters from a collection agency trying to recover the debt.
If you are in such a situation, understanding how debt collectors work will help you know how to deal with them. We will discuss all you need to know about debt collection and the debt assistance available to you.
How Debt Collection Works
When you stop making payments, your account is sent to a debt collector, and this information shows up on your credit report as collections. Your credit score takes a hit, and you start receiving calls and letters from debt collectors. But what can you do when a debt collector contacts you?
Reputable debt collectors do not use scare tactics or intimidation to retrieve money from the past-due account. Instead, they should name the original creditor, including how much you owe them. They should also inform you that you have 30 days to dispute the debt in writing if the collection account is erroneous.
If a debt collector contacts you, you have the right to request verification of the debt. If they can’t prove that you are the defaulter, you can ask them to cease contacting you and to remove the collection from your credit report.
Debt collectors work on a commission basis, meaning they only get paid if they successfully collect payments, or they may also charge a fee for their services.
If you cannot agree with your debtor, you can use an attorney to advise you on the best action to take. Credible credit repair companies also help negotiate with debtors on your behalf and also provide financial advice regarding your debt.
What Happens if You Ignore Debt Collectors?
Debt collectors typically contact debtors by phone, email, or letter to request payment. If you do not respond to a debt collector’s request for payment, the debt collector may take legal action, such as filing a lawsuit to recover the debt. If the judgement is passed against you, a debt collection agency may seize your possession or wages to pay for the debt.
Ignoring debt collectors is also detrimental because your debt will keep growing as interest will keep piling up.
When you ignore debt collectors, you may miss validating if the debt is legitimate or not. This may harm your credit score even though the debt is erroneous.
Whether it’s legitimate or not, getting in touch with the debt collector provides more insight into the debt. If it turns out that there was an error in the collection letter, it helps prevent any late fees or penalties from being charged against your account.
N/B: If you receive a court summons regarding your debt, it is wise not to ignore it as it may be legitimate. Unscrupulous debt collectors may fabricate one. However, you should look up the court’s contact information online to confirm the accuracy of the notice. To avoid manipulation from unscrupulous debt collectors, do not use the contact information on the document you receive.
What Debt Collectors Can’t Do
If a debt collector has contacted you, you have certain rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. For example, a debt collector may not contact you at an unreasonable time or place or use abusive or threatening language.
Debt collectors can not pretend to work for a government or consumer reporting agency. They are also prohibited from publicly shaming you for your debt or collecting a debt you don’t owe.
A debt collector is forbidden from calling you before 8:00 a.m or after 9:00 p.m. If you request in writing for them to stop calling you regarding your debt, they are mandated to honor your wish and stop contacting you.
If you think a debt collector has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you can file a complaint with the FCPB.
How Can I Get a Collection Removed Without Paying?
You can remove collections from your report by disputing inaccurate information such as:
- Debt past its statute of limitations
- Someone else’s information on your report
- Incorrect data
- Paid off bills
What Questions to Ask Before Paying Off Collections?
People do many things when they find themselves in financial trouble, such as late payments, but they don’t always think through the consequences of their actions. Before you pay off collections, you should ask yourself these questions:
- Has the statute of limitations expired?
- Should I pay the debt?
- Is the debt truly mine?
- Can the debt be deleted from the credit report?
Our Key Takeaway
You are required to pay your debts on time to have a good credit score. However, if you are late on payments, debt collectors will try to collect the money owed to them. You will receive lots of calls and letters as they try to collect a debt. If you feel they are harassing you, you can write and ask them to stop contacting you or file a complaint. Here at Ascent Network, we help you manage your debts and remove collections from your report to maintain a good credit score.
A more positive outlook toward a more financially secure future starts today. Give the Ascent Network a call today at 1-877-871-2400. Ascent Network helps consumers all over the United States, and it is available locally in Huntington Beach, CA, Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, and Thousand Palms.