If you owe money and you’re late on the payment, you might receive a phone call from a debt collector. You can answer the phone and professionally talk to the collector to try to buy some time to clear out the debt or to make a payment plan. However, there are some illegal tactics that debt collection agencies sometimes use, which you might want to keep in mind.
Asking for Money Back That You Don’t Owe
One of the common examples of illegal debt collection violations is trying to convince you to pay off a debt that you don’t even owe. You should know which entities and people you owe money to, and if someone calls you about a payment that you know for sure that you aren’t responsible for, you shouldn’t be required to make a payment.
You can seek assistance from an attorney in this situation to ask for proof of the bill in question if the collector isn’t willing to give you a proof after you ask for it on your own accord.
There are a few reasons as to why a debt collector could assume that you do owe money for something that you know you don’t owe:
- Someone else has a similar or the same name.
- The bill has already been paid.
- You’ve dealt with the bill during a bankruptcy hearing.
The debt collector needs to include certain details in a letter that is sent to you about any debts that you do owe. These details include the name of the business and the creditor’s name, the amount of the debt that you owe, any interest that is included, and ways that you can dispute the collection efforts or the debt.
The letter you receive needs to include the name of the business you owe money to instead of merely listing a person’s name. If these details are not listed, then you can dispute the claim or contact the business listed to determine if the letter is legitimate.
Aggressive in Nature
When a debt collector contacts you, it should be in a professional manner. Most of the time, a collector will only say what the creditor requires them to tell you before getting off the phone or before you hang up on them. There are things that the collector isn’t allowed to say, and if the collector stretches beyond these boundaries, then you can seek legal counsel. Some of these boundaries include calling outside business hours, calling excessively during the day, calling your employer, or making threatening statements.
There is usually a statute of limitations that is attached to most debts. If this period has passed, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about regarding the debt you owe. The debt collection agency can’t seek legal action after the statute of limitations has expired, which is why it’s vital to seek legal counsel if you feel that you’re being threatened in any way by a debt collector.
Sometimes, the clock starts ticking when the debt defaults instead of when you receive a notice about being late on the payments. This detail is critical to keep in mind because the date of default is usually much earlier than the letter’s date.
Lies and More Lies
Debt collectors do lie to people to get the money back. Some collectors claim to work for businesses and don’t work for anyone but themselves. They are merely trying to make extra money by lying about claims and are trying to reach as many people as possible to see who will fall into their trap.