A Debt Collection agency is a business specialised in collecting money for various organisations if you have failed to pay back your debt after a certain period of time. They are known for making numerous calls at your home and work and using force to collect money. The best way to avoid all this is to ensure you pay back your debt on time however financial difficulties doesn’t always make this possible. If you find yourself overly harassed by an agency, don’t panic. There are many rights and options being a consumer.
Wait before paying
Collections agencies will either contact you over the phone or via mail. Either way, you should not pay any money straight away. The collection agency is legally required to take several steps to confirm that you owe them money before you’re compelled to pay. There have been many scams where cons pose as debt collectors and threaten you into paying them money. So don’t pay anything before going through more steps to make sure that you legitimately owe the agency money. Control your finances.
Get the agency’s data.
It is extremely vital that you keep track of all your contacts with the organization. If by any chance you end up in court, you’ll have plenty of information to help you out.
- If you receive a phone call, ask for the agency’s name, the name of the person speaking to you, and the amount you owe.
- Make copies of any letters the agency sends you in the mail and keep them all together in a file. Also keep copies of anything you send to them.
- Try and save any voice mails or phone messages from them.
- According to the law, collectors must reveal their identity to you. If the person who contacted does not reveal the information you’ve requested, they may not be who they say they are and you don’t have to do anything until their identity is proven to be legitimate.
Demand all information in writing.
Within a week of first contacting you, the collection agency is required to send you a proof of the money owing. This letter should include the amount and the name of the original creditor.
- If the agency contacts you over the phone, refuse to talk further until you’ve received this verification. If the agency initially contacts you with a letter, write back and insist you need more information.
Plan what to say.
Talking to a debt collection agency can be a stressful experience. If you have any trouble remembering this information, it is a good idea to write it down and keep it in front of you while you talk to them. It is always better to say less till you get the whole idea.
Stop all communication until you receive proof of your debt.
After you request written proof of your debt, end the phone call. The collector might try and threaten you however legally he has no right to do so. If the collector does not send anything in writing, then their claim is not valid.
Know the law regarding dealing with collection agencies.
It is a good idea to know the laws when dealing with collection agencies. There are certain rules and regulations they must abide by to get you to pay your debt. There are several things they can’t do to get someone to pay off their debt. Ensure you are familiar with these policies so you are able to deal with them better. This can help you to act accordingly when you find yourself threatened or violated in any way. Actions that are considered unlawful are:
- Calling you at inconvenient times such at 6 am in the morning or 10 pm at night unless you’ve agreed to it
- Using abusive or threatening language in order to get you to pay.
- Contacting you at work after you have asked them to stop.
- Accusing you of committing an offense.
- Threatening your family members or to take your property without being lawful.