No one feels good about a debt collector breathing down their necks, but it happens. If you are lagging behind on your bills, it should not be surprising when you hear from a collection agency. If you do get a call from any such agency, it is better to get them off of your back as soon as possible. But in the meantime, while they are dialing you up every other day, there are likely some important facts they haven't told you. This article will disclose some of these undisclosed facts that everybody dealing with a business collection agency should know. The following facts have been provided Claire Johnson, a personal finance lawyer:
You are not obligated to communicate with a collection agency:
A business collection agency does not have the right to harass you with their collection calls. However, it is advised not to ignore the initial calls, or any summons from the court. If you report a dispute, regarding the debt or a part of it, within 30 days of getting the first call, the collection agency does not have the right to communicate with you until that dispute is sorted out. You are also entitled to collect information about your actual creditor. In such cases the collection agency cannot send you reminders until you have been given your requested information.
In case the business debt collector harasses you further before any investigation regarding the debt is left pending at the court, you can file a complaint against them with the attorney general’s office of your state.
Private disclosures are not required:
Even the best collection agency is not authorized to avail personal information like your date of birth, Social Security Number, etc. Although most of them may ask for these in pretense of debt verification, they are absolutely not needed.
The collected debts are not written off from your credit history immediately:
No commercial collection agency will let you know that the debt that you have cleared will be written off your credit reports. In fact, they can stay for as long as seven years, even after clearing. So while clearing your debt, make sure to negotiate with the business collection agency to get the debt removed from your credit report. Also keep a written proof of this negotiation.
The time-lapse may have you off the hook:
Find out your state’s statute of limitations. If your debt is longer than the specified amount of time it may have been written off as bad debt. That does not mean that you are not meant to repay the loan, but it means legal procedures for collecting it is reduced considerably. You need to ask the business collecting agency, employed to collect it, whether the debt is time barred.
Find out whether the original creditor is willing to negotiate:
Often the original creditors are open and willing to negotiate with a debt, and that makes things easier. Find out the name and address of your original creditor from the commercial collection agency that contacted you. They are bound to give this information. Once you get the data, find out whether the creditors have sold it off to the third-party debt collectors or are still open for direct negotiation.
You can report any kind of misdemeanor from the business collection agency:
Calling at odd hours, shouting profanities over the telephone, threatening is not the way the best collection agency is supposed to work. You can stop taking these calls and report such acts to the Federal Trade Commission and sue the collection agency for it.
Getting continuous calls from commercial collection agency for any shortfall in the past can be stressful. Communicating with the original creditors or the business collection agency and getting things settled and written off is the best way to move on, freely.
Guest Author: Claire Johnson, a personal finance lawyer, knows how even the best collection agency works. She shares some of her knowledge to get the debtors aware of their stance and questions to be asked while facing any business collection agency.