Even though the economy seems to be rising, there are still plenty of Americans who are struggling with debt. A recent study by the Urban Institute found that around 35% of Americans are having debt reported to a collection agency. For those who find they are one of these people, there are several techniques in which they can use in order to deal with the debt they are facing.1. Do not let your emotions get the best of youWhen a collection agency calls you, they are going to do whatever they can do in order to get you to agree to pay the debt, so much so that they will offer to take the payment over the phone. By law, these collection agencies have to send a letter in the mail explaining the debt within 5 days of contacting you via phone. Always wait until you have a letter, thus keep the phone call short and do not agree to anything.2. Check the debt, is it yours?The Federal Trade Commission did a study and found that 1 in 20 customers have errors on their credit report, and of these errors they are usually due to a debt collection agency putting this on the person. Check your credit reports to find out if the debt that is being collected or not is yours.3. Have the debt verifiedIf you know the debt is false, send a certified letter to the creditor explaining this and showing your proof. Also send this letter to the three credit bureaus. If you are still unsure as if the debt is yours or not, then ask the collection agency to verify this debt in writing, which will take a while and cease collection calls. By law, collection calls cannot continue when you ask for verification of the debt.4. Do not fall victim to the scare tactics the collection agencies use!There are tons of tricks that collection agencies try to use in order to get you to pay the debt, but do not fall victim to these tricks. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that these agencies cannot use language that is offensive, threaten to take property or garnish wages, call before 8 am or after 9 pm, or call your place of business if you asked them not to. In addition, they are not to give your information to a third party in an attempt to collect the debt. If this does happen, you need to report the agency to the FTC, and consider hiring an attorney to handle the process.5. Watch the fees of the collection agencyMost collection agencies charge a fee for their service, but you need to watch out as there are times in which these fees are astronomical. Check your charged off balance from the original creditor and figure the difference. There are laws in place to cap just how much these agencies can make on their dealings. If you find the fee is too much, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who may be able to help with the issue.6. Always negotiateIf you cannot afford to pay the debt in full, offer a payment plan or a different amount in full. If the collection agency agrees to this, be sure to get this in writing before paying anything.7. Consider an attorneyIf the collection agency states they are taking you to court, then hire an attorney. Most collection agencies cease the lawsuit since they do not want to deal with the court hearing and go up against someone with an attorney.8. There are time limits on debtsMost states carry a time limit for how long a collection agency can try to take you to court or even contact you. Most states are three to six years. After the debt has passed this time frame, the collection agency cannot take you to court. You will have to check with each individual state to see what the limitations are, and if certain debt has different limitations.9. Watch yourself when you believe you are doing right by paying on the debtYou can extend the limitations on any debt by making a payment or even saying that the debt is yours, even if the statue of limitations is in effect. So be careful how you speak and what payments you are makingIf you are being harassed over a debt, you may be entitled to money damages. Get up to $1,000 for harassment, and $500-$1,500 for illegal robocalls. Under various state and federal laws, we will help you based on a fee-shift provision and/or based on a contingency fee. That means, the collector pays your attorney’s fees and costs. You won’t pay us a penny. We have settled thousands of debt collection harassment cases. Let us help you today. Contact Agruss Law Firm at 888-572-0176 to stop the harassment once and for all.
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Complaints & Comments
Complaint filed by: Melesa
almost 3 years
I was using Persels and Associates for Settlement Negotiations and an offer was accepted with your firm on 5.25.2013, Negotiated Settlement $10,910, 47 payments. Persels has not deducted my December payment and when I call their number, it has been disconnected. I have not gotten any notice, but fear they have gone out of business and I do not want this to effect the settlement, can you please advise? Thank you in advance.
Complaint filed by: Heather
almost 3 years
Saying I owe $91 to library and I haven't had a library card since I was 10 and returned all my books that I know about then so I don't know if somebody used my name or number or what
Complaint filed by: Felisha
almost 4 years
they keep calling me and I keep cursing them out and they asking me for my social security number and personal information
Complaint filed by: Jeffrey
almost 4 years
Hello, I've been getting calls to my work number from one of these associated phone numbers. They don't leave voicemail and when I call them back I just get a voicemail box. I don't know what debt they're attempting to collect or anything of that sort. However I'd like to head off any harassing calls at work if I can, especially considering I've only had this job for a few months and don't want to lose it after a year of unemployment!