If you’ve found yourself in the stressful position of getting contacted by debt collection companies, take a look at these tips. They may help you minimize or eliminate the issue altogether.
First, make sure that the debt collector is actually looking for you and not someone else. This may sound like a no brainer but it could save your some aggravation. The collector may be calling you to find out the location of another person or you may have the same name as the person they’re looking for. If it’s a case of mistaken identity or the wrong phone number, you should be able to stop the calls immediately.
Second, if the debt collection agency is actually looking for you, don’t play ostrich and bury your head in the sand. You may lose certain rights just by doing nothing. For example, the Federal Fair Debt Collections and Practices Act (FDCPA) requires that a debt collection company send you a written request for verification of a debt. If the debt you are getting called about has been paid or was the result of identity theft, ignoring the opportunity to dispute the debt could negatively affect your credit score.
Next, keep copies and records of your communications with debt collectors. Although there are some respectable debt collection companies out there (remember, anything is possible), you should assume the worst when dealing with a collector. You may find yourself having to tell your side of the story to a lawyer or judge and your records could be the difference in getting a successful outcome. You should keep all written communications, including the envelopes, received from a debt collector. You should also keep notes regarding all phone communications. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just write down the who, what, when and where.
These are just a few tips among many that you can employ when dealing with a debt collection company. You should find out your rights by talking to a lawyer. Most consumer protection attorneys, like the ones at Hinkle Law, will offer a free consultation.