What you need to know when dealing with a debt collector
What Debt Collector’s Won’t Tell You
The less you know your rights, the greater a debt collector’s advantage is over you. A recent article on MSN Money by Gerri Detweiler of Credit.com outlines the most common omissions of debt collectors. Here is what you need to know:
1. Debt collector threats are usually just talk. For instance, a debt collector may threaten to put you down for ‘refusal to pay’. This is a meaningless phrase. Or they try to put the pressure on with deadlines, creating a false sense of urgency. In fact, settlement offers tend to improve over the typical 3 month collection cycle.
2. Debt collectors can’t call you at work if you inform them not to. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, once you tell a collector to stop calling you at work, they have to comply or they are in clear violation of the law.
3. Collectors may not disclose your debt to others. Debt collectors are not allowed to discuss your debt with anyone other than you, your spouse, a co-signer or your attorney.
4. Collectors may not collect on debt that is too old. If your debt is past the statute of limitations (generally 6 years in Michigan, from the date you last made a payment), the debt is a stale and is no longer enforceable.
5. Threatening action collectors don’t intend to take is illegal. Debt collectors have to sue you before they can go after any property of yours including garnishing wages. It is common for collectors to threaten lawsuits, garnishment or to impersonate law enforcement. Its common and its illegal, entitling you to sue the debt collector.
6. Paying off the debt will help your credit score. This is blatantly false, as under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a collection account will remain on your credit report for 7 years, 6 months from the date you fell behind with the creditor. Collection accounts are negative, whether paid or not.
The Good News: Knowledge is power, and knowing your federally protect rights can make all the difference in the world. You should also know that The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA allows consumers to hire lawyers who can sue debt collectors for violating the law. These lawsuits cost you nothing.
We beat debt collectors that harass and intimidate consumers, and we do it all for FREE. We stop the harassing calls immediately and get you paid for damages. The consumer walks away with a measure of justice and a check from the debt collector.
If you have been victimized by a debt collector or have items on your credit report that are incorrect, call or email Attorney Gary Nitzkin for a free consultation at (888) 293-2882. For more information about your credit rights as a consumer, visit our blog at www.micreditlawyer.com/blog. Visit our website at www.micreditlawyer.com for informative, how to videos on consumer financial protection.