Fair debt collection and your rights as a consumer!

Even though it is 2010, millions of Americans do not know what rights they have as a debtor and live day-to-day in fear of collection agencies, creditors and scumbag attorneys that prey on the less informed.  This does not have to be.  Yes, you still have to pay your bills on time to maintain a good credit score and in some cases to get a good job.  But when you lose your job or some other tragedy occurs that knocks your finances in the toilet you still have rights and you need to read the rest of this.

First communion understands there’s a law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  This guarantees that debt collectors cannot call you at work unless you tell them that they can.  It also states they cannot harass or abuse you over the phone.  They cannot lie to you and they cannot demand that you make them payments that you cannot afford.  They also have several rules that govern the creditor and how they collect their debt.

For instance, did you know that they have to send you a notice in writing at war within five days of the time in which they first contact you about this supposedly owed debt.  You have 30 days in which to contact them and dispute the debt.  The debt collector must also tell you who the original owner of the debt is, the amount owed and what you can do if you don’t believe that the debt  is correct or that you don’t owe  the money.  You have the right to get an attorney and if you get an attorney the debt collector must contact your attorney and only your attorney and not you.

One of the biggest rights that you have is the right to send a letter demanding that the collection agency or attorney whom it is trying to collect from you cease all contact with you.  You must send this letter return receipt requested as legal proof that it was sent and delivered.  Once the collection agency or attorney received this letter they can no longer contact you.  Now that does not mean that the debt will go away if it is in fact valid.  But it does seriously hamper their collection activities.  And being that most collection agencies tend to abuse the rules and laws anyway I would advise that you do use this one if in fact it applies to you or your case.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the debt collectors were collection agency cannot threaten to harrass you, arrest you or similar.  In the United States of America, debt owed is a civil matter and not a criminal matter.  So if they threatened to put him in jail which some collection agencies still try to do today they are breaking the law and you should find an attorney to handle these matters because now they owe you money.  You have the right to sue any collection agency that breaks the rules of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and many attorneys will actually take your case on a contingency basis you don’t even pay anything – the collection agency does when they lose in court.

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Another great tip here is to be very careful when you’re on the phone with a collection agency or their associated attorneys.  They will be trying to trip you up and restart the time on your debt.  If you say anything even remotely that sounds like the debt is valid or that you’re okay with it, etc…  they may interpret that as you saying that the debt is valid and thusly restart the clock on your debt.  This is very bad as you may only have a few years left on this debt.  Or in even worse cases the debt may be too old and beyond the statute of limitations for your state.  You don’t find onerous set of debt like this.

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The best advice here is to not pick up the phone when a collection agency calls and just let it go to the answering machine.  Send out a letter immediately disputing the validity of the debt if it is not valid.  If they cannot prove the debt is valid · a letter return receipt requested stating that you wish no further contact from this collection agency or attorney.  And then debt collectors must stop and all contact with you will cease.

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