What can a debt collector not do?
A debt collector is also not allowed to harass, oppress, or abuse you or anyone else they contact. This includes repetitious phone calls with the intent to harass, use of obscene or profane language, and threats of violence or harm.
The FDCPA spells out several things debt collectors are prohibited from doing. For example, they cannot call you before 8 AM or after 9 PM or call you multiple times a day. In addition, they are not to call you at work without your permission.
Debt collectors cannot harass or abuse you. They cannot swear, threaten to illegally harm you or your property, threaten you with illegal actions, or falsely threaten you with actions they do not intend to take. They also cannot make repeated calls over a short period to annoy or harass you.
If you are struggling with debt and debt collectors, Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can help. As soon as you use the 11-word phrase “please cease and desist all calls and contact with me immediately” to stop the harassment, call us for a free consultation about what you can do to resolve your debt problems for good.
While debt collectors can't threaten you or mislead you, they can apply pressure to collect payment. This pressure can include daily calls, frequent letters, or talk about pursuing a lawsuit for payment on the debt — as long as they stay within the bounds of the law.
- Check Your Credit Report. ...
- Make Sure the Debt Is Valid. ...
- Know the Statute of Limitations. ...
- Consider Negotiating. ...
- Try to Make the Payments You Owe. ...
- Send a Cease and Desist Letter.
You cannot remove collections from your credit report without paying if the information is accurate, but a collection account will fall off your credit report after 7 years whether you pay the balance or not.
What is the 777 rule with debt collectors? The “777 Rule” states that debt collectors may attempt to contact a consumer about a single debt up to seven times in seven days. Phone numbers do not matter; it's the number of debts that matters.
By paying the collection agency directly, the notification of the debt could stay on your credit report longer than if you attempt to use another option, like filing for bankruptcy. When institutions check your credit report and see this information on it, it may harm your ability to obtain loans.
Don't provide personal or sensitive financial information
Never give out or confirm personal or sensitive financial information – such as your bank account, credit card, or full Social Security number – unless you know the company or person you are talking with is a real debt collector.
Can you tell a debt collector to stop contacting you?
If you want a debt collector to stop contacting you, the FDCPA gives you the right to make that happen. Putting your request in writing, via a cease-and-desist letter, is an easy and effective option to stop the communication.
Ignoring a debt collector isn't always a good strategy. You should call a debt collector back in these two instances: Find out if the debt is legitimate. If you don't recognize the debt or aren't sure its amount is correct, write to the debt collection agency and dispute it.
The 609 dispute letter is often referred to as the “legal loophole”, or the “credit repair secret' and can be useful in different situations. Apart from correcting your credit report, the 609 letter could be what you need to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
In most cases, the statute of limitations for a debt will have passed after 10 years. This means a debt collector may still attempt to pursue it (and you technically do still owe it), but they can't typically take legal action against you.
Let's Summarize... If you're facing debt collection, it's important to understand how the process works and what options you have. If you ignore a debt in collections, you can be sued and have your bank account or wages garnished or may even lose property like your home. You'll also hurt your credit score.
If the debt collectors have a court order that approves them to access your bank account, there's not much you can do to hide from them. You can however avoid making it easy for them to access your bank account if they don't have a court order.
There are federal protections to prohibit harassment or abusive communications by a debt collector. Ignoring or avoiding a debt collector, though, is unlikely to make the debt collector stop contacting you. They may find other ways to contact you, including filing a lawsuit.
Once you receive the validation information or notice from the debt collector during or after your initial communication with them, you have 30 days to dispute all or part of the debt, if you don't believe that you owe it. If you receive a validation notice, the end date of the 30-day period will be specified.
Once you get the validation information, if you still don't recognize a debt, or don't think the debt is yours, send the debt collector a dispute letter. Say you don't owe some or all of the money, and ask for verification of the debt. Make sure to send the dispute letter within 30 days.
If you don't pay a debt collector or collection agency, you'll likely face increasing efforts to collect the debt via phone calls, letters, or even social media contact. Not paying a debt in collections will also hurt your credit score. If you don't pay, the collection agency can sue you to try to collect the debt.
Is it true that after 7 years your credit is clear?
Generally speaking, negative information such as late or missed payments, accounts that have been sent to collection agencies, accounts not being paid as agreed, or bankruptcies stays on credit reports for approximately seven years.
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), negative items can appear on your credit report for up to 7 years (and possibly more). These include items such as debt collections and late payments. The time frame begins from the original date of the delinquency (the date of the missed payment).
Offer a Lump-Sum Settlement
Some want 75%–80% of what you owe. Others will take 50%, while others might settle for one-third or less. If you can afford it, proposing a lump-sum settlement is generally the best option—and the one most collectors will readily agree to.
Paying is often a good idea, not only because you presumably owe the debt they're seeking or even because it will get the bill collectors off your back. There's a chance, if no guarantee, that paying off an account in collections could benefit your credit score.
If you spot wrong account numbers, mismarked payments, or unfamiliar accounts, dispute away. Include solid evidence like bank statements proving the errors.