Are you afraid of what a debt collectors might tell you? It’s understandable to be apprehensive when one of them calls, but don’t give into their pressure tactics. Their job is to get you to pay an overdue debt. While the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) restricts what they can do, some collectors may decide to skirt the law. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that 23 percent of the complaints they receive are about debt collectors.
The FDCPA covers the collection of:
- Credit cards
- Medical debts
- Other debts that are primarily personal, family, or household
The following statements are some of the most common falsehoods you might hear from debt collectors.
“Pay in full and we’ll remove it from your credit report.”
Unless you get this in writing from the debt collector first, don’t believe it. Once a note about “in collections” or “past due 90 days” is on your credit report, it’s staying there, usually for seven years. Negotiate for the removal from your credit report and send nothing until you get it in writing from the collector.
“Just send me a post-dated check.”
Never do this. In fact, never send a collector a check of any kind and don’t give them your debit card number. Once you do, you’ve given them banking information that they can keep on file and use again.
A post-dated check will probably be cashed upon arrival. If you send a post-dated check in anticipation of payday and it’s cashed early, your check may bounce, causing more expensive problems. Collectors have also been known to change the amounts written on checks and take more out of bank accounts than they said they would.
“We’ll garnish your wages.”
Wage garnishment is a process that only starts after a creditor sues and gets a judgment. While they can garnish your wages, it won’t be until after they’ve gone to court and won. You’ll be notified long before that happens.
Additionally, under the FDCPA, a collector can’t threaten to sue if they don’t actually intend to do so.
“I’ll have you arrested.”
The FDCPA blatantly forbids collectors from making this threat. With the exception of child support and unpaid taxes, a debt collector cannot have you arrested for not paying your bill. If a debt collector does threaten to have you arrested and jailed, get their contact information. Then you can file a claim with the state attorney general’s office or the FTC.
“I’m an attorney/investigator/government representative.”
If a collector misrepresents themselves as one of these personalities, get their contact information and state that your legal counsel will be happy to talk to them. At this point, a real attorney will need to speak with your lawyer.
Fight Unethical Debt Collectors
If you do owe a debt, a collector may tell you any number of untruths even though they know it’s illegal. Don’t let one intimidate you.
The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi works tirelessly to fight for the rights of Florida consumers. We have litigated over hundreds and hundreds of consumer cases in federal and state court and are ready to help you. Contact our office at 1-844-JIBRAEL today.