If you are among the millions of Americans currently in debt, you may be growing weary of receiving collection calls. In a last-ditch effort to collect on debt, banks, creditors, and lenders can sell debt to debt buyers for just pennies on the dollar, or hire a third party collection agency to try to collect on their behalf. These buyers and collection agencies are often ruthless in their attempts to take money from consumers; phones may ring off the hook and sometimes, even threats and intimidation are used.
Do not be discouraged by the overall stress of dealing with collection calls. We have 3 important tips about what NOT to do when taking these calls so that you may better control the situation. In addition, you should always speak with a knowledgeable consumer law attorney should you have concerns about your rights or the actions of the creditors and collectors coming after your debt.
Disclose Financial Information
Even if you get the old “we want to help you qualify for a lower payment,” run around, do not surrender your personal financial data to a debt collector. This includes giving bank account numbers, your social security number, or any discussion about your current financial state, including any property you may own. A rule of thumb: do not give out any sensitive information you would not want an identity thief to have; this information may be used to collect from you if the collector or creditor receives a judgment against you.
Make a “Good Faith Payment”
Consumers should avoid making any kind of payment that is not part of a settlement agreement. This payment will not make the harassing phone calls stop; it will not prevent you from being sued, nor will it protect your credit score from further damage. What it could do instead is extend the statute of limitations, or the time frame the collection agency can legally sue you over a debt.
Admit to the Debt
Oftentimes, after a debt leaves a creditor, the real ownership of the debt is unknown. Regardless of whether or not you owe the debt, do not admit it belongs to you. Hire a debt collection attorney to help you resolve the situation and get collectors off your back. Two federal laws — the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act — provide several protections to consumers like you and restrict many actions these collectors can take. It is possible that the collectors contacting you are breaking the provisions put forth by these laws.
One “do” when dealing with collection letters and calls is to first contact an experienced debt collection and harassment attorney in South Florida to review your case. Jibrael S. Hindi and his team of experienced consumer law attorneys in Fort Lauderdale will review your case for free. You do not pay a dime until they win your case! Call 1-(844)-JIBRAEL to get started.