Anyone who has had a bill go to collections or get behind on a credit card knows how stressful it can be to have to handle debt collectors. Most of us don’t really know our rights or how to handle these people and, at the same time, the person on the other end is simply trying to collect a debt that is legitimately owed to someone. This can make answering your phone and opening the mail an incredibly stressful experience, but Freedom Debt Relief is here with helpful advice on how to best manage debt collectors so as to get the best outcome and as little stress as possible.
One of the biggest problems with consumers and debt collection is that consumers often do not understand what their rights are and what a debt collector can and cannot do.
There is, sadly, far too often, inappropriate behavior reported from debt collection agencies and this behavior should always be reported. As Freedom Debt Relief notes, a debt collection agency must always reveal the name of the organization they work for and abusive behavior and aggressive language are not tolerated and can be punishable.
Freedom Debt Relief also notes that any of the following are inappropriate, illegal, or otherwise not allowed and should be reported to the FTC for a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. These include:
– Threats of arrest
– Idle threats about punitive action
– Cannot share your private information with other agencies
It is also more than reasonable, notes Freedom Debt Relief, to ask for information that will allow you verify the legitimacy of the organization trying to collect the debt from you. This means that you have the right to the name of the person or individual who is collecting the debt as well as the name of the organization they work for. You can use this information to do some online research to find out if they are verified by the Better Business Bureau or other such institution.
It is also required, by law, that a debt collection agency provide you with written documentation about the debt they are attempting to collect from you. Freedom Debt Relief recommends that you verify the debt and the organization attempting to collect it before you give any personal information and especially before giving away any of your financial information. It is also important not to ignore a debt collector as this can lead to increasing contact in relation to said debt, as well as further action in an attempt to collect on the debt.
Check for Errors and Contest Them
Credit reporting isn’t perfect and there is always the ubiquitous threat of identity theft, which can lead to errors or debts that are not yours ending up on your credit report. It is important to verify the veracity of any claims on debts to ensure that there are no errors in the reporting of said debt and also that you have not been the victim of identity theft.
While Freedom Debt Relief understands that dealing with a debt collector is intimidating and confusing, it isn’t something that you should avoid. Knowing what your rights are, you are armed with the information and tools you need to ensure that a debt collector does not take advantage of you or engage in a behavior that is inappropriate. Be sure that you verify any debts people may claim you owe, and also verify any company that is attempting to collect on an alleged debt. This will help ensure that you are treated within the bounds of the law and that you are not unduly harassed while trying to get your credit back in order.