When struggling with debt, dealing with a collector is the last thing you want to think about. Collectors use tactics that can range from annoying to aggressive or in some cases, illegal. It’s important to know how to handle the situation so you can determine the best course of action and know your rights.
The first thing you should do is determine the best course of action. Just like you wouldn’t sign something without knowing the fine print, don’t immediately rush to make payment when a collector contacts you. Making even a partial payment on the debt means you have acknowledged the debt and this can have major consequences. If the debt has gone beyond the statute of limitations, making a payment will cause a “reset”, meaning you could be sued or even have your wages garnished.
The next step is to collect information on the debt to make sure it’s legit. Last year, more than 80,000 complaints were filed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because they were being asked to debts that they did not owe. Keep a record of any and all communication with the collector, and any previous communication efforts you may have made.
Finally, be aware of your rights. You can make a request as to how a collector gets in touch with you, and they are not allowed to become vulgar or threatening. Debt collectors must correctly identify who they are, they cannot lie about what you owe, nor can they threaten to arrest you.
If you’re struggling with debt or are dealing with a debt collector that has become threatening or aggressive, consult a legal professional.
This information is provided by Miami bankruptcy lawyer Alonso, Perez & Santos, LLP. Our areas of practice include bankruptcy, insurance litigation, debt harassment, credit card defense, foreclosure defense, immigration law, condominium law, business start-ups, and more. Call 305-676-7545 to speak with one of our attorneys and receive a free consultation including a Miami insurance attorney. We look forward to working with you.
This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.