Do you own a home, a car, put your last vacation and shopping spree on your credit card and only pay the minimum payments for the last year or longer? Well in the U.S. we have higher numbers of people filling for bankruptcy with Nevada in 2012 there were 17,823 fillings for bankruptcy. Eastern part of California is at 36,760 filings. These numbers are slightly lower then 2011, but we are in a country where the student loan default rate is almost doubled since 2005. We are also a country that has one out of seven people who own ten credit cards. With all of this there is no surprise why we have people whose jobs is to collect what is owed for different businesses. They make a honest living, and try to help people get money that they worked hard to make. There is no surprise why we still cringe when we get calls from them, and many know how they don’t have the best reputation of how they treat the people on the other side of the phone line.
A debt collector’s job is to call a person who owes an amount and has not made any payments on the amount in several months or longer. There job is to contact, find, and at some point reach an agreement with that person to pay that amount or an agreed amount so that it will not affect their credit score and so that they can scratch off a debt in their books. Does this happen this smoothly? In most cases no, but is it always the person with the debt(s) fault? If taken too far what can the debtor do to fight it and what does a person do if they are not the person who owes the debt in the first place?
Many people do not know the laws about debt collectors and what they can do to fight any injustice made onto them. This includes being harassed at work, the collector keeps calling your family, neighbors and people you know.
This also includes if they threaten you or says they are going to take you to court with no intention to do so (at that point).
- If you are being harassed and are being treated unfairly by a debt collector here are things that you need to do:
- Keep a log of when they call you – if they call too early or to late in the day that will help you.
- If they call you at work even when you ask them not to, write that down and write their company (and keep a copy) so that it is in writing.
- If they are using bad language record the conversation
- If they continually call your friends or family ask them to keep note of each time and when you file a complaint quote them and add a copy of their notes to help with your case.
- If you do not owe this or if your identity was stolen contact a lawyer or someone who look deeper in the manner.
- If it is a medical debt and they have private information about the type of doctor and anything above and beyond your name, address, d.o.b, social security number, payment history, account number, and name of person claiming the debt. This includes masking your healthcare provider if it shows what the person went in there for. If it is revealed you can file.
If you or someone you know needs help here are a couple of sources to help you with what to do and how to fight it.
Federal Trade Commission? Consumer Response Center?600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.?Washington, D.C. 20580?Telephone: (877) FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)?TDD: (202) 326-2502?Web: www.ftc.gov – Click “File a Complaint” on home page.
Consumer Protection Offices in the States
Federal Government’s Consumer Action Web site