View Single Post
  #2 (permalink)
: There is supposed to be a certain protocol to collect debt. Here are some things that you can do.
Four Ways to Stop Collection Agencies from Calling You.
1) Cease Communication Letter

This is the best way to handle bogus debts (debts that belong to someone else or debts that you have already paid). This is also the best way to handle smaller debts (debts that aren't worth enough to take you to court). Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, it is illegal for bill collectors to contact you and attempt to collect the debt once they receive your cease communication letter. They could try to file a judgement with the courts, but it isn't likely they would spend the money knowing they will lose or knowing that the debt is too small to make it worth their while. Here is a sample Cease Communication Letter. Send it by certified mail with return receipt so the collection agency can't pretend it wasn't received.

2) Debt Validation Request

Send a certified letter with return receipt asking for validation of the debt and the name of the original creditor. You have to do this within 30 days of first being contacted by the bill collector or they can dun you before you get the validation. Here is a sample letter. Quite often, collection agencies won't send anything or they will send some kind of bogus verification. If this happens, try method number 3 below because the collection agency has broken the law.

3) Catch Them Breaking The Law

A lot of bill collectors routinely violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If this happens to you, then you can file a complaint with your state Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission. For example, if they call you at work after you told them not to, if they don't send verification of the debt per your written request, if they lie to you, if they threaten you with prison, etc. Here is a sample letter. Another option is to hire a lawyer and sue the collection agency.

4) Settle The Debt For Pennies On The Dollar

There are some cases in which this would work. It depends on the attitude of the bill collector. Some bill collectors are willing to work with people but some of them are downright nasty. If the bill collector handling your case seems reasonable you might be able to work out a deal. Trying to negotiate a settlement is an admission that you owe the debt so you need to be sure you can follow through on the agreement. Remember to get everything in writing if you choose this option. Even bill collectors who seem nice can lie to you, but if you have it in writing you're protected from this. Here is a sample letter.
  Reply With Quote