Debt collectors can be some of the most difficult people to deal with. Sometimes they cross their lines and break the law to collect the payments. The reason they are willing to do this is that threats and harassment seem to be more effective. However, many debtors forget that collectors are not legally allowed to do this.
When you learn about your rights as the debtor, you become confident in dealing with the collector. To protect yourself from their dirty tactics and prevent yourself from making a mistake, you must be aware of your rights. A Chicago debt collection defense attorney can help you explore your actions.
Common mistakes to avoid when dealing with a debt collector
- Ignoring phone calls and letters from debt collectors.
Getting calls and texts from debt collectors can be a nightmare, and it can be tempting to want to ignore it. Even you know that ignoring a debt collection call won’t solve the problem or make it go away. Additionally, the more you run away from a problem, the more complicated it becomes. Make sure to pick up the call, but keep these points in mind when speaking to them.
- Do not admit to owing the debt.
- Do not agree to make any payments without an agreement in writing.
- Request that the debt collector s all future correspondence by mail.
- Failing to validate debts.
When you start receiving calls from a collector but are unsure which debt they are talking about, you can seek validation of debts. It is absolutely possible that the debt they are seeking does not even belong to you or is already debt. You must ask them in writing about the debt and validate it before making any payments or promises to make payments.
- Not knowing the statute of limitations.
If you owe debts, one of the best things you can do to help yourself is to learn about the statute of limitations for debts. The statute of limitations states the amount of time a person has to initiate a debt collection from the date of default. Debtors unaware of this law do not know that they are not legally required to pay when the time expires.
- Failing to negotiate a lower payment.
Many people do not negotiate a lower payment, thinking they will never succeed. However, you would be surprised to find that many creditors are willing to offer a different payment plan. Many debts are sold for pennies, and the collection agencies in Chicago earn a fortune from buying your debt. Never agree to pay the amount in full.
Keep a record of all the calls.
A debt collector that calls you won’t just do it for one time; they will probably call you several times a day. While it is not against the law to call, there are certain rules on how many times they can call you in one day. Keep track of how many calls you receive in a day, note down the date and time, and keep evidence of your call logs. You should also save any texts or voice messages they send you.
Ask the collector to stop contacting you if you want.
Under the federal FDCPA, you can ask the debt collector to stop contacting you by requesting them in writing. Of course, a few exceptions exist on when you can and cannot use this privilege. However, consider the consequences of closing communication before asking them to stop contacting you. You will no longer be able to keep tabs on your debt or negotiate a settlement. Telling the collector to stop might be a good idea if you are considering bankruptcy.
Request validation of the debt.
Thousands of people who do not owe any debt to anyone are contacted by collectors. When they call, you must ask them to identify themselves and request validation of the debt. You have the right to information about your debt. Moreover, you should not hand over money to just anyone.