What You Need to Know About Debt in Collections - Quick Telecast What You Need to Know About Debt in Collections - Quick Telecast What You Need to Know About Debt in Collections - Quick Telecast

What You Need to Know About Debt in Collections

You’re being pursued by a debt collector when you’re getting voice mail messages about credit card debt, and/or you’re getting text messages imploring you to phone about credit card debt, and/or your email is blowing up with demands to pay past due credit card debt — or any other type of loan, for that matter.


This means that someone who may (or may not) have extended your credit has either hired a third party — or sold them the debt — to try to exact payment. Here’s what you need to know about debt in collections if this is happening to you, or someone for whom you care.


Never Accept Responsibility Upon First Contact


Sometimes these calls are just fishing expeditions. You may or may not owe the debt in question. They could be after someone whose name is the same as yours. Or the statute of limitations may have expired on the date, and it is too old for legal action to be taken against you because of it.


However, if the debt collector can get you on record (and they do record their calls) acknowledging ownership of the debt, you’ll be on the hook for it, unless you can prove unequivocally it isn’t yours.


So, the first time anyone contacts you about an outstanding debt, your response should be, “I have no recollection of any such obligation. Please forward me the following data about the debt in writing, using the address you have on file.”


Tell them that you specifically need:


  1. The name and address of the person incurring the debt.
  2. The name of the company (or individual with whom the debt was incurred).
  3. The exact date the debt was incurred.
  4. The original loan amount.
  5. The interest rate and how it was applied to this loan.
  6. The date of the last payment on this account.
  7. The total amount of payments made on this account.
  8. The total amount of accrued interest and fees.
  9. The total payoff amount.


Tell them to provide the above documentation in writing, and that if you don’t have all the requested information within five days, you will assume they are mistaken and have no valid claim.


Do not agree to send them any money whatsoever — regardless of how they frame it —until they prove the debt is yours.


Send a Verification Request Letter


They may ask you to send them a request for that data in writing. This is called a request for debt verification (or validation) letter. Templates can be found in many places on the internet.


Send the letter by registered mail, with proof of receipt requested.


These actions are usually effective at stopping creditors from calling if they have no valid claim. In other words, they will either get the data back to you within five days as requested or move on to potentially easier pickings.


Respond With a Letter of Dispute


If they send the data and you see that the debt isn’t yours, you’ll have 30 days to send a dispute letter back to them, explaining why the debt isn’t yours and requesting that they please stop contacting you about the debt.


That letter should also be sent by registered mail with proof of receipt requested.  Make sure you retain copies of both letters, as well as all other correspondence you get from the collector.


It’s important to note that if the debt is valid, a dispute letter won’t make it go away. You’ll owe the money just the same. However, this approach will usually make them go away if they’re just fishing.


If The Debt is Validated


Your choices are to try to work out a deal, pay the debt in full, or hire a professional to help you settle the debt if they respond with documentation proving in fact the debt is yours. The people at Freedom Debt Relief have lots of experience in this area and you’ll find them quite amenable to helping you.


However, understanding what you need to know about debt in collections and taking the actions prescribed above could be enough to get collectors to leave you alone. Worst case, you’ll know the debt is in fact yours and you can use that information to help you decide your best course of action.








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