Money For Lunch – Freedom Debt Relief Reveals Information Debt Collection Agencies Don’t Want You to Know

Freedom Debt Relief Reveals Information Debt Collection Agencies Don’t Want You to Know

September 12, 2017 5:54 PM0 commentsViews: 9

 

If you have an unpaid debt that has been sold to a debt collection agency that is calling you all the time, know that you are not alone: about a third of U.S. consumers have been contacted about their debt in the past year.

With the amount of credit card and medical debt on the rise, the number of consumers receiving calls from debt collection agencies is bound to increase. Freedom Debt Relief wants you to know that even if you are struggling with a large amount of debt, you still have rights. Here are a few things to remember if you or someone you love is currently being hounded by a debt collector.

You should ask questions. A debt collector can be intimidating, but you should remember that you have the right to ask questions to verify the legitimacy of the debt they’re calling you about. Freedom Debt Relief recommends asking your debt collector how much you owe, and from where the debt originates. The debt collector is legally required to respond ether via phone or in writing within five days. If the debt is inaccurate, you have the right to dispute the debt within thirty days; the debt collection company must then confirm the debt via written validation.

You can ask them to stop calling, but they can still collect. Freedom Debt Relief has found that a number of the problems Americans have with their debt collection agencies stem from incessant calls from debt collection agencies. And in some cases, those calls may be regarding an inaccurate debt. If the debt they are calling about is not valid, you have the right to ask them to stop calling via written letter, and they will no longer be able to contact you via phone. However, just because the phone calls have stopped does not mean that the debt is erased. A creditor or debt collector can still sue you to collect a valid debt.

You don’t have to give up personal information. When a debt collector calls you, the onus of finding necessary personal information is on them. While they may ask for your social security number, date of birth, or amount of debt owed, you are under no obligation to share this information. Freedom Debt Relief warns its clients that there are illegitimate companies that try to get personal information over the phone. If a company is legitimate, they will already have that the information, so should not need to ask for it..

They can contact your family, but only to get to you. You might be feeling upset if debt collectors contact members of your family, but this is within their legal right if they are not able to contact you directly. They can only contact them with the purpose of finding a way to contact you. They are not allowed to share any personal information when they contact your family members. Once they are able to speak to you directly, they must immediately cease speaking to your coworkers, friends, or family members.

Debts have a statute of limitations. Each state has different laws related to how long creditors can continue to contact you about paying off debt, usually ranging from two to six years. However, some collectors can “sell off” your debt to sister collection firms, who will then try to collect the old debt- this is sometimes referred to as “zombie debt.” If you receive a call about old debt, insist that you receive the information by mail. If you agree, ether verbally or in writing, that this is your debt, this could  “reset the clock” on your debt and make it live again.

Keep in mind that even after the phone calls stop, you are still responsible for paying any unpaid debt. The collection agencies are simply not allowed to continue to contact you following the statute of limitations.

You can file a complaint. If you believe that a debt collection agency or creditor is acting unethically, Freedom Debt Relief encourages you to hold the institution accountable by filing a complaint. You can contact your state’s Office of Attorney General, or file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and with the Better Business Bureau of the city and state where the collection agency is located.

When it comes to dealing with debt collectors, understand that you have rights. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act keeps you safe from unfair ethical practices no matter how much debt you owe. You have a right to fair and non-intrusive collection.

 

 

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