Debt collectors often use extreme and dishonest measures to try to collect on debts. However, there are a number of things that they are not likely to tell you, and knowing these things can make all the difference in resolving your debts.
Below are eight things debt collectors are not telling you:
- Some of their threats carry no weight. Oftentimes, debt collectors use empty threats such as, “We are going to inform your creditor that you are refusing to pay this bill.” However, your creditor already knows you are not paying the bill, which is why the bill was sent to a collection agency.
- If you tell them not to call during work hours, they must comply. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors cannot continue to call you while you are at work, if you tell them not to. However, the 2011 Annual Report to Congress about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act complaints proved that 17,008 complaints were filed in 2010 related to debt collection calls to consumers at work. This number is up from 11,991 complaints the previous year.
- They cannot talk about your debts to others. Debt collectors are only allowed to discuss your debt with you, a co-signer, your spouse or your attorney. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors can only contact “third parties” to locate you.
- Your debt may be stale. Each state has its own statute of limitations that makes debt of certain ages not collectible. However, some debt collectors continue to target borrowers to collect on old debts.
- Debt collectors are under pressure to collect, just like you are to pay. Most collectors work on sliding scale commissions. This means that the quicker they collect money from debtors, the higher their commission.
- They cannot go after your possessions unless they sue you. Debt collectors must sue you before they can go after your property, including money in your bank account. Even threatening to sue you to collect a debt may be illegal if the collector has no intention of doing so.
- Paying off this debt will not boost your credit ratings. When a debt is sent to collections, it will remain on your credit report for seven and a half years from the date you fell behind with the original creditor. Collectors will often tell you they will “update your credit report to paid in full status.” However, the change will not likely affect your credit report.
- You probably do not have to pay your deceased relative’s debt. You are generally not responsible for the debts of relatives who have died unless you were a co-signer of the debt or the debt belonged to your spouse who died.
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If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.