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Know Your Rights When a Debt Collector Calls

Know your rights when a debt collector calls

When a debt collector calls, your best response is to confront the situation head-on. 
Your first instinct may be to hide or ignore the situation and hope it goes away. But that can make things worse. 

First, be sure the debt collector and the debt are legitimate.
Find out: 

  • Who you’re talking to (get the person’s name) 
  • The name of the debt collection company 
  • The company’s address and phone number 
  • The name of the creditor 

Ask the debt collector for: 

  • The amount owed 
  • The name of the creditor 
  • How you can dispute the debt or verify the debt is yours

If the debt collector doesn’t tell you this information the first time it contacts you, ask for the information in writing. It is a good idea to get this written notice before you agree to pay the debt collector or try to negotiate.

 

Harassment is illegal

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act says debt collectors can’t harass, oppress, or abuse you or anyone else they contact.

 For example, debt collectors can’t: 

  • Make repeated phone calls that are intended to annoy, abuse, or harass you or any person answering the phone.
  • Use obscene or profane language.
  • Make threats of violence or harm.
  • Publish lists of people who refuse to pay their debts (this does not include reporting information to a credit reporting company). 
  • Call you without telling you who they are. If you believe a debt collector is harassing you, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB.

 

Click the link below for more information on this topic

CLICK HERE For the Full PDF document on dealing with debt collection