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How to Deal with Debt Collectors
Are you being contacted by debt collectors? Do they claim you owe a debt? Do you feel like these collection agencies are harassing you? They very well might be!
Did you know every year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fines collection agencies millions of dollars for violating your federal rights! There are 2 federal laws the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), that protect your rights as a consumer.
These 2 laws establish:
- How long a collection agency can report information on your credit report
- How long they can attempt to collect a debt from you
- How long you are legally responsible to repay a debt
- And how they can contact you regarding repayment of this alleged debt
4 Steps To Fight Back Against Debt Collectors
1. Validation of Your Alleged Debt
If you are being contacted by collection agencies you should first request validation of debt. You can do this by sending a debt validation letter directly to the collection agency.
This is going to require the collection agency to give you legal documentation that shows they own collection rights on your account. And that your debt is within the statute of limitations or legal time window to legally collect payment on.
It is common for collection agencies to be unable to comply with debt validation requests. If this happens you are not responsible for repayment. And the collection agencies are suppose to contact the credit bureaus to request removing collections from credit report.
2. Dispute Credit Report
You can also file a dispute with the credit bureaus directly. This is good, if your main concern is removing bad credit information on your credit report by the collection agency. This is going to require you to go through the dispute process with each of the major credit bureaus. This is your way of telling the credit bureaus, there is incorrect information on your credit report.
3. If Your Debt Is Legit Then Negotiate For a Settlement
If your debt is validated and your unsuccessful removing bad credit from the collection agency. Then you should negotiate a settlement agreement. In your settlement agreement, you must get the collection agency to stop reporting information to the credit bureaus, in exchange for your payment.
If you fail to do this, then you will continue to have a collection on your credit report. Even after you make your payment. It will change from unpaid to a paid collection on your credit report. It is also smart to negotiate and pay less than the total balance they claim you owe.
4. Have You Been Victimized
If you have been a victim of harassment and lawbreaking collection agencies, then you should report them to your state attorney general and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Some of the more common ways debt collectors regularly break federal laws include:
- Ignoring debt validation requests.
- Filing false lawsuits that can potentially result in a judgment on your credit report!
- And collecting debts passed the statute of limitations or legal time window.
If you have had your federal laws violated or want help dealing with aggressive, abusive, or harassing collection agencies consider hiring a credit repair lawyer. Credit repair law firms can be hired at affordable rates. It will not require you to pay an arm and a leg.
You don’t have to just live with bad credit for seven long years. Instead, make use of your federal rights and remove questionable, incorrect or inaccurate information from your credit reports.
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