Am I Legally Obligated to Pay a Debt Collector

Harassment – Debt collection agencies may not harass, harass or abuse you or any third party they contact. For example, debt collection agencies are not allowed: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires debt collection agencies to treat you fairly and prohibits certain methods of debt collection. Of course, the law does not erase the legitimate debts you owe. Collectors can`t bother you. For example, the salaries of debt collectors can only be seized to pay debts related to court-ordered child benefits, tax arrears, and defaulting student loans. Collection agencies cannot attach salaries for the repayment of consumer debts. This brochure explains your debt collection rights and they cannot abuse, harass, lie or threaten. You can`t talk about your debts to other people (including your neighbors, friends, relatives, or employers). If they perform any of these actions or the actions listed below, they are breaking the law. You can prevent a debt collector from contacting you by writing a certified letter to the collection officer asking them to stop. Keep a copy for your records. Once the collector has received your letter, he will no longer be able to contact you except to tell you that there will be no further contact or to inform you that the collection agency or creditor intends to take certain measures. Please note, however, that sending such a letter to a debt collector will not make debts disappear if you actually owe them.

You could still be sued by the debt collector or your original creditor. Debt collectors will try to pressure you to agree to pay more than you can afford. Having debt collection debts certainly has a negative impact on your credit score. Paying down debt will likely improve your score with credit reporting agencies using FICO 9 or Vantage Score 3.0 or 4.0 – the latest versions of credit rating. Debt collection agencies can do other things depending on who the collection agency is: I would like to file a formal complaint against [name of collection agency] for actions taken while trying to collect a debt from me. My complaint is: [Write down what the collection agency did to break the law.] “Debt collectors use applied psychology to convince and threaten consumers to pay their debts,” ginsberg says. “Often, this psychology involves veiled threats of criminal action or litigation when these options are not available.” This federal law applies only to debt collectors who work for professional collection agencies and to lawyers who collect a claim. It`s similar to Texas law, but it also forbids: you can challenge all or part of the guilt. You can also ask for more information if you`re not sure if you owe money to a creditor or how much you might owe. Under the FDCPA, debt collection agencies include debt collection agencies, debt buyers, and lawyers who regularly collect debts in the course of their business. There are also companies that buy outstanding debts from creditors or other companies and then try to collect them. These debt collection agencies are usually also referred to as debt collection agencies, debt collection agencies, or debt buyers.

And while collectors may insist that you pay the total balance you owe over time, they actually prefer to get a smaller lump sum payment, Phelan says. What for? “This way they get commissions much faster!” Debt collectors can call you to ask for their money, and they can send letters asking for payment, but there are limits to what they can do. They don`t have to listen to their demands. You can hang up the phone or send a letter asking you to stop contacting you (see letter B above). A tax collector must provide you with “validation information” about guilt, either on the collector`s first phone call with you or in writing within five days of first contact with you. The collector must provide you with four pieces of information There are also other important federal laws. The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act covers how financial matters, including debt collection, can be reported in your credit report. There are also federal consumer finance protection laws that prohibit unfair, misleading or abusive acts or practices that apply to debt collection agencies as well as creditors. Sometimes lenders enter into contracts with independent collection agencies to manage their accounts.

This agency has no regulatory authority over these third-party collectors. If you have a complaint about a professional agency or third-party collection service provider, you can call the Texas Attorney General`s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800.621.0508. This agency accepts complaints of this type and has additional information on debt collection. You can also file a complaint with the American Collectors Association of Texas, an organization that represents third-party debt collection agencies in Texas. Yes. Negative information – such as outstanding debts – can usually remain on your credit report for up to seven years. Whether you pay for collection or not, it will remain on your credit report throughout the time limit of the credit report. Then, when this period has passed, the collection will fall off your balance. You still owe the debt and the debt collector can still come after you if the debt is within the statute of limitations, but your credit report will no longer show the debt. If a tax collector says, “We will inform your creditor that you refuse to pay this bill!” use only reverse psychology. Your creditor has already discovered that you are not paying the bill, otherwise they would not have sent your account to a collection agency in the first place! Do I have to pay a debt that is considered prescribed? Most states have laws on debt collection practices, many of which are similar to the FDCPA.

Some of these state laws cover the original creditor, while others do not. States also have unfair and misleading laws and practices that may apply to debt collection. Contact the Attorney General`s Office to learn more about your state`s laws. If the debt collector sues you and wins, the court will decide that you owe the debt and ask you to pay a certain amount of money each week. If you don`t pay the amount ordered by the court each week, the collection agency can apply for a court order to remove your property or money from your salary or bank account. Some of your money and payment is protected. For more information, see below. You can get collectors to stop following you, and a paid collection will look better on your credit report than an unpaid one, especially when it comes to getting new loans.

It`s worth regularly checking your credit report for bank withdrawals that may not really be yours, but if the collection is yours legitimately, it`s usually best to pay for it and get rid of it. Keep in mind that paying off an old debt may not remove it from your credit history. When you pay off the debt, some debt collectors will report it on your credit report to show that you have not paid the full amount. Debt collectors may have the option to charge additional fees and interest on your debt, but this depends on state law and the contract you originally signed with the lender. Some debt agreements can preemptively allow debt collectors to charge additional fees and interest, and if state law doesn`t explicitly prohibit it, then it`s legal. If you keep more than the protected amount in your bank account, the collection agent may try to get that money through bank execution. You can get this money back if you submit an exemption application form to the courthouse. If a collection agency wins its case, it has several options at its disposal. For example, debt collection agencies may seize revenue to collect a debt.

A seizure is a court order that takes money directly from a debtor`s income. This money is used to pay off the debts they owe. Consider this possible outcome before ignoring payment requests from a collection agency. The law states that debt collectors can only call between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. But if there is another time frame that does not suit you, for example, before 10 a.m., because you are working late, let the collector know and he is forbidden to call you at that time. If you have a lawyer, the collection agency should contact the lawyer and not you. If you don`t have a lawyer, a tax collector can contact other people, but only to find out where you live, what your phone number is, and where you work. Collectors are generally prohibited from contacting these third parties more than once. In most cases, the tax collector is not allowed to tell anyone other than you and your lawyer that you owe money. Yes, but the collector must first sue you for a court order – called garnishment – that says they can withdraw money from your paycheck to pay off your debts.

A tax collector may also apply for a court order to withdraw money from your bank account. Don`t skip a lawsuit, otherwise you could lose the chance to resist a court order. What can I do if I believe a debt collector has broken the law? Debt collection practices in Texas must comply with both the Texas Debt Collection Act and the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The Federal Trade Commission provides an excellent source of detailed information on its fair collection site; Most of the text on this page is presented here for your convenience.