Debt collectors are common all over the world — and usually some of the vilest people on earth. Often debt collectors and those who purchase said debts are committing illegal acts; breaking the law, and often using the idea of harassment to bully people into paying debts back (sometimes for debts that don’t even belong to them.)
I’ve created this guide for people to remember their basic rights when it comes to debt collectors in America. I’ve gotten a lot of e-mails since last year from people who don’t know their rights; don’t know how to respond to letters, and often don’t know what to say to collectors who harass them over their cell phones.
Generically, this is the first thing that should always be said to debt collectors in the event a debt you’ve been notified of is placed into dispute.
This is especially important in states like Georgia; New York, Washington D.C, California, and areas like that. These places are some of the common where debt collector abuse is rampant.
I am disputing this debt. Please cease all further communication in regard to this matter. If you have already reported this debt to the credit reporting agencies, please contact them to report that this debt is disputed and ask them to delete this debt from my credit report. Any further communication beyond what is legally allowed will be a violation of the law.
You should always check the dates on the debt you’re being told you owe. Expired debts cannot be collected. Some states have as little of 3 years for statute of limitations — others have as many as 6 years.
After the limitation — they become time barred and this goes for most account receivable contracts. At that point it is against the law in almost every state for collectors to continue the pursuit of said collection.
Some VERY important things to remember when it comes to your credit report; disputing inaccurate or expired debts and keeping and maintaining documentation of all communications with the debt collector.
Write to the credit reporting agency. Include your name, address, date of birth, and Social Security Number so the agency can identify you.
Identify the specific debt you are disputing, explain in detail why the information is wrong, and request that the debt be changed or removed. Include copies of any documentation that supports your position.
Send your dispute letter certified mail, return receipt requested. Send a copy of the letter to the source of the credit reporting agency’s information—this may be a debt collection agency or the original creditor and should be listed on your credit report. Keep copies of the letters you send.
Some prominent things to remember:
*Debt collectors are required to send verification of debts within 30 calendar days of the original request by (you) for verification.
*Debt collectors must cease from calling you on your cell phone the moment you request such.
*Debt collectors cannot threaten you with wage garnishments; jail time, or anything of the above. Debtors jail(s) have been out of business in most areas since the 1800s.
*Debt collectors are required under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to issue verification; confirmation, and the like within 30 calendar days. Failure to do so they must remove the debt in question and cease communication.
One of the most popular states where debt collection abuse is rampant: New York. New York Residents click here.