Know Your Rights

Debt Collection Calls - What to Know

As much of the collected data recently shows, this tough economy has brought upon a dramatic increase in collection calls and complaints of harassment.  Be prepared for them so you can act if they violate your rights.  4 words of advice:  listen, look, log and save.

LISTEN:   Listen to the calls or messages.  Find out who is calling you and for what debt.  Don't run from the calls - answer them. Did the caller identify him or herself, the company they are calling from and the original creditor?  Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the debt collector is required to identify themselves and the purposes of the call.

LOOK:  Did you receive any bill or letter in the mail?  5 days after the initial call, the collector is required to send the consumer written notice  with the amount of debt, name of the original creditor, and that the consumer has 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt.   Check your mail and see if you received this document.  If you did, be sure to save it. If you dispute the debt, send written notice by certified mail within 30 days.   Check our website for a sample dispute letter with more detailed instructions. 

LOG:  Keep a call log of the collection calls.  Have a paper and pencil by the phone.  Each time you get a call, take notes of the content of the call, the time of the call, who you spoke with and the phone number.  Check the caller ID and also get a call back number from the caller.  Note if they are different numbers.  The more info you can provide, the better.  One way to capture proof of the call is to take pictures of the caller identification.

SAVE:  Save your call notes.  Save all communication from the collection agency, including voicemail messages and letters.  If you are unsure, save it.

By listening, looking, keeping a call log and save your documents, you will be able to have all the information necessary for a free case review.  If your rights were violated, you are ready to go!

Are they collectors calling often, threatening you or discussing your debt with family or neighbors? Find out what is legal.  Check out our website, call one of our attorneys or complete a form for a free case review.

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