Dealing With Debt Collection Agencies
Your first contact with a debt collection agency can be incredibly stressful.
They’re masters of pressuring people to get what they want, and their relentless phone calls and home visits can be bothersome and stressful.
Ignoring them can work for a couple of days, but their tactics can get increasingly hostile and they may even start to threaten you.
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Understanding your rights
One of the first things to learn is your rights.
Debt collectors need to respect the law when attempting to collect on a debt and there are times where they might cross the line.
It’s a common strategy for debt collectors to pressure you into doing something, even if you’re not legally obligated to do so.
So here are a couple of rights that you have when a debt collector is attempting to contact you:
- Debt collectors can only contact you during the following times:
- Monday to Saturday between 7:00 am and 9:00 p.m.
- Sundays between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
- Debt collectors cannot contact your friends, family members or colleagues to ask for your contact information;
- Debt collectors can’t attempt to collect the payment from anyone but you or someone that has co-signed your loan;
- Debt collectors cannot use threatening language or intimidate you;
- Debt collectors must not use excessive force or unreasonable pressure;
- Debt collectors must not give false or misleading information;
- Debt collectors cannot call you on your mobile number unless you have given consent;
- Debt collectors cannot add collection costs such as legal fees.
If you notice that your debt collector has broken one of these rights, you are free to make a complaint about the collection agency.
While this won’t affect the debt that you owe, it can help you get an overly-aggressive debt collector off your back.
It’s worth mentioning that most debt collectors are relatively friendly and will not try to use underhanded strategies to collect from you.
However, if you do find that your debt collector is being too aggressive, you have every right to complain about it.
Ensure that the collector is contacting the right person
Don’t be afraid to take some time to double-check if you’re actually the person they’re looking for.
It’s not uncommon for debt collectors to contact the wrong person, so it’s a good idea to look at your debts to see if you can verify that you’re indeed the person that owes the debt.
If you think the collection company has made a mistake, then calmly let them know and show them the proof that you have found.
Try to resist their attempts at intimidation
While it can be difficult to do so, it’s important to try and resist debt collectors when they start to act intimidating or in a threatening way.
There are strict rules against debt collectors that use excessive force or threatening language against people.
If they fail to refrain from acting in a civil manner, you can report them to the debt collection agency.
Some private debt collectors may use underhanded strategies to contact you, such as getting information from your friends and family members to try and harass you.
If you struggle to resist their intimidation, it’s a good idea to speak to the debt collection agency.
If you’ve verified that you do owe money, try and pay it back
Companies won’t call debt collectors on you for no reason.
It’s usually a last resort and if you can verify that you do indeed owe money, it’s usually best to just pay the money as soon as possible.
Make sure you save any receipts from your transactions (and actively request for a receipt if it’s not given by default) and work out how much you can repay each week or month until the full amount has been returned.
Remember that collection agencies cannot request more than the amount of debt owed.
If they attempt to add collection fees, you can call them out and contact the debt collection agency.
If you need more advice on how to handle debt collection agencies then feel free to contact us today.
We’d be happy to offer you impartial advice on how to handle debt collection agencies and also how to pay back the debt that you owe as quickly as possible to avoid further stress.