Phone calls from debt collectors can completely catch you off guard. When you’re unprepared for a conversation with a debt collector, you may agree to pay a collection you can’t afford. You may also get into a heated argument with a collector who demands immediate payment of a debt you are not sure you owe. That’s why it’s essential to know your rights and what you need to do if a debt collector calls.
When debt collectors collect debts, they cannot use abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which the FTC enforces. If you know your rights, you’ll be able to tell when a debt collector is crossing a line, and you may even be able to use the debt collector’s violations of the law to your advantage.
Many articles spell out your rights when debt collectors come calling, but what shouldn’t you do when they call?
Continue reading to learn more about what you shouldn’t do when a debt collector calls.
Never Give a Collector Your Financial Information
In most cases, the collector will want to know as much about your finances as possible, but you should not disclose anything until you receive confirmation of your debt. It will prevent you from assuming responsibility before you find out if the debt is yours or not.
If you have received the validation letter but don’t think you owe the debt, speak up.
Even if the debt is valid, you may not know how to handle debt collectors if you cannot pay. Talk to one of our trained coaches to determine the best course of action for you.
Never Admit to the Debt
You shouldn’t make a payment or arrange payment until you’re sure that the debt is yours and that the collector can collect on it.
Debt collectors often fabricate debts or collect on debts that have passed the statute of limitations. You need to go through the debt validation process to verify these things, which involves writing the collector a letter asking them to send proof that the debt is yours.
Don’t Make Any Payments or Promises.
By providing a collector with your financial information or promising to make future payments, you admit you owe money. The amount or offer of settlement acknowledges that you owe the debt and allows the collector to report the delinquent debt to your credit reports.
It is in your best interest to withhold any payment information until you’ve confirmed that the debt is accurate. Paying off the debt might seem like it will help your credit or prevent the collector from suing you, but it won’t.
In most states, the statute of limitations starts running from when you made your last payment. No matter how small, every new payment could reset the statute of limitations. By making this small payment, the statute of limitations will be extended.
Don’t Lose Your Temper.
Profanity, screaming, or being hostile will not help. If call records are required for a lawsuit, it will hurt you if you’re the one who is abusive and not the collector. Also, if you lose your cool, you might accidentally divulge information that you didn’t intend to.
Take Financial Education from Briteside Solutions
If debt collectors call, you don’t have to handle it alone. It’s essential to know your options and work hard to get out of debt fast if you want to stop collection calls. Briteside Solutions offers Consumer Rights Education to teach our clients how to deal with many debt collectors’ unfair and deceptive practices.
Find out more about the services we provide and get started today!