Dealing with debt collectors is stressful and anxiety provoking, to say the least. To make matters worse, most people are unaware of their legal rights and obligations when it comes to debt collection. Before debt collectors start to bully you around, take this quiz and learn more about the process.
What is the most common complaint regarding inappropriate behavior by debt collectors?
The number of complaints regarding inappropriate behavior from debt collectors is rising, according to the Better Business Bureau. Common complaints include: illegal threats, verbal abuse and harassing friends and relatives of debtors.
What is the most important thing to know when dealing with debt collectors?
Americans should know their rights when dealing with debt collectors. Consult the American Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
What can your doctor legally do if you claim bankruptcy and you don't pay your outstanding medical bills?
Your doctor can decide to stop treating you if you claim bankruptcy. This can have health consequences if you need to see a particular doctor for serious medical reasons.
What suggestion will a debt collector likely recommend for paying off your debt?
Debt collectors can offer both reasonable and unreasonable suggestions for paying off debt. Some collectors may set up a payment plan allowing you to live within your means, whereas other collectors may simply say you need to come up with the money and borrow from family or friends.
How can a debt collector take advantage of a debtor?
Debt collectors may take advantage of a debtor's understanding of their rights. Debt collectors may also increase the stress of an already stressful situation, resulting in a debtor's increased desire to simply pay off the debt without a fair assessment.
According to the American Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, when can a debt collector call you?
According to American law, debt collectors can phone you only during reasonable hours of the day, between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
It is against the law for debt collectors to _______________.
Even though debt collectors do have the legal right to sue you for unpaid debt, they cannot use a law suit as a coercion tactic. Moreover, they are not permitted to call you repeatedly or use harassing language.
Unpaid debt is a:
A lawsuit due to unpaid debt is a civil matter. This means you have not committed a crime, cannot be arrested, and cannot go to jail over unpaid debt.
Debt collectors are permitted to call your family, friends and co-workers. What information are they permitted to collect from your family, friends and co-workers?
Debt collectors can contact your friends, family and co-workers for information regarding your address, phone number and place of employment.
How can you get a debt collector to stop calling you?
To get the stressful phone calls to stop, you must write the debt collector a letter stating this request. Keep in mind, even though the calls may stop, you still must pay the debt and you still may be sued by the debt collector.
Who is not obligated to follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
Creditors themselves are not bound by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This means your credit card company has more leeway in convincing you to pay off your debt compared to a debt collector.
What will happen if you ignore a debt collector's calls and letters?
It's best not to ignore those phone calls and letters, even if you can't pay off your debt. It's always better to speak with the debt collector and let them know your situation, rather than simply ignoring them, which will result in a lower credit rating and perhaps a lawsuit.
Whom do I actually owe money to when my account has been transferred to a debt collector?
When your account has been transferred to a debt collector, the debt collector has actually “purchased” your debt from the creditor, albeit at a reduced rate. Therefore, you owe money at this point to the debt collector and not to your creditor.
You should ask a debt collector to validate your debt. What does this mean?
Send the debt collector a written request for validation of your debt. This involves both validation of your debt and authorization from your original creditor, which is a complicated process.
How long does a debt collector have to complete a debt validation request?
If you haven't heard back from your debt collector within 30 days, they are in violation of the law.
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