The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) defines a debt collector as any party who regularly collects debts owed to others. A collection agency typically collects debt on behalf of creditors or similar business. However, they can also purchase that debt if the debtor does not pay.
Collection Agency Contact
The collection agency may use a variety of methods to legally contact you in person, or via methods such as email or over the telephone. However, when pursuing credit card debt, the collection agency is restricted in a number of ways to protect the rights of the debtor. They cannot contact you at unreasonable times or places; which includes at work if you have made it clear you cannot take personal calls. If you are being represented by an attorney, the collection agency cannot contact you but rather, must make contact through your attorney.
Whether during direct contact or through intent, a debt collection agency may not seek to harass you in any way. This includes using threats, foul language, or calling you repeatedly in order to harass or intimidate. A debt collection agency cannot use misrepresentation in order to trick a debtor, either. While the agent may deliberately omit certain details, they cannot outright lie about details of the debt in pursuit of a payment.
Discussing a Debt
If you are in credit card debt and receive a call from a collection agency, it is important not to ignore the issue. You can discuss a payment plan or get more information on the debt, including when the last payment was made. It is worth recording details of the discussion and any agreements for future reference. Most importantly of all, make sure you are speaking to a legitimate collection agency before making any payments.
If you would prefer to deal with the original creditor, you must stipulate this in writing. However, make sure to include a stipulation in writing that you are in no way affirming a debt is owed. The letter should then be sent via certified mail, requesting a return receipt as record of delivery. Alternatively, you can continue dealing with the collection agency while requesting they do not contact you at work.
You also have the option of dispute some or all of the debt which, again, should be done in writing. It is up to the collection agency to respond directly to the details of the dispute, so make sure to outline the dispute in detail and include receipts, whenever possible. You may have a limited amount of time to dispute a debt, so act promptly.
If you are being pursued by collection agencies over credit card debt, filing bankruptcy could result in the discharge of some or all of your debt. Contact H. Lehman Franklin today at 912-764-9616, or email us at email@example.com to discuss the specific details of your finances. We provide excellent debt management and bankruptcy services to clients in the state of Georgia.