Nearly everyone has experienced a debt collection scam at some point in their adult life. Whether you knew it or not is another story. Since debt collection scams are on the rise people are more vulnerable now than ever. However, debt collection defenses stop scams. You just need to know how to use them.
Debt Collection Defenses Stop Scams
First, know the warning signs. Anyone calling at irregular hours or repeatedly without giving up may be a scam. A debt collector that refuses to give you their name or identify who they work for is also a bad sign. Similarly, if there is no information about date, balance or origin of the debt you are likely talking to a scammer. Debt collectors demanding your personal information or payment information over the phone is also a red flag. Never give your personal or payment information over the phone to anyone.
Second in the line of defense is knowing your rights. You have the right to have the debt verified. This means that they must be able to send you documented proof of the debt in the mail within 30 days. When you speak to the debt collector, tell them to send you a written “validation notice” to your address. If a debt collector cannot provide this documentation they are likely scamming you.
After you have made the request for a validation notice, do not answer future calls. Contact the original lender of the alleged debt and speak with them directly. If the debt is legitimate ask them to also provide you proof of the debt,. Once you have verified the debt, arrange a payment plan with the original lender directly.
Finally, report the scammer to the Federal Trade Commission. Provide them with all of the information you have about the suspicious calls. If you feel harassed or like you need additional help with resolving your debts, contact a bankruptcy attorney Houston office. They can handle legitimate debt collectors and help you eliminate your debt.