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How To Deal With Debt Collectors

how to deal with debt collectors

Perhaps one of the most stressful things in life is dealing with debt when we are unable to pay. It seems that the things we need to pay for to sustain and enjoy our daily lives are constantly increasing but our sources of funds can’t seem to catch up quick enough. It’s not that surprising how 8 out of 10 Americans are facing debt issues. While we do try to stay within our budget, things can get overwhelming, and going into debt can provide quick and easy solutions. Before we know it, we have mismanaged debt and have bills overdue. Debt collectors are now starting to make their presence and try to recoup the debt. 

If you are facing debt collection issues,  it could get complicated especially if you are unsure of your rights when it comes to such cases. A common mistake is ignoring these debt collectors and letting time pass. Our debt defense attorneys at Northwest Debt Defense would recommend you to take action soon as the earlier the response, the better it will be for you. Reach out to our professional debt collection lawsuit attorneys in Seattle, Tacoma, and Vancouver in Washington and Portland, Salem, and Medford in Oregon. 

Debt collection

There are certain legal rules and procedures a debt collector needs to follow when it comes to collecting the debt. Learn how to respond to debt collectors, whether it be your original creditor or a third-party agency acting on their behalf, and know your rights when they come incessantly knocking. 

Debt Buyers

Debt buyer lawsuits have been increasingly common. Every year, thousands of these lawsuits are filed by companies who buy old debts, such as unpaid credit card bills. Debt buyers will try to collect these debts for some time before proceeding to sue debtors and get defaults where they can clean out your bank accounts or legally withhold your wages in their favor. 

If a company you haven’t heard of is contacting you for a debt or if you have been sued by these debt buyers, consider hiring a Seattle debt defense attorney at Northwest Debt Relief to sort out your debt defense.

Getting such calls or letters could be scary because we cannot rule out the possibility of a scam. Legitimate debt collectors would have your details such as your address, the amount owed, and where you owe it from. Practically all of the details you have provided your original creditor should be known by the debt collector contacting you. 

Dealing with Debt Collectors

Here are some tips in handling third-party debt collectors or debt buyers.

  • Do not ignore. Protect your credit score by taking proactive steps in settling the debt. The longer the debt remains unsettled, the more it negatively impacts your credit score and report.
  • Seek debt information. Verify that the debt collection is valid without confirming or acknowledging that the debt is, indeed, yours. Check to see if the debt collector can accurately provide information on the original creditor, the type of debt, the original loan amount, the outstanding balance,  when the debtor has started being delinquent, and other pertinent information and details that could only be known by your original creditor and could have passed it onto the debt buyer. 

Knowing such information allows your debt defense attorneys in Seattle to evaluate your options. Perhaps the statute of limitations has expired and legally, the debt collector is now unable to file lawsuits against you in an attempt to recoup the debt.

  • Never confirm that the debt is yours. Even if you already know that the debt collector is contacting you for a legitimate debt that you have, never confirm that it is yours. There is a possibility that admitting debt ownership may grant debt collectors to pursue such debt. 
  • Ask details in writing. Never settle for communicating only via phone call and do not volunteer any information. Ask the debt collector to indicate in writing via registered or certified mail the details of your debt. If the debt collection is legitimate, the debt buyer will not have problems sending you a debt validation letter. This document may prove vital as the circumstances develop.
  • Consider negotiating. When you have checked and verified that the loan is, indeed, yours, ask if you can get the amount discounted if you will pay the debt in full/lump sum or if you can have a payment plan to deal with debt and settle. 

Know Your Rights

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that aims to ensure the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of the information in consumer credit bureau files. This means that the FCRA provides for the regulation on how credit reporting agencies can collect, access, use, and share the data they collect in your consumer reports.

Legitimate debt collectors follow legal rules and procedures in the debt collection process such as the time when they call. Late-night calls could be indicators of a probable debt collection scam. This is stipulated under federal law, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Violations of the FDCPA will allow the debtor to file a case against the debt collection company and the individual debt collector for damages as well as attorney fees.

Debt collection agencies are not allowed to harass or threaten you with arrest and imprisonment, repossession of your home, or any property foreclosure or a deducted paycheck. These third-party collection agencies are never allowed to use profane and abusive language to debtors, no matter the situation. While wage garnishment may be legal in your state, the decision to do such is made by the court and not by the debt collector. Should there be threats and harassment, you may report this to the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Protect your Credit Score and Consider Help From Attorneys

If a debt collection agency has been in touch, deal with the matter as soon as possible to cushion the impact on your credit score, save your defenses and possibly defeat the debt buyer in court or minimize the amount that you need to pay to settle the debt. Not taking action will only provide these debt collectors the ammunition to win by default and clean out your bank account. 

Have your case evaluated by our law firms in Oregon or Washington who have experience in handling debt defense cases and put a stop to distressing collection calls

Here at Northwest Debt Relief, we strongly fight for your best interests and guide you with the necessary steps or legal action moving forward. Call our office in Seattle today.

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Northwest Debt Defense Law Firm

650 NE Holladay St, Suite 1640
Portland, OR 97232, United States

NW Debt Defense Law Firm is a Debt Relief Agency. Where appropriate we file petitions for relief under the Bankruptcy Code solely for consumers in the District of Oregon. We represent both Oregon and Washington consumers in collections law suits in Oregon and Washington state courts.


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