What You Should Not Say to a Collection Agency
We are in the midst of simultaneous global crises. The ongoing pandemic coupled with climate change has left many people in deep financial trouble. It’s common for Americans to be buried in tons of medical debt, tax debt, credit card debt, and student loan debt. Collection calls only serve to aggravate this stress.
With everything that’s going on, you may be too overwhelmed to figure out how to deal with these debt collectors. If you feel the same way, then this article is for you! Read on as we talk about what you should not say to a collection agency and what you should do instead!
If the debt collectors are threatening to sue, don’t you worry. Our experienced Vancouver WA debt defense attorneys have your back! Call our law office today so we can help you fight off these debt collection agencies.
3 Things You Should Never Tell a Debt Collector
Never Confirm That The Debt Is Yours
There is no reason for any debtor to admit that they do indeed owe whatever the collection agencies claim they owe. Even if the debt is yours, never admit to it.
If you admit to the debt, then you will have trouble disputing the debt on the credit report. Not to mention that there are often deceptive interest charges that you don’t have to pay but by admitting, the debt collectors have the leverage to force you to pay off your past-due obligations.
If a debt collector keeps pushing you to admit to the debt, tell them to communicate in writing.
Don’t Give Out Personal Information
The agent will usually ask you a series of personal questions. This serves to confirm not only your identity but your ownership of the debt.
You do not have to answer anything. Instead, when they call you, ask them to contact you in writing.
Here is a list of personal information you should never give the collection agency:
- Family Information
- Mailing Address
- Email Addresses
- Other Phone Numbers
- Employer or Past Employers
- Social Security Number
- Credit Card Number
There may be other info that we didn’t mention. When in doubt, don’t give it out!
Never Provide Bank Account Information
During a collection call, the agent will try to persuade you to make even a small payment. This means giving out credit card info or your bank account details. It may seem like an easy way to get them off your back, but letting them make the transaction can cause a variety of headaches:
Reset the Statute of Limitations
When you pay, you give your creditor additional time to sue you later. If the debt collectors can’t collect by the time the statute of limitation passes, they’ll have difficulty recovering their losses.
Leave your Account Vulnerable
The debt collector could claim that they won’t store your account. However, on-call, they can say whatever they need just to get you to pay without having it be true. Collection agencies also have a history of charging more than what the debtors agree to pay.
No More Leverage
When negotiating with collection agencies, your payment is your best bargaining chip. Save paying for later so you can get your creditors to exchange something in return for the payment.
If you’re being harassed by debt collectors threatening legal action, keep in mind what you should never say. Ask them to correspond in writing and contact our Vancouver WA debt defense attorneys! We’ll help you handle the debt collectors so you can worry about the more important things.
What If You Want to Pay
Before deciding whether you should pay, look at your expected expenses first. Generally, never pay a debt collector if you need it to pay for necessities like utilities, groceries, or mortgage/rent.
Paying off your old debt is not as important as surviving.
If you want to negotiate a payment plan or pay off your debt entirely, that’s perfectly fine. If you see that your finances won’t be in jeopardy and it can help you manage your debt, feel free to pay. However, get them to put it in writing first.
Once you’ve decided to pay, send the collection company a debt validation letter. It’s just a letter requesting them to prove that you owe the money. This is to verify that you owe the debt and the actual amount owed. You have 30 days from the first contact (whether through call or collection letter) to send this.
If the creditor makes any mistake with the information, you can use this to build a strong case for getting the debt out of your credit report. Aside from inaccuracies, be sure to look out for obscene interest or huge late fees. You can usually negotiate to reduce or even get rid of these fees entirely
If you’re not sure what to do about your old debt, why not ease your worries by calling our skilled Vancouver WA debt defense lawyers to help you!
What You Should Do During a Collection Call
All Agreements Should Be Made In Writing
We keep getting back to this point because it bears repeating. Make sure all agreements are in writing.
Debt collectors are known for backing out of agreements, giving out false promises, even clearing out bank accounts. This is common when you make agreements through phone calls.
Protect yourself from these horrible consequences by getting them to send you everything either through email or through the letter. Without written proof, you’ll have trouble proving the agreement.
Inform Them That You Know Your Rights
There are debt collection laws that protect people with unpaid debts and delinquent accounts. Even people with mountains of debt have rights in terms of how it has to be collected! Oftentimes, simply telling the collection agent that you are aware of your rights will make them back off or stop them from employing shady tactics.
The collection process is governed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This act contains the rules that a debt collection agency must follow when collecting your debt. Sadly, because many people are unaware of their rights, the collectors are unafraid of using abusive and deceptive means to collect the debt.
When you’re faced with a collection call, tell the agent that you know your rights under the FDCPA and that you will not hesitate to report any violation to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Attorney General’s office.
If you believe that the debt collectors did break the rules, don’t be afraid to call our savvy Vancouver WA debt defense attorneys to help you out! Other than reporting, we can make sure that you can use this information when the collectors threaten to sue.
Control Your Emotions
Some collectors resort to emotional manipulation to trick vulnerable debtors into paying. One common tactic that debt collectors use is to get people angry. People often would rather pay off just to get the agent off their backs. Don’t respond to their obscene statements in kind.
They can make statements that imply threats without actually being considered as a threat. They use people’s stigmas and fears about bankruptcy and debt collection to get them to pay. They may even imply that you’ll experience wage garnishment when they contact your employer. Under federal law, debt collectors have to successfully sue you in court and obtain a judgment before getting your wages garnished.
Another tactic they use is guilt-tripping. They will imply that you’re failing as a responsible citizen and borderline stealing to get you to pay. This is simply an act. They have more than enough money without taking it from struggling Americans.
Dealing with debt collectors can be stressful, especially on top of the more important things you have to worry about. If an agent keeps calling you to collect a debt, try to keep your emotions in check so you can avoid making misstatements that jeopardize your financial situation.
If debt collection companies are suing you to collect on a debt, don’t hesitate to call our knowledgeable attorneys at Northwest Debt Defense Law Firm. We’ve defended many Americans against debt collection lawsuits before and we’ll be sure to help you out, too!
When you get sued by debt collectors, give our Vancouver WA debt defense attorneys a call.
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.