Know Your Rights: When Debt Collectors Go too Far

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If you’re being hounded by an unstoppable “debt collector” who’ll seemingly go to great lengths in order to get your money, you need to be aware of your rights as an American consumer.

It’s been a hot topic in the news recently in many states across the nation. Too many people are being tricked, bullied and threatened by these so-called debt collectors pretending to be law enforcement, detectives or investigators working on the case of money that you either owe, stole, or fraudulently borrowed.

As a rule, debt collectors are hired by a third party to whom you legally owe money. Unfortunately, many debt collection firms today are practicing unscrupulous methods in order to get you to pay up, even when you don’t legally owe a cent. And a lot of them are stepping way over the line of legality.

Frequently, these types of “debt collectors” are actually scam artists attempting to trick people out of their money. There are several different schemes running at the moment nationwide that you should be aware of in order to protect yourself.

Sometimes, the debt collectors in question call borrowers and accuse them of committing a crime, such as check fraud or theft by deception. They will demand immediate payment, and if you do not comply, they will threaten with a warrant for your arrest. You should in no way respond to these threats, and if the harassment becomes chronic, you may need to contact an attorney to enforce your rights.

Thankfully, in 2015, new regulations are set to take effect in order to prevent these characters from performing such deceptive and aggressive actions against borrowers. The tough new regulations will help protect consumers (who are already struggling financially) from being taken advantage of and losing money that they really can’t afford to give up.

So far in 2014, there have been over 20,000 complaints about harassing debt collectors just in the state of New York alone.

As a borrower/consumer, be aware that debt collectors/scam artists will say almost anything in order to get your money, even if the statute of limitations on your debt has been reached. They may even demand that you pay money on a debt that you have already paid in full, citing interest that you never paid or other lies to encourage you to open your checkbook. Lastly, they may invent a debt that you supposedly owe, which never even existed.

Unfortunately, the debt collection industry has been unregulated for far too long and the unscrupulous actions of members of the industry have finally gone too far. Lawmakers are taking notice and taking action.

The new rules will help those thousands of people in New York, and eventually across the country, who have been working hard to clear their debts in order to raise their credit scores and get back on track financially.

The new regulations imposed upon the debt collection industry will require debt collectors to provide consumers with specific information about the debt being collected. For example, they will be required to disclose whether or not a debt has reached its expiration date. Debt collectors will also have to give significant credence to any dispute given by the consumer in question regarding the debt owed.

Additionally, debt collectors will henceforth be required to provide debtors with a detailed written agreement confirming any debt settlement agreement that has been reached. Consumers will also be given a copy of this written agreement, and they will also receive written confirmation once the debt has been paid in full.

Image Credit: Patrick Hoesly

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4 Responses to Know Your Rights: When Debt Collectors Go too Far

  1. Pingback: In Re Washington: The Details of a Pivotal Foreclosure Case | Veitengruber Law

  2. Pingback: How to Avoid Losing Your Money to a Scam Artist | Veitengruber Law

  3. Pingback: Collection Agency vs Original Creditor: Who Should You Pay? | Veitengruber Law

  4. Pingback: Can They Do That!? Illegal Tactics of Debt Collectors | Veitengruber Law

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