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Are You Being Contacted by a Debt Collector for an Old Debt?

how-to-tell-if-a-debt-collector-is-legit-832x400-1When is it time to ignore calls versus doing something about them?

If you are being harassed or threatened collection actions on old debt, there are many things to consider.  First, a legitimate collector is required to send you something in writing within five days of the initial contact under the FDCPA.  That’s sort of a litmus test.  Receiving nothing in writing is a violation, but it’s also a sign of a debt scammer.

Second, check your credit report via annualcreditreport.com.  If the debt is on there, it’s causing you harm and you should do something about it.  Contact us or another consumer attorney — the first steps would be to dispute the debt.  Often the consumer rules aren’t being followed.  For instance, balances are reflected more than once, or are inaccurate in other ways.  We often file actions under the Fair Credit Reporting Act which may result in the debt being removed once and for all (waiver of debt or trade line deletion), and you may receive damages due to the inaccuracies.  Everything relies on good credit it seems.  Bad credit can harm you in all kinds of ways.  You don’t pay us up front – we only get paid if we are successful in obtaining a recovery.

If it’s not on there, perhaps ignoring the debt collector calls is the wisest course of action.  There is no point in pursuing scam artists, it’s a waste of time and money.  We go after legit companies that don’t have processes in place to avoid inaccuracies and the harm to credit.

The statute of limitations is continuing to run – until they actually file a lawsuit.  Most debt scammers won’t file — they just call and harass. But there can be pitfalls if a lawsuit is filed for instance.  Further harm to credit.  The lawsuit could continue without you knowing about it if you were served via publication for instance.  Judgments can be hard to fight after the fact, particularly when wages or a bank account are garnished.  It’s really best to talk with an attorney to make sure you are aware of all options when deciding what to do…

The first step is to check your credit reports via annualcreditreport.com.  See what’s going on.

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