How Do I Know Who To Pay?
It’s a fairly simple process to tell when you owe money to a debt collector: they’re usually wearing out your phone with calls and voicemail messages, right? They may also be sending notices by mail or, in some cases, email. But what about those collectors that are harassing and/or threatening you? I mean, really, really threatening you, as in telling you to pay up right now or bad things are going to happen. Or as in they are threatening to send out the Sheriff’s deputy to serve papers at your place of work. Or as in the collector telling you that you committed check fraud by taking out a payday loan and setting up payments by checking account and then bouncing the checks. Yes, our Clients have heard all of these, and more!
What can you do to protect yourself?
Call the Original Creditor
If you’re receiving calls from a Debt Collector, you may be able to trace the chain of title. Normally, you would begin by calling the Original Creditor (the creditor that originally loaned you the money) and find out what happened to the account. If the Original Creditor no longer has the account, they should be able to provide you information of what they did with the account. This will help you begin to trace ownership, until you find who currently owns the debt.
Review Your Phone Records
Check your missed calls and voicemails for the phone numbers of any Debt Collectors who are calling you. Then search the Internet for information about the company contacting you to help determine whether or not they are legitimate collectors and conduct business in a professional manner.
If you’re receiving threatening or harassing phone calls from a Debt Collector, the first thing I recommend is that you DO NOT PANIC! I’ve had several Clients that paid hundreds of dollars to Debt Collectors to avoid having nonexistent papers served or to stop the collector from contacting their place of employment. In most cases, the Client was able to cancel the payment if they acted quickly.
If you are receiving calls from a Debt Collector and would like to discuss, give me a call or shoot me an email.
FDCPA Compliance Director
National Credit Solutions