How to Protect Yourself from Predatory Debt Collectors – 2 Step Process
If you believe you don’t owe the debt
How to Protect Yourself from Predatory Debt Collectors
1. Dispute the debt by sending a written request to the debt collector and
2. Send a written request to the debt collector asking for more information about the debt. This is helpful since companies are able to “sell” your debt to another company so you may not recognize the name of the company saying you owe them money.
Here are some sample letters you can send the company who’s ays you owe them money. They are provided by the CFPB ( Consumer Federal Protection Bureau):
- I do not owe this debt.
- I need more information about this debt.
- I want the debt collector to stop contacting me.
- I want the debt collector to only contact me through my lawyer.
- I want to specify how the debt collector can contact me.
Always keep a copy of your letter for your records. Make a copy of your letter and send the original to the debt collector.
Make sure your letter is dated.
It’s a good idea to send the letter by certified mail. If you pay for a “return receipt,” you also will have proof the debt collector received your letter. You can also fax the letter, just be sure to keep the confirmation receipt.
You have 30 days to dispute a past due bill or part of a bill from when you receive the required information from the debt collector. Your dispute should be made in writing to ensure that the debt collector has to send you verification of the debt.
You can also request that the debt collector give you the name and address of the original creditor (company who claim you owe them money), if different from the current creditor. If you make that request in writing within 30 days, the debt collector has to stop all debt collection activities until it provides you that information.
If you’re having trouble with debt collection, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB online or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).
More Family Finance: