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What You Need To Know About Debt Collection

It is not uncommon for people to fall into debt. In fact, it is a very easy thing to do – all it takes is putting off payment of a debt for a couple of months, or forgetting about the debt, and you might find yourself in trouble. Of course, it is best if you can avoid this situation in the first place, but that does not always happen, and it is good to know how to deal with it if it arises. One thing that you will want to be educated about is the process of debt collection. The thought of a debt collector can bring up cartoon-like images of evil looking men in sharp grey suits, knocking down doors and breaking bones! However, this is far from the reality of debt collection. The following article contains all of the information that you need to know about debt collection.

What debt collection involves

When you owe money to a company and you do not pay it, after a certain amount of time they will pass on your details to a debt collection agency. This is because the original company will not want to spend the time or the resources to chase the money up themselves, so they keep this sort of debt collection agency on call to do the work for them. The debt collection agency will contact you to begin proceedings. They will likely send you a letter to begin with, which is what normally makes people sit up and take notice! This letter will look very official and will sometimes sound quite harsh in it’s wording, threatening you with legal action and other unpleasant situations, such as a bad credit rating. If you choose to ignore this letter also, then the debt collection agency will probably start phoning you. Although the debt collection agency will not threaten you with violence like in the movies, they will threaten you with legal action – and they will mean it. From here things can get very bad, so it is best to not let things get this far.

What can you do about it?

There are two things that you can do. The first is to pay the debt. This is the easiest way to make the debt collector go away, and you can let your life get back to normal. However, if you do not have enough money, then this might not be an option. Also, if you feel that the debt is not legitimate, then you will probably not want to pay it either. In either of these cases, the best thing that you can do is to communicate with the debt collection agency. Their aim is to get the debt resolved, and if they can help you to do that, then they will. They will probably be willing to help you set up a payment plan so that you can pay off the debt in installments rather than all at once. If you are disputing the debt, then they will also need to hear about this. You will need to provide evidence for your dispute, or if you are taking the matter to an authoritative body then you will need to give the debt collection agency a reference for it. Your aim here is to make sure that things do not progress further with the collection until your dispute is seen to, so that there is no legal action or repossession.

What is not acceptable?

Just because a debt collection agency is an authority that can make demands on you financially, this does not mean that they can do so by any means necessary. Regardless of whether the debt is legitimate or not, you still have rights and can make sure that the debt collection agency does not break these rights. For example, a debt collection agency does not have the right to unduly harass you. This means that they can not just turn up to your house or phone you whenever they want to. They must limit the hours in which they contact you, and they can not contact you at work, or any other place apart from your home or your cell phone. A debt collector is not allowed to make threats to you, regarding your debt – that is, they can not either say or imply that something will happen to you if you do not pay. (This does not include actual possibilities such as legal action). They are also not allowed to use profanities or obscene language when they are talking to you. A debt collector is definitely not allowed to discuss your case with anyone else, such as family members or neighbors. You have a right to privacy when it comes to your finances and the debt collection agency is not permitted to break this.