Most Arizonians don’t know what to do when a debt collection company calls. The law does allow creditors or collection companies to call debtors and attempt to retrieve money owned. However, there are state and federal laws regarding which practices are allowed and which are explicitly prohibited. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act both stipulate what some attorney’s call “debtor’s rights.” When a collection company calls you, it’s important to know what rights you have against creditor abuse and malpractice.
When a Collector Calls
When a collection company calls you, they cannot demand that you pay the debt without informing you of several fundamental things. After the first call, the collection company has five days to inform you of the amount of debt that you owe and the name of the creditor to whom you owe the debt. If a collection company calls you demanding “payment” without specifying either of these, you have a fair case you can make against the collection company. You should contact a bankruptcy lawyer in Scottsdale if a collection company keeps calling without specifying the debt.
You can Contest the Debt
Most debtors are unaware that they can call into question the validity of a debt. Once a collection company calls you notifying you of a debt, you have 30 days to dispute the debt. If you doubt the validity of the debt, you can make a statement disputing the collection company’s claim. Once you have written to the creditor or the collection company, the parties should issue a statement in return verifying the debt in another 30 days. If you don’t get this verification statement after you issue a dispute, then the debt is very likely invalid.
When Creditors Don’t Match
Sometimes creditors sell debt. So some of your debt could be owned by a different creditor than the original person or entity you borrowed from. If the current creditor is different, then the collection agency must issue a statement with the name and address of the original creditor. If you don’t recognize the creditor of a debt, you must issue a statement and have the collecting agency specify the creditor’s identity. It’s important to note that the collection company cannot call you or try to retrieve a debt before notifying you who the original creditor is. You must get the verification as a written statement too.
Don’t Let Them Verbally Advise You
Some collection agencies may try to verbally tell you who the original creditor is, what amount of debt is owed, and other such factors. This is an attempt by collection companies to avoid issuing written statements. Documents can be upheld in court. If you get a verbal statement, the collection company can always change the story if the case goes to trial. Therefore, you must have physical statements mailed to you. Debtors have the legal right to such.
Collection companies that don’t adhere to the rules can be taken to court. In some cases, your debt may be waived and the court may demand the collection company to pay your attorney’s fees as well.