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Get the debt collectors off your back - Dealing with credit card debt

Did you know that debt collection agencies buy your personal debt from the credit card issuing company when you’re delinquent on your debt for a very long time? However, this doesn’t mean that your debt vanishes with time. Whenever you receive a call from a debt collector, it is mainly because you might not have made even the minimum payment for about a month. But if you have not paid it for months, your credit card issuer will pass on the debt to third-party agencies called debt collection agencies.

So, if you’ve fallen back on your credit card debt payments and it’s already hurting your credit score, you should know how to get out of this precarious situation. Here are a few ways in which you can deal with aggressive debt collectors.

  • Don’t feel the pressure of paying back after the first call you received

Would you ever make the mistake of jumping into any contract or agreement before you understand its terms and conditions? Certainly not! Similarly, you shouldn’t be pressurized to pay off the debt collector as soon as he contacts you. Take some time to navigate your options for repaying debt through collections. Don’t promise to pay and never give any payment details to the debt collector as he may unduly use it later.

  • Assemble all important facts about the accounts

Whenever the actual credit card issuing company sells off a specific debt to a third-party debt collection agency, this moves on to resell the debt. The majority of the debts sold have mistakes in the total amount you owe or who owes it. Debt collection measures are the biggest source of complaints to the CFPB. Here are the steps to take:

  • Ask for a validation letter in case you don’t get one within the first 5 days of the initial contact. The letter should include details on the debt, the collection company, and the way of challenging debt.

  • Maintain proper communication records with the collector and any payment that was made previously by you.

  • Gather your personal records on the debt, once you’re sure it belongs to you. There should be details on the original credit card issuing company and the payment history.

  • Know how to use and exercise your rights

Your closest friend during this time is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This is an act that outlines consumer rights and protects you from harsh debt collection tactics. Be communicative about how and when the debt collectors should get in touch with you. The debt collectors shouldn’t mislead you about the payments that you need to make. Debt collectors are never allowed to use threatening or abusive language. You also have the right to dispute this debt. If you do this within the initial 30 days, the collector is prohibited to ask for the payment till the dispute is over.

If the debt collector violates your rights under the FDCPA, you can inform the CFPB. You may also check with the legal aid or the office of state attorney general.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes

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