Credit repair can sometimes seem like a daunting task, but if you hang in there and take some time to research and learn the best ways to repair your credit, you’ll be increasing your credit score before you know it.
As you go about your credit repair, chances are you will be contacted by bill collectors, which are third party collectors that your creditors hire to try to collect debt from you. When it comes to dealing with bill collectors, there are certain things that you can do to make your conversations with them less brutal. After all, bill collectors tend to have dominant personalities, so if you are not prepared, you can end up getting very frustrated and perhaps even feel victimized.
Here are some great tips for understanding more about the bill collection process and preparing for your next bill collector encounter.
Bill collector letters
If you get a letter from a bill collector, read it carefully. You may not really be liable for the amount due, as you could have either already paid it or they could have made a mistake. Identity mishaps have also been known to occur. If you realize that a mistake has been made, go ahead and contact them in order for them to make the adjustment and repair your credit.
Statute of Limitation
There is a statute of limitation (SOL) on debt, so if you get a letter stating that you owe a debt, check to see the statute of limitation on it. The SOL will depend on what state you live in, as well as the type of debt in question. Most collectors know that if the SOL has expired, they really can’t do anything so they are more willing to negotiate.
Believe it or not, there are false collections going on all the time. If you receive a notice from a bill collector and you know that it is not true, contact them immediately. The best way to contact them is to send them a debt validation letter, which is simply a letter written in a specific format that will cause them to delay the reporting of your debt to a credit bureau.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
The FDCPA protects you, the consumer, from aggressive and unscrupulous methods of bill collecting. It is important that you know your rights under this act and let the bill collector know that you are an informed consumer, as this will deter him or her from shady and aggressive behavior. Here are a few things that bill collectors cannot do when it comes to trying to collect debt from you:
- Continue to call you when you have made it clear that you would like him to stop.
- Call you before 8 am or after 9pm.
- Talk to others, like your family or work, about your debt.
- Threaten to sue you or deduct from your wages.
- Tell you that you can go to jail.
- Falsify their title, such as attorney or law enforcement officer.
- Call you at work after you have made it clear that you do not want to be contacted.
If you are being harassed by a bill collector and your rights have been violated, let them know that you know your rights under FDCPA and then mail or fax a letter to them stating that you only want to be contacted by mail. Keep track of any attempts to call you and if need be, file a suit against them for violating your rights under the FDCPA.
Getting your credit repaired is a commendable endeavor. Continue with your efforts and take these tips and utilize them when dealing with bill collectors. All of your research and hard work will pay off in the future.