What do debt collectors and scammers have in common?

What do debt collectors and scammers have in common?

By Greg Collier

These days, debt collectors seem to be an unavoidable fact of life. Some people just aren’t financially able to pay some bills like medical expenses. Some others even go out of their way to avoid paying any debt in their name. Even people with perfect credit sometimes miss a relatively small payment or an unclaimed debt seems to slip through the cracks. Anyway you look at it, most of us will end up dealing with a debt collector at some time or another. While legitimate debt collectors aren’t scammers, they do employ some of the same tactics that scammers use.

Just like scammers, debt collectors will try to pressure you into a making a payment right then and there. First, you have a right to know when and where the debt came from. The collection agency might not have this information, since they may have bought the debt from someone else. At this point, you should ask for a debt verification letter that will detail where the debt supposedly came from. You’ll also want to check with your state to see when the statute of limitations on debt is. If the collection agency is asking you to pay a debt that’s older than the statute of limitations, if you start paying on that debt it starts the statute of limitations over again.

If a debt collector threatens to have you arrested or garnish your wages, they are breaking the law. Unfortunately, this does not stop some debt collectors from using this tactic. This is a trick used to go after people with debt that the collection agency doesn’t plan on actually taking legal action against.

If you receive repeated calls from a debt collector, you should look into your state’s laws concerning debt collection harassment as well. Just because someone may owe a debt doesn’t mean they should be treated as a second class citizen.