Credit Repair and collections - CreditRepair.comMistakes are an inevitable part of life, especially when it comes to finances. Few people are able to maintain perfect credit from start to finish. Whether you’ve been short on cash or simply forgotten to pay a bill, it’s safe to assume that your credit report has experienced at least one negative mark. But what happens when those negative marks escalate? A chronically late bill can cause up to 7 years of credit damage and lead to calls from collection agencies. If you’re feeling threatened or simply unsure, use the tips below to manage the calls efficiently. They will help you handle the situation in a calm manner and, more importantly, assert your consumer rights.

  • Tip #1: Know the rules. Despite what you may think, there are rules surrounding how collection agencies conduct their business and speak to consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the regulatory body responsible for upholding consumer rights. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collection agencies may not:
    • Harass or threaten you or your family with physical or verbal violence for non-payment.
    • Call you between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm.
    • Lie to you in order to collect payment, e.g., “We’ll call the police if you don’t pay,” “We are a government agency with legal authority,” etc. The bottom line: If you suspect dishonesty, hang up the phone.
  • Tip #2: Assert yourself. When you’re faced with a difficult collection agency, it’s important to assert yourself to stop the harassment. Begin by:
    • Demanding written validation of the debt you owe, including your payment history, assessed fees and penalties and an original copy of the credit agreement
    • Writing a letter demanding a stop to the harassing phone calls. Under the law, they are required to comply and may only contact you in writing in the future.
    • Keeping a journal of verbal and written correspondence, including what was said by the collection agency and the tactics they used.
  • Tip #3: Ask for help. Facing a collection agency isn’t an easy task. You may be too overwhelmed to deal with the troubles in front of you, or simply lack the knowledge to combat their demands. Don’t get caught in a credit repair black hole—take the initiative to ask for help. Millions of people struggle with collection accounts and credit damage each year, many of whom find solace by working with a professional to lessen their stress and find answers. You aren’t alone. Take control of your life by finding a strong advocate. As a consumer, you deserve respect. As an individual, you deserve a better future.

Posted in Credit Repair