Just the words debt collector can strike fear in your heart. But, what if YOU had the upper hand?
What if you could send the debt collector packing – and never pay him a dime?
Keep reading… and you will.
1. They have to prove YOU owe the money
If asked, a debt collector must prove that the debt they are trying to collect is based on true and accurate information and that YOU, specifically, are responsible for the debt. If they can’t… you may not have to pay.
Well guess what… more than 50% these proof requests get ignored by the debt collectors! Why? Because they know they can’t validate the debt!
Debt collectors buy debts in bulk and at least try to collect on every debt in the stack. They buy these debts for pennies on the dollar, so even if they only collect on 1 in 10 of the debts they buy, they still turn a nice profit. Your debt may very likely part of the 90% they never expect to collect.
Just one word of caution… only ask for proof like this for debts you believe are not actually yours or that may be more than 6 years old. Challenging a debt you know you actually do owe may draw unwanted attention to your account making you a more likely target for aggressive collection activity.
2. They probably can’t prove you own the money to them
When debt collection companies buy a bundle of debts, all they typically get is a list of account numbers, amounts owed, and contact information. They are rarely provided with copies of the original contracts or detailed payment histories – both of which are needed for proper validation. This is especially true of debts that have been bought and sold multiple times. Without these records, they cannot prove they “own” the debt or that you have to pay it to them.
3. They cannot have you arrested
This is a scare tactic many debt collectors use, but they’re just blowing smoke. Not only can they not have you arrested… they can get fined or completely shut down just for threatening you with arrest.
4. Your debt is likely to be too old to collect
There’s a good chance an older debt has already passed through the hands of 3, 4, or more collection companies before anyone even tried to contact you about it.
What does this mean for you? It means that your debt is probably already past its statute of limitation! Statutes of limitation vary by state, but in Georgia (where NCES is headquartered) the statute of limitation is either 4 or 6 years, depending on the type of account. After the statute of limitation expires, you can no longer be sued in an attempt to collect or garnish your wages.
Often, debt collectors know that your debt is too old to take to court, but they try to collect anyway hoping you do not know enough about your rights to fight back.
5. Paying the debt will not improve your credit score.
This is another lie debt collectors tell all the time. They try to convince you that paying an old account is in your best interest because it will improve your credit score. Well, don’t let them fool you.
The collection will remain on your credit file for a full 7 years, whether you pay it off or not. The only way to fix this is to have the collection account deleted from your credit file. That’s the beauty of credit restoration. NCES assists you in identifying accounts that are incorrect, erroneous, or past their statute of limitation… and then petitions on your behalf for the credit reporting companies to delete them. As each record is deleted, your score goes up.
Debt collectors really do have to fight an uphill battle to collect on the stacks of debts they buy – but only if consumers know their rights!
If you have any questions, please give us a call at 770-952-5168 or contact us online.
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Other articles that may interest you:
Save More When You Pay Yourself First
Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Safely Communicating With Debt Collectors
Prepaid Debit or Secured Credit… Which Helps Build Credit?
This information is intended for informational and educational purposes only and not as legal advice. If you have concerns about your credit report, harassment, identity theft, illegal collections activity, garnishments, or property liens, you should consult an attorney who specializes in consumer rights and defense.