Disputing A Debt Without Losing Your Cool – Why You Should Stay Off The Phone With Debt Collectors
Posted on August 7, 2017
Whether or not you have a debt that is past due, you have a right to confirm that you are paying the intended party and paying all that is owed. Even if you ask for the calls to cease, there’s a good chance that you will keep having the same circular conversation about what the debt collector believes you owe. Learn how to write a credit dispute letter and see what you are required to pay only after you receive a hard copy of the proof. Debts can be sold to several different collection agencies, and they may be trying to collect from you all at the same time. Whether you have a business that you are launching and are required to have good personal credit or have a new business debt that you can’t account for, there’s no reason to worry when you are disputing a debt.
Why You Shouldn’t Agree to Pay a Debt Over the Phone
Many times, when a person has an outstanding debt they are well aware that owe a creditor, and either they have just decided to shrug it off or they’re not in a position to pay. What commonly happens is that a consumer gets a call from a number that they don’t recognize and gets caught off guard when they learn that it is a collection call. Debt collectors are trained to collect on outstanding debts as soon as possible, so they will attempt to get alleged debtors to make a deal right then and there.
Here’s the thing – anyone can call your phone and say that you owe a lot of money. Scammers are even able to spoof their phone numbers so that it appears they are calling from a legitimate agency. Once you have given them your credit card numbers and authorize a payment, it might be too late to get your money back. Additionally, if you end up paying a debt collection agency more than you actually need to, you will have trouble getting the balanced returned.
How Disputing a Debt Can Lead to It Disappearing from Your Credit Report
Say you hear from a debt collector and learn that it is alleged you are in default. This will likely prompt you to go into your credit history to see the delinquent tradeline for yourself. As you look at each part of the data, you may realize that some of the information being reported is incorrect. It could be the date that you reportedly become delinquent or even the balance. Once you find something that is incorrect, the debt collection agency will either need to correct it or delete the tradeline entirely.
Guess what – a lot of debt collection agencies don’t receive complete records on the debtors they are trying to collect from. They risk being fined if they cannot furnish the correct data, so many would rather just cease collection activities and move on.
Talking About Your Debts Over the Phone Can Cause Them to be Re-Aged
Although debts can follow you, they won’t stick around forever. Once you stop paying a credit, the debt eventually defaults, gets charged off, and your credit score takes a major hit. The creditor can then sue you for the outstanding debt or they can wait for you to pay it voluntarily. After around seven years, old debts can no longer appear on your credit file. Some debt collection agencies purposely collect on debts that are outside of the statute of limitations because they can potentially lead to big profits. So, if someone calls you and alleges that you owe a debt, you may not know what your rights are. The debt that they are attempting to collect on may be a decade or older, and the collector cannot legally do anything to entice you to pay besides make idle threats. If you were to agree to make a payment, even for a very small amount, you would then be re-aging the debt, and the collecting party could pursue you to the fullest extent of the law.
Annoying Collection Calls Are Meant to Frustrate You
One of the number one complaints that collection agencies have against them is their habit of making collection phone calls. Sometimes calls are placed to cell phones or even the employers of alleged debtors, disrupting the peace of consumers. If you’re running a company, you don’t want your employees to believe that you have debt collectors chasing you.
In short, the pressure of getting repeated collection calls might cause you to simply pay a debt to get a collector off of your back. Imagine how angry you might get when you then pull up your credit file and see that your score has not improved, but actually gotten lower as a result. Or, what if you were told over the phone that you were making a full payment, but you learn that there is still a balance due? This is why you shouldn’t make deals with debt collectors on the phone and need to only send letters that will help you to solidify a paper trail.
Responsible people fall on hard times and being made to feel like a deadbeat by a debt collector isn’t going to help an already tumultuous situation. You can assuage your guilt by making a payment for an alleged debt over the phone, but in reality, you could be seriously harming your credit score. It might take a little longer for a debt collector to get paid if you request debt validation, but that delay will give you more time to check on all of the facts.
You may be able to get some of the fees you have been assessed waived or prove that the principle amount is incorrect. Whether you are working on your credit or just learned that you somehow forgot to pay a debt, the best way to negotiate is with pen and paper. As soon as you request a legitimate debt collector to cease contacting you by phone they have to resort to doing business via mail.