The words ‘debt collection’ bring a lot of panic and anxiety to individuals who are in debt. It may be your student loans, your mortgage on your house or your car payments. No matter what the debt may be, debt collection is something that every debtor has to face. After all, your creditors and lenders need to get their money back.
So when you answer your door bell and you come face to face with the representative of a debt collection agency, don’t panic. Remember that debt collection is an activity that is regulated by the law. The law ensures that debt collection is just an act to pursue you to make payments; it will not impede on your rights. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1977 details the rights that you have when it comes to debt collection.
First of all, you may be wondering why a representative of a debt collection agency is at your door. If you owe a certain amount of debt to a company, you usually pay the debt according to the contract that you signed. However, if you miss payments or you refuse to stick to the payment plan, the company may turn the debt over to a collection agency. This can also happen if you continually ignore notices from your lender. To put it simply, debt collection happens when your creditor or lender feels that pursuing you for payments is already taking up too much of their resources.
Of course, the debt collector cannot simply pop up on your doorstep, demanding that you pay your debt. Typically, debt collection starts when a collector contacts you and notifies you of the status of your debt. The initial contact can happen through a lot of ways. It can be done through a letter, a fax, an email, or a typical phone call. In some cases, the debt collection process can start with a home visit from the collector. However, do not panic. The first visit is usually for the purpose of gathering information only. The debt collector simply wants you to know that he will be handling your payments.
Debt collection is a very transparent process. You will be given all the information you need. For instance, within five days of initial contact, the collector will send you a written document that will provide the necessary details regarding your debt. It will include the name of the creditor or the business from which you borrowed the money. Also included is the specific amount that you have yet to pay.
However, it is important to note that debt collection activities are not always 100% accurate. Sometimes, businesses fail to update your payment records and they may assume that you have missed some payments. If you believe that you have sufficiently settled your debt, you can just write a letter to the collector to explain yourself. You must show proof that you have settled the account, and until the collector can dispute your claim, all debt collection activities will stop.