Getting proof of a debt and stopping calls from debt collectors

Minnesota residents who are suffering from overwhelming debt may be interested in ways to fight against creditor harassment. Making the proper requests on time can help to avoid harassing phone calls, particularly when a debt is not legitimate.

A consumer who believes that a debt collector is attempting to collect on an obligation that is illegitimate may make a request for proof of the debt's existence in writing under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This written request must be made within 30 days. Another option to minimize creditor harassment, should that deadline have already passed, is for the consumer to request in writing that the debt collector cease all contacts. This, at least, will stop any phone calls or other communications from the collection agency.

If the debt is not paid, the debt collector has two alternatives. A lawsuit can be filed, or the claim can be dropped. People who do not believe that these debts are legitimate should appear at the hearing to defend themselves. Failure to appear in court can lead to a default judgment. The collector can then use that judgment to garnish wages and levy on bank accounts and other assets. Experts say that bringing proof of income and assets to a hearing can help to lower payments if a court finds in favor of the debt collector.

Understanding a person's rights under the FDCP to stop creditor harassment can be difficult without the assistance of an attorney, who may be able to help a client by contacting the creditor and either disputing the debt or negotiating a settlement. This may help limit the impact on the client's credit report.

Source: FOX Business, "Can I Request Proof of Credit Card Debt?", Jeanine Skowronski, August 20, 2014

Source: FOX Business, "Can I Request Proof of Credit Card Debt?", Jeanine Skowronski, August 20, 2014

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