One of the most vulnerable times for many of us in terms of credit card usage is during the holidays when you can have credit and extended budget.
It is worth remembering all the rights that consumers have in relation to debt collection which is imputed in licensing regulation. And especially the elderly, who are the most frequent targets of scams and debt collectors. When the phone rings with threats and often frightening accusations, it is important to know what bill collectors can and can not do. And what you can do to avoid being in that position!
What to do if You Cannot Pay Your Debt
Despite all the good intentions and the best planning, we sometimes find yourself in a fix. Call the hospital, the credit card company or the store and try to work out a payment plan that you can afford if you cannot pay your bill. Most will be glad you do not ignore them and will work for you to pay your debt. It is important that once you have reached an agreement, honor your payment commitment – so be reasonable when you agree to a monthly amount. If you can only pay $50 a month, let them know, they would prefer to work with you to lower debt than working with collectors.
Be Alert Of Scam Artists
Be aware that some people who identify themselves as debt collectors can be scam artists trying to collect money they should not, and again, they tend to do this with seniors. If you believe you don’t have the debt, send a letter stating that you owe nothing or the entire amount, and ask for verification, they should stop contacting you at that point. You must submit this letter within 30 days of receiving the validation notice.
If a debt collector files a lawsuit against you, respond. Nothing good will happen if you ignore a legitimate debt collection. If you can afford a lawyer, it’s smart to do that.