If you've fallen badly behind your bills, you are likely all-too-familiar with debt collectors. They are allowed to contact you by mail as often as they wish, and often it seems like every piece of mail contains more and more threats. Even worse than the mail, however, is the constant phone calls from debt collectors, especially your credit card bills. There are strict rules about this collection activity, but even when the creditor follows the rules it can seem overwhelming. There is an emerging threat to people that are behind on their bills, however, that makes normal debt collection activity seem like a walk in the park. Take a look at the below information and learn how to be on the alert for fake debt collectors.
Know the Signs
The first step to prevent being a victim of these unscrupulous criminals is to know and understand how a legitimate debt collector operates. Most debt collection agencies are contracted by your credit card (or other debt) companies, and they are paid a fee based on the success of their efforts at recovering at some of the debt owed. These companies take the rules about how and when they can contact you seriously, so you can expect very close compliance with the above rules.
The problem is that once you begin receiving a number of legitimate debt collection calls and letters, you may not be as aware as you should be of the fake ones. You can, however, be alert to the signs of a fake debt collector by observing the below points:
Just enough info: fake debt collectors have ways of accessing some of your personal information, and they use that information to appear legitimate. One only need watch the news to understand how vulnerable the average consumer could be to having their personal information hacked and used against them. In fact, fake debt collectors only need access to one piece of information about you to wreak havoc with your finances: your credit report. This one item lists all of your debts, amounts, addresses, and more. Additionally, rogue employees at legitimate companies can steal and sell your personal information to those who specialize in ripping off the public.
Strong arm threats: While a legitimate collection agency can threaten you with dire consequences if you don't pay your bills, the threats usually end with the ultimate legitimate consequences, such as loss of your home or car, being sued in court and having a ruined credit record. Fake debt collectors will threaten you with arrest and jail. You need to know that under no circumstances (with few exceptions) will you ever be jailed for failure to pay your credit card bill or mortgage payment. Two exceptions follow:
1. You may be jailed for failure to pay child support as ordered by the court. You will be contacted numerous times and given numerous chances to bring your payments up to date, including having your wages garnished, before the sheriff actually shows up at your door, however. The court system takes a parent's obligation to support their minor child extremely seriously.
2. In some instances, you could be jailed for a tax debt. The actual charge is related more to fraud than to the tax bill owed. The IRS knows that incarcerated citizens cannot make good on a tax debt. You will always be well aware of any fraud charges and you will have your day in court.
Bankruptcy could present a solution for those burdened with debt. Contact a bankruptcy attorney today to learn more.
You walk into your favorite grocery store and right away, you slip and fall only to sprain your ankle. You can't perform your job because it requires standing on your feet all day, which means that you can't make any money to support your family while your ankle heals. There was no warning that the floors were wet after being cleaned in the store – so what do you do? It's probably a good idea to think about filing a personal injury lawsuit. Of course, anyone with experience with a personal injury case will tell you just how important it is to work with an attorney throughout the process. I'd like to share insight I've learned through three personal injury cases that I myself have had to go through in the past. I think the information on this website can help people like you, who need some personal injury guidance.