Debt collection scams are very much prevalent today. They victimize consumers and hamper legitimate debt collection efforts. In response to the growing problem, the ACA Texas offers some tips which can very well be applied in other states as well. These tips help identify legitimate debt collection agencies:
- Generally, a debt collector may not contact a consumer at times to be inconvenient to the consumer. This may include time before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. Also a debt collector may not call a consumer at his place of work if they know that such contact is disallowed by the employer or consumer;
- A debt collector does not communicate with any other than the consumer who owes the debt or the consumer’s lawyer (or the consumer’s spouse in some cases).
- A debt collector is required to disclose its identity to the consumer and inform the consumer that the communication is for the purpose of collecting the debt. Related to this, a debt collector should not make false representations.
- A debt collected must not threaten to take actions — such as lawsuit, jail, garnishment, etc. — against the consumer if it doesn’t actually intend to do so.
- A debt collector must inform the consumer of his right to dispute the validity of the debt, in part or in full with the debt collector. If the consumer disputes the validity of the debt within the 30-day time period, a debt collector must cease collection of the debt until it provides verification of the debt.
Debt collectors are not enemies of the consumers. In fact, they can work together with the consumers to enable the consumers to attain improved credit standing in the process.