What You Need To Know About Collection Agencies
Collection Agencies Are Not Your Friend
Many people make the mistake of believing that the only people who get harassed by collection agencies are people who don’t pay their bills. This is a stereotype that is quite untrue. Most collection agencies don’t really care if a debt is legitimate or not, they just want to collect the cash. Some agencies know for a fact the debt isn’t legit, yet they still continue to harass the poor debtor. To understand why, you need to see the true face of collection agencies.
A Man (Or Woman) with A Mission
When a person working for a collection agency is given a debt to collect, they have good incentive to do so. These people get paid on a commission basis – anywhere from fifteen to twenty-five percent of the debt they collect on. Whether the debt is legit or not doesn’t matter, if they can collect the cash, they get paid.
It’s also important to understand that collection agencies have a very high turnover when it comes to their collection agents. It’s not uncommon for a collection agent to quit after a few months of work. Because of this, they are always desperate to fill vacant positions and this puts a bunch of inexperienced, unknowledgeable collection agents chasing after a bunch of past-due debts. When you put an inexperienced collection agent on the phone, they may not know the laws and they often cross the line. This is when things start to get ugly.
What They Can Do and What They Can’t
A collection agency can indeed contact you about a debt whether it’s legitimate or not. You, however, have the right to demand proof of the debt if you feel it is in error and you have a write to notify the collection agency that you dispute the debt and that you feel you are not responsible for it.
If the collection agency harasses you and keeps calling you, you have the right to tell them to stop. Once you tell a collection agency not to contact you anymore, they may only call you one more time to tell you their intentions and then they have to stop any contact with you.
A collection agency cannot threaten you with illegal action. If the collection agent says they are going to take all of your personal property if you don’t pay the debt or they do anything else prohibited by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, they’re breaking the law. Report them to the State Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission.