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What Happens during the Collection of Debt?



If you have debts to pay for your credit cards, student loans, mortgages or car payments, you should be diligent about making the required payments. If you repeatedly miss payments, your account may be turned over to an agency for the collection of debt.

Once your creditor has grown tired of pursuing you for payments, the collection agency will assume all the responsibilities related to the collection of debt. The collection agency will contact you to inform you that it will handle your account. Within five days from the time of contact, the collection agency will send you details regarding the collection of debt. The agency will mail or fax a written document with information about the amount of money you owe, the company you owe it to and the actions it will take if you do not make payment.

The process of collection of debt may start with a phone call, an email, a fax message or regular mail. Sometimes, the collection agency may even visit you at your home. However, keep in mind that collection agencies are not allowed to contact you before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm. This ensures that communication happens at a time that is convenient for the debtor. Also, the collection agency is not allowed to call you incessantly or flood your mailbox with numerous emails. Such a behavior may be considered harassment.

In the course of the collection of debt, there are practices that should be avoided by the representatives of the collection agency. These include:

1) Use of threat of force, violence or harm.
2) Use of obscene and profane language.
3) Use of racial slurs, and other insults
4) False representation – the collector cannot lead the debtor to think that he has legal powers or that his actions are mandated by the government
5) Solicitation of extra fees and charges

Moreover, the collection of debt is a process that should work for both the collector and the debtor. While the debt collector has the right to pursue you for payment, you also have the right to dispute his claim. If you have reason to believe that the debt is not yours or that the amount indicated is incorrect, you may write a letter to the collection agency. This letter should be filed within 30 days of the time of contact between you and the collection agency. Also, if you want the collector to stop calling you, you can send a letter requesting that all communication be done via regular mail.

In the process of the collection of debt, you are allowed to contact the debt collector and request for changes in your payment plan. You may ask him to reduce the amount or to allow you to make more installments over a longer period of time. This gives the collector the guarantee that you will pay since the newly-negotiated rates are more affordable to you.