Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Debt Collectors forcing people into bancruptcy

Mood: pleasant
Listening to: Accident Hash #162
Eating: apple and a pop tart - at least one of them is healthy

Clark Howard reports:

Collectors scaring people into bankruptcy

If you owe a debt to a credit card company and that company uses an in-house collector, that bank can use any tactic to come after you. Aside from harming you physically or threatening to put you in jail, in –house bank collectors can do just about anything to get the money you owe. It’s a special exemption under the rules of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. But most debts are turned over to third party companies who use these threatening tactics even though it’s illegal for them to do so. As a result, people are getting scared into filing bankruptcy. Clark saw a sign the other day, saying “Bankruptcy Is Still An Option.” That’s a step most people don’t need to take, but these creditors convince people there is no other way. It’s best to honor your debts and pay them a soon as you are on your feet. But according to the FDCPA, collectors must follow these rules:
  1. A collector cannot call you after you’ve told them not to do so.
  2. A collector cannot call you at work.
  3. A collector cannot tell other people about your debt.
  4. A collector cannot threaten you (with court, jail or other).
And lastly, please don’t ever give a collector your bank account information or give them post-dated checks. You want a written agreement about how the debt will be paid before you pay a cent.

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