There is nothing more frustrating and stressful than learning that your credit card account has been sent to collections. This will impact many areas of your finances, including your credit report and credit score.
It's important to understand your legal rights when dealing with a debt collector. Here are three steps you can take to ease your mind and improve your situation:
- Collect the facts: You have the legal right to request a debt verification letter. This helps you better understand the details of your debt, including how much you owe and the age of the account. With this in hand, you can compare it to your records as you search for inaccuracies.
- Understand your rights: As a consumer, you're protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). There are things that debt collectors can't do, such as threatening to have you arrested or calling at all hours of the night.
- Compare strategies: For example, you can dispute the debt if you find an inaccuracy. If that doesn't work, you can attempt to negotiate a lump sum settlement with your credit card company.
If you find yourself in communication with a debt collector, it's easy to become so intimidated that you end up making a mistake. Rather than do this, follow the steps above to ensure that you're on the right track from the start.
As you move through the process, you can also learn more about filing for bankruptcy. If you qualify, it's one of the better ways to eliminate many forms of unsecured debt, including credit card.
Attorney Advertising Disclaimer: Under Federal Law, we have been designated a Debt Relief Agency and we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. This information is not intended as legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created. Results may vary. Results not guaranteed. Dramatization: Not actual clients in pictures and videos. -- Thomas C. McBride, attorney in Alexandria, LA.