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What Can I Do About Debt Collectors?

The actions taken by debt collectors in New Jersey may cause you embarrassment and countless sleepless nights. What is perhaps even more heartbreaking is that Forbes notes for consumers 62 and older, debt collection tops their complaints at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. When moving into retirement, the last thing anyone wants to be grappling with is debt collection and the threats that often follow.

Sometimes you already know you owe your creditors when that first call comes in. Other times, the debt may not make sense to you at all. This may result from a clerical error, past identity theft or current fraud. In other words, the people on the phone could be trying to steal your information right then by taking advantage of your desperation to avoid repercussions.

Because of this, when alleged debt collectors call, always ask them to verify your personal information and the specifics of the debt. What is the name on the account? When was the debt created? What type of debt is it? How much do you owe? If all the facts check out, but you still cannot account for the debt, file a complaint with CFPB and check your credit report to see if the debt shows up there.

If the debt is legitimate, do not buy into the threats. Collection agencies often become desperate and so begin to make threats they cannot see through. For instance, collectors can keep calling until you repay the outstanding balance or make arrangements with your creditors to settle the debt. However, there is a statute of limitations on the ability to collect money through the courts system.

If collection agencies are calling you even at work, you can ask them to stop. In fact, you may ask them to stop contacting you altogether, but they may resort to suing you. Forbes also recommends that if you decide to make arrangements to pay back, use a separate account with no monthly fees for that purpose. Why? Because once a creditor or collections agency has your banking information, they may attempt to take additional money from the account.

This article was written for educational purposes and is not to be interpreted as legal advice.

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    David Alan Ast
    Firm Partner David Alan Ast has more than 25 years of experience helping people throughout northern New Jersey get a fresh start and move forward with their financial lives. He is committed to protecting the rights of his clients seeking debt relief.
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    Robert L. Schmidt
    Firm Partner Robert L. Schmidt earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Finance from Stockton State College in 1990. Three years later, he earned his Master’s degree from Rutgers University School of Business in Camden with a major in finance. Robert then acquired his J.D. from James E. Beasley School of Law at Temple University in 1997.
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