Debt collection calls about a paid debt can be a daunting experience for any consumer. However, the best course of action is to never ignore them and instead be proactive when you receive a call. Here are some helpful tips for dealing with debt collection calls about a paid debt.
Understand Your Consumer Rights
It is important to educate yourself about your consumer rights. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides various publications that explain your rights as a consumer. You should be aware that harassing phone calls, threats, and abusive language are illegal. Additionally, there are several ways to verify that your debt has been paid without going through extra steps.
Contact the Original Creditor
The first step in handling debt collection calls is to reach out to your original creditor. Ask if they have sold your unpaid debt to a debt collection agency or a debt buyer. If so, get in touch with the debt buyer and ask the same question. Repeat this process until you reach the right agency that has the legal right to collect on your account.
Dealing with Rogue Debt Collection Agencies
In some cases, a data breach may occur, resulting in your account being sold to an unauthorized debt buyer. These buyers are known as rogue brokers or rogue agencies. In such situations, there are a few solutions you can take. One is to find a consumer lawyer who specializes in consumer law. This can be especially helpful if you are served with a notice of lawsuit.
Keep Records and Copies
It is important to keep records and copies of any agreements or payments made in regards to debt collection. Some experts recommend keeping them for as long as you keep your tax documents. This way, if there are any questions about your debt, you will have documentation to prove that you paid your account to the rightful agency or debt owner.
Get Payment in Writing
Any agreements for making debt collection payments should be confirmed in writing and signed by a representative of the debt collector before sending any payments. This will help avoid misunderstandings about the amounts to be paid and the time frame for making payments.
Use Certified Mail
Letters can get lost in the mail, so it is advised to send all correspondence with debt collectors through certified mail. Some experts also suggest getting a return receipt as proof that your letter was received.
Final thoughts: Debt collection calls about a paid debt can be stressful, but it is important to not ignore them and instead be proactive. Take steps to verify that your debt has been paid and understand your consumer rights. Keep records and copies of any agreements and use certified mail for all correspondence with debt collectors. By following these tips, you can protect yourself from any further issues related to debt collection.