How to handle debt collector calls about a paid debt
Have you ever had a call from a debt collector regarding a paid debt? It’s something most consumers dread. The best advice for you is never to avoid them. Be proactive as soon as you get that call. Get to the bottom of why your defaulted paid account has been reopened again. Here are some useful tips for dealing with the debt collector calls about a paid debt.
- Educate yourself about your consumer rights: Yes! FTC has several publications designed to educate consumers about consumer rights. You must be aware that harassing, unnecessary phone calls, threats, and abusive language are illegal. However, there are several other ways to verify that your debt has been paid without going through the extra steps.
- Call the original creditor: Ask your original creditor if they have sold your unpaid debt to any debt collection agency or a debt buyer. Furthermore, call the debt buyer and ask the same question to them. Repeat this process until you get to the right agency that has the legal right to collect on your account.
If you are still not able to verify who you paid, there are several cases where there has been a data breached which means your account has been sold to an unauthorized debt buyer. They are known as rogue brokers or rogue agencies. In such situations, there are a few solutions to your problem:
- Find a consumer lawyer: If you are served with a notice of the lawsuit, find an attorney who specializes in consumer law to represent you in court.
- Make sure you keep records and copies: There is no consensus on how long documents should be kept. Some experts say keep them as long as you keep your tax documents. If a question arises about your debt, you will have documentation that you paid your account to the rightful agency or debt owner.
- Get the payment in writing: Any agreements for making debt collection payments should be confirmed in writing. It should be signed by a representative of the debt collector before sending in any payments. This avoids misunderstandings about the amounts to be paid or time period to make payments.
- Certified mail: Letters can be lost in the mail. Most experts advise sending all correspondence with debt collectors through a certified mail. Some also suggest getting a return receipt as proof that your letter was received.