How to Handle a Debt Collection Agency


A debt collection agency is an outside firm that tries to collect on credit card, mortgages, student loan or other types of debt that you may not have paid. Having debt sent to collections can be stressful and can impact your credit scores and reports. Understanding what it means to be in collections and what your rights are can help you decide how to handle it.Source :

Generally, companies that owe you money will try to collect on the debt themselves before sending it to a debt collection agency. Debts are usually sold to collection agencies after you become severely delinquent on your payments. This typically happens after 90 to 180 days of nonpayment. Debts that are sent to collections often include medical bills, student loans, mortgages and credit cards.

Behind the Scenes: How Debt Collection Agencies Work to Recover Funds

Once a debt is in collection, a debt collector can try to get you to pay by phone calls or letters. Debt collectors are required to follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and cannot use abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices. They also are not allowed to contact friends, neighbors and relatives about your unpaid debt unless they have your permission.

A debt collector cannot garnish your paycheck or access your bank accounts unless they win a judgment against you in court. In most states, the statute of limitations on debts is seven years. Until then, you can stop the debt collector from contacting you by sending them a letter requesting they do not contact you again.

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