Debt Collection Gone Wrong

If you are behind on you bills, debt collection activities can drive you nuts. There are rules about how and when your creditors are allowed to contact you regarding past due bills, but even those that abide by those rules will contact you incessantly. For some perspective, it's helpful to realize that if your debt has been passed off to a debt collection agency, you will be hounded until you pay, since they only get paid if you pay up. When faced with a barrage of collection calls, it's easy to get fooled into dealing with less-than-legitimate debt collection agencies. Read on for some tips on separating the real collection activities from the fake ones.

The caller demands immediate action. Real debt collection agencies allow people a reasonable amount of time to pay a debt, but a fake agency will demand immediate payment and will make threats of punitive actions if payment is not received within a ridiculous amount of time. You should know that, with few exceptions, you cannot be put in jail for owing money and the sheriff is not on his way to take you to jail for that past due medical bill. You can be jailed for past due child support payments, however, so be sure to do the right thing for your off-spring by staying current. If you owe back taxes to the IRS as a result of fraud, you may be eventually jailed, but not without a fair hearing.

The caller demands a non-traditional form of payment. Fake bill collectors make quick and untraceable money by demanding you send them funds via wire transfer (such as Western Union). Most legitimate collection agencies accept checks and credit cards as payment.

The caller is calling from a cell phone. If attempts to return the debt collection call are answered immediately by the same person you spoke to previously, you may have a bad guy on a cell phone on the other end of the line instead of a real collection agency.

The caller gives you sketchy or inaccurate contact information. A phone call to your original creditor can help immensely when determining whether or not you have a legitimate bill collector or a scammer. Creditors are usually very eager to let you know the names of any real debt collection agencies that they use to collect past due debts.

The caller acts unprofessionally. No actual debt collection agency, no matter how aggressive, will usually be rude to you. Cursing, threats, insults and other unprofessional behavior should be red flag to you.

If you have fallen so far behind on your debts that you fear ever getting caught up, you may need the debt relief that a chapter 7 bankruptcy could provide. For more information on bankruptcy assistance, contact businesses like D Derk Demaree Attorney at Law.