Debt collectors will often do whatever it takes to collect a debt—including break the law. The reason many debt collectors are willing to do this is simple: threats and harassment are effective. When consumers are subjected to these types of tactics, they tend to make mistakes, including agreeing to pay debts that aren’t owed. Debt collectors know this, and they take full advantage of it. In this article, we discuss common mistakes to avoid when dealing with debt collectors. For additional information, please contact a California debt collection lawsuit defense attorney.
Ignoring Phone Calls and Letters from Debt Collectors
Although it may be tempting, you shouldn’t simply ignore phone calls and letters from debt collectors. If you do in fact owe a debt, ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. However, when speaking to a debt collector, keep the following in mind:
- Don’t agree to make any payments without an agreement in writing.
- Don’t admit to owing the debt.
- Request that the debt collector s all future correspondence by mail.
Failing to Validate Debts
Any time you are contacted by a debt collector, it’s imperative that you make the debt collector validate the debt. After all, if the debt doesn’t belong to you, you shouldn’t have to pay it. You can request validation of the debt by sending a debt validation letter to the debt collector via certified mail.
Failing to Know the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for most debts in California is four years. This means that a debt collector has four years from the date of default to collect a debt. Debtors who are unaware of this deadline, however, sometimes end up paying for debts that they are no longer legally obligated to pay.
Failing to Negotiate
Debt collection agencies, also known as debt buyers, purchase debts for pennies on the dollar. These companies make huge profits by purchasing debts from original creditors at a discounted rate and then collecting the full amounts owed from debtors. Due to this business model, debt collectors can accept much less than is owed from debtors and still make a healthy profit. Therefore, you should never agree to pay a debt collector in full without first attempting to negotiate.
Failing to Hire a California Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Attorney
Finally, the biggest mistake consumers in California make when dealing with debt collectors is failing to obtain legal representation. If you’ve been contacted by a debt collector, you should have an experienced California debt collection lawsuit defense attorney in your corner. At the Fullman Firm, our experienced attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience fighting for the rights of consumers, and we take tremendous pride in helping our clients fight back against debt collectors. When you contact us for assistance, we will explore all available options and work with you to obtain a successful result in your debt collection case. Please contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.