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When Debt Collectors Got The Wrong Person

Many of us are all too familiar with the kind of stunts many debt collectors are willing to pull just for a few thousand dollars. The fact that there are laws in place to protect consumer rights is not stopping these unscrupulous agencies from using threats, intimidation, credit card lawsuits, arrest warrants and jail time to extract debtors into paying their debts, regardless whether or not the other party indeed owns the debt!

It’s not uncommon for many junk debt buyers to get their facts wrong and often, those who do not own the debt are even made to pay for it because they were too scared to do anything else. The fact is, junk debt buyers purchased old, charged off accounts from original creditors and the information they get about each account is limited only to a name and a phone number. In order to gather more information about the debtor, they will scour various databases owned by other companies, often getting partial details about a person. Unfortunately, they don’t really verify much of the information they get and there are times when they get the wrong person!

Imagine getting a collection calls and being informed of a debt you never even knew existed and then being threatened with jail time, credit card lawsuit or arrest warrant if you do not pay the debt immediately. Scary, right? Most people are too quick to fork over the money just because they are too scared to protest. This is the kind of thinking that made buying and selling of charged off debts a billion dollar industry.

Don’t let junk debt buyers who rely on partial or wrong information to violate your rights. It is important to check and familiarize yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You don’t need to be subjected to repeated collection calls, harassment and unwanted contact with debt collectors, particularly when you know you don’t owe the debt. You can fight, demand validation of the debt (which, with the limited information the debt collection company has, is virtually impossible) and file a complaint if you have been a victim of abusive collection practices.

If you plan to file a complaint, do so at the state attorney general’s office as well as the Federal Trade Commission. Both agencies actively monitor complaints against abusive debt collectors. Patterns of complaints can help hold the other party responsible for their actions.

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