I have recently been in the process of paying a bogus collection solely because I want to buy a condo soon. The collection was from a tow truck company that charged me for impounding a vehicle that still had the title in my name. Get this, I junked a car a few years ago (or so I thought). This car was an old mercury cougar that would have been more money to fix than what it was worth. The mechanic told my dad that if we sign over the title to him that he would take care of salvaging it for us. Well, apparently he fixed the car and resold it to someone who didn’t have a license or a registration for the car. They were arrested and when they went to go look for a name to charge for the impounding, they found my name. Obviously, I was very upset, but it would have probabl taken me years to fight this off of my credit report. So, I am giving in and paying it like a sissy, because I would rather own this condo. Anyway, it has helped me to learn my right as a consumer when it comes to dealing with these not so pleasant people. I was not sure of all the horrible things I had heard about collectors and creditors until I had to deal with them on a regular basis. They are the scum of the earth! I am sorry to say it, but I don’t know how they sleep at night. All I wanted to do was talk to them about the situation, but they would keep hanging up on me. It’s ridiculous, anyway, as far as them being professional, I never had a problem with that. They never tried to harass me or else I would have had a lawyer on their butts faster than you can say lawsuit. Here are some things to remember when dealing with a collection or past due account on your credit report.
- First, make sure you are looking at your credit report at least once a year to make sure everything is accurate.
- Collectors are only supposed to call you between the hours of 8am and 9pm.
- Collectors are not supposed to call you at work if you request them not to do so.
- If a collector ever starts harassing you with threats to sue you, put you in jail, garnish your wages, get you fired from your job, or anything else like that, immediately terminate the call and send them a letter stating that they must cease all communication with you at once. These people will get anything to guilt you or scare you into paying your collections.
- You can always negotiate. They are never going to accept negotiations at first, but depending on the situation, you have the power to work out different situations other than paying the amount in full. Unless you are in my case where I could not close on the property until the account was paid.
- You are only obligated to verify your address and where you work. You do not have to answer any of their crazy personal questions that they will ask you. Collectors will try to get as much information out of you about your financial situation so that they have a better picture of whether or not you can pay the collection. Never give them any information that they are NOT entitled to.
If you would like to read more about these rights visit the website for the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Remember that if you owe the money, then you owe the money! Don’t try to get yourself out of it unless the collection truly is inaccurate. However, you have to look out for yourself. You cannot pay a collection before you pay the rent, utility, or grocery bill. These people do not care about these life situations, and they will try to get you to pay them before you pay for a roof over your head! Protect yourself first.