Not even in the best-case scenarios are debt collection calls fun. It can be a real headache knowing that you have outstanding debt that can’t be paid and nowhere to turn because the debt collectors are only offering the bare minimum in terms of options. Most debt collectors believe that use of abusive language, threats and scare tactics will frighten you into paying them. Not only does this breed unnecessary tension it can make the situation become (or at least feel) a lot more dire. When it comes to dealing with a debt collector in any shape or form knowledge is a superpower.
Here are 5 things To Know When Dealing with debt collectors in Australia
1. Familiarize yourself with the Fair Credit Reporting Act
You have rights. On a debt you legitimately owe, a debt collector has every right to collect. Governing how they can go about their business there are rules and restrictions – formally known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Under any circumstances to you have to tolerate abusive behavior. It’s not legal. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits this kind of conduct. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was created for the sole purpose of protecting consumers from debt collector harassment by prohibiting certain debt collector behavior. If a debt collector exhibits such behavior, be sure to document the behavior.
Keep a log of all harassment. Your next move is to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. You may request forms from the Federal Trade Commission, or you can write a letter yourself. Send it to 6th and Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20580, or visit them online. In your complaint Be sure to include the name of the original creditor, the collection agency’s name and address, the names of any witnesses, copies of any other material (written communications, tapes of conversations, your debt collector harassment log, etc.) and the dates and times of all communications.
2. Negotiate a Settlement on Your Terms, Not Theirs
Go over your income and expenses with a fine-tooth comb, figure out what you can afford, and only agree to pay a realistic amount. Payment plans are not always necessary and usually by the time your debt reaches third party collectors, it’s at last end before being written off. You will likely pay more over time if you agree to a payment plan. Avoid this if you can. If you do agree to a payment plan, make sure you fully understand the total amount you will pay.
3. Beware of Scammers
Always get the debt collector coming for the debt recovery in Australia to identify themselves with their name, company, street address, telephone number and if your state licenses debt collectors, a professional license number,” according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has more tips for spotting a debt-collection scam on its website. By law, you are entitled to verification.
4. Do Not Fall For the “Just Pay Something” Trap
Once you pay anything, especially giving payment over the phone. You are back to restarting the clock as debt gets bumped right up on your credit report based on how least or more often you pay. Always ask the collector to send you something in writing. So long as you file a dispute in writing within 30 days of their initial contact debt collectors must investigate a debt. Until they verify (again in writing) that you owe the amount in question, they’re to cease contact.
5. Too Many Calls Are Illegal
Another facet of FDCPA: Once you tell them not to collectors can’t call you too many times a day, too early in the morning, at work or too late at night,. They’re also not allowed to use abusive language – no cuss words or name-calling. You can also ask them to stop calling. It is your right!