35% of us who have a credit report, have a debt collector on our backs, according
I would bet that a majority of Americans have been contacted by a debt collector at
one time or other.
Can They Do That?
First, state laws apply, and I am only licensed in Michigan. Which does not have consumer friendly laws, for the most part.
There are federal statutes though, that protect consumers from debt collectors.
Now, the debt collector is NOT the one you borrowed the money or otherwise went into debt with, but a third party, ( you know, you, being the party of the first part, and the original creditor, being the party of the second part) a collection agency, or law firm, chasing you for money.
UNLESS the debt was acquired by the entity chasing you now, AFTER it went into default.
So, you have a VISA, it is behind, they sell the loan to Midland.
Midland is not a third party, but, they are subject to the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because they bought the debt after it went into default. This makes them a debt collector under the FDCPA.
Debt Collectors Have To Stop Calling You!
When? When you tell them!
Best to do it in writing, if you can get an address from the chickens (see picture above).
What do you say?
“I do not owe this debt. Stop bothering me.”
The FDCPA says debt collectors have to stop when you tell them this.
If you have a lawyer, you can throw that in, to contact the lawyer, and not you.
I can tell them to take a flying leap for you.
The FDCPA also has other provisions.
Debt collectors cannot threaten to do something that they cannot actually do.
Like, throw you in jail.
In Michigan, third party debt collectors CANNOT sue, nor can they garnish anything.
And, when they do not even have a mortgage on your home, they cannot threaten to foreclose and kick you out.
Which happened to a recent client of mine, and cost the bad guys $10,000.
THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE A CASE WORTH $10,000.
But, you might have.
And you are protected by at least one federal law from debt collector harassment.
Check with an expert attorney if you have any questions.