Many people have had the unpleasant experience of dealing with debt collectors. Endless calls, letters of default, and threats of lawsuits are all commonplace when dealing with missed debt payments. What many people don’t know is that there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with debt collectors. Here are some answers to some of the more common questions about debt collections:

What should I do when contacted?

Always answer the call, at least once. It is important to find out which creditor is attempting to collect, how much they allege you owe, and any other details about your account. However, it is important you do two things, (1) request written verification of the debt to be mailed to you, and (2) do not pay them anything until you have received that verification letter.

What if they are being abusive?

Debt collectors are supposed to follow the guidelines outlined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provided by the Federal Trade Commission. If you feel like a creditor is harassing your or being abusive, contact the Federal Trade Commission to report them.

What if they threaten to sue?

If a creditor or debt collector informs you of their intent to sue it is important you take action. Even if you feel it is simply a scare tactic, contact your creditor directly to find out more about the risk of a lawsuit. If they verify they do intend to seek a judgment against you, contact a Louisville bankruptcy lawyer to discuss options for halting the lawsuit.

What if I want to pay my creditor directly?

You maintain the right to negotiate with and pay your creditor directly. Even if your account has been turned over to a third party collector you can still, and should, resolve your debts directly with the creditor. Third party companies cannot always be trusted and with the number of debt collection scams on the rise you can never be too careful.

What if I can’t pay?

If you are having trouble paying your debts it is important to consult a Louisville bankruptcy lawyer about your options. They may be able to negotiate your debts with your creditor outside of bankruptcy, or help you find the relief you need through other avenues.