After you have responded to their mini-Miranda and have instructed them not to call, any call from them is already in violation to the FDCPA rules so do not entertain them. If they call unexpectedly, most likely it is just an automated call waiting to transfer you to another person. Again, do not entertain them nor discuss your personal finances with anybody.
There are cases when the collecting agency, lawyer, or junk debt buyer answers your debt validation letter with documents (see What To Do About Credit Card Debt), usually compost of a few previous account statements. Other times it may include a contract without your signature. When this happens to you, reply through registered mail with a return receipt request contesting the debt and demanding for more documentation.
If you have defaulted on your credit card payments several years back, your bank will call you to remind that falling behind in payments will have negative impact on your credit rating. That was it. But as credit cards gained wide acceptance and its use became mainstream, the debt collection industry came into being. Collecting agencies, collection lawyers, and junk debt buyers flourished preying on people who are no longer able to pay because of the economic crisis, even if it is not legally required. Many also view this practice of coercing people as ethically and morally inappropriate because it is not solving the problem but instead creating more chaos in the long run.
Unsettled credit card debt are sold to junk debt buyers or JDBs. Once they have bought your account they will waste no time in notifying you of their ownership and demand payment. When you receive a debt collector’s notice, immediately check with your state’s website if the debt collector is licensed. Usually they are not permitted to collect consumer debt as they are merely junk debt buyers. If they happen to be unlicensed, then you can warn them that they are violating the FDCPA because they are not licensed to collect. This action is in addition to contesting the debt, demanding proof, as well as telling them to end all collection efforts against you.
Good Debt validation letter
Always bear in mind that a good debt validation letter is your strongest protection against these collections moles. Collection lawyers, collection agencies, and junk debt buyers recognize how powerful a debt validation letter is in thwarting their collection efforts. However, not many people used this or know about this. According to the provisions of the FDCPA, anybody collecting debt must send a mini-Miranda or a letter informing you of your right to question the debt within 30 days and that you are entitled to demand proof regarding the debt involved. Always respond to this notice with a strong debt validation letter contesting the debt and asking for evidence that you owe them. Furthermore, instruct them to stop sending collection letters, phone calls or any other collection activity. More often than not, junk debt buyers will cease hounding you when they get a strong debt validation letter because they will know then that you are not ignorant of your consumer rights.
A good debt letter leaves no legal option for the junk debt buyer other than filing a case in court for a credit card debt court summons. However this is not the best option for them if their collection efforts have been met with resistance. They would rather choose to chase someone else who is ignorant of his or her rights and thus easier to intimidate. On the other hand, should they pursue collection efforts against you, document and take legal action. You can sue them for $1000 for every violation they have committed under the FDCPA rules. There are several lawyers who are willing to represent you on contingency so find a good one.
Action by the original credit bank
There are three things a junk debt buyer can do at this juncture:
- Pass your account to another collecting agency. One of the scare tactics that the new collecting agency will do is to call you even before they send you a mini-Miranda telling you that you will be receiving a subpoena soon unless you settle credit card debt immediately. Bear in mind that this is a blatant lie designed to intimidate you so never disclose your bank details to make a prepayment.
- Pass your account to a collection lawyer. Collection attorneys bank on their letterhead to scare people off. Do not be intimidate when you get a collection letter from them. Just respond to it the same way you respond to JDBs and collecting agencies. They fall under the same classification under the guidelines of the FDCPA and thus are governed by the same rules if they commit violations.
- Sell your account to a different JDB
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