Originally posted 2010-03-11 18:34:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Stories of debtors and bill collectors have always been with us. From ancient times to the present there have been people who owe money and those who try to collect it. Sometimes a person or company will attempt on their own, and sometimes they employ a professional debt collection agency.

With most of the world operating on some sort of credit, is it any wonder that debt is at an all time high, especially in today’s difficult economic times. The collection industry has become enormous, and many of us have at one time or another come face to face with a collection agency.

In their zeal to recoup owed money, agencies sometimes stoop to unfair and illegal tactics. This happens quite regularly. In fact, statistics show that consumers lodge complaints about the the debt collecting industry more than all other industries combined.

The modern popularity of social networking services has seen the dawn of some rather innovative ways of pursuing debtors. With so many folks displaying their lives on Facebook and MySpace, it’s not surprising that sooner or later some collection agency will come knocking online.

As a matter of fact there’s a story going around that someone was behind in their car payments and the collection people published the debt collection notice on their child’s MySpace page. It’s quite possible not to answer a knock at your front door, or not answer your phone, but a personal networking site is much more open. Someone can claim to be a friend and gain access with ulterior motives.

Another cautionary tale is to be aware of unpaid medical bills. Even if you have health insurance, make sure that any submissions for payment are indeed paid. Providers of medical services are becoming much stricter than they used to be. They simply contract a third-party collection agency to go after you. If you have claims in the works, phone your insurance company to make sure that they have your paperwork and that payment is being processed in a timely manner.

If you discover that there is a dispute, be sure and contact your medical provider. Let them know a resolution will be found and that you’d greatly appreciate them not turning the debt over to a collection agency. Endeavor to obtain a lower bill if you don’t have insurance, then institute a payment plan and stick to it. Even a small medical invoice can become big trouble to your credit score if it gets sent on to a collection agency.

The previous examples of collection attempts are undoubtedly embarrassing and unfortunate. The problem is that things can escalate from there and you can find yourself being bullied and hounded for something your insurer should be taking care of, or for a debt that is not even yours.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA was instituted to protect people from unfair collection tactics. Here are some facts to arm yourself with. You can dispute the debt by obtaining the name, address and phone number of the agency and sending them a certified letter within 30 days. The agency must show you proof or else cease calling.

Be sure and monitor your credit report. If the debt shows up, get in touch with all the credit bureaus and bring this inaccuracy to their attention. Back up your protest with a copy of the certified letter you sent to the collector. Most importantly, if the harassment continues, contact a fair debt attorney who will evaluate your case. If your situation warrants it, they will bring a lawsuit against the offending debt collector.

Learn more about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – FDCPA – and how it protects you from debt harassment. Visit FairDebtHelpers.com for a free evaluation of your case by an experienced fair debt attorney.

Article Source: ArticleSpan

Filed under: Debt Collection Articles

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