There has been a lot in news lately about the unscrupulous tactics used by collection agencies. Creditors and collection agencies have always had a reputation for using any means necessary, but some companies just take things too far. If you are tired of the harassment and loss of wages then you need to fight back!
The first step is to contact an experienced attorney to back you up.
They can look after your interests, answer your questions and work with you to build a strong case. Plus, they are invaluable as a buffer zone between you and the collection agency. Even the best attorney can't win your case on their own though.
They need input from you, so keep the following in mind:
- Never do anything without your attorney. Some collection agencies like to try using bogus settlement agreements. If you receive a settlement agreement from anyone, immediately turn it over to your attorney. If it is valid then they will need to look over the terms and discuss it with you. If it isn't legit then it will make great evidence for your case.
- Know your opposition. Learn about the collection company that is coming after you. Are they legit and above board? Do they use underhanded or illegal tactics? Because you are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This prevents collection agencies from using unfair or unreasonable tactics.
- Know your options. Being sued isn’t the end of the world. You still have a lot of options. Discuss the case with your attorney and go over all of the possible defenses you have to the suit. Decide which one works for you and proceed from there.
- Bankruptcy trumps almost everything. If you file for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 then all collection efforts and wage garnishment comes to a screeching halt. If you are in an financial situation that seems to have no solution, bankruptcy may be the best chance you have for a clean start.