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Tips for determining whether a debt collector is legitimate

| Jun 4, 2020 | Firm News

Some people in Florida might receive calls from a debt collector but be unsure as to whether the calls are legitimate. Debt collectors generally start with or follow up with a letter, so this could be one sign that the debt is real. A collection agency should also be willing to share their name and other contact information. People should not discuss the debt on the phone until they receive a letter from the agency.

Debt collectors should be able to verify the person’s name and address. The collector should also be able to provide information about where the debt came from. It is possible that the debt is legitimate but that the company has contacted the wrong individual. A debt company insisting on a wire transfer for payment or a prepaid debit card is probably not legitimate. Companies should be able to accept payments in a variety of ways.

When on the phone with someone who says they are from a collection agency, people may want to ask for a number to call back. This is a way to check if the number is functioning and is the same company. People may also want to review credit reports. Usually, the debt will appear although not all collectors report to agencies.

People who are struggling with debt might want to contact an attorney to discuss their options, including bankruptcy. An attorney may help a person determine whether they qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. These are generally based on income although there may be other criteria. Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually involves discharging debts in a few months. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, people usually set up a payment plan over several years.

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