WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU DON’T RECOGNIZE A DEBT: 5 STEPS TO TAKE
Dec. 24, 2015
Each year in the U.S., debt collectors contact consumers about a billion times seeking repayment of some outstanding debt. While some of the debts triggering this contact may be valid, not all of them will be. Also, not all parties who claim they are owed some debt will be legitimate debt collectors.
Knowing what to do when you come across a fishy debt and/or a new debt collector asking you to pay on debt you don’t recognize can be the key to protecting your hard-earned money.
Confronted with Suspicious Debt? Here’s What You Can Do…
Identify the debt collector – First and foremost, figure out who is contacting you and who you are dealing with. Ask for the name of the debt collector and the original creditor; also ask for contact information for each entity. By law, debt collectors are required to provide this information, and legitimate collectors will do so without hesitation.
Request a validation of the debt – This is another request that legitimate debt collectors are required to satisfy (by law), so make this request. While taking this step can alert you to potential scammers, it can also help you figure out whether you do, in fact, owe the debt or whether the debt may be the result of a creditor’s error or identity theft (or whether it’s a scam).
Don’t disclose your personal information – When dealing with suspicious debts and debt collectors, never share your personal information, including your contact or work info with these parties. Scammers may try to phish for it by asking you to verify some wrong info (hoping you will readily provide the correct info); and once they have this info, it can be much harder to dispute a debt or avoid a scam.
Contact the original creditor – If the debt is verified by an original creditor, contact that creditor and get more details about the debt. By doing this, you may discover essential evidence related to identity theft – or that the creditor doesn’t actually have the right to collect the debt.
Formally dispute the debt – If, after all of this work, you find out the debt is really not yours, you will need to dispute the debt in writing, providing supporting documentation/evidence to back up your claim.
Buried in Real Debt? Contact a Denver Bankruptcy Lawyer at Garcia & Gonzales, P.C.
If you are struggling with crushing debt, you can trust an experienced Denver bankruptcy lawyer at Garcia & Gonzales, P.C. to provide you with experienced help and honest answers about your best debt relief options.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today by calling or by emailing us using the contact form at the bottom of this page.
When you contact us, you will communicate directly with one of our attorneys, not a paralegal or legal assistant. We welcome Spanish-speaking individuals to contact us also – hablamos Español.