Dealing with debt collection agencies is never pleasant and you may find that some are especially persistent —and rude. While debt collectors are required to follow certain laws and regulations, many are guilty of bending or breaking the rules.
It’s important to remember that debt collectors are trained to do everything possible to collect the debt, including sometimes using scare tactics to get you to comply with their requests.
However, don’t let a collection agency intimidate you, and be prepared for possible lies and tactics they may use.
Here are 5 lies debt collectors may tell you.
#1: Pay off your debt now to boost your credit score.
If your account ended up going to collections because of a missed payment or series of missed payments, the activity will stay on your credit report for up to seven years after making the last payment. Debt collectors may try to convince you that paying off the debt will improve your credit score but the truth is that once the activity has been reported to the credit bureaus, it will stay there and may not have any positive effect on your credit score.
#2: Let us talk to a friend or family member to help you pay off the debt.
This is a tactic that will make it that much easier for the debt collector to track you down —not really to help you pay off that debt. Be cautious when debt collectors are pressuring you to pay the debt by bringing friends and family members into the picture.
#3: Pay now or we will take you to court.
This is a scare tactic that many debt collectors resort to when they aren’t sure whether you are going to pay the debt at any time. However, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors are breaking the law when they threaten to take you to court when they have no intention or grounds to do so. Learn more about FDCPA guidelines so you won’t be swayed by this scare tactic.
#4: We are going to inform your employer about your outstanding debt.
Even if you owe money, you do have certain rights that prevent a debt collection agency from disclosing this information to your employer, friends, and family members. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have the right to be free from harassment or intimidation by a debt collector.
#5: Send us a post-dated check and you’re in the clear.
Refrain from making any type of agreement with a debt collector about accepting a postdated check, especially over the phone. Some debt collectors will cash post-dated checks early or even change the amount on the check. When you are making a payment, make sure to use a money order or send a certified check with a return receipt. Also, avoid sending a regular check linked to your personal checking account since the bill collector may be able to tap into your bank account.
These are just five of the lies debt collectors sometimes spout in order to get you to pay a past due bill. What other lies or tactics have you heard?