How can you tell whether a debt collector is operating legitimately?

Facing collection activity is highly unpleasant for any person accused of not paying their financial responsibilities in full. Collection agents often call people at home and work. They may use degrading language or make someone feel threatened. The tactics employed by collection agents can help them to trick or manipulate someone into making a payment as soon as possible. There are laws in place to help reduce the misconduct of unethical collections agents but such prohibitions have not eliminated unlawful collections-related behavior.

Some collection agents cross the line and become abusive. Others seek to collect on so-called zombie debts, which are either too old to legally enforce or have already been paid in full. Those who are facing repeated collection efforts may have questions about the validity of those collection attempts. How can someone validate whether or not the collection worker on the phone is a legitimate representative of a relevant creditor or not?

They can ask for licensing information

Every collection company has to have a license to operate, and they should provide information about said licensing upon the request of someone that they contact.

It should not be difficult or the person on the other end of the phone to provide information about the organization that employs them and the license it holds. When the person on the phone doesn’t want to provide a company name or licensing information, there’s probably a reason.

They can inquire about the origin of the debt

Consumers do not have to accept the claims of debt collectors when they call. Those collection professionals should be able to provide a detailed written statement in most cases to help substantiate the validity of the depth.

In cases where the person on the phone will not give licensing information or details about the debt, there may be reason to question if they are engaged in some kind of collection fraud.

Fighting back against financial misconduct protects consumer

When businesses try to collect on old debt or debts that someone already repaid, they do real harm to the consumers involved. Those who suspect they are the victims of some kind of collection-related fraud could potentially pursue a claim against the organization that contacted them.

Learning more about abusive and fraudulent debt collection practices can benefit those who are compelled to communicate with collection agents.

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