Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fighting Collection Agencies

If you, like so many Americans, are fighting collection agencies and suffering from undue emotional and financial hardships as a result of collector harassment, take heart – you hold the cards. No, I'm not trying to sell you anything. What I want to do is give you the information you need to fight the good fight and demonstrate to the debt collectors hot on your tail that they need to find easier prey.

As a professional, its incredibly disheartening to stumble upon websites that claim to offer valuable advice on how to fight collection agency debt yet instead instruct readers to do things that will either make the situation worse or get them sued. Granted, risks are an inherent part of this industry, and some methods are riskier than others, but consumers deserve to know just what they're up against with certain debt avoidance tactics.

Before we Begin: The Disclaimer

I am not an attorney. I am a consumer advocate and a credit specialist. The information I provide is not to be considered legal advice nor do you and I share any variety of attorney-client privilege . My posts are a compilations of years of experience and a nose-to-the-grindstone study of the law. Anything you choose to do, you must do at your own risk (but I promise to explain those risks to the very best of my ability).

What Is Collection Agency Debt?

Collection agency debt is any financial obligation owned by a collection agency. Don't get these companies confused with collection departments. They are very different beasts. I will explain the difference in a later post. As a general rule, if you're getting telephone calls and letters concerning a debt you haven't paid in over six months, you're dealing with a collection agency.

Collection agencies buy debts from hospitals, credit card companies, utility companies, mortgage companies and rent-to-own facilities for much less than the debtor actually owes...much, much, much less. The company then adds some outrageous fees and goes after the debtor for the balance. The majority of these agencies will continue to add "late fees" (yes, I'm laughing) and interest to your debt so that they can eventually offer you a settlement and make it appear to be a good deal. Thus, your unpaid debt increases for a while before sharply declining.

While all this is going on behind the scenes, you're getting inundated with phone calls and letters from debt collectors trying to extract even the smallest payment from you. Paying even a penny, however, is usually one of the worst mistakes you can make when fighting collection agency debt. Don't do it!

Fight The Debt Collectors 

Luckily, you have a plethora of consumer protection laws backing you up. No matter how you may have criticized your government in the past (and lets face it, we all have) they've done some real stand-up stuff for you in this area. Your job now is to take advantage of the numerous protections that are in place (and yes, a few of the loopholes) in order to escape the situation you're currently in without having to work yet another debt payment into your already strained financial budget. I'm going to show you how to do that.

Not only do I hope to teach you the skills you need to start fighting collection agency debt and breathe easy once again, I hope that you'll take this information with you and inform others so that they too can remove the noose and get their lives back.

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