One out of every ten Americans came out of the 2009 financial crisis with one or more debts in collections according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Debt collection can be especially intimidating if you don’t know your rights. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet about how to deal with debt collectors and what they can and cannot do that can fuel this anxiety.
Believing the myths about debt collectors can damage your credit, put you at risk for a lawsuit, or even lead you to pay a collection that you don’t owe. Make sure you get the facts and the truth buried under these common rumors. PCS debt relief debunks five debt collector myths to help you get your facts straight:
Myth #1 – Debt Collectors Are Always Right
It is never safe to assume that a debt collector is calling you about real debt. Sometimes they may get the wrong information, dishonestly pursue bogus debts or even go after debts that have been canceled.
Be sure to ask the caller for proof of your debt and their identity before you pay it.
Myth #2 – Debt Collectors Call Your Relatives To Bully You Into Paying
Debt Collectors may call your loved ones, but they cannot give them any information about the reason why they are calling you. Calling your parents, siblings, or friends is simply a tactic they use to embarrass you.
It is legal, but if they mention anything about your debt, they are breaking the law. All they can legally do is leave their contact information.
Myth #3 – Collectors Can Garnish Your Wages If You Don’t Pay
This is one of the more popular myths. Debt collectors may claim that they will intercept your paycheck before you receive it. The only time they would be able to garnish your wages would be after they have sued you and won the case. Don’t be tricked into thinking that they can access the company payroll. The one exception to this is federal student loans and debts.
You shouldn’t be blindsided by garnishment unless the debt collector has used the wrong address. The collector must use the address you have designated for important documents. If they send it to the wrong address, your attorney may be able to have the judgment overturned because you were not served at the correct address.
Myth #4 – If You Don’t Pay You Will Go To Jail
There aren’t debtor’s prisons in America anymore, meaning if they threaten you with criminal charges and jail time they are lying. It is even illegal for debt collectors to threaten to have you arrested over debts if they know they do not have the authority to do this.
Myth #5 – Collectors Can’t Sue Past The Statute Of Limitations
While the statute of limitations is technically the time limit that a debt is legally enforceable, that doesn’t mean a debt collector won’t take legal steps after the statute has expired. Some debt collectors are not honest and don’t always follow the law.
They may re-age the debt or sue you in hopes that you can’t prove the statute of limitations has passed. It is important to keep your own records for your debts and their timelines incase this happens.
If you need help with debt collectors or reducing your debt entirely, PCS Debt Relief can help with our debt relief services that are tailored to your needs. We understand the burdens and stress that debt creates, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. Call (636) 209-4481 for a free consultation to achieve financial stability.