How to Cold Stop Debt Collectors: Ask Them to Verify Debt
With massive layoffs and only a few job openings each month, many Americans are in debt trouble. Aggressive collection calls add to the stress. Did you know that there is a way to stop debt collectors in their tracks? Have them verify the debt.
Some collectors called you every day. It is distressing because the conversation is repetitive. He tells you that your account is past due and you tell him that you cannot pay (probably because you lost your job or spent a lot on medical bills). Whatever it is, the debt collector continues to tell you that they will continue with collection efforts. You can ask him to stop calling you and tell him that he will write you a certified letter. The calls can continue until they have received the letter.
You can ask the debt collector to stop calling you in your next conversation, but writing a letter to the debt collection agency is the surefire way to stop the calls. In your letter, ask the collection agency to verify the debt and stop calling unless they have already verified it. It will usually take a long time for them to verify the debt. Sometimes it is impossible for them to do so.
Many debts are transferred to third-party collection agencies by assignment or purchase. With the assignment, the original creditor hires them just to collect, but the debt is still with the original creditor. With the purchase, you now own the collection agency. Whatever the case, you don’t know the collector simply because you borrowed money from a different agency or company. No one in their right mind will give a lot of money to someone they just met, right? In fact, a debt verification is needed.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act gives you the right to request debt collection agencies to verify the debt and show that they are collecting for the original creditor. Evidence may include a hard copy of the transfer or purchase of the debt where your account is included in the lot. Beware of collection agencies that send only a cover letter where you see a page signed by the original creditor and the collection agency stating the purchase of the debt. Find the list of the account number and name of the debt sold.
The FDCPA also gives third-party collection agencies a deadline to verify debts. They must send the verification letter within five days. You should include important details like the name of the original creditor and the amount of your debt. You can dispute your verification letter within 30 days and make the collection agency proof that it is your debt. They do not have a deadline for this and your collectors can still contact you unless you formally ask them to stop communicating by phone via a certified mail acknowledgment request. The evidence should include proof that the collection agency has your debt, a history of your payment, and a copy of your original contract (the one the original creditor had).