How do I know if the Debt Collector is Legitimate?

Calls from debt collectors are worrisome, especially if the collection agency or law firm collector name is unfamiliar to you. You may be told misleading or false information about a debt they claim you owe.  Or, you may be threatened with an action if you don’t pay. Here are a few signs that may indicate that the collector isn’t legitimate.

You Don’t Recognize the Debt

If the debt in question is completely unfamiliar to you, it could be a scam. Ask that the collector provide a validation of the debt and a detailed itemization of any amount they claim is owed.

If you don’t recognize the collection firm, keep in mind that creditors will often assign past due balances to a collection agency or law firm collector. You may begin to receive collection calls or letters demanding payment from this third party collector years after defaulting on credit cards, loans, medical bills, etc.

You are not provided with details

If you are unfamiliar with the collection agency, ask the collector for the name of the firm, where it’s located – address and phone – and the collection agent’s name.   Also, ask the name of the underlying creditor, account number and balance claimed.  A collector who won’t provide any of this information is worthy of suspicion.

You are asked to provide personal
identifying information

Never provide or confirm personal identifying information, such as social security number, birth date or bank account numbers, over the phone. Request that the collector send you a letter detailing the name of the creditor, account number and amount owed.

If you do not like the way you’ve been treated by the collector, you may write and request they Cease & Desist all contact with you.

You are Threatened by the Collector

Under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors can’t threaten to take an action they don’t intend to take.  For example, they can’t say, “We’ll sue you if you don’t pay,” when they have no intention of filing a lawsuit.  If you are threatened with a lawsuit or possibly arrest, your consumer rights may have been violated.

Seek Free Legal Help

Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that represents  victims of abusive collection tactics.  Contact us for a free legal evaluation for violation of your consumer rights – whether you owe the debt or not!