Sometimes collectors contact consumers and ask for payment on a debt that was already satisfied. Whether the collector made calls or sent letters, the consumer may be left confused and uncertain about whether there was a clerical error or if the collection effort is a scam.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act outlines actions that debt collectors can and cannot take. If collectors contact you about a debt that was already paid, you have the right to request proof of the debt and how it was calculated. You can also request confirmation that the collector is permitted to collect the debt.
Check Your Records
Once a debt has been assigned or sold to a collector, the consumer may request information about the debt from the collector, not from the creditor. If you are not sure whether a claimed debt is owed, gather your account statements, bank records, and payment history. It may also be helpful to obtain current credit reports. These documents will assist in determining whether money is still owed. Once you’ve reviewed your papers, write the collector to dispute the debt. Be sure to enclose documentation with your letter that proves the debt was satisfied.
Request Proof from the Collector
If you do not have proof showing payment of the debt, obtain payment information from the debt collector. You may request that the collector provides account statements from the creditor, which show the period when your last payment was made. Send a letter to the collector asking for verification of the debt and how the claimed balance was calculated.
Document Your Contact
Good record-keeping which shows your account payment history will help any disputes sent to the collector. Maintain a file of all correspondence with the collector, including documents showing proof of payment – such as cancelled checks, money order receipts, etc.
When collectors contact you by phone, keep a log of the calls noting the date, time of day, caller ID, name of collection agent and agency, phone number where the call was received, and details of any phone conversations, messages, or texts.
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 evaluation of collection calls and letters that you’ve received. There may have been a violation of your consumer rights.