Read and Understand the Notice
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act give debtors the upper hand in any consumer debt claims so don’t be too quick to hand over your hard earned money once you see a collection letter in your mail. First, read and understand the notice and then check if they got the right person. Some collection agencies are known for sending collection letters to the wrong address. Note if the debt amount is clearly defined and their contact details, so you can respond accordingly.
Respond to the Notice
Once you read and understood the notice, it’s time to respond to it. The worst thing you can do at this point is to ignore the notice as this could result in a credit card lawsuit. Your silence over the issue could be translated as consent on the debt’s ownership! You will be given 30 days to dispute the debt so make sure you send an appropriate response within the given time frame.
Check the Rules
If the debt is sent to you by mistake, it’s important to let the debt collection agency know in writing. Send the letter via certified mail with return receipt requested. On the other hand, if you own the debt, it’s best to check if the debt is within statutes. If the debt is out of statutes, the creditor can no longer file a credit card lawsuit nor threaten you with filing a credit card lawsuit to get you to pay.
Accepting or rejecting the debt claim is entirely up to you. If the debt is indeed yours, you can either offer a lump sum to repay the debt or propose a payment plan. If the debt is valid and legal, it is best to do the right thing and repay the debt to avoid a credit card lawsuit. However, do not respond to threats, abusive behavior or bullying. If such things occur during the course of the debt validation, you can sue the debt collection companies for violating consumer rights under the FDCPA.