Debt Collection: The Trials and Tribulations of Debt Collection
Among the least savoury of jobs around is undoubtedly that of debt collection. It is probably the modern equivalent of the Biblical “Tax Collector.” In our present economy debt collection has become big business since so many people are no longer able to meet the minimum payments on either their credit cards, car loans or mortgages. However, debt collection is not reserved for individuals – companies are also prone to harassment if they happen to fall behind in their payments.
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If you own a company or are a small business owner and you need help collecting from clients, then sometimes your best bet is to hire a debt collection agency to help you. They have both the manpower and expertise to help you get the funds owed you. However, when choosing a collections company be sure to investigate it thoroughly to ensure that it meets local standards of propriety and meets all debt collection guidelines as set out by your jurisdiction. The last thing you need is for your clients to bring a lawsuit against you based on the actions of the collections agency you hire. Find out from colleagues if they have used a particular agency with which they were happy. Word of mouth and referrals are some of the best ways of finding effective debt collectors in your area. However, if that is not an option, OneEntry can have up to five debt collection agencies in your area contact you with free quotes if you fill out our no-hassle form.
If you are an individual being contacted by a debt collection agency, then you must stand up for your rights and notify your local consumer protection office if you experience unlawful actions by the company. Debt collectors are not allowed to harass you, use physical force against you or coerce you into making a debt payment. They are also not permitted to make false statements to frighten you such as saying that you will be prosecuted if you do not pay a debt. They are also not allowed to use profane language against you or to harass you by calling you before or after the permitted times of 8am and 9pm.
Debt collectors are only allowed to contact third parties to locate you, but they are not allowed to discuss your debt with anyone other than yourself, your spouse or your attorney.
Should you have several outstanding debts and the collectors are coming after you for all of them, you can specify to which debt your payment should be made and the collections agency must respect your choice. You are also not obliged to make payments toward a debt that you dispute.
Debt collection is never a pleasant business. Whether you are doing the collecting or you are the debtor, always make sure that the fine print has been read and that your conduct fits with what it ought to be as set out by your local laws.
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