There are few things more stressful in life than when creditors start calling. Of course in an ideal world nobody would have debt, but unfortunately with today's economy more people than ever are now receiving calls from debt collectors. And whether you do or don't actually owe the debt you do still have rights which prohibit them from harrassing you.
Don't admit to owing the debt before you know all the details. And whatever you do don't give them your credit card number or bank account number. Debt collectors are very good at bullying people to get their way.
Demand that the creditors validate the debt. This means that within five days the creditor must supply you with a letter listing all the information on your supposed debt.
If you don't owe or simply don't reconize the debt, you will then need to send the collector a letter of dispute. Make sure to to copies of your letter and to send it by certified mail with return reciept. Now it will be up to the creditor to prove that you actually owe the debt.
Send the collection agency a certified letter stating that they are not to contact you by phone at work or at home. The fair debt collection practices act requires that they stop phoning you at your request. This does not however stop them from contacting you by mail.
Decide what to do. If you owe the debt and it's at all possible then you need to set up some kind of a payment plan to try and and pay it back. You probably shouldn't try and avoid it because these types of things don't go away.
Check the date as to when the debt was incurred and then check the statute of limitations for your state. After a certain amount of time, which varys depending on what state you live in a debt will expire. So if the debt is close to or already has passed the statuate of limitations paying it off might not be a good idea. The reason for this is because when you acknowledge the debt, the clock on it will be reset which means it will remain on your credit report for another seven years.
Tips and warnings:
* Creditors can call you between the hours of 8:00 a.m and 9:00 p.m. Also they can't call you at work unless your employer approves the call.
* Creditors must tell you how much you owe, to whom it's owed, and how to dispute it.
*Abusive debt collectors should be reported to your State Consumer Protection Office.
* You also have the right to file lawsuit against abusive debt collectors in State or Federal Court.