When dealing with debt collectors, nothing makes your heart sink faster than a phone call from an unrecognized 800 number. Collectors and creditors can be extremely aggressive when trying to secure late payments. However, before you assert your rights and control your situation, it’s important to know who you’re dealing with.

Who Is Your Initial Lender?

A creditor is anyone who is owed money. The term “creditor” isn’t reserved for people collecting late or skipped payments. The company that administers your credit card is a creditor, and so is the company that owns your mortgage. If a friend lends you $20, they are one of your creditors. In most cases, the original owner of a debt is just a regular creditor — not a debt collector.

When Debt Collectors Enter the Picture

Original creditors typically try to hold onto debts that are profitable including accounts with a history of on-time payments. However, once the payments are erratic or consistently late, the debt becomes a serious liability for the financial institution.

To get rid this liability, financial institutions and other lenders sell the account to a debt collector. A debt collector is a third party collections agency, not the original creditor. Debt collectors buy delinquent accounts for less than the original debt is worth. They utilize a variety of aggressive collection techniques to get borrowers to pay up.

Your Rights

The FDCPA (“Fair Debt Collection Practices Act“) governs the actions of debt collectors. Under the FDCPA, debt collectors and collection attorneys must adhere to strict regulations when attempting to collect payments. The FDCPA prevents debt collectors from calling excessively or at odd hours of the day. FDCPA also prohibits the false threat of legal action, and threatening borrowers with arrest. However, the FDCPA is designed to protect consumers from debt collectors. Original creditors are not bound by the FDCPA.

Constant debt collection calls can be an enormous source of stress. This is particularly true if you have no way to make your accounts current or make consistent payments. If you suspect that collection agencies are using illegal methods to intimidate you into paying, it’s important to assert your rights with the help of an attorney.

If your debt has spiraled out of control, you need to consider your options and find a way to get collection calls under control. Learn more about bankruptcy and other options by contacting Lucid Law at 908-738-8277.