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Avoiding Debt Collection Scams

Posted on in Bankruptcy Attorney

It's common for those end up filing for bankruptcy to endure months (or years) of calls and letters from debt collectors prior to making the decision to file for bankruptcy. While lenders are allowed to partake in legal debt collection efforts, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act establishes rules which must be followed by debt collectors. For instance, debt collectors shouldn't engage in threatening or intimidating behavior, and if the borrower asks for written proof of their debt, it must be provided.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), debt collection scams are becoming a serious problem across the nation. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that one fraudulent agency managed to obtain $5 million in unsubstantiated payments from over 10,000 U.S. residents. These individuals reported that the callers often had their personal information, and FTC officials believe they may have obtained this from online payday loan applications.

Adhere to the following guidelines to decrease your risk of falling victim to a debt collection scam:

  • Whenever possible, complete applications requiring confidential information in person instead of online, and always read the fine print.
  • If contacted by a debt collector, ask for their full agency name and contact information, and request that they send you written proof of your debt. Don't give out any additional sensitive or financial information.
  • If you experience suspicious or harassing behavior by someone attempting to collect a debt, contact your state's Attorney General's office and the FTC.

If you're facing mounting debt, filing for bankruptcy could be the best solution to your financial problems. Contact a top Arlington Heights, Illinois bankruptcy attorney today to discuss your options.

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