Nobody likes to deal with a debt collector. They can become aggressive and rude, and some even violate the law to collect the money. If you are wondering how far debt collectors can go and are worried about your debt, you are not alone. You can talk to a debt collection attorney and protect your rights.
Knowing your rights can help you when an attorney comes to collect payments. It can give you the necessary information and boost your confidence when dealing with a debt collector. Knowing what a collector can and cannot do will prevent you from making any mistakes.
Things to know if you are dealing with a debt collector
You have the right to a written notice explaining your debt.
The first thing you should do when contacted by a debt collector is to make sure that the collector and the debt are legitimate. Remember that merely a phone call does not mean anything. A debt collector must provide the following information within five days of contacting you:
- Amount of debt.
- Name of the creditor.
- Whether or not you can dispute the debt and other details.
Old debts expire after a certain deadline.
Nobody tells you this, but even debts can expire after a certain timeline. There is a statute of limitations regarding how long you have until you can file a debt collection claim. In Chicago, the statute of limitations for unwritten debts is five years, and ten years for written debts. If a debt collector fails to file a lawsuit within this timeline, they cannot legally sue you for not paying them back.
You can rightfully ask for the debt collector’s identity.
When debt collectors come to collect payments, they are required to identify themselves as well as other information regarding the debt. They should also give you the name, contact information, and address of the company they work for. If they ask to keep their identities secret, it is a major red flag, and you should not make any payments.
You can ask a debt collector to stop calling you.
You probably did not know this, but you can rightfully ask the debt collector to stop calling you. To ask them to stop, you must submit a writing request. Debt collectors have certain rules they need to adhere to, and this is one of them. However, this won’t resolve your debt issues.
You have the right not to be harassed.
You can take legal action if you feel like your debt collector is harassing you. Typically, debt collectors are not allowed to do the following.
- Call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Call during work hours.
- Use harassing language.
- Threaten you.
- Engage in any conduct that can be considered harassment.