There's "Nothing Fair About This..."
Abusive debt collectors have discovered a new source of revenue – people who DON"T owe money.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors are supposed to advise you of your right to dispute a debt. However, if you don’t do so – in writing – within 30 days, the collector assumes the debt is valid.
It doesn't matter if you owe the money or not. Failure to dispute can result in a bogus debt collection attempt attached to your credit record.
According to msn.com, an abusive debt collector contacted Paul Alappat about a credit card debt. Paul had never owned this particular card, told the collector so, and asked them to stop calling.
When he applied for a home equity loan 2 years later, this $394.74 collection attempt appeared on his credit report. Paul was in a hurry, so he had no choice but to pay this bogus debt in order to get his equity loan.
These collectors are taking advantage of ignorance of the law, fear of credit score attack, and disorganized personal finances, to extort money from unsuspecting citizens.
If you’re contacted about a debt you don’t owe, take at least these steps:
1. Get collector’s name, address and telephone number.
2. Send a certified letter, return receipt requested, informing them they’ve contacted the wrong person.
3. Monitor your credit report http://www.annualcreditreport.com
for bogus debts and dispute them immediately.
All of this is at your time and expense, of course. Unfortunately, once contacted, it’s about the only way you can avoid becoming a victim.
Greg Moore is the Architect of the Debt Freedom System,
'DebtIntoWealth -- Lessons from My Journey to Debt Freedom.'