Being in debt can sometimes be extraordinarily difficult. You have to face the regular day-to-day bills and still try to pay off debts that you have accumulated in the past. Today’s economy does not help anything. Sometimes you get behind on your bills and then you start receiving the dreaded calls from Atlantic recovery solutions. They want to get the money you owe; you want to pay the money.
It seems like a simple solution. The problem is that many people lack the funds to pay that money back. It is not a matter of them simply deciding not to pay the money that they owe. In most cases they cannot pay it due to economic hardships. So what can you do? The first thing you can do is find out all you can about collection agencies and what rules the agencies must follow. This article will help you navigate the intricacies of dealing with debt.
When were the first collection agencies in business?
Shop owners have always had ways of recovering debts owed to them. A prime example would be the early 1900’s when mobsters were very prevalent. Many times the shop would be under the “protection” of the mob and when a debt was owed, the mobsters would pay a visit to collect the debt. There was also a black list.
If your name was on the black list, you could not receive credit at a particular store. This was especially hard on individuals who relied on crops as their income. They would charge debt throughout the growing season and would pay the debt off when their crops came in. If there was a bad crop, there would not be any money. The creditors still wanted to be paid so they would send people to collect the debt.
I have collection agencies harassing me at work. How do I make them stop?
Collection agencies do have the right to attempt to contact you at work. But if it endangers your job, you have the right to request for them to not contact you at work. If they fail to comply, you can file FCC charges against them. Many collection agencies have been taken to court over issues such as these and have had to pay fines. Some have even been shut down due to their less than ethical practices. The best advice is to tell them by phone and then send them a letter that way you have something in writing that stated your request.
Is it legal for collection agencies to discuss my case with family or friends I may have used as a reference?
A collection agency can contact your family, friends or references that you have listed as a way to establish where you can be reached at. They are never allowed to threaten your family or friends. They are not to discuss anything about your debt other than to seek where they can contact you. If your family and friends are being called, you can request that the collection agency cease in their contact attempts. If they are giving out information regarding your debt or will not stop contacting your friends or family members, you need to file a complaint with the FCC.
How long will the collection attempts from collection agencies stay on my credit report?
Here is the bad news: once a debt is sent to a collection agency and the agency reports it to your credit…it is going to be there for a number of years. If you pay the debt off it will be marked as “paid” but it will still be there. Most marks remain on your credit for at least five to seven years but some can be there for as long as ten years. This could have very negative effects when it comes to getting new credit lines.