When creditors come for old debts ^
Summary: Is Quaternary Collection Agency suing you for a past due balance? Find out how you can win against them in court.
Handling consumer debt is not the most fun activity in the world, and when you are sued for debt it can get even worse. Debt collectors can be a menace, but there are laws that bar them from harassment and other negative forms of collection. They are legally required to follow certain laws, so if you know your rights then you can handle the situation better and fight back should they begin to harass you.
How a debt collector gets your phone number
If you are being contacted by the Quaternary Collection Agency but never heard of them before, you may not think the debt is yours. Unfortunately, it most likely is because they probably purchased your debt from the original creditor you owed money to. Most often they will have purchased your number, and your debt, from the original creditor. This includes your address, phone number, and even your place of work.
If a debt collector got your information from the original creditor, then you will need to deal with the debt and respond properly if you are sent a summons. This essentially means that you are being sued for your debt.
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How to deal with a debt collector
Do not ignore the debt collector
If you have a debt that is being collected on, or you are being sued for a debt, then the debt collector will continue to contact you until a debt is paid. Ignoring a debt collector is a bad idea because it will only damage your credit score.
Collect information on your debt
First off, do not admit the debt is yours. Instead, get information from the debt collector before you even respond at all. You will want to collect the following information:
- Original creditor
- Original debt amount
- How much is currently owed
- Any details the debt collector can provide
Find out if the statute of limitations has expired
If the statute of limitations has expired, then the debt collector can legally no longer sue you to recoup the debt. If you admit that the debt is yours it can reset the clock on old debt. The clock is different from state to state but typically ranges between four to six years. Never confirm a debt, and always ask for the debt collector to prove it.
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Ask for a verification letter of the debt
Legitimate debt collectors will send you a letter in the mail stating your debt, who the original creditor was, how much you owe, and proof of their owning the debt. They are also required to provide information about how to dispute the debt.
Do not provide any personal details
Whether or not the debt is yours, or whether or not you plan to pay it, avoid giving too much information. Do not give too much information over the phone about your plans to pay. Instead request that the debt collector proves your responsibility.
Try negotiating with the debt collector
If you believe that you do owe the debt, you can attempt to settle the debt and negotiate. This typically works because the debt collector has purchased your debt for pennies on the dollar. You can work to settle for an amount that is less than what your total cost is. Sometimes threatening to file bankruptcy is a good tactic to get out of paying a higher amount. If they are unwilling to settle you can also try to work out a payment plan.
Know your rights under the FDCPA
When dealing with a third-party debt collector they need to operate under the laws of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA requires the following:
- Restricted contact: Debt collectors may only call you between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- No calls at work if they know you are not allowed to speak at work.
- Request a callback number: They should have no problem providing you with company information.
- No lying or harassment: This is huge under the FDCPA. Debt collectors may not force you or coerce you into paying more than you owe or threaten you with things that they cannot impose (such as jail time).
- Wage garnishment is legal in most states, but can only occur with a court order and default judgment.
If any of your rights are violated you can report the threat to the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
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How to spot a debt collection scam
Unfortunately, having debt can lead to scams. Even if you do not owe money, there may be individuals that try to force you into paying for something you do not owe. Signs of debt collection scams include:
- Not receiving a debt validation letter. This is one of the best ways to make sure you are dealing with a legitimate debt collector. If you've just gotten a phone call but no letters, then you may be dealing with a scam.
- Verify your details: Even if the debt is real, it may not even be yours. This is why you should request personal info about the debt to see if it belongs to you or if it is a mistake.
- Be sure to pay how you want to. In some cases a debt collector may claim you must pay using a wire transfer or a prepaid debit card, this is a scam. Most often debt collectors will work with you to get their money in any way possible and work with you in terms of how you want to pay.
If you get a call from the Quaternary Collection Agency or another debt collector, knowing what steps to take can be the only way to avoid getting screwed over. There are rules that debt collectors must follow and you must know your rights. Do not ignore debt collectors, but always get as much information as possible, and get everything in writing. This could be the difference between paying for a debt, and getting a settlement, or even getting the entire debt dropped altogether.
What is SoloSuit?
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.
Respond with SoloSuit
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate
>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance
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