Credit card collectors are companies that exist solely to collect your outstanding credit card debt. Once you are in their clutches, it can be difficult to get out, although you do have laws that protect you.
Use our credit card finder now to see what options are available before the credit card collectors start calling.
You also have ways to make it easier to pay off credit card debts before the credit card collectors get a hold of your account and start their collection process. Switching to a low interest credit card with a balance transfer option may be able to help reduce your overall debt and make paying it off more feasible.
How do they know I exist?
Credit card and debt collectors know you exist because they buy the paperwork for outstanding debts from the bank that originally issued your card, explains insideARM.com.
Credit card collectors’ tactic is to buy up outstanding debts in bulk, often in the form of very old papers. Also known as “junk debt buyers” by consumers, these JDBs sole purpose is to collect on outstanding debts.
What can I do to make them go away?
Slamming down the phone and hiding in the backyard shed are two ways to avoid credit card collectors, although neither way is particularly useful or beneficial in the long run. These companies already have large amounts of information about you. Besides, their entire business is built around collecting debts, so they have plenty of time to devote to the practice.
Paying off your credit card debt may seem like an obvious way to get the credit card collectors off your back, and it can be. You can also try to work with the collectors to resolve the issue by arranging a way to pay off the debt if they allow it, or by sending a certified letter explaining why you feel you do not owe the debt.
However, these are not the only options you have, especially if you are disputing the debt or feel you do not owe the amount they say you do.
An increasingly popular practice has been for consumers to turn around and sue the credit card collectors, according to insideARM.com. Such lawsuits can also include the original bank that issued the credit card and sold off your debt to the credit card collectors.
While the process may be costly for the consumer, it may work out in your favor. It may also bring a level of disgrace to both the collection agency and the bank that issued your card.
What are the grounds of the lawsuit?
The credit card lawsuits are being filed on the grounds of the Fair Debt Collection Processes Act, or FDCPA.
This act is a 1996 amendment to the Consumer Credit Protection Act that prohibits debt collectors and credit card collectors from being abusive, unfair, or deceptive in their attempt to collect the debt, as noted on the Cyber Citizens for Justice website.
The FDCPA has been brought into play in lawsuits against homeowners’ associations, credit card collectors and other debt-collecting agencies. Of course, it helps if the credit card collectors have actually been abusive in their debt collection quest.
What counts as abusive debt collection practices?
You are protected from abusive debt collection practices, with a number of those practices outlined by the Federal Trade Commission. Here are some of those illegal actions:
- Calling you at inconvenient times and places counts as abusive, such as before 8 a.m., after 9 p.m. or at work if the credit card collectors were told you are not allowed to receive calls at the workplace.
- Harassment is also taboo. Credit card collectors are prohibited from threatening you with violence, arrest, using profane language or incessantly calling you.
- They cannot lie and misrepresent themselves or lie about the amount you owe.
- They are also prohibited from saying they are going to take legal action if they do not. Threatening to seize or garnish your wages or property is also not allowed unless legal action is actually in motion.
- They may not send postcards in an attempt to collect your debt.
- They cannot try to collect any interest fees on top of the original amount you owe unless that was specifically stated in your original contract or permitted by state law.
Perhaps the best way to avoid having any of your accounts siphoned into the black hole of credit card collectors is to pay off outstanding balances while they are still as current as possible. If your current credit card has high interest rates or other factors that may be prohibiting you from doing so, you may benefit from switching credit cards so you can more easily pay.
Use our credit card finder to review a balance transfer credit card or low interest credit card that may be able to help reduce your debt.