smartconsumer: Debt Collection - What to Know

Debt Collection

{What to Know} {What to Do}


A collection agency collects debt for a creditor, who is a person or business owed money for a service or product you used. Within five days of contacting you, the collection agency must inform you of the following things:

  • the amount of the debt;
  • the name of the creditor;
  • a statement that unless you dispute the debt within 30 days after you receive the statement, the agency will assume the debt is correct;
  • a statement that if you notify them in writing within that 30-day period that the debt is disputed, then the consumer collection agency will mail you proof that you owe the debt; and
  • a statement that informs you that you may request -  in writing and within that 30-days- the name and address of the original creditor, if different than the current creditor.

If you tell the collection agency that you have an attorney, they must contact the attorney instead of you.

Even though the collection agency may contact you, the collection agency cannot harass you, mislead you or say things that are not true. Additionally, it cannot participate in unfair practices, such as tricking you into accepting collect calls or contacting you by postcard.

Content Last Modified on 2/10/2014 2:53:14 PM