Stop Oregon Debt Collector Harassment!

If you are being harassed a debt collector?  Good news, under the Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), we have rights that protect us!

woman_on_floor_with_all_her_bills.jpg

Nothing is more frustrarting and annoying than to not only be dealing with the stress of debt, but then to compound it, now your getting numerous phone calls and letters from aggressive and many times, harassing debt collectors!

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) limits what a debt collector can and cannot do.

Most people are not aware of the limits and boundaries that debt collectors have, so as a result, they will take advantage of people in an effort to collect.

A debt collector CANNOT:

  • Call too early or too late
  • Call many, many times a day
  • Make threatening remarks ("You could go to jail! or You could lose everything!")
  • Misrepresent themselves as government officials
  • Use profane or obscene language
  • Call friends or family and reveal that you are behind on your bills
  • And are prohibited from many other illegal practices!

Here's a great link that spells out how the FDCPA protects us:

Debt Collection Laws in Oregon

The Federal Trade Commission also spells out exactly what a debt collector cannot do as well.

So what do you do if you are being harassed by debt collectors?

The most abused violation of the FDCPA by debt collectors is making many, many, many phone calls all day long!!!!

GOOD NEWS!  

You can put a stop to a debt collector making calls to you by simply writing a letter demanding them to stop calling you.

However, you cannot stop the original creditor from calling.  When you signed that application, buried somewhere in the "fine print" gave the creditor authority to call you regarding your account.  You can't do anything about that.

But as soon as your account is charged off and/or transferred to a debt collector, you can put a stop to the calls!

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

But what if a debt collector violates other restrictions of the FDCPA?

First, start a log of who, when, what time of day and what was said.

If you file or open a complaint with your state's attorney general or department of financial affairs, it is very important that you have a written log!

Let's say that after the 15th call today you finally get "fed up" and answer the phone.

The conversation goes something like this....

This is ..... from XYZ company calling about your ..... account.  Is this (your name)?

You say:

Listen you %*$$#@$, you've been calling me over and over and I'm sick and tired of it!!!!

The debt collector says:

You haven't paid your debts and we've been retained to either collect the balance due or sue you in court!

OK, here's where they start getting themselves in "potential" trouble.

If, according to the FDCPA, a debt collector threatens to bring "legal action" and does not within a reasonable time, they are in violation.

As soon as that agent/representative of XYZ Debt Collection agency makes that threatening statement regarding a potential lawsuit, you need to:

Start writing down notes, and ask the caller:

  • I need your name and ID #
  • What is your contact phone number
  • Are you stating that XYZ Company is going to bring legal action against me?
  • When is this "legal action" going to begin?

If the rep hasn't hung up already, they probably will soon.  

The point is that you need a written log with DATE AND TIME and as much information you can get!

NEXT...

Contact your state's Division of Financial Affairs or the Attorney General office and file a complaint!

Don't let these harassing debt collectors get away with it!

The Division of Financial Affairs or your state's Attorney General's office will contact the debt collector and in most cases, the calls and/or violations will cease.

Need some help?

Debt Relief NW, LLC is a Registered Debt Management Company here in Oregon and we have an A + rating as an Accredited Company of the Better Business Bureau.  

We understand and appreciate the turmoil and stress that being in a financial situation like this brings.  You don't have to go it alone!

Contact us for a FREE consultation with absolutely NO OBLIGATION:

 

 

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Tags: debt collectors, debt, fair debt collection practices, Oregon

Your Credit Score May Get a Boost!

If you are having a hard time increasing your credit score, there may be some good news on the horizon!

credit score

Major credit reporting company Fair Isaac (FICO) has been pressured by Washington to change its credit-risk scoring model to give a break to consumers that have had debt turned over to collection agencies!

While this "change" to the basic credit score scoring model is still in the works, it could be a seen as a great idea to consumers, while at the same time, another dangerous, slippery slope by lenders.

 

Recently, I've reviewed a few articles recently about the changes may be coming to credit reporting agencies.  One of the best was from Paul Sperry for Investor's Business Daily.  I highly recommend you checking out Mr. Sperry's article.

For years, those unfortunate people who for reasons usually beyond their control, found themselves with too much debt and not able to make payments, saw their accounts charged off by the creditors and turned over to a collection agency.

If you've read any of my blogs in the past, you know what I think about most collection agents and agencies.

While there are a lot of debt collection companies out there that are professional and stay (for the most part) within the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), as with any group or organization, there are always a few "bad apples".

It seems that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created by the Obama administration, has been in talks with the Fair Isaac company to "ease up" on some of the weight they give information about your credit to determine your credit score.

Currently, FICO uses the following guidelines (along with a lot of othe information) to produce a credit score:

FICO What is in your credit score

 

 As you can see, your payment history is worth 35%, so if you have had debt issues in the past and have had some or all of your accounts  go to a collection agency, your credit score would suffer.

However, under the proposed new guidelines "suggested" by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, FICO would no longer penalize your credit score because of delinquent MEDICAL DEBT or ANY DEBTS THAT GO TO A COLLECTION AGENCY THAT GET'S REPAID!

To me, that is great news!

In dealing with people over the last dozen years or so, I would say that the greatest majority of people who wound up in a severe debt situation, did so due to circumstances beyond their control, with MEDICAL DEBT being one of the largest debt!

It's not unusual to see someone with $10,000, $20,000 or more of medical debts.  When you see the (in my opinion) OUTRAGEOUS MEDICAL FEES charged by some doctors and hospitals, it's no wonder that people get into trouble.

If these people can find some relief to their credit score by making some changes to the way a credit score is calculated, then I'm all for it!

I like what the article said, "Obama regulators argue that it's important to insulate consumer credit scores from medical debt, for one, because such bills are "unexpected".

Another important and much needed action by the CFPB was that they released a report (2012) that basically stated that less than 80% of credit reports were accurate.

Inaccurate information on your credit report can really hurt.  The good news is that you can challenge mistakes and get the credit reporting bureaus to change your report, thereby increasing your credit score and/or credit worthiness.

Click here to get a FREE COPY OF YOUR CREDIT REPORT.

If you find yourself with too much debt, or just overwhelmed by all of this, we may be able to help:

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit:  lendingmemo.com

Photo credit:  http://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/WhatsInYourScore.aspx

Tags: debt collection, FICO, debt collectors, debt collection in oregon, debt settlement in oregon, fair debt collection practices

Can You Negotiate a Second Mortgage After a Short Sale?

negotiate second mortgage after short saleIf you are wondering if you can negotiate a second mortgage after a short sale, I've got good news for you...YES YOU CAN!


If your property had a first and second mortgage and you chose to do a short sale rather than allow a foreclosure (usually the best choice in my opinion), then here's what happens:

The real estate agent or broker usually negotiates an amount in a short sale to satisfy both the first and second mortgage holder.

In most cases, the second mortgage holder receives a lot less than the first mortgage holder.

 

Depending on the agreement, language, etc. of the documents, whatever the 2nd mortgage holder receives is all they get.

However, in some cases, when the 2nd mortgage is very large, the 2nd mortgage holder may have the right to make a claim for the remaining (called deficiency balance) due.

The 2nd has now become an unsecured debt, just like any other unsecured debt and can be negotiated.

The creditor will follow the same procedures and any other debt collectors...calls, letters, unlawful threats (violating FDCPA) in an attempt to collect on the remaining balance.

What should you do?

1) Make sure the sale documents give the collector the right to pursue the remaining balance.

When you signed the short sale documents, there was something in there that spelled out how the proceeds were to be distributed to the creditors (1st and 2nd mortgages).

If you are not sure, check back with the real estate agent or broker (they were paid for this!!!)

If it is determined that whatever the 2nd mortgage holder did not agree to a "full settlement for less than was due" (or something to that effect), then you may be liable for the balance.

2) If the collector is calling several times a day, send them letter demanding them to stop immediately!

You don't have to put up with harassment from any collector!

The Federal Trade Commission has very specific rules for what a collector can and cannot do.

3)  Try to negotiate an amount that is much lower than they claim. 

In these types of negotiations, it may be possible to get a reduction of 25%-50%, depending on your specific circumstances.

This might be the time to seek professional help, and we can help!

negotiate second mortgage after short sale


Tags: debt settlement, debt collectors, fair debt collection practices, short sale or foreclosure

How Long is the Statute of Limitation on Credit Card Debt?

statute of limitationsIf you have old credit card debt, you may be wondering how long a collector has to collect.

There was an interesting article in our local newspaper "The Oregonian" today, 4.2.12 entitled "More time for debt collectors".

Seems that three people sued the credit card/debt collectors (specifically Daniel N. Gordon, an attorney in Eugene that specializes in debt collection) that the creditors could not sue after 3 years because the statute of limitations was only 3 years in the state of Delaware (the state where the credit card company lists as the home office).

The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that a creditor can have as long as the individual's state's statutes of limitation to attempt to collect a debt.

In Oregon and Washington, the statute of limitations is 6 years.

What does that mean to you?

If you have old credit card accounts that you have not paid on for over 6 years you have a couple of rights that you need to know:

If you see that debt (longer than 6 years) on your credit report, you can request that it be removed as the statutes of limitations has expired.

The credit reporting agency (usually Experian, Equifax or TransUnion) will investigate and if you are correct, remove the item.

In some listings on a credit report, you will see a notation of when this account is scheduled to be removed due to the statute of limitations being exceeded.

It is important for you to know what the statute of limitations is for your state.  You can find a listing (although you should double check on line at your State's official site) at:

                              LISTING OF STATE'S STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS

 

Another reason it is important for you to know your rights is if a collector sues by filing a claim in the county court of your residency, you can dispute the claim if the statute of limiations has expired (for your state of residency).

WARNING!

You need to be aware of the term "re-aging" debt.  If a collector calls and you agree to make a small payment to stop further action, etc., the statute of limitations clock is reset and basically starts over!

Therefore, if you have old debt, is is NOT WISE to talk with a collector or to make any acknowledgment of the debt.

According to the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA), if you make a request in writing to the collector, they must stop calling you at home or at work.

In making the request, DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE THE DEBT!

State that you dispute the validity of the debt and that you are not responsible.

Demand that they cease from calling you at work and home or that you will report them to your state's Attorney General's office.

If you would like help, here's a link that will show you HOW TO STOP COLLECTION CALLS.

If you want to resolve an old debt rather than risk legal action from collectors, you should consider a Debt Settlement Program, where you may be able to settle the debt at 50% or less and have it removed from your credit report!

For more information, click the link below for a FREE CONSULTATION!

 

Tags: fdcpa, debt settlement, debt collectors, fair debt collection practices, how long is the statute of limiations on credit ca

Fair Debt Collection Practices

fair debt collection practices

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides the consumer with specific rights to protect from debt collectors.

If you have an account that has been charged off and sent to a collection agency, you most likely have experienced the efforts of an unscrupulous debt collector!

Basically, a debt collector cannot:

  • Threaten or berate you
  • Harass or intimidate you
  • Call numerous times or during odd hours
  • Make false statements or their intentions ("...we will sue you if you don't pay now!")
  • contact neighbors, family or friends about the debt.  They can only state that they are trying to locate you.
  • Contact your employer about your debt

How to stop the collection calls:

If you receive a letter from a collector, it will have the name of the company and address.

Write a brief letter stating that you demand that the collector stoop calling you at home (and work if employed) or you intend to report them to your state attorney general.

Date and sign the letter.

Mail by registered mail (you need a receipt proving that the collector received the letter).

Start a phone log and keep a clear record of all calls that come after the receipt of the letter. A collector may call one time after receipt to state they have received the letter and will not call you anymore.

Usually, the make one last threatening remark like, "now you have forced us to start legal action against you...".

Take good notes, because if they do not start legal action, you may have grounds to sue them!

Dealing with debt collectors is a very trying experience and you may need help.

We have been helping our customers for 8 years to:

  • Stop the collection calls
  • Lower the monthly amount they need to pay
  • Negotiate the debt for a 50% or more reduction
  • Improve their credit rating as debts are settled

If you need help dealing with your creditors, give us a call TODAY!

1-877-492-4109

fair debt collection practices

Tags: fdcpa, how to stop collection calls, fair debt collection practices