CALL NOW!
FREE PHONE/VIRTUAL CONSULTATION

Five Questions to Ask before Paying a Debt

Many debt collectors behave professionally and work within the letter of the law to collect debts owed to their clients or their own companies. Unfortunately, there are also those that behave unscrupulously and mistreat consumers, sometimes to the point of breaking the law. Whether you have been approached by an above board debt collector or you are dealing with one of the less savory characters in the debt collection industry, it is essential you gather as much information about the debt and the situation as possible.

What Should You Ask prior to Providing Payment for a Debt?

1. What is the name and contact information of the original creditor and what is the name of your organization? You should write this information down as it is answered. It allows you to go back later and ensure the debt is one for which you are responsible and it allows you to determine if the debt collector calling is really who they say they are. It is also a good idea that you ask the information be sent to you by the debt collector in writing.

2. Are any laws being broken in the attempt to collect the debt? There are certain times of day debt collectors are permitted to call and they must abide by certain rules during that call. They are not allowed to threaten you, nor can they speak to you using harsh or abusive language. Basically, debt collectors must behave professionally. If a debt collector is threatening or abusive, this should raise a red flag about the situation.

3. How does the debt collector respond when you ask for additional information about the debt? You have a right to receive information about the debt in writing. Many debt collectors supply this information without being asked after contacting you and some initiate their contact with you via mail.

4. Has the statute of limitations on the debt passed? If you know this debt is from a long time ago and yet you are receiving a call from a debt collector, ask why. There’s no telling the answer you will get, but make note of whatever details are given. You will likely need to take further action to end collection efforts on “expired” debt, but asking about the reason for contact on an old debt is a good start.

You can find a list of state to state statutes of limitations here.

5. Is a settlement for the debt an option? Sometimes settling a debt – paying it off for less than the total amount owed – is the best option. If a debt collector is offering this, collect details on the settlement offer and take some time to consider the consequences of settling. If a settlement is not offered, the debt collector might accept one designed and offered by you. It is important to know all of your options before making any payment on a debt, in part or in whole.

If you are receiving calls from debt collectors and you are not sure what to do or whether the calls or appropriate, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 for more information.

Archive

Video Testimonials

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

How Does Getting Married Affect Bankruptcy?

If you are considering bankruptcy, you may be wondering how getting married affects your ability to file. The answer is...
Read More

How Does Filing for Bankruptcy Affect a Vehicle Loan?

If you're considering bankruptcy, you may be wondering if you'll be able to keep your car. The answer depends on...
Read More

8 Ways to Deal with Student Loan Debt

If you're one of the millions of Americans saddled with student loan debt, you're probably looking for ways to minimize...
Read More

Tips for Handling Credit Card Debt

If you're struggling with credit card debt, you're not alone. The average American household owes nearly $6000 in credit card...
Read More

Don’t Fall for These Common Bankruptcy Myths

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about bankruptcy. Working with a debt defense attorney is one of the...
Read More

Can Filing for Bankruptcy Affect My Career?

It’s common for people considering bankruptcy to wonder how filing affects their job. The answer to this question depends on...
Read More

Can I Fix My Credit After Bankruptcy?

Wondering how to improve credit after bankruptcy? Here's what you need to know. Bankruptcy can be a fresh start for...
Read More

What Happens If I Can’t Afford Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Are you wondering what happens if I can’t afford my chapter 13 payments? Here's what you need to know when...
Read More

Help I Regret Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy isn't the right choice for everyone. Depending on your unique financial situation, you may be able to find other...
Read More

How a Bankruptcy Attorney Helps You Avoid Problems When Filing

Do you know what mistakes to avoid when filing for bankruptcy? If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, it's important to...
Read More

Bankruptcy

For The Next 5 Days GET A FREE BOOK About Bankruptcy

Learn More

Infographics

We are A Debt Relief Agency.
We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code

Pay Online Bankruptcy Courses Newsletter Subscription

Call For A Free Initial Consultation

813.254.5696

Tampa Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
F: (813) 253-3405

Map And Directions

St. Petersburg Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
125 5th Street South
(Wells Fargo Financial Center)
2nd Floor, Suite G
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: (727) 532-3939

Map And Directions

Pasco Office

23526 State Road 54
Lutz, FL 33559
T: (813) 336-2320

Map And Directions