Pay Up, Deadbeat

Back when we were being stalked by debt collectors, our only recourse to their insistent demands was ripping up their letters and living on the top floor of a three-story building accessible only by a locked steel door. It turns out that debtors actually have rights and collection agents, limits. Neat.

Learn about how the process works, what they can and can’t do and how to fight back if they overstep and start harassing you.

Just remember, no matter how much dealing with the agents stinks, at least you’re not going to rot in debtor’s prison and die from consumption, although it might cement your future standing as a literary giant when someone discovers those sensational blog posts locked in your grandma’s attic.

Of course, getting mired debt in the first place probably means you’re too busy living and can’t be bothered to read the fine information at the link below. We certainly couldn’t.

Debt Collection Practices: When Hardball Tactics Go Too Far” [Privacy Rights Clearinghouse via Lifehacker]

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  1. Aph says:

    I just got assraped for $463 after my former apartment complex sold a debt which had my two poorest friends and roommates tied to it. I couldnt just pay my share either. Somehow all of us were equally responsible for the ammount in its entirety. Shitty.

  2. RandomHookup says:

    Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of calls for people who used to live in my building. They see me as the only land line and assume the deadbeat must live with me. Hell, they just called about someone I evicted 7 years ago.

  3. Smoking Pope says:

    I had my finances (and credit) go in the crapper when I was diagnosed with cancer and spent 6 months paying for way expensive chemo.

    During this wonderful time, my wife had a debt sent to UCB who then proceeded to call her and harass her over the phone, going as far as telling her that I should not get chemo in favor of paying this $1,000 debt.

    I cease and desisted them, and then payed the debt a month later. Had I a recording of these asswipes in action, you can bet I would’ve nailed them to the wall for violating the Fair Debt Collections Act.

    Lesson? Record all calls with debt collectors.

  4. keith4298 says:

    Recently, I had two debt collectors coming after me for debts that were so old I couldn’t be sure that they were mine (back in the college days). I asked them, pleaded, told them they weren’t mine — nothing seemed to make a difference.
    Then I did it!
    Send them a letter saying that you NEED proof in order to verify the charges. You need an invoice, something more than a number and the fact that someone thinks that you owe it. I’m not a lawyer, but by the fact that two separate collection agencies stopped calling, sending mail and doing everything short of tracking me down at work…I’m guessing that without hard proof, they can’t come after you. Of course it won’t help if they have the info, but if you wait long enough, they sell your account to the next collection agency and your patience has paid off.