Whether you plan to file bankruptcy in the near future or it is something
you are considering, one aspect to help you understand your financial
situation includes reviewing outstanding debts owed. Many consumers have
a good idea of which creditors they owe, but sometimes things can become
questionable when a debt collector contacts you out of nowhere and claims
you owe them money. You don't recall owing this debt but when the
collector threatens to file a lawsuit you have the feeling something isn't right.
The good news is there are a few options you can take in helping you understand
debt you owe. When in doubt about
collection attempts from debt collectors you can request to have the debt validated. According
to the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) consumers have
a right to request additional information about a questionable debt. This
means the debt collector is required by law to provide information about
the debt in question along with providing proof they have a right to collect it.
Debt collectors should provide information about your rights regarding
the debt they are attempting to collect. You have 30 days to send a written
request for verification of the debt and the debt collector should not
try to collect from you during this time. The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors
from making false claims such as threating a lawsuit, having you arrested
or other related claims. You should also consider the statute of limitations
for the debt in question. Each state has a certain time period for specific
debts and how long creditors have to collect on them.
Discuss questions or concerns with a qualified attorney.