Consumer Guide to Debt Collection Practices
Be an Informed Consumer
Just as there are different types of debt – good debt and bad debt– and different types of accounts - such as credit cards, store cards, loans, mortgages – there are also different types of debt collectors. Sometimes debt collection takes place at the creditor, sometimes this important financial process is outsourced to a third party. That’s where a debt collection company comes in.
Reputable debt collection companies, sometimes referred to as debt collection agencies, are professional and courteous. They are specialized companies usually with a dedicated, well-trained staff and robust processes. Working with a debt collection company may not have been your first choice but working with a debt collection company doesn’t have to be a negative experience.
The best debt collection companies will send you a clear and helpful letter, a formal notice which informs you that you owe debt related to something such as a credit card, student loan, or auto loan. You can think of this letter as a kind of promise that the company will only attempt to collect the debt they have been engaged to collect. It also may signal that something has been reported to one or all of the credit bureaus about your debt.
On this notice, you may find a few helpful items that should assist you in the repayment of your debt, such as:
- Names of the creditor and debtor
- Notice of debt collection on overdue balances
- Information about the debt
- A date or timeline for repayment
- Number of 30-day intervals the debt is overdue
- Statement of your rights
- Available payment terms or options
You have nothing to lose from reading the letter that a debt collector sends you. Ignoring the letter will not make the debt disappear. By reading the letter you will better understand who is contacting you and why and what options you have in order to put this debt behind you.
Evaluate the Company
The best debt collection companies will have certain credentials that make them a good fit for managing your debt and processing your payments securely from a bank account. In addition to following state and local debt collection laws as well as the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a debt collection service should have expertise and tools available to help customers to pay their debts.
If you want to review the credentials of a debt collection agency, here are a few things to look for:
You might also check to see if the company has a clear debt collector contact number, information about credit reporting, and notices about debt collection laws. If you are concerned about an entity purporting to be from Resurgent or one of our partners, please report the conduct to us immediately at 1-888-665-0374.
Engage to Start Your Financial Future
If you have taken the steps above, you are an educated customer. You know who is contacting you and why and if they are a reputable debt collection company. What now?
Now you can respond to communications from the debt collector or reach out on your own terms. To move forward in your financial future, you need to make a plan to repay debt. The only way to see what options are available in your unique situation is to engage with the debt collector.
Most debt collectors want to make this process as easy as possible for you. Some debt collectors offer extended business hours to accommodate calls from working professionals across all time zones, while others offer an online 24/7 self-service portal or a virtual agent chat feature. However you prefer to engage, don’t wait. Start on the path to your financial future today.