Can collection agencies actually do anything?
While debt collectors can't threaten you or mislead you, they can apply pressure to collect payment. This pressure can include daily calls, frequent letters, or talk about pursuing a lawsuit for payment on the debt — as long as they stay within the bounds of the law.
Summary: If you're being sued by a debt collector, here are five ways you can fight back in court and win: 1) Respond to the lawsuit, 2) make the debt collector prove their case, 3) use the statute of limitations as a defense, 4) file a Motion to Compel Arbitration, and 5) negotiate a settlement offer.
- Pretend to Work for a Government Agency. The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from pretending to work for any government agency, including law enforcement. ...
- Threaten to Have You Arrested. ...
- Publicly Shame You. ...
- Try to Collect Debt You Don't Owe. ...
- Harass You.
At a minimum, it must produce: A copy of the original written agreement between the parties, such as the loan note or credit card agreement, preferably signed by you. If the account has been sold to another creditor, then that creditor must prove that it has the right to sue to collect the debt.
You may not want to pay a collector if you will never have any income or assets, if you don't owe the debt, if you want to settle for less, if the statute of limitations has expired, or if the collector doesn't own the debt.
You can ask the creditor — either the original creditor or a debt collector — for what's called a “goodwill deletion.” Write the collector a letter explaining your circumstances and why you would like the debt removed, such as if you're about to apply for a mortgage.
- Keep a record of all communication with debt collectors.
- Send a Debt Validation Letter and force them to verify your debt.
- Write a cease and desist letter.
- Explain the debt is not legitimate.
- Review your credit reports.
- Explain that you cannot afford to pay.
Normally, collections are disputed because the debtor believes they are incorrect for some reason. For example, if you review a copy of your credit report and you see a collection account that you believe belongs to another person, has an incorrect balance or is greater than seven years old, you can file a dispute.
Challenging the debt: You have a right to dispute the debt. If you challenge the debt within 30 days of first contact, the collector cannot ask for payment until the dispute is settled. After 30 days you can still challenge the debt, but the collector can seek payment while the dispute is being investigated.
If you get a summons notifying you that a debt collector is suing you, don't ignore it. If you do, the collector may be able to get a default judgment against you (that is, the court enters judgment in the collector's favor because you didn't respond to defend yourself) and garnish your wages and bank account.
What is the success rate of collections agency?
The average debt collection success rate has ranged from 16% to 22% over the last decade.
Collection Rates Drop As Debts Age
An outstanding balance that's one month old has a 94% chance of being collected. By two months that drops to 85%. It falls to 74% collectible at three months, and by six months, only 58% of debts remain viable. At a year, there's only a 27% chance of recovering the debt.
Once received, the collection agency reports that your account has gone to collections to the three major credit bureaus, leading to a negative mark on your account and a drop in your credit score. You will then be contacted by phone and in writing regarding the details of the charge-off.