Welcome to our series where we answer comments from our viewers. We appreciate the questions and we hope this is helpful to you!
Today we’re answering this question about debt collectors — can they lie about marking you down as a so called “refusal to pay” when you talk to them.
This comment is from one of our videos where we talk about this common psychological technique that debt collectors use to get you to pay them money.
If you don’t immediately pay them, they threaten to mark you down as refusing to pay.
The bottom line is that it means nothing that they say that to you. Why would they do this?
They do this because it sounds more intimidating to say that it’s going on your permanent record that you refused to pay.
If a debt collector is calling you, I hope that you aren’t paying them right away.
No one should pay debts on the phone. What you should do, however, is ask for all the information pertaining to the debt they say you owe to them. You can ask who the collector is, how you owe them the money, etc. Once you’ve made that request, let them know that you want the information in writing and mailed to you.
Now, broadly speaking, can the debt collector lie to you?
If we’re talking about consumer debt that they’re attempting to get and the debt collector lies to you, that violates the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).
Specifically, it violates section 1692e. There are examples in the subsections of this under the FDCPA.
Debt collectors can’t use misleading or deceptive means to collect debt from consumers.
Typically, when they lie to you, the proper response is to sue them for money damages.
Now, what if they threaten to mark you down as a refusal to pay?
Well, if they threaten to do this and then they don’t, that’s a lie.
Depending on the context of the call, I may or may not sue over that.
In this context, we’re looking for any indication of a lie that is designed to force/trick you into paying the debt collector.
If you ask them what it means to get marked down as a refusal to pay and they say that it’s a horrible shame, everyone will know that you refused to pay, and it will haunt you for the rest of your life, I would sue over that.
That’s a lie.
Broadly speaking, if they lie to you about the debt, then they’re in violation of the FDCPA.
This is a great question, and we hope that we answered his question.
If you live in Alabama and you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us.
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We’ll be glad to help in any way we can.
Have a great day!