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Another option for people dealing with debt collectors

When faced with debt collection, people may sometimes assume that the debt is valid and correct. However, this is not always the case. Companies can make mistakes, and consumers do have the right to request proof that the debt is valid and should be paid. People who have questions about a debt must follow certain guidelines in order to avoid problems later.

The first step is to send a written letter of dispute to the collection agency. This written statement must be received within 30 days of their first contact letter. Once the debt collector receives the request, they will have to either drop the claim or move to the next step by following a lawsuit.

The goal of a lawsuit is for the lender to ultimately gain a judgment that allows them to garnish wages or other assets. The company bringing the suit will have to present evidence of the debt to court. If they do not have the necessary documentation, they will probably drop the claim. If either party fails to appear, then the court will usually find in the other party's favor, so it is important for consumers to appear on the scheduled court date. If the claim is valid, then the consumer can present pay stub copies and recent bills to show the courts what they are able to pay and what payments levels would be overly burdensome.

One way to avoid this hassle is to file a personal bankruptcy. People who are struggling with medical expenses or unexpected life changes may choose this route to enjoy a fresh start and get control of their finances. Most unsecured debts that a debtor is unable to repay can be written off through this legal process. It is best to move through the bankruptcy process before companies begin to garnish wages or pursue other assets, so consumers might discuss their options for bankruptcy with an attorney.

Source: FOX Business, "Can I Request Proof of Credit Card Debt?", Jeanine Skowronski, August 20, 2014

Source: FOX Business, "Can I Request Proof of Credit Card Debt?", Jeanine Skowronski, August 20, 2014

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