News & Resources

Know your rights when debt collectors call

Feb 28, 2011 Kyle Duncan

Often, a call from a debt collector fills people with dread, causing them to think about the money they owe and trying to figure out ways in which they can pay it. But sometimes, people will be accidentally called because of a mistaken identity. There are many things people can do to make sure they are not contacted for a debt they do not owe. In an article for the Daily Press, Gary Ballweg, a sheriff in Michigan, says that people should first request proof of the debt in writing. The law states that the debt collector must provide a written notice within five days. It is also important for people to know their rights. "According to federal law, a debt collector cannot continue to contact you - at work or home - if you tell them to stop. After confirming you do not owe the debt in question, you may cease all contact from the debt collection company by sending a letter (via certified mail) to the debt collector advising them to cease contact," Ballweg writes. One woman in Florida was recently targeted by a fake debt collector, who told her that she needed to pay or would face jail time. First Coast News reports that the woman in Middleburg was targeted in an alleged scheme.