Missourians who are in heavy debt and are having trouble covering even the minimum payments could feel a certain amount of fear as they consider their options. There are many ways to handle debts and get back on stronger financial ground. Before taking those steps, however, it is also important to get back into a better frame of mind to try and address those debts. One common hindrance to doing that is when debt collectors are exerting pressure to collect.
Sometimes the debtor believes the debts are not legitimate. Should there be a debt in dispute, it is imperative to understand how the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act handles disputed debts. Falling under the section of the law called ‘”Validation of Debts,” the collector will contact the debtor about the debt and provide various information including the amount, who is owed and more. If the debt is in dispute, there are certain rules that will ensure the debtor is protected from harassment and other ill treatment.
Once the consumer has given written notification within 30 days that he or she does not owe the debt or a portion of the debt, or the consumer asks for the name of the creditor who wants the payment, the debt collector must stop trying to collect the debt or a portion of the debt until it is verified that the debtor owes it. This stay will be in place until the debt is verified, a copy of the judgment is acquired, or the name and address of the creditor with a copy of the verification or judgment is sent to the consumer. Collection activities in that timeframe will not be indicative of the consumer not having the right to dispute the debt.
Being overwhelmed by debt does not mean that the debtor should take legal violations quietly and accept them as part of a punishment for having financial difficulties. If there is a debt in dispute, it is within the debtor’s rights to have the situation rectified. With this and any other issue with debt, understanding one’s legal rights is one of the most important factors to getting back on strong financial footing.