Debt collectors are a tough lot to deal with. There have been many complaints lodged against them with legal and financial authorities. Over recent years in particular, where the number of people falling into bad debt has peaked, the business of debt services has really picked up. From credit card debt to failed mortgages, an increasingly large number of people have found themselves on the receiving end of these debt collectors and worry about how they can handle them discreetly. The biggest problem for most people is the impact such people can have on their reputation. No one wants other people to know they are in debt.
The first thing you should do when contacted by such an agency is to ask them to submit their request for payment in writing. This will give you a chance to verify the details of the debt including who the principal creditor is and the amount outstanding. If there is a discrepancy, make sure to immediately inform the debt collection agency. To prevent the debt collection agency pursuing you further, particularly through repeated collection calls, be sure to also send a cease and desist letter. Make sure the delivery of this letter is signed for so they cannot dent having received it.
Learn about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This act is designed to help the debtor understand his or her rights when it comes to debt collection. The rules may vary from state to state so familiarize yourself with your local rules to understand when your rights are being violated. In many case you can go for debt settlement if a debt collection agency is doing the legwork. If you have the finances to do so, negotiate to as low an amount as you can to avoid the case winding up in court or another debt collection agency being assigned.