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Tips on What to Do When a Creditor Calls and Demands Repayment

Knowing what to do when a creditor calls can go along way in fighting repayment demands. Prior to filing a lawsuit, many creditors and debt collectors will make attempts to collect the debt by making phone calls, or through written demands for payment. If the creditor is making unwanted phone calls, it is important to record the date and time of the call, the number from where the call came, the identity of the creditor on whose behalf the call is made, and the name of the caller and their employer. Once this information is obtained, inform the caller that any authority that may have existed to call that number, and any other relevant numbers, is immediately revoked. Also, send this information to the creditor, and any collection agency, in writing, by mail, and/or email. If calls continue after this time, continue to record the date and time of the call, and as much information about the caller as you can. Unauthorized calls can be violations of the FDCPA and the TCPA.

As the form, content, and timing of any written demands are regulated by law, it is important to keep and make a record of them, to be later reviewed by Carlisle Law Firm as part of our representation. When sent by a collection agency, collection law firm, or debt purchaser, the debtor should consider sending a “dispute letter” regarding the validity of the debt, and request information sufficient to validate its existence and the accuracy of the amount demanded. The dispute letter should be sent within 30 days of the initial communication with the debtor. Its purpose is to stop collection efforts unless and until the debt is validated. However, this advice is given with a caveat. While it can be of some help in evaluating the strength of the collection claim, and can set up possible FDCPA violations for non-compliance, a dispute letter does not generally stop collection for long. In fact, the receipt of a dispute letter is often the last communication before a lawsuit is filed. This is likely due to the fact that the filing of legal pleadings is not a prohibited communication in response to a dispute letter, regardless of whether the debt has been validated.

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