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When a debt collector calls, they typically have a single goal in mind: getting you to pay up. They may even resort to threats or scare tactics to get you to part with your money. Speaking of threats, if you do receive such a call, knowing your rights can help you turn the tables when—and if—a debt collector decides to use unscrupulous methods.

Wage garnishment. A debt collector may tell you that they will take all of the money in your next paycheck if you don’t pay up. If you live on a tight budget, this can cause you and your family unnecessary worry and stress thinking you won’t have the money to buy groceries. Remember that debt collectors cannot garnish your wages unless they file a lawsuit against you first and win, which takes several months.

Paid off debts. It’s not unusual for a debt collector to call trying to get you to pay for something you already took care of. The easiest thing to do in this scenario is simply to keep a record of the receipt showing your debt was satisfied. If you don’t have it, obtain a copy of the check from your bank.

Informing others of your debt. This is meant solely as a means of trying to shame you into paying the debt. While a debt collector may indeed contact your neighbor or employer, they are legally prevented from revealing anything about the debt or account aside from requesting that the person call them. Informing the debt collector that they cannot reveal anything may work in your favor by showing them that you are aware of your rights and will not be intimidated.

This update is by Abril Law, a law firm comprised of attorneys Jorge M. Abril and Sinead Baldwin. Our services include medical reimbursement, collection-related litigation, and more. If you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment with a commercial litigation attorney, please call 305-373-0901 to speak with one of our attorneys. We look forward to working with you.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.