The federal government has taken action to ensure debt collection agencies do not infringe on your rights. The Federal Trade Commission states that debt collectors cannot call you at any time or anywhere and that debt collectors cannot contact anyone else regarding your debt.
Not all debt collection agencies are honest. You need to learn about all of the lies a collector may tell to get you to pay up, and you need to know what is true and what is false. It is a crucial part of protecting your finances so that you know when you need to pay and when you should pursue bankruptcy.
“You owe more than that.”
You likely have an idea of how much you owe. Debt collection agencies have a right to try to collect that amount, but some unscrupulous companies will say you owe much more. The idea is that if you think you owe more than you actually do, then you will settle for the actual amount. You need to remain up-to-date on your finances so that you know when the collector tells you the wrong amount.
“I’m an employee of a credit reporting company.”
Some collectors will try to get you to pay by saying how badly it will impact your credit score. However, none of the three major credit bureaus, Transunion, Equifax and Experian, collect debts. If a collector tells you he or she works for one of those companies, then that person has lied. You should take down that person’s information, including the title. You will likely find this person works for a company that only reports information to credit bureaus.
“We can garnish your Social Security payments.”
A debt collector cannot garnish Social Security payments. The same holds true for retirement benefits, military annuities and FEMA assistance. The only exception would be if you owed money specifically to the government.