So you are deep in debt due to a job loss, disability, or a divorce. Debt collection agencies are calling you constantly to try and get your money. They rely on fear to succeed, so the more you know about them, the better off you will be.

Here are some key things to keep in mind when you talk to them.

  1. Debt collectors cannot make false and fraudulent statements, but exaggeration is something that they can do. You should not necessarily take what they say at face value.
  2. They are not on your side! They are not your friend They just want your money.
  3. They don't care why you can't pay, so don't waste your breath. They want you to pay them first no matter what.
  4. They will use guilt to get your money, and try to make you feel bad for not paying. Don't let them; your situation is not your fault!
  5. They may be collecting for a factor (someone who bought the debt from your creditor at a discount). If you don't recognize the name of the creditor, ask them who held the original debt (they have to tell you). Then bear in mind that they probably have quite a bit of negotiation room to compromise the balance (especially if they bought a $10,000 credit card account for $3,000).
  6. This debt might be too old, and thus not collectible in New Jersey due to the statute of limitations. Pull your credit report, look up the creditor, and find out how old it is. They may not be able to make you pay, and their trying to do so might be a violation of federal law.
  7. There is no such thing as debtor's prison, so they can't have you arrested if you do not pay! Don't believe them if they tell you that!

Dealing with debt collectors can be very stressful. But knowing your rights and how to protect yourself can go a long way towards making it easier to deal with. Debt collectors are just another bully in the schoolyard; know how to stand up to them!

But What Do I Do?

If you live in southern New Jersey and want a lawyer to represent you against your creditors, call my office at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment to come in. I have represented creditors for many years and am familiar with the collection industry and how it ticks. Put my experience to work for you!

Want more information on how to fight back with your creditors? Then download my free book, The Biggest Secrets Your Creditors Don't Want You to Know. Become empowered and protect your rights!

If your debt situation goes beyond one or two creditors, however, and you are wondering whether you need a solution to a bigger problem, then download my free book, Am I In Too Deep? A Guide to Knowing When You Need to File Bankruptcy in New Jersey to find out if bankruptcy might be the solution.

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.