Unfortunately, debt collectors can be relentless when trying to collect a debt from someone who they believe owes them money. This can be frustrating when you don’t know what debt they are referencing! If you’re being harassed by a debt collector on behalf of a debt you don’t owe, you may feel helpless. Keep reading to learn why you should consult a California debt collection harassment attorney to help alleviate the harassment you’re experiencing.
Why Would Creditors Try to Collect a Debt That Isn’t Mine?
Though it may seem strange for a debt collector to try to obtain money for a debt you don’t owe, there are a number of reasons this can occur. For example, if you already paid the debt, the systems may not have updated to reflect that you no longer owe money. If you were the victim of identity theft, you could also experience this as your name is associated with the debt, despite someone else making the purchase using your information.
However, in other circumstances, this call may be a scam from an entity looking to get money. If you know that your identity hasn’t been stolen or you never owed a debt relevant to what the collector is saying, it is likely a scam call. Regardless, you are protected by law from harassment from debt collectors, meaning there are steps you can take to alleviate the intimidating phone calls or letters.
Is There Anything I Can Do?
The most important thing to do when you receive a call about a debt you are unfamiliar with is to stay calm. Though you may want to pay it off immediately, this is not the best course of action as it could be a scam. Instead, you should contact the collection agency by writing a written request for proof of the debt within 30 days of their first contact. This will halt collection attempts until you have received proof.
If the creditor is trying to collect a debt you’ve already paid, you can submit proof of payment. You can even go as far as to reach out to the original collector to obtain an account balance to submit. However, if the debt is not yours, you’ll need to file a dispute against the claim. You should consider sending the letter by certified mail, which can give you proof that they received your dispute claim.
Finally, if the harassment continues despite your efforts to prove you were not responsible for the debt, you’ll want to hire an attorney. You should never try to navigate a harassment claim on your own, as it can be challenging. Instead, reach out to Loker Law to connect with a competent collection harassment attorney. Our firm can help guide you through the process while ensuring your rights are protected from relentless collectors.