The current economy has caused many of us to fall behind on our bills, and in the worst scenarios a collection agency becomes involved. Consumers hit by a job lay off or unexpected medical expenses often have maintained stellar credit over the years, and they have no idea of how to deal with a collection agency should they be subjected to that unpleasant experience. A consumer’s main weapon of defense is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This law controls what collection agencies can and can not do. Most importantly, a collection agency must honor your request to cease communication with you. Many consumers do not understand this, and they unnecessarily subject themselves to unending barrages of phone calls both at home and at work.
Furthermore, the FDCPA requires that the collection agency validate the debt before proceeding with any further collection activities — however, they are only obligated to do this if you demand it. Many consumers fail to require that the collection agency validate the debt which fails to take advantage of the benefits of this tactic — until the debt is validated it can not be listed as a derogatory on your credit report. In addition to the FDCPA, you are also protected by State laws in your jurisdiction. Information is often the best defense against collection agencies — read these laws and exercise all the rights granted to you under them.