When Illinois consumers have accounts in debt collections, they face the question of, “To pay or not to pay?” Of course, once debt belongs to debt collectors, paying it off normally won’t help your credit score. Unfortunately, these unpaid accounts typically linger on credit reports for up to seven years. However, some consumers in Illinois benefit from paying off debt in debt collections. Yet, always check the status of a debt before paying a debt collector by asking three important questions. First, is the debt legitimate? Next, does the debt belong to you? Then, finally, has the debt expired? In addition, Ohio consumers should know that they have rights when it comes to dealing with abusive debt collectors.
Why Illinois Consumers Should Check the Status of Debt in Debt Collections
Before deciding whether or not to pay debt in debt collections, Ohio residents should gather some information. For example, if you receive a call from a debt collector first, you should request a validation letter. Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), the debt collector must send you written validation of the debt within five days of calling you.
You should also ask for the debt collector’s name and the name of the debt collection agency, as well as the agency’s physical address and phone number. Then, you can research this information online to determine the legitimacy of both the debt and the debt collector.
Once you receive the validation letter, make sure that it contains accurate information. Or, if you don’t receive a validation letter even after requesting one, this may indicate that the debt isn’t yours. All Illinois consumers in this situation should research the matter further before paying anything.
If, in fact, the debt does belong to you, check the date of the first delinquency. Then, if more than seven years have passed since the debt was considered delinquent, the debt has likely expired. If this is the case, a debt collector may not take legal action against you. Here’s an important tip to remember, though. If the debt is close to its expiration date, and you pay even $1 to the debt collector, the account re-ages. Therefore, Ohio consumers should only agree to payment plans if they know that the debt is nowhere near expiring.
How Illinois Consumers Can Benefit from Paying Off Debt in Debt Collections
Even though delinquent accounts normally stay on credit reports for up to seven years regardless of whether you pay or not, Ohio consumers sometimes benefit from paying a debt collector. This is because some lenders look more favorably upon collection debt marked with a “paid” status. In fact, in some newer credit scoring models, paid collection debt doesn’t count against your credit score.
So, if you plan to take out a mortgage to buy a house in the near future, paying off a debt in debt collections is possibly a wise move. There is even a chance that you can negotiate with the debt collector to have the negative item removed from your credit reports once you pay. Just be sure to get this agreement in writing before committing to pay.
How Illinois Consumers Should Deal with Abusive Debt Collectors that Violate the FDCPA
Consumers in Illinois contacted by debt collectors should remember that, regardless of whether they owe money or not, the FDCPA protects their rights. Under this federal statute, debt collectors may not use harassing tactics while attempting to collect debt. For example, they may not call at all hours, use abusive language, or discuss debts with third parties.
If, however, a debt collector uses any of these tactics against you or makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Illinois. When you call our firm, an experienced FDCPA attorney will make the abusive debt collector stop. In some cases, when we file successful actions against abusive debt collectors, our clients receive damage payments. So, there is a chance that the harassing debt collector could end up paying YOU.
The Free and Legal way to End Debt Collector Harassment in Illinois
Being harassed by debt collectors is bad enough, but when incorrect collections make it on to your credit reports and bring your credit score down, that’s even worse. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (773) 360-0665 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about how to Stop Debt Collector Harassment for Free, please visit https://www.creditrepairlawyersam.com/illinois/stop-debt-collector/.