You’re enjoying a typically beautiful day in sunny Arizona, when you receive a phone call. To your irritation, it’s some type of debt collector claiming that you owe money for delinquent taxes. You quickly hang up the phone because you know the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) never calls consumers about delinquent taxes. It has to be a scam. Up until recently, this would have been a safe assumption. However, legislation has recently passed that will allow the IRS to use private debt collectors to pursue past-due taxes. This is a highly controversial move because, now, some of these calls about delinquent taxes might be real, but how will you be able to tell?
Why Arizona Seniors will Need to be Aware of these New Debt Collection Practices
It’s a sad fact that a lot of phone scammers habitually target Arizona seniors. This is why the number of reported cases of fraud and identity theft is typically very high in the Grand Canyon State. At least with tax scams, it was easy to coach seniors on how to respond: “The IRS doesn’t contact consumers like this. Goodbye.” Things won’t be so simple moving forward.
This recently passed legislation is the result of bi-partisan efforts, with Senators Charles Grassley (Republican, Iowa) and Chuck Schumer (Democrat, New York) serving as advocates. Those in favor of the legislation argue that private debt collectors “are better at collecting taxes than the IRS.” They are also quick to point out that, by using private debt collectors, the IRS will help sustain jobs for hundreds of Americans.
In addition to their concern about how these new debt collection practices may make it easier for fraudsters, opponents to the legislation believe that it is unconstitutional. They argue that imposing and collecting taxes is exclusively a function of the government, as stated in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, outsourcing tax collection to private debt collectors is a violation of the Constitution.
Regardless of what naysayers have said, the IRS is moving forward with the new debt collection strategy. Four private debt collection agencies have been authorized to collect past-due taxes from consumers. These debt collectors have, however, been instructed to not take any financial information over the phone. So, this is the new rule of thumb for distinguishing between scammers and legitimate tax debt collectors: Don’t trust anyone who asks for financial information. Hopefully, this will be enough to protect Arizona seniors from scammers who are out to take advantage of them.
Don’t deal with any debt collectors, legitimate or otherwise, over the telephone. If they are legitimate, they know how to write letters, too. If you get a phone call from a debt collector, tell them to contact you in writing only and then hang up. An illegitimate debt collector will not likely write to you.
Dealing with Debt Collectors (Real and Phony) in Arizona
Figuring out whether or not a debt collector is real or phony is often the first order of business when you receive a phone call from someone who’s demanding money. However, even legitimate debt collection agencies can still make mistakes. This can make everything very confusing. What do you do if you’re getting repeated calls from a real debt collector about a debt that you don’t actually owe?
You get help from a FREE lawyer. Arizona residents don’t have to deal with debt collection mistakes or threatening debt collectors on their own. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we help consumers deal with wrongful debt collections every day, and we would love to talk about your situation.
The Free and Legal Way to Handle Debt Collection Violations
Don’t let mistaken or abusive debt collectors push you around. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been helping Arizona consumers deal with wrongful debt collection since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in cases that are settled. 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 (480)771-6001 or sending him a message through our contact page.