It is often difficult to know for sure, but here’s how Pennsylvania consumers can tell whether or not a debt collector is legitimate.

When Pennsylvania consumers see unfamiliar debt on their credit reports or receive a letter or phone call from a debt collector about a debt they don’t recognize, confusion sets in. Maybe they’ve forgotten about an older debt. Or, it’s always possible that the “debt collector” in question is just a scammer. Of course, no Pennsylvania consumer should ever send money or reveal information to an unverified debt collector. Instead, do your research, and find out everything you can about both the debt collection agency and the debt itself. Luckily, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects your rights as a consumer. So, no one in Pennsylvania should ever feel pressured into paying a debt collector anything until they have all the facts.

How a Pennsylvania Consumer Can Get the Facts on a Debt or a Debt Collector

If a consumer in Pennsylvania sees an unrecognizable debt on their credit reports, they should consider three possibilities. First, it’s possible that the creditor’s name listed on the credit report is unfamiliar because it’s the name of a parent company. If this isn’t the case, the strange debt may belong to someone else. Frequently, the credit bureaus mix consumer files and attribute debt to the wrong people. Finally, another possible explanation is that you’re an identity theft victim, and the debt resulted from an unauthorized account that went unpaid.

On your credit report, next to the unpaid account, you should see the name of the original creditor and the debt collection agency that currently owns the debt. Call both to get details about the debt. Then, you can verify whether or not it actually belongs to you.

If, on the other hand, a debt collector actually calls you, collect as much information as you can without revealing your own data. For example, get the agent’s name, the name of the debt collection agency, their physical address, and their phone number. Then, do a quick online search to verify the organizations identity. If the agent withholds any information, they are either a legitimate debt collector in violation of the FDCPA, or a scammer.

Pennsylvania consumers should also ask for a written verification letter from any debt collector that calls. Under the FDCPA, they must send you this letter within five days of calling. Otherwise, they violate the statute. There are many ways in which debt collectors can violate the FDCPA, and consumers in Pennsylvania should have a basic understanding of what a debt collector may and may not do. This way, they can protect themselves against abusive debt collectors.

How Pennsylvania Consumers Can Protect Themselves Against Abusive Debt Collectors

Say that you find out that a debt and a debt collector are both legitimate. The debt collector still may not engage in abusive behavior. For example, no debt collector operating in Pennsylvania or any other state is permitted to use abuse language with you. The FDCPA also bars debt collectors from making threats, belittling consumers, calling at inappropriate times, and discussing debt with third-parties.

If, however, a debt collector does any of these things, you don’t have to put up with the harassment. Instead, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Pennsylvania. When you call our firm, an experienced FDCPA attorney will do whatever it takes to stop the debt collector abuse – for free. In some cases, when we file successful cases against FDCPA-violating debt collectors, our clients receive damage payments.

The Free and Legal way to End Debt Collector Harassment in Pennsylvania

At Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Pennsylvania, we’ve had years of experience when it comes to stopping debt collector harassment. We’ve also 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 (856) 912-3511 or sending him a message through our contact page.

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