Creditors and debt collectors commonly contact consumers who fall behind in making debt payments. Sometimes, however, creditors may contact the wrong person about an outstanding debt. Other times, scam artists can pose as debt collectors to try to get personal information from consumers in order to commit identity theft.
In the event you are contacted about a debt that you don’t recognize, taking the following steps is generally the best way to protect yourself, your personal information and your financial resources:
- Identify the debt collector – By law, debt collectors are required to tell you who they are, their contact information, and the original creditor for whom they are collecting the debt. So, ask for this information up front. If the collector refuses to disclose any of this information or provides ambiguous answers, you may be dealing with a scam artist.
- Do not give our or confirm your personal information – If you don’t recognized a debt and you make the mistake of providing your personal information, you may have a more difficult time refuting the debt later.
- Request a validation or verification of the debt – If you request a validation of the debt, the creditors must, by law, provide you with a written notice explaining the amount of money owed, the name/contact info of the creditor, and what steps can be taken if you want to dispute the debt. While this notice may help you determine if you owe the debt, it can also provide you with more specifics to do some further investigating if you determine the debt is, indeed, not yours.
- Formally dispute the debt – This involves sending a written letter to the debt collector, explaining why you believe the debt is not yours (and only providing very limited personal information). In general, these formal disputes have to be sent within 30 days of receiving a debt verification notice.
- Dig deeper – Check your credit report, and contact the original creditor associated with the debt to find out more about it. This can be integral to discovering if you have been the victim of identity theft.
Contact Denver Bankruptcy Attorney Jon B. Clarke Today
If you are overwhelmed by seemingly insurmountable debt and are looking for a financial fresh start, you can turn to trusted Denver Bankruptcy Attorney Jon B. Clarke for experienced help pursuing your best debt relief option.
To get answers from an experienced and esteemed lawyer, contact Attorney Jon B. Clarke today. Call him at (303) 779-0600 or (866) 916-3950 or email him using the contact form on this page. You can also complete our Business or Consumer Debtor Analysis Form to get specific answers pertaining to your situation.
From our offices based in Denver, Castle Rock and Greenwood village, we take pride in providing people throughout the state of Colorado with the highest quality debt relief legal services.