Blog Posts

What To Say When You Answer The Collector’s Call

The first thing you have to realize is that a debt collector is a salesman. Debt collectors call to sell you on the idea of paying the delinquent account. Debt collectors are forbidden by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to use deceptive practices to collect on an account, but don’t expect that to stop an underpaid collection agent from trying everything he can to get you to pay up so that he can get his commission check. Your

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How to Write a Pay for Delete Letter

I’m a layman, not a lawyer. Legal information is not legal advice. A lot of people won’t tell you this, but you can get legitimate collection items deleted from your credit report entirely with some negotiating skills and a lot of tenacity. Specifics vary greatly from one situation to the next, but, in general, you as the consumer end up paying all or most of a delinquent collection account, and in exchange the collection agency agrees to remove the offending

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How to Get a Judgment Vacated

I’m a layman, not a lawyer. Legal information is not legal advice. More than 90% of collection lawsuits end in an uncontested victory for the collection agency. That means that only about 10% of consumers fight collections lawsuits when they occur and even have a chance at a courtroom victory. When a collection agency obtains a default judgment, it gets more or less everything it asks for, but it doesn’t need to be that way! Often when challenged, a debt

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How to Write a Cease and Desist Letter

Legal information is not legal advice. I think most of us have found ourselves in a collection situation sooner or later, either by accident of billing or by a reversal of fortune in life. Once an account becomes delinquent, things quickly escalate. It starts with threatening letters in the mail and then the annoying phone calls start: one or two at first, followed by dozens at all hours of the day or night. Debt collectors don’t want you to know

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How to Dispute an Entry on Your Credit Report

When you initiate contact with a debt collector, the first thing you should do is request validation of the debt. This proves several things: The debt collector is who they say they are, as opposed to a scammer. They have the right to collect on the debt. It tells you in no uncertain terms how much you owe and how the debt collector computes that figure. The name of the original creditor. The age of the debt, if the collector

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Pay for Delete; Top Lies Debt Collectors Will Tell You

I have news for you: paying off your delinquent accounts won’t fix your credit. The delinquencies will still have to age-off once you’ve paid them. Increased awareness of this fact has led some to try an unorthodox tactic: pay the collection agency to delete the derogatory entry. If it works — presto — it’s as if the delinquency never existed in the first place. Unfortunately, it can be like pulling teeth to get a collection agency to agree to to

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Afni Collection Agency Blog Roundup

Afni Collections is a debt collector that takes on delinquent cell phone accounts. They’re a debt buyer, which means they purchase delinquent accounts from companies for pennies on the dollar — often for as little as 4–5 cents on the dollar. At a certain age—which differs by state—a debt becomes too old for collection agencies to sue consumers over. Often Afni will continue to attempt collections on very old accounts long past the statue of limitations; a practice known as

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About the New Look and Feel

As a lot of you know the site went down for several days. This was due to an outage with my old hosting provider. Long story short: a database server failed, and my website’s content went with it. Recovery from backups was attempted but failed. I’m extremely pissed off about the situation, but long angry rants serve no one. My old hosting provider isn’t going to get my data back. I can vent, and it may make me feel better,

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A Quick and Dirty Guide to Debt Validation

Not every collections claim is legitimate. Debts can become too old to be collectible. Mix-ups happen and people get called about debts that aren’t theirs. At other times, the debt was real, but paid off, and somehow ended up in collections by mistake. All of these things happen. To protect you from these kinds of mistakes — and from fake debt collectors claiming you owe debts that just aren’t real — the FDCPA has a provision that requires debt collection

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Is Debt Settlement Moral?

I sometimes hear from well-meaning and absolutely sincere debtors who feel that debt settlement — negotiating an agreement with a creditor to accept less than you owe as final payment on a debt — is somehow immoral. I don’t question their honor; it’s always commendable to take the moral high road, especially when there is a cost in doing so. But I do think their business and financial literacy skills have room to grow. Let me explain why. If this

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