Owing money to someone or a company (i.e. the creditor) may mean they use a debt collection agency to retrieve their money. The most common types of debt include credit cards, household bills, student loans, and mortgages. And whilst you should try to avoid missing payments, sometimes life can get away, and before you know it, there’s a debt collector contacting you. There are some options at your disposal if this happens, and some crucial facts you should know.
Table of Content
You Can Be Contacted If You’re Abroad
If you’ve moved abroad, you can still be contacted by a debt collector. Companies you owe money to may use Oddcoll, which connects debt-collecting agencies and law firms between dozens of different countries. These local debt collectors are familiar with local laws and can still request payment from you, even if you owe a company in another country. If a case is raised against you, you should request information from them and ensure you know the details of the debt – the debt collectors will be able to fill you in.
Your Account Can Be Frozen
If you have missed several payments in a row (after about 60 days since you originally owed the money), the company will usually freeze your account which means you will not be able to make any more purchases or continue with their service. If the creditor hasn’t from you after sending written notices and calling you, they will pass the information to a debt collector.
They Can Access Your Bank
The debt collectors will use all the information they have on you to attempt to retrieve the money. After they have tried contacting you by letter and phone, they can contact family members for up-to-date addresses and contact details. They can come to your place of residence to request the money and, in rare cases, after it’s gone through a court judgement, they can take money directly from your bank if you have enough funds. If you have co-signed a loan or are responsible for another person’s money, you may assume their debt.
You Can Dispute A Debt
If you think the debt is incorrect, you have the ability to dispute the debt within 30 days, and after that, it’s deemed valid. Should you need to dispute it, make sure you keep all notices because they may be useful as evidence. Disputing the debt means the debt collector can no longer contact you and you will most likely have to go to court.
Your Credit Score Can Be Affected
It’s important to try and pay off the debt as soon as you can because your credit score can take a massive hit. Depending on the type of debt, debt collection reports can stay on your record for a whopping seven years. But some forms, such as medical debt, have a certain grace period, and how much you owe can also affect this.
Overall, if a debt collector contacts you, you should try and pay the money back as soon as you can. They can contact you by letter, phone, and in person – even if you’re abroad – and can even take money from your bank. It can have a major impact on your credit score but you can dispute a debt if you think it’s incorrect.