If you’ve already decided to make the decision to get out of debt, then you really need to stop and be pretty proud of yourself. There are a lot of things that you could do — including not taking any action at all. However, this really doesn’t make the debt go away; it just means that you’re never going to get out of the debt that is taking your life away step by step.
Yes, it’s true — debt really slows you down. If you’re in too much debt, you can’t own a home and you really can’t get a car. Even those “bad credit car loans” that you see from time to time aren’t very good, because the interest rate is really high. However, that’s not the only place where debt really kicks you in the pants. If you have any plans of going out to get a job, you can bet that your credit is definitely going to get checked. Of course, you can always go for a career path that doesn’t require this, but these days even the basic secretarial and other lower-paying jobs are requiring a credit check. Most employers feel that if you have bad credit you’ll do anything to get out of debt, which could include steal from them. Since no employer is naturally going to want to get stolen from, they’re going to make sure that they can hire people that they can trust. It’s a flawed system, because there are a lot of people that actually have some pretty good morals and ethics — they just have bad credit. Should those people be penalized because they made a few mistakes down the path of life? No, but it’s not for us to decide — it’s up to the employer to decide who they will hire and who they will not hire.
Hang on, we do have a point that we’re coming to here. The point is simple: you want to rebuild your credit, but you definitely don’t want to chase debts that aren’t yours. Nor do you want to chase down debts that are outside the statute of limitations. About every seven to ten years your derogatory information is cleared off your credit report. This means that you get to start fresh in terms of your credit score, but you will still want to pay off your debts the best that you can. Just because you pass the statute of limitations and the seven year marker for your credit report doesn’t mean that your creditors cannot file a lawsuit against you. Even though it has little to no merit, you still have to fight it or a default judgment will be entered. Most of the time, that’s what they want anyway — because judgments go on your record, and then that’s another 7 years of trying to get it off your credit report.
We’re talking today about the need to always confirm your debt before you start paying things back. Not every debt collector is honest, and that’s a real shame. There is a strong need for recovery companies in corporate America. Indeed, if there were no collection agencies a lot of the services that you enjoy would be a lot more expensive than they are now. That’s because the company would have to take different measures to protect their property, and that can get expensive.
It’s the ones that don’t play by the law that really give the whole debt recovery industry a very bad name. However, you don’t have to live in fear of the debt collectors.
When you’re ready to try to pay back any of your debts, you will want to make sure that you actually confirm your debts first. You need to make sure that the company trying to get money out of you even has the right to collect that money. Don’t just assume that you do — you might be in for a real surprise there.
Your first weapon is the written letter. Yes, even in the digital age you will still need to step back and write a few letters. You can send email, but email isn’t reliable. There is no guarantee that it will actually go into the place where you want it to go. No, my credit building friend, if you really want to clear your good name you will need to make sure that you go to your computer and type up a letter. It needs to be sent through regular mail, but you can’t just send it first class mail. You need to make sure that it’s sent through certified mail, with a return receipt requested. That’s the only way that you’ll actually have a paper trail to follow.
In your debt validation letter, you need to let the collector know that you are trying to get them to verify that the debt belongs to you, and that they actually have the legal right to collect on that debt. Again, you might think that every collector that contacts you has the right to collect on the debts that they say they have a right to collect on, but that’s not really the case at all. A lot of the times they are just buying a big bundle of debt from original creditors and trying to collect on it. There comes a point where your original creditors aren’t going to hound you for money anymore — after all, if you haven’t paid them in 120 days, chances are good that you aren’t going to pay them. So they sell those debts aside.
No matter what happens, you want to make sure that you wait it out for the debt collection agency to actually verify that everything is on the up and up. If they don’t do that, it’s a violation of federal law.
So, what happens after this? Well, a few things can happen. One, the collection agency can get back to you and give you proof that they not only have the legal right to collect the debt, but also that the debt is yours, you then have to go into negotiating your debts.
However, if they do not respond in a timely manner of 30 days or less, they have no right to collect the debt. This means that you can turn around and notify the credit bureaus that the collection agency has no right to collect the debt; therefore it needs to be removed from your credit report. In most cases, the credit bureau in question will comply. You will need to make sure that you send letters to all three major credit bureaus just to ensure that all of your bases are covered.
Knowing your rights can get complicated because there are a lot of things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to something as tricky as your debts. However, if you keep reading up and sending out those validation letters, you’ll eventually clear up your credit for the long term — why not get started today!