First, try to get the collector back on the phone and repeat whatever you said the first time that caused the collector to make the illegal statement(s). Have a witness listen in on an extension or tape the conversation. Taping is permitted without the collector's knowledge in all states except California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.
Then file a complaint. You can even file a complaint if you don't have a witness, but a witness helps. File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, 6th & Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20850, 202-326-2222.
Finally, send a copy of your complaint to the creditor who hired the collection agency. If the violations are severe enough, the creditor may stop the collection efforts. If the violations are ongoing, you can sue the collection agency (and the creditor that hired the agency) for up to $1,000 in small claims court for violating the FDCPA. You probably won't win if you can prove only a few minor violations. If the violations are outrageous, you can sue the collection agency and creditor in regular civil court.
What is the debt collector required to tell you about the debt?
They must adhere to the federal law, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Within five days after you are first contacted, the collector must send you a written notice telling you the amount of money you owe; the name of the creditor to whom you ...
Should I pay off this collection or wait for it to be removed first?
This is a really important time for you. You're getting your life together (at least financially with your credit, right?), making plans for the future... What if you finally have money to pay off a collection and you're in the middle of a credit ...
Can a collection agency harass me?
No, legally they cannot. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act contains information as to what a collection agency can and cannot do, what times they can call you, etc. Most people do not know their credit rights (Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair ...
Can information be removed from my credit reports even if it belongs to me?
Any accounts on a credit report can be removed, but they must to be removed due to a violation of some type (which you will find described in the Fair Credit Reporting Act) (FCRA) or due to inaccuracy, inability to verify or incompleteness. There are ...
Why do some accounts get removed quickly while others take a long time?
Unfortunately, this process is not certain. It's not guaranteed. There's no way to "force" the bureaus, creditors or collection agencies to do anything (or anyone else for that matter). This is why I call them "rounds", as in "dispute rounds". It is ...