In order to properly prepare yourself for when the debt collectors start calling, you need to understand the debt collection process. Knowing what your rights are and understanding how the process works will help you navigate the process and utilize the knowledge to your advantage. If you’re preparing for debt litigation in Tampa, knowing this process will help you understand the steps involved.
What Leads to Debt Litigation in Tampa? Here is the Debt Collection Process
The Initial Debt
When you owe a balance, you will usually have thirty days to pay that balance to the company it is owed to. Sometimes, you have longer, sometimes less. If you do not pay the balance, the company will begin to handle the debt internally. Usually they will begin with letters and phone calls at specific intervals. The longer the debt goes unpaid the more often you may hear from them. At some point, they will notify you that this is your final notice before the debt is transferred to a third party debt collector.
Third Party Comes Onto the Scene
Although the time period differs as to when your initial debt will be passed on to a third party, the general rule is that it will be passed on around six months of the internal resources being unable to collect the debt. The third party debt collector will attempt to collect the debt by any means possible. You’ll receive new communication of the debt and phone calls now from the debt collection company. Debt collectors are not able to call you outside of the hours of nine and five. They must give you a letter stating the origination of the debt upon request. If the third party is unable to collect the debt, the debt may switch hands to a different third party or the issue may go to court.
Transfer of Debt
Sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of a debt because it keeps changing hands. Third party debt collectors work in two ways. Either they collect the debt for a commission on behalf of the original party, or they purchase the debt for a reduced fee and try to collect the amount. Keep in mind that a debt collector must always let you know where the debt originated from.
You may receive the summons to court if the debt remains unpaid and multiple forms of contact have been attempted by the debt collection company. If you have not acknowledged the debt as your own, you are somewhat protected. However, if you do get a summons to court, the judge will make a decision on what you owe based on the evidence provided. It is only at this point that other means may be used to collect the debt. This includes wage garnishment, which your debt collector can not do before a judgment is made.
Understanding this process can help you protect yourself. The debt collection process must be followed correctly, with adherence to the FDCPA, or you may be able to take legal action.