Debt collectors in California and other states may try to convince debtors that it is in their best interest to pay off a debt. In most cases, debt collectors are trained to say whatever is most likely to solicit the response that they want. For instance, they may say that paying a debt balance off could result in an increased credit score. While this could be true in some cases, negative information may still remain on a credit report.
Debt collectors may also encourage a debtor to let them talk to that person’s friends or family members. This may be done under the guise that they could lend money or otherwise help resolve the situation. However, the debt collector’s true intent is to get as much information about the debtor as possible. In some cases, a debt collector will threaten a person with legal action if the debt isn’t paid right away.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, it is illegal to do so unless there is an actual intent to go to court. Individuals who are being asked for payment have the right to verify that the debt actually belongs to them. Those who call about a debt are obligated to provide proof that the debt is real and belongs to the person being asked to pay it.
Those who are looking for a way to get out of debt might do so by filing for bankruptcy. In a bankruptcy case, an individual may be able to retain property while putting an end to creditor or debt collector contact. If a debtor retains legal counsel, debt collectors are generally required to forward future inquiries about a debt to counsel. An attorney may further explain the process and benefits of filing for bankruptcy.