Debt collectors are forced to walk a fine line to ensure that payments are made for outstanding debt. There are many effective debt collectors working for agencies that have appropriate business practices—many of them have collection agency merchant accounts here at EMB. But, whether you’re someone who is behind on payments or a collection agency looking to contract more collectors, there are five signs you should watch for when it comes to debt collectors tip-toeing past the line of what is strictly legal.
1) If You Don’t Owe, Don’t Pay
Many people can be trapped by debt collectors insisting they owe an amount that may seem slightly larger than it ought to have been. Miscalculated or embellished interest rates can mislead someone into paying more than they owe. Debt collectors will do this to shave a bit here and a bit there to cover another debt that they have been unsuccessful collecting. Be wary of this illegal tactic.
Harassment no matter how you dice it or slice it is illegal. Debt collectors can be aggressive well beyond reasonable and rational standards. Persistent calls, calls at all hours, and even calls at the work place constitute harassment.
3) Threats of Eviction
If your debt is outside debt–unrelated to payments made on your home or other similar property–debt collectors cannot have you evicted. Oftentimes, collectors insinuate as much, as many people are really unsure of the legal ramifications of debt. This is a cheap tactic and the implication of eviction is false.
4) Threats to Publicize Debt
If the threat of eviction doesn’t work, collectors may threaten to inform an employer or landlord of debt. This is absolutely illegal. It’s a cheap trick relying on the ignorance of the majority of the public regarding debt.
Debt collectors are not officers of the court, do not represent the police, and are not part of the legal system. Collectors are not part of law enforcement and cannot bully someone into believing they are. This is a poor approach which can lead to credibility problems down the road.
Oftentimes the best debt collectors, the ones agencies want to hire, are those who simply take the time to listen. Everyone does indeed have a story why they can’t pay. The collector who takes a human approach and listens and understands, while still firmly encouraging payment, will often have the best results. These are the merchants you want to hire for your collection agency to keep your collection agency merchant account with EMB flowing with business.