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Stop a debt collector’s empty threats

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Calls from debt collectors can add to the stress of having financial problems. When those calls involve harassment, threats and intimidation, the situation can get even worse — especially if you don’t know your rights.

The FTC enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to protect consumers from deceptive, abusive, or unfair debt collection tactics. On June 23, 2014, the FTC filed a joint complaint with the State of New York against National Check Registry for violating the FDCPA by allegedly using outrageous and intimidating methods to get people to pay debts immediately — often debts that were in dispute.

Among the alleged tactics that National Check Registry used was telling people they had committed check fraud or another crime and threatening them with lawsuits, garnishments, arrest or imprisonment if they didn’t pay. The FTC and the State of New York alleged that National Check Registry routinely told people they had to pay within 12 or 24 hours to avoid having a local court system or law enforcement agency come after them. Frequently, the company would tell a person’s family, friends and coworkers that the person committed a crime or was involved in a legal proceeding.

 

In fact, these were empty threats. According to the complaint, National Check Registry has no authority to make arrests or seek other criminal punishments for failure to pay these debts.  

 

If you are facing debt collection, understand your rights. Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are not allowed to:

  • call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • contact you at work if you’ve told them verbally or in writing that your employer doesn’t allow you to get such calls in the workplace
  • harass or abuse you or anyone else they contact about you
  • lie about the amount you owe
  • use deceptive methods to collect a debt from you. For example, they may not:
    • falsely claim to be law enforcement officers
    • claim that you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay your debt
    • threaten to seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or your wages — unless they are permitted by law to do it and intend to do so
    • give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company
    • use a fake company name

Collectors usually are prohibited from contacting third parties more than once. Other than to obtain location information about you, a debt collector generally is not allowed to discuss your debt with anyone other than you, your spouse or your attorney.

Be sure to file a complaint with the FTC if you think that a debt collector has violated your rights.

 

Tagged with: debt, debt collection
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

You have rights when you deal with debt collectors. This FTC article explains what a debt collector can - and can't - legally do, how to stop a debt collector from contacting you, and more.

I received a notice from a bill collector for a debt from a company that I've never done business with. I sent the company a letter saying that this wasn't my account, but they won't take back the bill collection, nor will they even provide any information about what the bill is for. Is there anything I can do about this?

The FTC recently issued a blog post on this very issue. Please see Don’t recognize that debt? Here’s what to do. For more information, see our debt collection page.

I keep receiving calls from a supposed law firm stating that i have a payday loan i have defaulted on. One i have never had a payday loan two they have a bank account # i closed over 8 years ago because someone got my ss# and account information. These people are threatening to take me to court for fraud and defrauding a company with a bad check. What can i do?

The caller may be a fake debt collector. A fake collector may  have some of your personal information, like a bank account number. A caller may be a fake debt collector if he:

  • seeks payment on a debt for a loan you don't recognize
  • refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number;
  • asks for personal or financial
  • tries to scare you into paying, threatens to have you arrested or says he'll report you to law enforcement

This FTC article tells more about dealing with fake debt collectors.

I got the same call. Some lady is threating a sherriff to come out tomorrow and serve me and im so scared.

I received a call at my job from a man who you could tell English was not his first language. There was a lot of commotion in the background, and went on to tell me that the call was being recorded and I owed thousands of dollars for money that was credited to my account and I never paid back. First off, I do have a couple payday loans out but they are current and none of them are behind on payments and I received cash for them in a store, and they are for small amounts. He proceeded to tell me that I have a lawsuit against me and I needed to talk to my lawyer, but this was the first I had ever heard of anything. He told me if I didn't pay $3000-$5000 I would have to go to court. I told him I was at work and didn't have time to talk and he said I would be served by an officer either at my house or place of work and he would see me in court and hung up. What do I do?

The caller may be a fake debt collector. A fake collector may  have some of your personal information, like a bank account number. A caller may be a fake debt collector if he:

  • seeks payment of a debt you don't recognize
  • refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number
  • asks for personal or financial information
  • tries to scare you into paying, says you will be arrested or says he'll report you to law enforcement

This FTC article tells more about dealing with fake debt collectors.

I have a question... it's not a collection agency that is calling me, it's the actual payday loan company. I took a loan out almost a year ago, an installment loan they called it for 2000.00 and have been paying on it, they did drop the interest but I can't afford it. They call me constantly and at work even though they've been told they can't. Today's message was for me to call them or they'd come to me. This sounds like a threat to me. Are they allowed to come to your home or work to try and collect? Thanks for your help!

I received a phone call stating that i have taken out a payday loan in June of 2011 and that if i do not settle it in 24-48 hours there will be a civil suit filed against me. They stated that they have made multiple attempts to contact me at the address that i have not lived at since 2007 and that they made numerous attempts to contact me via phone.

They never called or received a message. When I called the number back they had only the last 4 digits of my account number and my social which is really easy to obtain. They demanded immediate resolution or there would be up to 4 times the cost of the debt. Plus attorney fees.

I am not sure what to do. The account they had has been closed for a very long time so I do not have statement on it. Neither does the bank without special inquiry. I do not know how to respond to it. What are fair lending practices. And where can i get the information. I requested for the letter of when the loan was taken out and they stated that at this point it's way too late for me to get that info. They can either sign off as non cooperation or i can pay them back immediately via credit card only. I can post date a payment. while i am researching this. It is the last day before fourth of July weekend and I am stuck. The bank is not working and I am not able to get to them until Tuesday to get some kind of info. They could not even provide me with information on who the lender was. Just stated it was a pay day loan. Please help if you know of any ways to go about it.

A legitimate debt collect must give you written proof of the debt within five days after they first contact you. The notice is a called a “validation notice,” and it will tell you how much money you owe.  The notice also must include the name of the creditor you owe, and what you can do you don’t think you owe the money.

The person who called might be a fake debt collector This FTC article about fake debt collectors lists some signs of a fake, and has tips on what to do if one calls.

Read about your rights when you deal with debt collectors.

 

i was contacted by a collection agency today claiming they have a judgement against me? I have never been served and a garnishment has never been brought to my attention. How long can a collection agency sit on a garnishment? Wouldn't I have gotten something starting the was a judgement in their favor?

I keep getting phone calls from all over the US from different phone numbers and different area codes. Some give me just a recording stating they are Michael Stevenson and I have 48 hours to reply to the call by dialing 888-913-3927. I also get calls from 214-935-2066, 847-232-0297, & 262-204-7925. So far it's been Michael Stevenson & Greg Brooks. And I have heard everything from being told I am scheduled for service, they are going to come to my place of employment, they will be there within the hour, if I refuse service it will be put in public record, something other stuff about retribution, I've officially been notified and good luck. Today some joker who was a total jerk called my desk line and I decided to keep hanging up on him. Finally I answered and said hello, he asked me if I thought this was a game. I said yes I do. He said that when he arrives he is going to need my manager present, I said no you don't. He said he will be here in 15 minutes. I said no you're not. Well, I then called the number back to see if he was going to come. I spoke with another rep she didn't know who was coming to serve me but I am on the schedule. I asked what the name of the company was. She stated INDEPENDENT COURIERS and that my signature is required for service. I said no it isn't, I know you are a scam and to stop calling me. She said good luck and hung up. Process Servers show up. Legitimate collectors notify in writing and state "I am calling from a debt collector and this is an attempt to collect a debt"
So, unless they state who they are, where they are calling from, and that legal statement according to the FDCRA, hang up, ignore them, and block their number. They are full of it. They are junk debt buyers who try to scare people who don't know the law. When you call their bluff, they hang up!

I received a call today from someone telling me that they were trying to offer me a settlement from a payday loan that I took out in 2010 for 300 dollars. They were offering me a payout of 500 to wipe it clean but if I could not pay this today that they would send paperwork to court and have papers sent to my house ( that I haven't lived in since 2011), I closed this bank account in 2013 to move out of state not thinking that 3 years later the payday loan company would still be trying to take money out of my checking account. Now to me this doesn't sound right. Why has it taken 6 years to contact me and why did they not contact me when I closed the bank account back in 2013. SOUNDS FUNNY TO ME.

I received a call from Rick Ross at Greenback Recovery Group. He stated that it was in regards to a Spot Loan that I had not paid. I did take out that Loan and did not pay it (my bad on this part). I made payment arrangements for monthly payments to be taken out of my debit card. For the first 2 months they took out the amounts as arranged, but then I thought they might be a scam. On the day they were to take the money out I made sure that there wasn't enough money. Of course they called me non-stop. They called my work and left a message so I called them back and asked them to not call my work again. Rick Ross said "Oh we won't be calling you back, we are actually sending someone to your work place to serve you with paper work within 3 hours. You will have to sign them and appear in court." He even gave me directions to my work place. So now I am worried that I am going to be embarrassed at my job if someone does show up. Will someone really show up or were they just trying to scare me?

A legitimate debt collect must give you written proof of the debt within five days after they first contact you. The notice is a called a “validation notice,” and it will tell you how much money you owe.  The notice also must include the name of the creditor you owe, and what you can do you don’t think you owe the money.

Read more about your rights when you deal with debt collectors.

I defaulted on a payday loan, a process server showed up at my ex husbands home to serve me papers. The process server told my ex about the defaulted loan and that if I didn't contact him in 15 days to receive the papers a felony warrant would be issued. Is that even possible?

You have rights when you deal with debt collectors. This FTC article explains what a debt collector can - and can't - legally do.

Just got a call from Mr. Bonar at the GR Group Legal Department. He stated that I had to call him before 5pm to try to settle a debt. I do have a debt with Spot Loan, but this seems like a scam. He said that this was their final attempt to settle this before I was sent to the "Attorneys Network" for processing. Can someone please tell if this company is a scam? There was another man who called me from the same company 2 weeks ago telling me that they weren't going to call me anymore they were just going to have someone serve me with paperwork within 3 hours. He even told me the directions on how to get to my work. That is when I figured it was a scam, and i figured that was the end of it. But now I got a call from Mr. Bonar. I just want to make sure that this is a scam and what does it mean when they say "we are going to send you to the attorneys network for processing"? I googled their information and they have a website that seems legit, but again I just want to make sure that they are not a scam.

If you know you have a debt, you can contact the company you owe (the creditor) and ask about your account. You can also ask the creditor if the company that called you is working for your creditor.

This FTC article has information about fake debt collectors.

I did contact the creditor and the advised me that they sold it to a debt collection agency by the name of C2 Acquisitions. So then I asked if they sold it to the agency that contacted me. The creditor told me that they sold it to C2 Acquisitions and they C2 Acquisitions might have sold it to another party. So I called C2 Acquisitions and left a message. I still have not heard back from them.

I keep getting calls about a debt I don't owe, or don't believe I owe. I am threated with high court cost and other fees, but usually they will settle for a few hundred, which I have twice or 3 times paid. Then 6 months or a years later, here they come again. I can't find any date where I made this loan at my bank. Anything I can to stop this.

The people calling you might be fake debt collectors. If you don't recognize the debt, and they won't send you written proof that you owe the debt, it could be a scam. This FTC article tells more about fake debt collectors. The article explains what to do if a fake debt collector calls.

I keep getting multiple phone calls daily from pay day loan companies who disguise their phone # as legit CT residents. I've never had or even applied for a pay day loan. I'm a stay at home mom. When I demanded they stop calling me, the guy asked why I was angry. Getting a dozen or so calls/day is unreasonable. I asked to be removed & he asked me if I wanted a pay day loan. I finally hung up in frustration

I paid for my vacation with the incorrect card and immediately asked the guy if I could cancel and give the cor recreational card. He obliged and I gave a different format of pymt for the same flight, same hotel same dates and yet three times Expedia has pulled from my checking and I had to keep disputing the charges with Wells Fargo. It had finally been resolved and now Expedia gas a debt collector calling my home trying to collect on a vacation they have been paid for with another card. Now that this has happened I am hearing bad things about Expedia from othersweden! STAYLOR FAR FROM EXPEDIA!!!

I recieved several calls on, my husbands, my place of business and my phone stating that I have an investigation regarding a Grand Larson claim and if I do not contact them a warrant will be issued for my immediate arrest if I do not contact them TODAY. The last calls I recieved went as follows, pretending to talk to someone the caller states 'I just recieved a bulletin on ***** ***** and she is a known prostitue and has a lengthy record. Then proceeds to call my place of business and states on voicemail, that (again talking to someone else) I must be hiding in the bathroom doing drugs. I have all the voice mails saved. I have not even had a speeding ticket in 20+ years. What course of action can I take!

If you know the phone number the caller is using, you can block the number on your phone. You can also report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

I had an installment loan with a company before and defaulted. They eventually sold it to a collection agency. Now I'm getting calls for an "Attorney" stating that they will file charges if I don't take care of it for a bad check". Can they do this since they were not the original company that the loan was made through?

If your lender sold debts to a collection agency, the agency is trying to collect debts for itself.

You could call the lender and ask if the collection agency that called you is the agency that bought the debt. If you know that the collection agency is calling about a debt you really owe, this article about debt collection can help you.

To start, a legitimate debt collector has to send you a written validation notice within 5 days of the time it first contacts you. The notice has to state the name of the creditor you owe, and what to do if you think you don't owe the debt.

 

Someone please advice, I have a collection agency making threads to report to my credit. If I don't pay $4155. The orginal finance company never reported to my credit or sued me for the balance of $374 IT'S not on my credit now and never was ...now this collection agency wants $4155 and makes threads to add on my credit report

If you know you owe a debt, you could contact the company you owe. Ask them if they hired a collection agency to call you. Maybe they hired the people who called you, or maybe they didn't.

If you owe a debt, you have a right to get information. Within five days of the day they first contact you, a legitimate debt collector must send you a written “validation notice.” The notice must say how much money you owe, tell the name of the creditor you owe, and tell you what to do if you think you don't owe the money.

Maybe the people who called you are fake debt collectors. This article tells more about fake debt collectors. If someone tells you to pay a debt you don't recognize, and won't tell you the company address, and won't send you a written validation notice to show what you owe, he could be a fake debt collector.

I rec'd a phone call today saying that the IRS found a "mistake I made on my taxes" on my 2011 even though my taxes were completed by a legal tax company. They said that they were going to "activate" a warrant for my arrest. When I told them that I have not rec'd anything from the IRS for $1300.00 and I requested the information via email or hard copy they said that they could not provide that, that the info was at the court house. I thought that if someone had an amount awed to the IRS that the IRS would garnish that amount the following year (with penalties included that is) Got me all wound up at first until I held my ground and called department of revenue and they advised me to call the IRS 800.829.0922..

I received a call stating an arrest criminal warrant would be issued for me.i have done nothing wrong I do have a few things on my credit report but I have been trying to pay them over the years.. most are 7 years old.. can you give me some advice..I am worried sick

That caller might have been a fake debt collector, trying to scare you into sending money.

A legitimate debt collector can't say you will get arrested if you don't pay a debt.

A caller may be a fake debt collector if he:

  • wants you to pay a debt you don't recognize
  • refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number
  • asks for personal or financial information
  • tries to pressure  you into paying,  threatens to have you arrested, or says he'll report you to law enforcement

This FTC article about fake debt collectors has tips about what to do if you get another call.

I recently got an email from a "yourcollectionoffice@gmail.com" stating that I will have garnishment. Had my social security my address my bank info... all of it.. i can't tell if it's real or not. And what's more weird is that "how to contact ACE cash express" but I never borrow from them. I'm not sure who to talk to about this... looks fake.. has some mispelled words

If you haven't borrowed from the company that sent the email, this could be a fake debt collection attempt. A legitimate business would probably send email from a business address, not a publically available email provider.

This FTC article has information about fake debt collectors.

What does it mean when a collection agency tells you that you are being sent to The Attorneys Network for processing?

I got a call today, for the 3rd month in a row saying I owe from a loan I took out in January of 2011 on line. I have never done that if I want a loan I go to my bank. I told the lady who called (which was from a restricted number mind you) that I know your a scam and if you want to service me the local police will be there to insure all paper work is legal and my attorney will also be there to verify it and if it's not completely legit I will press charges and the server will be arrested on the spot for fraudulent practices. Needles to say she hung up and heard nothing back.

Several years ago my husband and I had our lives devastated when someone stole my husbands identity and took out several mortgages totaling about 500,000.00 and they went into default. It ended up taking us two years to bring the whole "gang" to court and the Kingpin was found guilty of 17 felonies including Felony Racketeering, Felony Identity Theft, Felony Mortgage Fraud, Theft by Swindle etc. When this happened, all of our legitimate, perfectly paid credit cards (they were able to buy all these homes on signature alone because our credit was so good) notified us of Universal Default, a clause that says if you default on any one loan you can be called into default terms on all other loans as well. Our interest rates went from 9% to 39% and limits were dropped below what we owed. Our bills increased and because I was prevented from opening my business as we planned and I had to fight all this crime our income went down. We couldn't get credit, couldn't pay the triple size bills and lost nearly everything we had. We lost our sense of peace and joy, privacy, pride, way of life, sometimes even the desire to keep living. We eventually won a court judgment for 869,000.00 because the Title Co. was negligent and should have to pay with errors and omissions insurance. The insurance company fought it and even though they signed the MN Fair Practices Act, stating that no injured 3rd party can be denied payment on a covered event based on something their client does or does not do, they said the contract stated their client had to be the one to notify them first, and it was our attorney who first notified them. We had been entangled for more than 4 years by the time it got to that trial. The Appeals court ruled in their favor. They lost that right to hold MN's hostage when they signed the MN Fair Practices Act and were allowed to sell to MN residents. Apparently the court did not understand this. We appealed to the Supreme Court and they just denied to see the case. We fought for 7 years, now over 10 and after the Racketeering charges were placed on the criminals involved they should have been charged against the Insurance Agency and possibly the State of MN. What a racketeering scheme to tell you client, it's not really legal here in this State but it's in our boiler plate contract that you have to be the first one to notify us of any potential lawsuit. So, you just don't call us right away and if things go south in the 11th hour we'll say you negated our contract to cover you when you didn't notify us before the injured party or their attorneys. IF it works, you don't lose your coverage, and we don't lose a million dollars. MN was negligent in not upholding the laws put in place specifically to protect it's residents from this very thing. Our lives have been destroyed. On top of it, we were scared of the big guys we were taking down and watching our backs for sure. One day after a court hearing I came home and was literally wrapped in only a towel ready to get in the shower (home alone my husband was not with me) and I heard the doorbell. As I was walking down my stairs, in a towel, I see through a side window only a guy in jeans with a gun. I'm terrified. I look out an upper bedroom window and see no car in front of my house. My cell phone is downstairs and I'm too afraid to get it. I lock myself in my bedroom and I hear pounding for several minutes and then I hear a man walking in my kitchen!! I hear him calling my name!! I have NO IDEA who this is but he's now broke into my home. After about 5 minutes of calling my name and walking around the main floor of my house he leaves. I don't go downstairs until my husband gets back about 30 minutes later. I'm sobbing, scared and tell him someone with a gun broke in our house and was calling out my name! We had a meeting with our lawyer about an hour later so we left and told her everything and asked for advice. She said to call and file a police report when we got home. I called the police and explained that someone had broke in our house. My husband then found some papers in our laundry room. They looked like something saying we had been served for a lawsuit from a creditor. SO now we think it was a process server that broke in our house and the police woman I was speaking to asked my address and then replied it was one of them that had served us. I was shocked and outraged and asked if this was legal to break into someones house and terrify them and call that proper service, can they do that? At no time did he identify himself as a policeman or any other info. I said I wanted to file a police report for this and she said I should talk to the Captain or Sergeant I don't recall which and he was going to call me back. When he called the first thing he said is, SO I hear you don't like how our guy served you. I said, he didn't serve me. He broke into my house, terrorized me, scared me to death and happened to leave some papers on the freezer in my laundry room. He said, well why didn't you answer your door? I said I was undressed and saw only a man with a gun and no car and was not going to answer the door. I stated I wanted to file an official report. He said, I have a hot call and will have to call you back. He never called back.They got a judgment against me. Then a month ago I get papers from the collection company asking me to list all my assets for collection purposes within 20 days. I called the company and told them I was never served. That the service was not true. 3 days later I get a letter with a copy of the service made on this date signed by this person. Then I get a call that states I have broken state and federal laws and can be arrested if I don't call this number immediately. The number they leave, 2 times, both has the last digit missing. I try all nine combinations and they are all wrong numbers. Now I think they sent a sheriff to my house and I'm terrified and don't know who to reach out to for help. Can they arrest me? Can they come into my house and take things? Can this service be thrown out since he broke the law to get it into my house and I knew nothing about it? I'm really scared. I wonder if the Attorney General could help. Anyone? Thanks in advance. I know this is long and obviously there is so much more but this is making me sick to my stomach.

You have rights when you deal with a debt collector. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you.

You said you're working with a lawyer, so you could ask your lawyer for ideas about how to handle the debt collection issues. You can contact your state Attorney General to report a business in your state, and report a debt collector to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

I had received a call several weeks ago from San Bernardino County. She said I need to call this number (916)737-0635, because they were trying to serve me. I asked for what? She claim she didn't know and that I need to call them right away. The '916' number shows Sacramento DA. I figured it was the district attorney's office. When I called the number I called and spoke to a Ms. Wright. still didn't tell me she was a debt collector. She claim that she worked for the District Attorney's office and they asked if I was served. I told her no. It was regarding a debt I owed with ACE Express. To make a long story short, I ended up paying $424.00 to them. They claim my debt was about $4,000.00 (probably interest) but I took a loan for $2500.00. Ms. Wright verified my SSI#, address, etc,. and said she will send an email of the receipt, which of course, she did not. When I asked her for the receipt she claim they couldn't give that to me and that if I look at my debit card statement it would be the proof. I filed a complaint with the consumer financial services. Ms. Wright is with Turner Associates and they have several numbers including an 888-834-0462. Please be careful with debt collectors like them.

These details will be useful in a complaint. Please report all of this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

I am with a debt settlement company. Long story short I have had GAFCO constantly calling me however, I have been ignoring them. I have one person that I called back because I got a letter stating how much I owe and that they cannot wait any longer. About 3 months ago they also threatened garnishing however it never went through. I owe 1980 on the account. I called and the lady said in the contract I signed I allowed this to happen and it is all in my contract that they can garnish my wages. I kept the contract and looked over it and all it states is that they can make the interest higher and not automatically garnish my wages. Is this just a scare tactic?

You may want to have a lawyer or other professional look at your contract or tell you about your state law. If you need to find a lawyer you could use this state-by-state list from the American Bar Association or this site from the State Bar Associations.

If you don’t pay a debt, a debt collector generally can sue you to collect. If it wins, the court will enter a judgment against you. The judgment states the amount of money you owe, and allows the  collector to get a garnishment order against you. The order directs a third party, like your bank, to turn over funds from your account to pay the debt.

Wage garnishment happens when your employer withholds part of your wages to pay a debt. Your wages usually can be garnished only as the result of a court order. If you get a lawsuit summons, don't ignore it. Don't lose the chance to fight a wage garnishment.

I get calls from collectors claiming i owe payday loans,cash advance of 900.00 i have paid more than 10x of settlement.they leave me voicemail saying i have been officially serve. They gave me court date and i will be serve with court papers.i refuse to pay now i knw i dont owe much. Is this legal get serve over the phone

A real debt collector must send you a written notice to say how much you owe. This is called a “validation notice.” The notice must say: How much you owe. Who you owe the money to. What to do if you do not owe the money.

If he will not send you a written notice, he might be a fake. He might be trying to scare you so you will keep sending money.

If a real debt collector sues you to collect money, you should get a notice in the mail.  Sometimes, this is called a “summons.”

I have been paying on 2 different court cases for 3years now.and they are saying I still owe $1000 between the 2. I feel like I am being charged at a interest rate that's so high that I will never get it paid off. Is there anything I can do about this. I keep paying toward them because if I don't pay them my license will be suspended

I got a call from 210-229-8423. A woman named Jane Marble said I had a serious complaint in Nueces County and that I would be served if I did not call back by 4 p.m. and to call back 727-608-5432. There was no identification other than that. It has happened several times in the last month. Same information each time. The last time Ms. Marble gave me a docket # 601-7609.

Hi I have a debt collector calling me telling me I will be served court papers for a debt I owe and am trying to get cleared up they did not want to work with me on the amount I could pay them. Is there away to verify if they are actually sueing me?

You have rights when you're dealing with a debt collector. The debt collector has to send you a written validation notice that shows how much you owe. He has to send that within 5 days after he first contacts you. The validation notice should show you who you owe money to.

If you are working with the debt collector to make payments, keep copies of the letters you send. Take notes when you talk to them on the phone. Make copies of the checks you send. Keep a record of what you say and the money you send so you know how much you paid.

A debt collector could sue you to collect a debt. If the debt collector wins, the court would enter a judgment against you. But, the law says a debt collector can't say it's going to sue you, if it really doesn't plan to do that.

If a debt collector really sues you, you will get papers from the court. The papers will tell where to go and what date and time. You, or your lawyer, should go to the court to protect your rights.

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