When you’ve run into difficult times, it’s not unusual to be unable to pay a bill or have it slip by unnoticed. However, when those debts are sold to a collection agency, you may feel as though you’re in a never-ending battle of letters, increasing fees, telephone calls and similar stressful situations. However, there are limits to what a collection agency can do to collect a debt. Here are some of those limits, which can help you keep the process sane.

You have the option to settle your debt as well as some of the terms involved.

Just because a collection agency has bought a debt doesn’t mean you have to settle for the full amount immediately. You can make a payment plan and negotiate what will appear on your credit report once the debt has been settled.past due bills

You don’t have to receive endless phone calls.

You have the right to request that the collection agency only contact you via regular mail instead of having to worry about whether you’re going to be receiving calls when you’re at work, school or other location. This is a good practice to use regardless because the collection agency can’t later renege on an agreement.

You have the power to dispute the charge.

If the creditor isn’t one that you recognize, demand that the collection agency verify the debt. If the collection agency can’t prove that the debt belongs to you, it can’t report the debt on your credit report. In today’s world of identity theft, this can help you clear up charges that were made by someone who opened accounts unknown to you.

You shouldn’t receive calls at work, calls during inconvenient times or repeated calls.

Generally speaking, the hours before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. are considered to be inconvenient for phone calls. You can also tell a collection agency that certain hours are inconvenient for you, such as when you’re sleeping after a graveyard shift. Calling during these inconvenient times is illegal.

By laying down the law with collection agencies, you may be able to get back on top of your debt before it becomes a huge problem for you financially. If you need help sorting out your debts, the bankruptcy attorneys at Clark & Washington are here to help. Please feel free to contact us today to set up a free consultation to determine what can be done with your situation.