What to Do When Debt Collectors Are Threatening Legal Action

Editorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

What to Do When Debt Collectors Are Threatening Legal Actions

If you, like a majority of Americans, have some outstanding debts on school loans, credit cards, or other companies, you may at some point be contacted by debt collectors. However, it's important that debt collectors use their power to collect debts appropriately. Debt collectors who are threatening legal action may be breaking the law and should be treated accordingly.

If you've been contacted by debt collectors who are trying to threaten you with legal action, you don't have to stand for it. With help from a service like DoNotPay, you can ensure that everything is above board and you don't have to pay your debts to a company that is acting illegally.

Can Debt Collectors Threaten Me with Legal Action?

While debt collectors are allowed to sue you if you fail to pay your debt, they must do so legally and respectfully. Debt collectors are not allowed to make idle or empty threats to try and force you to pay them. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) outlines a few rules that debt collectors must follow when contacting you about your debt.

  • They may not "harass, oppress, or abuse" any person from whom they are trying to collect a debt.
  • They may not use any "false, deceptive, or misleading representations" when trying to collect a debt.
  • They may not threaten to take any action that is not intended.

Debt collectors who are threatening you with legal action that they don't intend to take are engaged in misleading you and harassing you. Therefore, it's important that you make sure they truly intend to take legal action and are allowed to take such action before engaging with them to attempt to settle the debt.

Can Debt Collectors Sue Me?

If you fail to pay your debt, a debt collector could potentially sue you. However, they must do so in the jurisdiction in which you live and can only do so if they can provide sufficient proof that you willingly and purposely failed to pay your debt.

How Do I Prevent a Debt Collector from Suing Me?

If you are concerned that a debt collector is serious about their intention to sue you, you do have some options to prevent such action. Here are a few ways you can dispute a debt and escape from having to pay money that you don't legally owe.

Ask for ValidationDebt collectors are required to provide you with validating information such as the name of the original creditor, the amount you owe, how to contact the original creditor, and what to do if you think that the debt is not yours.
Dispute the DebtIf you dispute a debt in writing or online, the debt collection agency has to investigate the debt within 30 days and make sure that you actually owe it. If they can't provide proof that you owe it, they can't sue you or make you pay it.
Check the Statute of LimitationsSome debts may not be pursued in the court outside a set amount of time. Each state has a different statute of limitations, but you should check yours to be sure that a debt collector is allowed to pursue action against you.
Seek Legal HelpA lawyer can be helpful if you're attempting to dispute a debt and aren't sure how to proceed. You can also use an online service such as DoNotPay to make sure that you don't miss any deadlines and that you can effectively dispute a debt.

Can I Report a Debt Collector for Threatening Legal Action?

If you know that your debt is ineligible or that a debt collector is threatening you illegally, you should report the debt collector. By reporting them, you can escape their empty threats and help protect other victims from the same kinds of illegal actions. There are a few ways to report a debt collector:

  1. To the Federal Trade Commission
  2. To the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  3. To your state attorney general

How to Prevent Debt Collectors from Threatening Legal Action with DoNotPay

If you want to prevent debt collectors from threatening legal action, you're going to have to do some hard work. You'll have to send letters asking for more information and ensure that you actually receive those letters. You may also have to reach out to your original creditor and a lawyer to help you prove your claim. If you want to prevent legal action with an easier, faster process, consider using DoNotPay.

DoNotPay provides a quick and easy process for handling threats from debt collectors without a hassle.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Search “debt collection” on DoNotPay.
  2. Answer a series of questions about the debt collectors, including when you were contacted and how you were contacted, so we can determine if they have violated any debt collection laws.
  3. Decide which course of action you want to take based on our guidance, such as filing a debt verification request, demanding for the collectors to stop contacting you, or reporting them to the CFPB.

And that’s it! Once you choose the course of action you want to take, DoNotPay will handle the rest. We’ll deliver your request directly to the debt collectors via first-class mail, or file your complaint automatically with the CFPB so that they’re no longer able to use unfair debt collection practices.

You can also check out our other credit products, including Credit Limit Increase and Clean Credit Report!

How Else Can DoNotPay Help?

Do you have other legal or financial issues that you need to iron out? DoNotPay can help! We offer a variety of services to victims of legal or financial troubles, including:

If you'd like help saving money and handling legal issues, just to get started today!

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