Should I Pay the Debt Collector or My Original Creditor?
Sometimes you unknowingly miss paying a debt that you owe and the next thing you know, you are backed in a corner, scrambling to figure out how to deal with an aggressive debt collector. You may be asking yourself whether you should pay the debt collector or the original creditor the amount that you owe.
It would be better if you can deal with the original creditor as opposed to the debt collection company although there would be instances when this is not an option for you. Unfortunately, some collection agencies can be unforgiving and will even work to take you to court. The use of shady and manipulative tactics to pressure you into repaying your debt is nothing new. Luckily, DoNotPay is here to guide you further on whether you should pay the collections agency or the original creditor and answer other debt-related concerns such as:
- Can debt collectors take a stimulus check?
- How to negotiate debt settlements from ERC Collections?
- What are the best practices in negotiating with debt collectors?
- How to write a good dispute letter?
- How long can debt collectors try to collect?
Keep reading to learn how you can better deal with debt collectors and get out of a sticky financial situation.
How to Work With the Original Creditor Instead of a Debt Collector
Creditors will generally try to remind you of the debt owed for about four weeks. After that, they may decide to sell your debt to a third-party debt collector. Now, the question is if you should pay the debt collector or the original creditor. Once the original creditor starts paying the debt collection agency for its services, you likely won't be able to negotiate your debt with them anymore. That's why it's important to reach out to your creditor within four weeks of its initial correspondence to you.
Some creditors might still be willing to work out a repayment strategy a few months afterward. However, this is largely dependent on how much the creditor has already paid to the debt collection company.
To find out if the creditor is willing to negotiate with you instead, follow these steps:
- Contact the original creditor through their customer service phone number or email address.
- Politely explain why you were unable to pay the debt and express your willingness to settle.
- Ask if you can set up a payment plan. Make it as detailed and reasonable as possible to increase your chances of winning the creditor's favor.
This solution won't always work due to factors out of your control. If the creditor has already sold the rights to your debt, you can only legally negotiate it with the debt collection company.
If you've found yourself in similar situations with this same creditor in the past, the higher-ups may be unwilling to hear your argument. A creditor can also deny your payment plan request without any explanation.
What to Do if Your Debt Has Already Been Passed to a Collections Agency
If your debt is in collections and the original creditor said they can no longer negotiate with you, it would be best to deal with the collections agency on how to settle the debt. This is if you have any intent in paying the debt. Otherwise, your credit score can be negatively impacted and you may be sued for the amount that is owed. It's also possible to negotiate with debt collectors, but they likely won't be as flexible as your original creditor.
How to Keep Yourself Safe From Troublesome Debt Collectors
Even though you are ultimately the one responsible for your debt, a debt collector should never try to take advantage of you. If you think something is amiss, remember these important points:
Reinforce the Debt Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for most debts is only 3-7 years. A debt collector can't take legal action against you after that period. This means they may still try to collect on the debt but they are not allowed to sue you.
Ask for Documentation
Never give a debt collector your personal information or any amount of money after just one phone call. Send a dispute letter first asking for proof that you owe the amount of money specified. The collections agency is required by law to provide evidence within 30 days.
Be Wary of FDCPA Compliance
Federal law also states that a debt collector cannot:
- Threaten to arrest you
- Verbally harass you
- Call you before 8 AM or beyond 9 PM
- Attempt to speak with you more than once a week if you have already responded within that time
- Contact your family asking about you
- Visit or call you at your workplace
If a supposed debt collector violates these rules, there's a good chance that the company might not be legitimate. Even if the company isn't a scam, it still needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. Consumers should report any questionable debt collectors to the CFPB immediately.
Below are CFPB’s contact details:
|Company||Consumer Financial Protection Bureau|
|Mailing Address||Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
PO Box 27170
Washington, DC 20038
|Phone Number||(855) 411-2372|
|Email or Contact Form||Ask CFPB|
However, filing a complaint on your own can take several minutes. If you're on a tight schedule, allowing DoNotPay to file on your behalf is probably the better option.
Is There an Easier Way to Deal with Debt Collectors?
Dealing with a debt collection agency might be more stressful than working with the original creditor, but it's sometimes your only option. Fortunately, DoNotPay is here to make it easier. If a debt collector is giving you a tough time, we'll tell you the most appropriate way to handle the problem.
Just follow these simple steps:
- Search “debt collection” on DoNotPay.
- 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.
- 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.
From there, DoNotPay will proceed with the action that you've selected and you're free to sit back and relax! Your complaints or direct correspondence regarding any collection agencies will be automatically generated and sent immediately.
This DoNotPay product is a consumer favorite because:
- It usually takes less than a minute to complete
- We always recommend the best course of action, so you won't have to do extra research
- No more second-guessing: DoNotPay prompts you with every essential question to ensure the best outcome!
DoNotPay Is Your Fix-All Solution for Any Debt Collection Issue
Using DoNotPay gives you the best defense against debt collectors, even if they're trying to pursue unpaid credit card or medical bills. We also have an accurate knowledge base of the debt collection laws in every state, so you can trust this service 100%.
Take a Look at Everything Else DoNotPay Can Do
DoNotPay can help you with a variety of other stressful problems, such as:
- Dealing with parking tickets
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When you're ready to get started, simply sign up with DoNotPay: we're waiting for you!