Collections. This is a big topic for a lot of people. Do you pay collections? What do you do with collection phone calls? How long do collections sit on your credit report? There are lots of myths and not a lot of valid information on the internet. Watch below to find out what you need to know about dealing with collection agencies and debt collections.
Brian: Hello. I’m Brian Spitz, president of Big State Home Buyers at BigStateHomeBuyers.com, a full service real estate company that buys houses fast, no commission. Quick closing. We do free consultations, free evaluations of your house. So visit us at BigStateHomeBuyers.com. Today, I’m with Mike Doyle. And what we want to talk about is collections. And this is a big topic for a lot of people. Do you pay collections? What do you do with collection phone calls? How long do collections sit on your credit report? There are lots of myths and not a lot of valid information on the internet. So, thanks very much for joining us today.
Brian: So tell us about collections.
Dealing With Collection Agencies – Are They Really Your Collections?
Mike: Collections. Let’s say that you just got turned down for that home loan and you say, they say, well, you’ve got five collections. They’re four years old. First of all, are those really your collections, Brian? We don’t know that. You don’t know that. You might not even know that yourself. I never lived in this apartment complex and they’re (unclear) on the line. So what we’re going to make them do is we’re going to make them prove that’s your debt. And by Federal Trade Commission guidelines, they have to give you a copy of the original note you signed, plus a complete billing history, to prove that’s the exact amount, the exact date, that’s your collection. If not, we're going to remove it. Do they do it? No, they don’t, unless you have a lawyer to make them do it.
Importance of Attorneys When Dealing with Debt Collectors
Brian: Right. And that’s why it’s not good to use restoration companies. They don’t have attorneys, right?
Mike: They don’t have attorneys. That’s the big difference.
Brian: Okay. So tell us how that helps.
Mike: Why that helps is we’re going to make them, there’s no way out there to enforce the Federal Trade Commission guidelines. So we have to hire an attorney to do that for you. And by law, they’re required to give those documents to you, but if they don’t, they’ll take it off. We will file a lawsuit against them. Let’s just say that that was not your collection, but I’m going to him just to get it off of there and it’s three years old. You pay the collection. Your score probably bumped up thirty-five to forty points, because you paid the collection. Doesn’t make sense. Credit sense is not common sense. That’s why you need to call us. We’ll give you a free consultation.
Brian: And tell us or give us your phone number, since you said phone call. And then I’ll ask you the next question.
Mike: Yeah. 214-240-4538.
Brian: And it’s WhiteJacobs.com. So what happens if you, you know, these people, the creditors, they’re very aggressive. So they’re going to call you and threaten you and give you all kinds of stories. And so say you have a collection and it is your collection and now it’s been five years since the original debt was charged off.
Should You Pay the Debt Collection Agencies?
Brian: What do you do? Should you pay it?
Mike: Well, first of all, not immediately. Make them evaluate that is it your debt. It may be yours, but maybe the amount may be wrong. It has to be the exact amount for it to be yours. And for you to pay it, because if you pay that off, your score will drop. The burden of proof is on them, not you, that that is your collection. If you get a collection call, they harass you. Guess what you say? You’re imposing a hardship on me by calling me. I’m requiring you to send it to me in writing. That will work most of the time, but if you want to really enforce it, send a certified letter, Brian, not to call you. To do everything by mail.
Brian: And they’re required to do that?
Mike: They’re required to do that. Or they pay a $10,000 fine.
Brian: Wow. So there’s a lot of laws that are actually really strict against these credit companies. There’s just no one to enforce them.
Mike: Right. And you don’t know those laws. They want to collect by intimidation. They don’t know if it’s yours or not. They don’t really care. All they want is the money.
Brian: Right. And these companies that are, say that your original debt was with Citibank. And now you’re getting a call from XYZ Collections Services. How did that happen?
Mike: Well, they pay pennies on the dollar for the debt. What we’re seeing, Brian, a lot of times, you may have a debt that’s nineteen years old. They re-buy it and put it on your report, and it’s illegal. See, it can only be on there for seven years from the date of the last activity. And nineteen years is not seven years. But what they do is they put it on your report, they bring you a collection and the collection starts over again. That’s why they want to put it on your report. And they know that’s going to hurt you. You get upset. Just pay them down.
Brian: And so are they allowed to do that? The credit gets too old. And so you need a company like WhiteJacobs to go in and.
Mike: Not by law. Right. Cause given is that’s late, the day that you made a payment some time, that’s the activity date. It can only be created by you. And it can be on there seven years from that date. That’s it.
Brian: Okay. Very interesting. Well, again, visit us at BigStateHomeBuyers.com. If you have any questions about selling your house, any questions about how this works, other resources about selling your property, again, get a free consultation at any time. Free evaluation of your property with no obligation to sell. And visit WhiteJacobs.com. Call Mike Doyle. Again, you’ve repeated it over and over again, but tell us your phone number again.
Brian: Excellent. Thank you very much.
Brian: Glad to have you on.