It is important to remember that the job of the debt collector is force you, to entice you or to trick you into paying a debt you owe, or even a debt you no longer legally owe, through nontraditional means. Debt collectors really do not care if they entice you, frighten you, lie to you, threaten you or praise you as long as they get you to pay something on the debt. This mens they have to keep the debt alive (or at least make you think the debt is still good).
Sometimes bankruptcy is the only recourse or protection you might have against debt collectors constantly bothering you or plotting against you. This is because when you file bankruptcy an automatic stay (or an injunction or a protective order) is issued that is suppose to stop these collectors from collecting the debt.
In the meantime, it is important that you keep an eye on some of bad tactics of debt collectors.
1. Statute of Limitations. In Texas and other states a debt collector typically has four years to start a collection action against you from the date the full amount of you loan or obligation became due. If they do not, then they may lose the ability to collect the debt from you. The problem is that with some debts, if you make a new payment this will reset this timetable. Some debt collectors have been known to make a payment to their client in your name to reset the statute of limitations.
2. You Will Be Sued If You Do Not Pay Us Now. There are some debt buyers out there that might actually own the debt and can sue you. However, most collection agencies do not sue anybody. In fact, if they do not own the debt, only the creditor to which you owe the money can make that decision to sue you. It is really just a scare tactic.
3. You Will Go To Jail. Debt collectors often cross the line. Generally speaking, you cannot go to jail for failing to pay a civil debt, and it is against the law for a creditor to threaten you in this way. If you have been threatened, you need to make good notes. Just as debt collectors are not suppose to do this, they often deny they did so. It is best to keep calm and collect as much important information as possible, such as the supposed name of the person calling, the name of the company calling, whether they own the debt now, their phone number, the time of day and the date, just to name a few. When it turns into a swearing match you are only credible if you have good information that you could have only have obtained through the call.
4. Making an Old Debt New Again. Creditors today and debt collectors are busy actually buying and selling your old debt. Most of this debt is past the four years statute of limitations and beyond the seven year period for reporting bad information to the credit bureaus. Debt collectors are not about to let these small details stop them from collecting the debt from you. What they do is re-report the debt to the credit bureau under the name of the new owner and in a way that makes it appear new again. This is illegal, but it happening every day. It is difficult to catch, and it is difficult to correct.