Before September 20, 1977, debt collection agencies had the legal power to coerce consumers into paying off outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts. With the passage of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), the legal pendulum swung back towards consumer rights.
The FDCPA makes it unlawful for third party debt collectors to issue threats or use abusive language during phone conversations with consumers. Prior to passage of the FDCPA, debt collection agencies were able to deceive consumers into paying off debts.
A phone from a third party debt collector like Atlantic Credit and Finance can create undue fear and anxiety. The stress caused by a phone call from a debt collection agency might force you to reveal information you do not have to reveal under the FDCPA.
If a debt collection agency contacts you by phone, you best strategy is to share nothing with the representative on the other end of the line and immediately get in touch with a licensed consumer protection lawyer.
Know What Information to Give
By working with a FDCPA lawyer, you engage a representative from Atlantic Credit and Finance on even legal ground. Your lawyer will coach you on how to handle rapid fire questions, as well as let you know that you are not legally obligated to answer any questions.
After spending time with your lawyer practicing what to say, you will have more confidence in dealing with a representative from Atlantic Credit and Finance. You will also know which questions to ask and in what order to ask the questions.
Your lawyer might decide to end all forms of communication with Atlantic Credit and Finance by sending the third party debt collector a cease and desist letter.
How to Handle a Phone Call from Atlantic Credit and Finance
The first few seconds of a phone conversation with a debt collection agency is critical in determining how well you perform for the remaining portion of the phone call. You should inform the bill collector you plan to record the phone conversation.
A tape recorded phone call produces evidence of any legal wrongdoing by a representative from Atlantic Credit and Finance. Your lawyer will recommend you request proof an outstanding debt exists.
Some debt collection agencies knowingly defraud consumers by requesting money to pay off a debt that is no longer valid.
Your FDCPA lawyer will coach you on knowing what questions not to answer from a third party debt collector.
- What is your net pay?
- Does your spouse work?
- Do you rent an apartment or own a home?
- What other credit accounts do you have open?
- Where is your bank?
If you decide to share any information with a representative from Atlantic Credit and Finance, make sure it is just basic information such as your name and address. Before you set up a payment plan with a debt collection agency, review your personal finances to determine how much you can afford to send each month.
Speak with an experienced consume protection lawyer before you begin a phone conversation with a representative from Atlantic Credit and Finance.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Atlantic Credit and Finance or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.