Monthly Newsletter

Debt Collection Scams: What You Need To Know

Coping with debt collectors is difficult… dealing with fake debt collectors is even worse and all too common.

 

While businesses often do hire third-party debt collectors to pursue past due accounts, there are scammers who pose as collection agents to trick you into paying money for debts that have been paid or canceled or that don’t even exist.

 

Here are some clues to recognize a debt collection scam:

 

  • The collection isn’t on your credit report 
  • The debt collector asks you to pay via wire transfer or another untraceable method
  • You don’t recognize the creditor or the account 
  • You can’t find anything on the internet when you search by their phone number 
  • They threaten you with jail time or pose as a government official
  • They won’t give you their company’s contact information

 

To help you separate the scammers from legitimate collectors, always start with these questions:

 

What is the name and address of the debtor you’re trying to reach? If you are provided the wrong information or incomplete information, do not correct them. Instead, tell them to send you the validation notice (a letter that is required to be sent within 5 days of first contacting you) to the address they have on file, explaining that you will respond accordingly once the letter is received. Then hang up.

What is the name, address, and phone number of the company you’re calling from? Even if a caller gives you an answer, never discuss debts over the phone. Ask them to send you the validation notice and again, let them know you will respond once the letter is received.

What are the last four digits of the debtor’s Social Security number? This is somewhat of a trick question, as a legitimate debt collector will never answer this question. If they do, they are violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA. Even if they have your SSN, never confirm or deny the information.

 

Remember, don’t be intimidated even if collectors attempt to scare you into paying, threaten to have you arrested, or pose as a government official. These are all violations of the FDCPA and a clear indication the collector is not legitimate.

If you believe a fake collector is calling, hang up. You don’t need to speak with them regardless of what they say or how often they call. If the debt is legitimate, it does not mean the person calling is entitled to collect the debt. Again, wait for the letter.

 

If you have questions, need help with debt settlement and want to stop the harassing phone calls, give THD Credit Consulting a call today.

 

-Erik

Protect Your Child with a Credit Freeze

With unblemished credit, our kids are easy targets for identity thieves. According to a 2018 study by Javelin Strategy and Research, over 1 million children were victims of identity fraud last year. 

Not only can identify fraud affect your child’s credit, often times the crimes often go unnoticed for years. In many cases the fraud isn’t realized until the victims apply for their first credit card, apartment or job and get rejected. Then, they can face huge battles to clear their names.

When a security freeze is in place, someone who applies to get credit using your child’s name and Social Security number will be rejected. Access to your child’s credit records will stay “frozen” until you say so, or until your child removes the freeze after reaching the age of 16.

Here’s what you can do:

Call all 3 credit bureaus and check if your children have credit files.

You should not find a credit file for your child because minors cannot enter into contracts. The only time you’re going to find a credit file is because it’s fraud or you have intentionally asked for a duplicate card for your child.

If you find there are no issues and there isn’t a file, then tell the credit bureaus that you want a file created for your child and you want to freeze it.

This is one of the best proactive things you can do for your child’s financial future. The law requires credit bureaus to create and freeze files for children under 16 at their parents’ request. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds can request a freeze themselves, and files must be created if none exists.

Request a credit freeze not a credit lock.

Credit bureaus will typically recommend a tool called a credit lock. It is a financial service product for sale and it does not come with the same protections as the federal law that was implemented in September of this year. A freeze is more work for the credit bureau, it puts them on far more liability, but doesn’t take any more effort for you. 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, click here or email us at asktheexpert@thdcreditconsulting.com.

-Erik Kaplan

How to Repair Your Business Credit with THD Credit Consulting

As a business owner I am sure you’re aware of how important it can be to have a good business credit score. In the same manner that your personal scores serve as financial ratings for you as an individual, your business credit scores rank how credit worthy your business is.

A business credit score tells lenders how likely you are to repay them in a timely fashion.  Therefore, having a low business credit score will impact whether lenders or creditors will work with you and can determine whether vendors, suppliers or trade partners will do business with you.

If you have a business credit card for your company, you probably do have a business credit score too. As a business owner, having a good business credit score is crucial to helping you get financing to help with working capital requirements or to fund your business’s ongoing growth.

If you’re a business owner struggling with bad credit and need assistance repairing your business credit… 

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Click here to get your Business Credit Scores.
  2. Request a Free Consultation and to Discuss Fees by calling us at 1-800-822-7120. 

Taking care of your business credit profile is one of the most important things you can do as a small business owner.  It opens up financing opportunities and the business relationships that can help you run and grow your business.

-Erik Kaplan

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