When you are a little behind on your debt repayments, creditors and debt collectors, try connecting with you with the sole intention of getting back their dues. More often than not, it is in the form of phone calls, letters and mailers. If there is no response, or if they do not receive payments in spite of these efforts, they might pay you a visit.
Can They or Can’t They?
Though there is no real profit for them to pay you a visit, there are no laws that can prevent debt collectors making a house call.
What are the odds?
The likelihood of a debt collector knocking your doors is very less. Most creditors prefer to send letters and make phone calls. Sending an actual person is much more expensive and at times even surpasses the money owed by debtors. Since the results doesn’t justify the amount spent, the odds of them sending a collector to your house is low.
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When a Bill Collector Comes Calling…
Yes, you owe them money, but this doesn’t make you vulnerable to them. Always remember, if you feel that a debtor or a collection agency is crossing their limits, you have a right to fight back. No matter the due you owe them, debt collectors aren’t above the law. Bill collectors visiting you can request you to pay, but can never harass you.
What are Your Rights?
Just like any other visitor, creditors can knock your door and ask questions. They have to follow certain rules though, both the general laws and those specific to debt collection.
- They cannot come to your house during unusual hours (before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm)
- They cannot ask you anything else apart from the money you owe them
Can Debt Collectors take away Your Personal Property?
In the case of Unsecured Loans
If the money you owe is for unsecured loan such as student loans or credit card loans, your personal properties aren’t at a risk. Since there is no collateral, the creditor has no legal right to take your properties. They can take legal action against you and by doing so can take assets without your permission only if the same has been instructed by a judge. Even that will be communicated well in advance. A debt collector at your door cannot just like that take away your personal belongings.
In the case of Secured Loans
If the money you owe is for a secured loan, it is possible for debt collectors to show up and take your belongings. Automobile loans and loans that have automobiles as collaterals are an ideal example. Even in such cases, they cannot use physical force or destroy any of your property. In the case of mortgage loans, lenders can foreclose your home, sell your property and take the money you owe them. However, this requires a very long legal process that leads up to foreclosure of the property and eviction. However, even in this case debt collectors don’t have any role to play. It is usually carried out by a law enforcement officer.