Don’t take advice from the angry and ignorant

I just read a blog post on Arcamax from a William Gallas regarding collection agency intimidation. He gives advise on how to handle a collection agency or law firm that, in my opinion, is simply going to get an uninformed debtor into trouble.
For example, he states that you can stop a collection agency from contacting you by writing a “Cease and Desist” letter. WRONG. First of all, the debt in question has to be one that was incurred for personal, family or household in order for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to invoked. If the debt was incurred for business, then the FDCPA is simply not applicable.
Next, even if the FDCPA were applicable, a Cease and Desist letter does not stop collection efforts. A letter from the debtor demanding verification of the debt, if sent within 30 days of the collection agency’s demand letter, will stop collection efforts…until…the collection agency provides verification of the debt. This can be as little as an affidavit or letter from the creditor.
Next, Mr. Gallas would have a debtor send a “SWORN DENIAL” notarized to the attorney and the court. Has he ever heard of perjury? An affidavit is almost the same as testimony. If a debtor owes a debt and then sends an affidavit to the court swearing that he does not owe it, all it does is set the stage for a trial. At trial, if the creditor shows that the debt is owed, the debtor has not only made made to look like a liar, but may be held in contempt of court for filing a false affidavit. DON’T DO THAT….If you want to protect yourself, simply file an answer to the complaint denying that you owe the debt. DO NOT SEND IN AN AFFIDAVIT unless you have an attorney who knows what he or she is doing.
Lastly, Mr. Gallas states that “INTIMIDATION is the only weapon that collection agencies and attorneys have in their armory (sic).” He is simply dead wrong. As a collection agency, I have far more than intimidation in my armor. In fact, I don’t use intimidation to collect a debt because it is simply counterproductive and disrespectful to the debtor. Instead, I use the legal system including Writs of Garnishment to seize wages and Writs of Execution to seize vehicles. These, of course, are only used as a last resort.
As a collection attorney, my primary weapon is truth and respect towards the person/human being that owes the debt. There is almost always a deal that can be reached through mutual respect and cooperation. It is only when a debtor refuses to be cooperative do I have to resort to my other weapons. But I can honestly say that intimidation is not a weapon that I knowingly use.
My advise to debtors – Don’t take advise from a crackpot that is angry and ignorant like Mr. Gallas. His advise will only get you deeper into trouble. If you need help against an aggressive debt collector, call a lawyer. There are lots of lawyers that will help you fight the debt for not a lot of money. As a matter of fact, if you call me for help, I will be happy to give you advise if I don’t have a conflict in your case. I would venture to say that most collection attorneys would be happy to help a human being in need.

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 7th, 2007 and is filed under Debt Collection Tricks and Traps . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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