Debt Collection A to Z: T is for Truthfulness

The truth may set you free but the lack of truth could cost you dearly.  As a debtor (one who owes money for a debt) you are owed a duty of truthfulness by the debt collector or others who are communicating with you regarding collection on a debt.  Sometimes truth can be a relative thing as there appears to be a “Fifty Shades of Gray” (neither the book nor the movie) approach utilized by some debt collectors.  Examples of the shading of the truth (or outright lack of truth) include:

  • Threatening to have a debtor arrested for failure to pay a debt
  • Telling a debtor she risks losing her house immediately upon failure to pay the debt
  • Threatening to file a lawsuit against a debtor when the debt collector knows the applicable statute of limitations on the debt No lies!has expired
  • Sending a debtor a document that appears to be but is not actually a legal pleading or summons
  • Misrepresenting to a debtor that a process-server will serve the debtor with legal process if payment is not made on the debt within a specific (usually very short) period of time

Deception includes a debt collector threatening to take action that is totally legal IF the debt collector has no actual intent to take said action. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the North Carolina Debt Collection Act prohibit debt collectors from employing deception in collecting debts. If you believe you have been misled by a debt collector you should contact an experienced consumer attorney before hitting the panic button or taking any further action. Some consumer attorneys provide free consultation (i.e. the truth for free) so you can determine your legal options (i.e if the lack of truth by the debt collector will cost it money).


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