How to Fight Debt Collectors Series

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List of Credit Card Debt Starting next week, we will be publishing a series of articles in a new feature series called How to Fight Debt Collectors. I’ve tapped the expertise of Craig Cunningham, known as Codename47 on the Fatwallet Forums, who has been a citizen warrior in the fight against debt collectors. If you have a debt collection problem and you post it on the Fatwallet Finance Forums, the first name that everyone recommends you message is Codename47. If you do a search on his name on Fatwallet, you’ll see he’s out there helping everyone being hounded by a debt collector.

This guy is a real deal.

I’ve written about how to fight debt collectors in the past, but I wanted to put together a dedicated series authored by a true expert. For that, I tapped the most experienced, knowledgeable, battle-tested person I knew. We were strangers before the process started but I’m glad to have made his acquaintance and had the benefit of learning from his experience.

In this series, Codename47 will be discussing the advice on how to fight back against debt collectors. This is the same advice he uses when helping folks on Fatwallet, just distilled into article form, and it’ll cover tactics such as how to conduct background research on the collector, how to confirm they are following state and local laws, how to craft a good dispute letter (keep it simple stupid), how you should document violations so you can take them to court, and other parts of the process only a seasoned veteran can know.

This won’t be a guide for people looking to get out of legitimate debts. It’s going to advise you of your rights under the law and protect you from being harassed. I feel personal accountability is always important and that one should fulfill their financial obligations, but not at the expense of your liberties (or sanity).

As the articles are published I will link to them here so bookmark this page, or subscribe to the RSS feed, if you want to ensure you don’t miss an article.

Debt Collection Articles

  1. How to Research Debt Collectors & Understand the Law If you have a debt collector calling you, it’s important that you conduct background research on them and familiarize yourself with the debt collection laws in your state.
  2. Writing Your Debt Collection Dispute Letter – Is the debt legitimate? Are they the ones who would be collecting? Make them prove it to you with a dispute letter.
  3. What Constitutes Debt Validation? – You sent your debt dispute letter and they responded, but was the response a legitimate and adequate validation of your debt?
  4. Case Study: Classic Debt Collection Story – A reader shares with us her experience with a debt collector and Craig gives his post-mortem debriefing on how he would’ve handled it differently.
  5. When Debt Collectors Violate the FDCPA – So you sent a letter, told them that calling was “inconvenient,” but the collectors still call… what do you do when debt collectors violate the FDCPA? Read and find out.
  6. What are Junk Debt Buyers? – Many of the debt collectors that operate today bought the debt, sometimes known as junk debt, from another party. Find out how it all works and how you might benefit from knowing if the collector is a junk debt buyer.
  7. Understanding 1st Party and 3rd Party Collectors – Not all debt collectors are created equal, find out the difference between a 1st party and 3rd party debt collector.
  8. How to Sue Debt Collectors – Now that they’ve broken the law, take them to court.

(Photo: pumpkinjuice)

{ 10 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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10 Responses to “How to Fight Debt Collectors Series”

  1. JustMe says:

    I will find this information useful because I get collection calls for family members that do not live at my address. I keep telling these callers that the persons they are looking for do not reside here but it is difficult to get them to stop calling. They lie to me when I ask how they got my phone number(considering it is unlisted and I am not the person they are looking for). They say my delinquent relative gave it to them. Lie!

  2. John says:

    What is his educational and career background? What certifications, degrees, and training does he have?

  3. Those debt collectors appear to break the law a lot, some of them anyway. Thanks for your valuable info.

  4. eric says:

    He’s a FW star! 🙂

  5. daemondust says:

    I still get calls for whomever used to have my number, over a year and a half since I got it. They never sound like they believe me when I tell them so-and-so is no longer at this number. So far it’s only been above-board (as much as a debt collector can be) but I’m waiting for one to become irate and let me collect my money for them breaking the law. Of course they never identify themselves as a debt collector, but you can always tell anyway.

  6. Steve M says:

    About 2 months ago we had a message from a debt collector calling about the person who owned our place before us. We have lived here for over 5 years so this is a purely ignorant, desperate play by the debt collector. I was wondering that if we had saved the recorded message and given it to the former owner, could he have sued them?

    Anyway, in late September my wife answered the phone and it was these same people asking for him by name. We have not kept in touch with the prior owner (PO) but the collector asked my wife for his phone number or address. My wife responded with: “Is my last name Google? No, but your last name must be Yahoo!, idiot!” I then googled the PO and he has a business and a few websites setup that list his phone number and address!!! These guys are not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  7. LadyJ says:

    Thank you for great articles to help many people who can’t do nothing about their debt becauses of life’s circumstances, and it’s a pity they are harrassed by people who can only pay their bills by doing so. 80 years and sick and being scared to answer the phone is sad.

  8. alan says:

    In my state( Pennsylvania) it is legal to record calls as long as it’s disclosed. When a debt collector calls I tape the call and ask them not to call again. They never do. If they did call again I could send the recordings to the BBB, attorney general, company that contracted the debt collector and the collector.

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