Debt collectors are resorting to a new tactic that might make you think they've brought back debtors' prisons.
KRMG's consumer warrior Clark Howard say the agencies are actually paying certain district attorneys for the right to use the DA's letterhead ans seal on collection letters.
Clark says the letters "make it look like if you don't pay-up right away you could be prosecuted or even go to jail."
If you legitimately owe a debt, you have specific rights under federal law.
Clark offres these pointers to keep in mind when dealing with collectors.
Always record any calls from/to a collector.
If your debt is outside the statute of limitations, you are not required to pay up.
However, you should honor your obligations when you're financially able to do so.
You have the right to tell a collector never to contact you again.
Use a drop dead letter and send it via certified mail.
You can still, however, be sued against the debt even after sending this letter.
If you legitimately owe money and wish to make a deal to pay, never give a collector your checking account number over the phone.
Collectors routinely take more money than they say they'll take.
Never pay one cent until you have an agreement in writing stating your payment(s) will resolve the debt in full.