How best to handle a debt collection matter?

I have a letter from a debt collector (law firm) representing a credit card company that I owe, asking me to respond in 15 days or they will seek judgment. What is the best way to approach this. Call them to negotiate or is there a letter I can write to stop the harassment?

Asked on December 1, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you legitimately owe the money, while you would be able to send them a written request to stop communicating with you (under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act), that will NOT stop them from suing you for the money--it just means you won't have to hear from them until they sue you. If you owe the money, you can also assume that they will very likely be able to win and obtain a judgment against you; therefore, it would be in your interest to try to negotiate a settlement or payment plan you can live with.

For more information about your rights under the FDCP, do an internet search for "Fair Debt Collections Practices Act"--it should turn up some information put by the FCC on the subject.

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