What to do if I was contacted yesterday by a lady whom said she was with the state and she was an arbitrator who was collecting debt but I didn’t ask for proof?

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What to do if I was contacted yesterday by a lady whom said she was with the state and she was an arbitrator who was collecting debt but I didn’t ask for proof?

She said that she would be pursuing allegations for a debt that I owed. Of course once she stated that legal action would be taken I wanted to clear it up. She said that she would need 50% of the debt. I told her i didn’t have the full amount but I had 300. She took the payment and we set up a payment arrangement. After discussing it with my husband and looking online I realized I should have gotten proof of the debt first. Is it to late to still get proof of the debt before I proceed with future payments? Also, is it normal for an arbitrator to contact you by phone?

Asked on July 2, 2015 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You were scammed, unfortunately:

1) The state does not collect debts, other than its own debts (e.g. a tax debt). Sometimes a court officer or constable may help with certain collections activities, but wage garnishment, but is pursuant to a court order after there is already a judgent against you. They would not "pursue allegations" and cannot negotiate a payment plan.

2) An "arbitrator" is NOT a debt collector, constable, court officer, or anyone else who would be connected with collection of a debt. An arbitrator is someone who is selected to essentially act similar to a judge, in rendering a decision on a dispute after both sides have had the chance to present their evidence. An arbitrator would never contact you to "pursue allegations for a debt.

You should contact the police and report this to them.


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