Hounded by a Resurgent debt collector? 7 steps you should take
Are you being hounded by a debt collector? Did you receive a Resurgent debt collector text?
If so, you need a game plan.
Debt collection is a notoriously shady business. It can be confusing, challenging, and downright intimidating. If you’re not careful, you might become the victim of questionable debt collection tactics.
Not only that, your credit can be damaged.
Fortunately, this handy checklist will ensure you do everything possible to protect yourself. And, you’ll learn practical methods to conquer your debt once and for all.
7 steps to take if you’re hounded by a Resurgent debt collector
Step 1 - Verify
First things first, confirm the debt. Request written verification from the Resurgent debt collector - they are obligated to provide it.
There are numerous reasons you should verify the debt:
- Inaccurate details: Is the debt yours? Is the amount correct? Have you already paid a portion of the debt that isn't reflected?
- Identify theft: It’s possible someone took out a loan under your name by stealing your identity. Resurgent may be coming after you for an unpaid debt that isn't actually yours.
- Statute of limitations: Collection agencies only have a limited window to pursue legal action. Get to know the statute of limitations in your state so you can verify whether the debt has passed its limit.
- Missing paperwork: Verification ensures Resurgent has the necessary paperwork to pursue the debt. Without it, they can’t come after you for payment.
Step 2 - Document
The debt collection process can take years. As a result, it’s important to keep written records of any pertinent details.
For example, write down the time and date Resurgent contacts you. Make a note of the representative's name and the details of the conversation.
Big or small, record as much information as you deem necessary. It may come in handy.
Step 3 - Learn your rights
As a consumer, you have rights. Harassment, falsifying information, and other questionable tactics are strictly prohibited. Learn these rights by familiarizing yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Here are some of the most important ones:
- Debt collectors cannot contact you at inconvenient hours or locations.
- With few exceptions. debt collectors must honor written directions requesting they cease further communication.
- They cannot threaten or physically harm debtors.
- They cannot misrepresent their identity or any facts related to the debt.
- They cannot threaten legal action they don’t intend to take.
Step 4 - Negotiate
If you’re confident the debt is yours, consider negotiating a settlement or payment plan with Resurgent. Sometimes, debt collectors will settle for less than you currently owe. Other times they may agree to smaller monthly payments.
If you’d rather not deal with Resurgent, you can hire a debt settlement company to represent you. These companies negotiate directly with debt collectors and creditors on your behalf.
If they successfully negotiate a reduced balance, you’ll contribute directly to a separate account created by the debt settlement company. This account will accumulate your payments and eventually deliver payment to Resurgent.
Step 5 - Be on the lookout for lawsuits
In extreme cases, a debt collector like Resurgent can pursue legal action to help obtain debt repayment. It’s essential to address any lawsuit with urgency.
Failure to address a legal action can have serious consequences:
- Default judgment: This is the most common consequence of ignoring a lawsuit. It means the court automatically sides with the plaintiff (debt collector) and rules that the defendant (the debtor) pay back the owed amount.
- Wage garnishment: A default judgment could result in a portion of your paycheck being sent directly to the debt collector.
- Bank account levies: It’s possible the debt collector could receive permission to levy (i.e., take) money directly from the debtor’s bank account.
- Property liens: A lien on a debtor’s property means they cannot sell or refinance it without first clearing the debt.
Step 6 - Check your credit report
Request a copy of your credit report from the three major bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Thoroughly examine the report for errors.
Look for any mistakes related to the debt, including an incorrect amount, interest rate, classification, or date.
Step 7 - Consult with an attorney
This might be the most important step of all. It may be wise to consult with an attorney specializing in consumer debt.
A lawyer can offer you a host of benefits:
- They possess legal expertise.
- They are experienced negotiators.
- They can help protect your rights.
- They can represent you in court.
- They can provide peace of mind.
Debt relief options
Why not clear those debts once and for all? Here are some of the most common and effective methods:
- Debt consolidation: With debt consolidation, a new loan is taken out, and the proceeds are used to pay off existing debts. The reduction in payments makes managing debt obligations simpler. Moreover, the new loan typically has a lower interest rate than the average of the existing loans.
- Debt settlement: With debt settlement, a new amount is agreed upon and negotiated with the debt collector or creditor. If using a debt settlement company, they perform this task on your behalf and facilitate the repayment process. But remember, debt settlement can negatively impact your credit score for several years.
- Balance transfer cards: This strategy involves transferring the balances from high-interest credit cards to a new card at a lower rate. Credit card issuers sometimes offer promotional introductory rates, like 0% APR for 12 months.
- Credit counseling: Credit counseling agencies can help create budgets, offer financial education, or even provide Debt Management Plans (DMPs). DMPs are another way to consolidate debt balances. With a DMP, the debtor pays the counseling agency a single monthly payment. The agency then disperses the funds to the relevant creditors.
- Home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOC): In some scenarios, it may make sense to borrow from the equity in your home to pay off a higher interest rate on other debt. Keep in mind that by using your home as collateral you place it at risk should you default.
- Bankruptcy: In rare instances, bankruptcy may be warranted. While it shouldn’t be pursued without careful consideration, it can be the best option for some debtors.