2014 Archives

10 Tips for Dealing with Debt Collectors, Collection


The following is from the April 3, 2014, edition of Fox Business. Professor Mary Spector, director of the Consumer Law Project in SMU's Dedman School of Law, provided expertise for this story.

April 10, 2014

By Fred O. Williams

It's something most consumers dread -- a debt collector calling to ask about an unpaid credit card debt, past due student loan or medical debt. . .

Tips for dealing with debt collection:

3. Find a consumer lawyer. If you are served with a notice of a lawsuit, find an attorney who specializes in consumer law to represent you in court. The National Association of Consumer Advocates provides an attorney lookup page on its website.

Consumers who lose court judgments may have their wages garnished. Some suits are filed by debt collectors with little proof of the original debt owed, says Mary Spector, an associate law professor at Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law and director of its Consumer Law Project. Depending on the state, the statute of limitations may have expired on the debt. "Without a party appearing in court to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence, the creditor wins -- often based on scanty information," she says. Chances of having the lawsuit dismissed in court may be greater if you show up in court and have representation, Spector says.

Read the full list of tips.

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