Can a debt collector dictate the re-payment amount and force you to showthem your personal income information in order toarrive at the amount?

UPDATED: Aug 9, 2011

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Can a debt collector dictate the re-payment amount and force you to showthem your personal income information in order toarrive at the amount?

He insisted we pay $100 a month and I tried for several months unsuccessfully sometimes it was hard. There was no written agreement so I wrote a letter telling him I would pay $50 monthly, I said I would accept his returning the check as a no answer. Instead he called and threatened bank and income garnishment and then told me to bring in income information. My wife had already sat down with him and discussed the income but he insists what we can afford.

Asked on August 9, 2011 Alabama


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A debt collector can negotiate what he or she desires the monthly installment amounts be on an outstanding obligation and request that income information be shown to assist in arriving at an agreed upon monthly payment amount. However, the information cannot be forced to be given by you.

The threatening of bank and income garnishment as part of the negotiation process could very well be an unfair debt collection practice under your state's and federal law, "Unfair Debt Collection Practices Act."

Other comments or "threats" by the debt collector as to attempts to obtain income information from you likewise could be an unfair debt collection practice,

You should consult with an attorney on the subject. If you cannot afford one, call your local county bar association. It may have a program where attorneys conduct free clinics to assist people like you needing help.

Good luck.



IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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