What can I do about a debt collector trying to pressure me into paying them over the phone with a check for the debt from my foreclosure 3 years ago?

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What can I do about a debt collector trying to pressure me into paying them over the phone with a check for the debt from my foreclosure 3 years ago?

About 3 years ago I was jobless and lost my home to foreclosure. It had an 80/20 mortgage. At the end of that year I received a 1099 for the taxes on the 80 part. A year later I was contacted by a debt collector that had bought the debt from the mortgage company. They would call from time to time to see if I could pay. We are a typical struggling family and I can’t pay the amount. Now they want me to pay over the phone by check for a “settlement” amount much less than the original. I am very skeptical now. Do I have any recourse? They want to sue me now.

Asked on February 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your case is governed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This law controls what a debt collector can and cannot do. With any debt, the balance owed will always be theresponsibility of the debtor. However, under the FDCPA,collection agencies cannot harass or threaten you to pay back a debt. Also,under this law the debt must be validated and proved to be yours and accurate. You must provide written notice to the collection agency asking them to verify the debt, and if they cannot within thirty days they must cease collection efforts. My advice is to not pay them anything until they verify this debt. Call me if you have further questions regarding this situation. 313-658-8159


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