Because more people are having trouble paying their bills, debt collectors have become more aggressive with their tactics. Read all about it in this USA Today article: More Complaints Lobbed at Debt Collectors.
If you are being hounded by a Debt Collector, you should know your rights. Many consumers pay money to debt collectors under duress because they fear what might happen. That could take the form of $50 or $100 sent in because the debt collector promises not to “send it to an attorney,” or “send the sheriff out to their house.”
The truth is these debt collectors don’t want to send your account to an attorney, and can’t send a sheriff out to your house. A lawsuit would cost more than they can generally collect, and that is why they try to scare people into sending them money (collectors get paid on commission). Everyone has exemptions which protects certain property from the reach of creditors. So if you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars worth of property, writing a check to a debt collector is probably not a good idea.
If a creditor is calling, however, you should seek out the advice of an experienced professional who can explain which threats to take seriously. For those of you in Western North Carolina, I would be pleased to speak with you during a free, initial consultation.