NerdWallet features collections advice from Consolidated Credit

Having someone call you and demand money you weren’t aware you owed is an intimidating situation. What’s worse is that if you are getting that call, your debt is no longer being handled by the company that you originally did business with-it has now been handed over to debt collectors, who can try every underhanded way in the book to get repayment.

Debt collectors work under the assumption that you don”t know your rights under the Consumer Protection Laws, and will attempt to convince you that you have to pay whatever they say you owe. Also, if your debt has passed to debt collectors, it has likely already affected your credit score-you should check your score promptly to assess any damage.

But remember that you do have rights and options for handling the collection process, and in some cases you may not have to pay anything at all.

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