Are credit scores and credit reports the same?

Credit reports and scores are different: While your FICO credit score is generated based on information in your credit report, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. Your credit report shows your history of using credit, including the accounts you have (both opened and closed), your payment history, credit limits, and amounts owed. Your FICO credit score is generated based on this information, and generally ranges from a low of 300 to a high of 850.

What is a debt management plan?

A debt management plan is an informal, none binding agreement between yourself and your creditors. It will usually be handled by a third party (usually a company or business) who will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. They will look at your income, your expenditure and work out your disposable income, that is the amount of monies each month you have available to pay your creditors after living costs and and priority debts have been taken into.

What is a debt collector?

A debt collector is defined as any person who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, consumer debts asserted to be owed to another person.

What can’t the debt collector do to acquire information about a debtor’s location?

  1. They can’t say that they want the information for collection purposes.
  2. They can’t state the consumer owes any debt.
  3. The collector can’t talk with any one person twice unless requested to do so by the person or unless the collector feels that the earlier response of the person was erroneous or incomplete.
  4. The collector can’t communicate by postcard or use any language or symbols on the envelope or letter or telegram that indicates it is for collection purposes.
  5. Once the collector learns that the consumer has an attorney, he can only communicate with the attorney as long as the attorney responds in a reasonable amount of time.

How can the debt collector communicate with the debtor?

  1. Time of Day
    • A) Not at inconvenient places without the permission of the debtor
    • B) 8 AM – 9 PM, or with consent of debtor otherwise.
  2. Place of Employment
    • The collector cannot contact the debtor at work if the collector knows that the employer won’t allow debtor to receive such calls.
  3. Third Parties
    • The collector can talk to only these people without consent of the consumer or court:
    • consumer himself
    • spouse
    • parent (if consumer is a minor)
    • guardian
    • executor or administrator
    • consumer’s attorney
    • the creditor for whom the debt is being collected
    • a consumer reporting agency if permitted by law
    • the attorney for the creditor
    • the attorney of the debt collector
  4. When the Debtor Says “No More”
    • The collector has to stop making contact when he receives a letter that says either the consumer refuses to pay the debt or that they just want to cease further communication.
    • At this point the collector has three choices:
      • A) advise the consumer that the collection efforts are being terminated
      • B) inform the consumer that the collector or creditor may invoke special remedies (i.e., take legal action)
      • C) inform the consumer that the collector or creditor will invoke special remedies (i.e., like take legal action)