Today, numerous Americans will receive phone calls from debt collectors or scammers trying to collect money on debts that do not exist. These are called phantom debts. On the rare occasion that it turns out to be the real deal and money is owed, a bankruptcy law attorney may be able to offer Michigan residents assistance in finding the best way to handle the debt and stop any future creditor harassment.
Phantom debts generally occur for one of two reasons: scammers looking to collect or debt collectors with bad information. It is a sad reality that there are individuals out there who know they can use scare tactics to get people to pay them money even when no money is owed them. Scammers are good at what they do and numerous individuals end up out thousands of dollars simply because they pay rather than investigate.
When it comes to debt collectors, debts are often passed from one collection company to another. It is not uncommon for information on paid accounts to be passed on as well or for the wrong people to be contacted on debts owed, so the next collection agency will seek payment even when one has no legal obligation to pay. To get the calls and harassment to end, some people will pay up, but before they do they really should:
- Get all the facts
- Gather any evidence
- Request creditors stop making contact
- Get legal help
Being proactive is key when it comes to fighting off debt collectors and scammers over a phantom or real debt. Taking action sooner rather than later and fully investigating the matter can save one a lot of time and money in the long run. Michigan residents who do end up owing money to debt collectors but who lack the economic means to make payments may turn to a bankruptcy law attorney in order to figure out what options are available to them.
Source: USA Today, “Vanquish a phantom debt for good“, Sean Pyles, Oct. 29, 2017