It can be an unpleasant and stressful situation to check your mail and find a notice from a collection agency. If you have an old debt that has defaulted or a debt you were not aware you owed, it could have been turned over to a collection agency for them to attempt to get the money from you. As you and other Eugene residents are likely aware of, collection agencies can be difficult to deal with. It is their job to recover funds for the companies that sought their help, and they will not give up.

Since you know that you should not ignore a collection notice, what should you do? Forbes advises that first, you should determine whether or not you actually owe the debt. It is entirely possible that the collection company has targeted you because of a mistake in name, address or another factor. If you believe you do not owe the debt, send the collection agency a certified letter explaining why the debt is not yours. You may also want to check the major credit bureaus to see if the erroneous debt is listed on your credit report.

The collection agency should be able to prove that you owe the debt before you agree to take responsibility. If you do owe the debt, it may be best to pay the entire amount off at once, if you can. If a lump sum is not possible, you may attempt to work out a payment arrangement with the collection agency or negotiate with the original company that you owe. Do not, however, give the collection agency authorization to automatically remove funds from your bank account. Instead, make the payments yourself each time.

Dealing with past due debt can be frustrating and complex. The information in this blog is meant to be general and is not intended as legal advice.