That Collection Agency Cannot Do What they say they Can Do.
1. They cannot contact you at “inconvenient” hours.
2. You can write a letter and tell them to stop contacting you at all (unless they are going to file a lawsuit and, remember, these guys aren’t making enough off you to pay a lawyer. They’re just going to sell the debt down to the nickle-on-the-dollar guys.)
3 A debt collector cannot call your place of work and, if you have an attorney, they can only contact the attorney.
4. Did they send you a registered “validation letter” confirming that you owe the money within 5 days of first contacting you? Bet you they didn’t—neither of the bozos who contacted me ever did.
5. They absolutely CANNOT use loud or threatening language, keep calling you day and night, threaten to publicize your debt, threaten to tell your employer. Basically, all those things that they are already doing are against the law. If you simply indicate that you are aware of your rights; they lose most of their power to terrify.
In the end, all they can really do is put a black mark on your credit rating. You can survive that.
Now I’ve been in both situations—where I knew I didn’t owe the money and where I was fairly sure that I did owe the money. Even when I paid, the bastards still put a record in the credit record so there’s really no hurry. If you can do it, I’d say pay them the money. If you really can’t, use the law to make them go away.
By the way, sometimes they say they’re a law firm—heck, they may even be a law firm. It doesn’t make any difference.