Common Questions Click on the question to see the answer.

Collection agencies are business that collect past due bills and accounts for other persons or businesses.  We hope this information helps you better understand their rights when contacted by a collector and get answers to common questions.

AskDoctorDebt has provided this information for purely educational purposes and does not represent a legal opinion or legal advice. For counsel regarding your particular situation contact the collector directly or a qualified attorney.

AskDoctorDebt is not able to assist in the actual handling of problems or disputes between a consumer and a debt collector or the original creditor.

Must the creditor (business or person to whom the original debt is owed) notify me before turning my account over to a collection agency?
Is debt collection regulated by law?
What should I do if contacted by a debt collector?
Must the debt collector identify themselves and inform me of the nature of the communication?
How do I find out what I allegedly owe?
What if I dispute the accuracy of the bill? What can I do?
Can I continue making payments to the creditor to whom I owe money?
What if the bill has been paid, I believe I don’t owe the debt, or I am not the person the debt collector is looking for?
Will I have to pay more because the debt is being collected by a collection agency?
If the debt is from a dishonored check will there be a service charge?
Can I be sued if I fail to pay the debt?
Can I go to jail for non-payment of a debt?
Can I make payment arrangements with a debt collection agency?
Does an agency have to accept partial payments?
As long as I am paying something every month, doesn't the collection agency have to take my payment?
The collection agency has agreed to take payments. Do I have to sign a contract?
What about oral (unwritten) payment plans?
Can my home be foreclosed or my wages garnished to collect a debt?
Can my bank account be garnished to collect a debt?
When can a collection agency call me?
Can a collection agency contact other people to discuss my debt?
Can a collection agency call me at work?
Can a collection agency contact my employer?
How can I stop a collection agency from contacting me?
Does debt have a statute of limitations?
The collection agency wants me to write postdated checks or pre-authorize payments from my checking account. Do I have to do this?
Can a debt collector obtain my consumer report?
What happens to my consumer report when I don’t pay a debt?
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