[caption id="attachment_3098" align="alignleft" width="160"] If you have harris and harris debts on your credit reports you score can be seriously negatively impacted. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reverse the damage.[/caption]
Harris and Harris calling you? Don't worry yet.
Quick Facts about collection:
Debt collectors aren't really that creative when it comes to their tactics. They just depend on consumer ignorance, and hope that you won't realize what they're up to!
The first tactic debt collectors like Harris and Harris use is often a false friendliness. They may contact you with a payment plan that they say is in your best interests.
But remember, debt collectors are NOT your friends. They are just professionals doing a job. They see you as an account number and a dollar amount, not as a person. Don't waste time making friends with them or trying to gain their sympathy.
Next, debt collectors usually begin to escalate their contacts. They will call you more and more often, until they are calling once or even twice every day. The goal here is to wear you down.
They hope to be so annoying that you will pay them just to make them go away. You can resist this tactic by knowing that under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, it is illegal to call a consumer just to harass them.
Also, you can send a cease and desist letter, or hire a lawyer to handle all contacts with the debt collector.
Debt collectors may also call your family, your employer, your place of business, or any other contact numbers they have for you. They will say they are "looking for you" but really they are attempting to make others aware of your debt. They hope that this will make you feel ashamed enough to resolve the situation by paying the debt.
The more unscrupulous debt collectors will also make threats against you. They may say they will garnish your wages, seize your property, or place a lien on your home and force you to sell.
However, in order to take any of these steps, they will first need to take you to court, win the case, and then get specific permission to take action. Most of the time, this is too much time, trouble, and expense. It is much easier to just make an empty threat and try to scare you into paying.
The most effective tactic the debt collectors have is to report your debts as collection items or charge offs to the credit bureaus. By doing this, they can really damage your credit.
Since good credit is necessary for a healthy financial life, many people are spurred to take action at this point, either by paying the debt collector or taking legal action.
If you want to fight back against the debt collector and repair your credit, there are two main directions to take.
First, you can try to prove that the debt related to the collection item is invalid, unverifiable, or otherwise inaccurate. If this is the case, the debt cannot be pursued for collection or reported to the credit bureau.
The other option is to focus on the behavior of the debt collector. If they have violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by calling you just to harass you, calling before 8 am or after 9 pm, making groundless threats of legal action, etc, you can threaten to sue them. As a compromise, they may offer to cease collection on your account.