A debt collector, or an accounts receivable collection agency, can sometimes get a bad rap. However, they are usually just doing their job and only work with delinquent accounts of a certain monetary value. If you are being contacted by one of these companies it means that you have a debt that has gone unpaid and they are attempting to collect what you owe. It is all a part of the borrowing process and while it’s not fun, it’s what they are supposed to do.

When Do Debt Collectors Take Over?

An accounts receivable collection agency will only take over when you’ve fallen behind on your payments and were unable to work something out with your bank. Your original loan source will sell your account to a debt collection service in order to get their money back, and then it becomes the job of the debt collection agency to procure what you owe. Some agencies will only take accounts that are of a certain monetary value and within the statute of limitations.

What Limits Do Debt Collectors Have?

While debt collectors do have the ability to search for new addresses and contact information, they do not have the ability to take money from your account without your permission. The only way you will be forced to pay a debt recovery agency is if a judge determines in court that you need to pay. This would require the agency to take you to court before the statute of limitations is over. They are also require to verify any debt they are trying to collect, and if they are unable to they cannot continue to contact you about that debt.

How Can You Spot a Reputable Collector?

A reputable collection agency will operate in a fair manner that follows the rules set for their agency. They will verify your debt and allow you time to dispute it if there is identity theft involved. They want to make sure that they are not asking you for money that you don’t actually owe. They will also work within the statute of limitations, and within reasonable business hours. An agency that harasses you and doesn’t follow collection laws is not a reputable collector and you may want to report them.