29 Jan Debt collector threat to ruin your credit
In an economy where credit is vanishing even for the solvent, the debt collector’s last threat, to ruin your credit if you don’t pay, has lost its sting. And it may qualify the collector for a prize for the stupidest threat ever.
Up til now, the consumer has been so obsessed with their credit record and their credit score that the first question my bankruptcy clients ask is “what will it do to my credit?” [ I usually suppress the urge to shake them and tell them they have no meaningful “credit”, and steer the conversation towards their balance sheet, instead.]
As the recession deepens, even consumers with performing revolving credit are finding their credit limits cut dramatically. The immediate value of the credit record of a customer in default seems questionable. “What credit?”, I suggest you respond.
I experienced the threat to willy-nilly “ruin your credit” when I confronted a collector for AOL some time back who claimed my 16 year old son owed them $100. I disputed that there was a debt, in the first place, and pointed out that a minor could not contract an enforceable debt. Stymied, the collector shot back that regardless of the validity of my points, she would simply endeavor to ruin his credit if she couldn’t get her money. Another dumb move since she called me at my law office. But then who says the best and the brightest become debt collectors.
In these times, the threat to ruin your credit seems to be an empty threat. And as any frequent reader here knows, inaccurate reports to CRA’s expose the creditor to costly damages.
Image courtesy of ges.
Cathy Moran, Esq.
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