5 Great Questions to Ask a Debt Collector

Minnesota debt collection defense attorney John Rossman wrote this breathless warning for debt collectors for InsideARM:

An army of Debtors — fully equipped with scripts drafted by consumer attorneys and recording devices — are using their telephones as weapons to wage war on unsuspecting Debt Collectors across our nation.

Rossman warns debt collectors that consumers are trying to “entrap” collectors and “trick” them into violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by asking the following questions:

  1. Is this account being reported to the credit bureau?
  2. How will this affect my credit?
  3. How long will this be on my credit?
  4. When will this come off of my credit report?
  5. Will this come off of my credit report if I pay the debt?

Here’s how it works: pose the above questions to a debt collector, and if his response is a lie, you have entrapped him!

Of course, those are actually really good questions to ask. You probably want to know the answers, now that I mention them. So go ahead and ask. Record the phone call, too, if you can. If the debt collector lies, it’s not entrapment. It’s a violation of the FDCPA. Call a consumer rights lawyer.