A New York-based collections agency, Northstar Location Services comes into your life when a creditor thinks you’re way past due on a debt. In other words, the reason why Northstar Location Services is calling you — in all likelihood — is because you are believed to have a debt that has gone to collections.
Here’s what you need to do.
Take The Call
A lot of people duck collection calls because they can be stressful. And, make no mistake about it; the person on the other end of the line is trying to collect on a debt. As stereotypical as it might sound, collections people know exactly how to press your buttons to get you flustered in the hopes you’ll pay to get them to go away. However, dodging their calls will only make the situation worse.
Take the call, when they identify themselves as being from a collection agency — which they must do by law — say you have no recollection of such a debt and ask them to hold on for a minute while you get set up to record the call, and do so. There are rules governing how they must conduct themselves with you and you can file a complaint under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act if they violate them.
Get The Debt Validated
Once you’re recording, tell them again you have no recollection of the debt and ask them to forward to you — in writing — all the information they have about it. You want to know when the debt was incurred, the original amount of the debt, with whom the debt was incurred, by whom, and how much of the current balance is fees and interest charges.
In a lot of cases, the agency doesn’t have all of this information, and they can’t collect it if they can’t provide it. They’re just counting on you to roll over and pay because they called.
Northstar Collection Services will have 30 days to get that information to you. If they do not, you are under no obligation to pursue it further and you can ask the credit reporting agencies to remove it from your credit reports because it is an invalid debt.
Determine Whether the Debt is Too Old to Collect
Collectors operate under a statute of limitations, the expiration of which precludes legal action regarding a debt. In other words, they only have a limited amount of time to take you to court to sue for recompense — unless they can get you to admit to ownership of the debt.
This is why the first thing we told you is to not accept responsibility for the debt — until it is verified to be yours and young enough for the collector to sue you over it. Here, it is important to note you do still owe the money in the eyes of the law and the obligation will appear on your credit report as unresolved.
Work Out a Payment Agreement
If it turns out the debt is indeed yours and it is within the window in which judicial action can be taken, work out a plan to satisfy the debt. In a lot of cases, you won’t have to pay the full amount quoted to get it to go away. Many collectors will accept a one-time partial payment in full of an agreed amount to settle the debt. If that sum is too large to manage, you can always establish a payment plan.
Once you determine why Northstar Location Services is calling you, and their concern is legitimate, the best play is to find a mutually agreeable way to lay the issue to rest.
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