National Consumer Protection Week in 2022 is March 6-12 and is meant to educate everyone about how to improve finances, avoid scams and fraud as well as educate consumers about their rights. This is a program established by the Federal Trade Commission and one that we fully embrace.

Everyone here at American Profit Recovery understands that as a collection agency we need to be as transparent as possible. We go above and beyond to make sure that everyone we come in contact with understands their rights as a consumer. When we are creating honest and open conversations with consumers, everyone benefits.

If you are a consumer that has had financial challenges in the past, or you are currently trying to understand what steps you should take to rebuild your finances and your credit, this week is meant for you. There are plenty of resources available to help you navigate tough times. And our team here always wants to do our part. There’s a reason why consumers compliment our debt collectors after a telephone conversation. It’s because we treat them with the respect they deserve. Many of us have gone through tough times and our professional debt collectors understand this.National Consumer Protection Week

Below are a handful of commonly asked questions our team gets. Just know that if you need help, it is there for you as a consumer.

How do I use my credit intelligently?

When consumers have accounts in collections, it’s really important they work closely with that collection agency to resolve the matter. A well-trained debt collector will analyze the consumer’s situation and offer ways to pay off that debt in a smart manner. When a consumer begins to chip away at their debt, they can get on a path of rebuilding their credit. Improving credit takes time and keeping your credit score higher takes diligence. That entails using credit cards wisely, paying those credit cards on time and chipping away at the overall balance. The same goes for other financial commitments such as mortgages and other credit extended to you. When you’re digging out of debt, it’s important to pay on time, and not overextend your finances.

Should I be afraid to speak with a debt collection agency?

Many consumers will avoid numerous communications from a collection agency. By avoiding the issue, many feel they can continue to put off what they believe will be an awkward conversation. The fact is, it’s just the opposite. You as a consumer should never be afraid to have a conversation with a reputable debt collector. A well-trained professional can help you rebuild your finances by creating a resolution to the debt you are currently facing. Some consumers think they need to pay off everything all at once but in many cases that is not true. A professional collector will analyze the situation and give you options to help you chip away at your past due balance. When you do that, you’ll begin to rebuild your credit. Never be afraid to speak with a debt collector because they can help you.

How do I know if I actually owe this money?

This is a question our collectors get frequently. Sometimes, you may end up with a communication from a debt collector and you may not remember the financial obligation that you incurred. Maybe the business did not invoice you on time and now they’ve decided to collect. Your rights as a consumer allow you to have the collection agency validate the debt before proceeding. If you are unsure that you owe the money, ask for validation. A reputable collection agency will offer this anyway. You may not actually owe the debt that the collector is contacting you about and you may be a victim of fraud. That’s why it is important to pick up the phone when a collector calls because that could tip you off to fraudulent activity on your accounts. If you don’t communicate, you might not know. And it could cause you problems down the road.

Where can I learn more about improving my finances?

If you’ve had challenges with your financial situation, you may have many questions about navigating this area of your life. The website Know My Debt is a great place to start. https://www.knowmydebt.com/

On this website created by ACA international, consumers can understand more of their rights when facing financial challenges. There are also planning tools to improve your finances for the future. And you can find additional resources for getting the help you need. Consumers can learn more about working with a debt collector, paying off debt, understanding how to read a credit report and repair it and many other commonly asked questions.

If you’re a consumer and you have been struggling to pay your bills and build your credit, this is a great time to educate yourself on how to rebuild your finances.