8 on Your Side: Tips on Handling Debt Collectors - 8 News NOW

8 on Your Side: Tips on Handling Debt Collectors

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LAS VEGAS - If you are behind on your bills, you may be getting calls from debt collectors, but not all of them are legitimate. 8 on Your Side shows how to sniff out the scammers.

Debt collectors are not the most popular people in the world. When they call, people usually don't want to talk to them. If you do, you need to know your rights.

For example, a debt collector can't threaten you. They can't scare you with jail time, garnish your wages or make you pay on the phone.

By law, a debt collector must provide you with proof of the debt within 30 days. If they can't, they must stop calling you.

If a debt collector calls you and asks you to pay with a green dot money card, that is the first sign it is a scam. You should always hang up. A legitimate debt collector would never ask you to do that.

For a debt collector to contact you in Nevada, they have to be licensed with the state.

You can easily get that information online. According to Marel Germain of the Nevada Collectors Association, you can take action against them if they're not licensed.

"There is a very easy way for consumers to find out if someone they're being contacted by is legit, and that is go to the State of Nevada website," she said.

If the debt collector harassing you isn't listed, you can report them, and action will be taken by the state.

If you are contacted by a legitimate debt collector, you owe the debt and can't pay it, you still have options. You can ask for a settlement or arrange a payment plan.

If you think ignoring it will solve the problem, think again. The debt will follow you, but you can get help. Free assistance is available from the Financial Guidance Center in Las Vegas.

If you have a problem you want investigated, contact 8 on Your Side at 702-650-1907.

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