Getting calls from debt collectors about a debt of which one is not aware can be really disturbing. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. How does one know if it is the real deal or if a scammer is just trying to take advantage? There are some ways to find out, and if it is really owed, Illinois residents may turn to Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy if they need help addressing it.

How does phantom debt even happen? There are two ways: the information debt collectors have is out of date or it is a scam. In either case, getting collections calls to stop can be tough.

The goal of debt collectors and scammers is to collect money. They do no care if their information is correct and they do no care who they are hurting. So how can one deal with a collector who is misinformed or a scam artist?

  • Get details of the debt
  • Collect evidence
  • Send a stop contacting request in writing
  • Get help if they do not back down

Believe it or not, debt collectors do have laws that they have to follow. If they do not, it is possible to take actions against them. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can assist Illinois residents who are dealing with overzealous debt collectors or scammers in order to get the harassment to stop and clear any phantom debts once and for all. If there is a debt obligation that needs to be addressed, it is possible to look into how a Chapter 13 or 7 bankruptcy may benefit one’s situation.

Source: USA Today, “Vanquish a phantom debt for good“, Sean Pyles, Oct. 29, 2017