One of the first things anyone dealing with Northstar Collections Services should know is the company is a debt collections agency. You are likely the target of their efforts if you get a call from someone associated with the company. In other words, they believe you owe money and their intention is to get you to settle the debt.
With that in mind, here’s what else you need to know.
Get Proof — In Writing
While the temptation to exude belligerence in your effort to defend yourself might be great, that’s a bad idea. Be polite, be accommodating and do not accept responsibility for the debt until they provide irrefutable documented evidence of your ownership of it.
Ask them to hold the line for a moment when they identify themselves as an agent of the company — and set your phone up to record the call. Tell the person you’re doing so and ask them to provide the details they have surrounding the matter. Once they’ve done so, tell them you have no recollection of such a debt and ask they send you written documentation validating the debt.
This should include the amount currently due, the name and contact information of the lender with whom the debt was originally created, the name of the person who created that debt, as well as their address. The letter should also include the date the obligation was originally incurred and how much of the current balance is fees and interest.
File a dispute if you truly believe the debt isn’t yours after the documentation is provided.
Tell Them to Stop Calling You
Get the name, physical address and phone number of the Northstar debt collector and tell them you no longer wish to receive calls about the issue. Let them know you will review the documentation when you receive it and get back in touch should the information they provide warrant your doing so.
Send them a letter with the same request and make sure you keep a copy of it. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act outlines the parameters within which debt collectors must operate. You can file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and your state attorney general office if they violate the guidelines.
Check For The Statute of Limitations
Under no circumstances should you accept responsibility for the debt, or offer to send money until you know for certain the debt is yours. Collectors have a limited amount of time to file legal action for unpaid debt, however you’ll restart that clock if they can get you to admit the debt is valid.
What To Do If The Debt Is Valid
Your best recourse once the debt is proven valid is to work out a settlement agreement. You can often get the account closed for less than the outstanding balance by agreeing to forward a one-time payment in full of an agreed upon amount. Propose an installment payment agreement to rectify the situation in cases in which even this amount will be more than you can comfortably handle.
Always Take the First Call
Also chief among the things anyone dealing with Northstar Location Services should know is to always take that first call. While many people try to avoid collections calls, the smartest thing to do is take the call, dispute the debt over the phone and ask for documentation in writing.
In a lot of cases, the collector only has a name, an amount and some contact information. Challenging the debt can make it go away if they have no more documentation than that. Meanwhile, ignoring the situation will only make it get worse.